Ever since the Christmas of 1974, when my Uncle John introduced me to the weird and wild wonders of his EC Comics collection, one of my favorite holiday pastimes has involved chilling out with a stack of old horror comics while listening to Christmas music. I fully understand that it might not be everyone's cup of eggnog — and I'm not even that much of a comic book collector, myself — but there's something about paging through a particularly choice issue of such gory, twisted 1950s classics as Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear while listening to John Fahey's The New Possibility (or the Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Christmas Album) that really puts me blissfully in the Christmas groove.
This year, though, I've been spending less time with my EC reprints from the 1990s (most of which I've read at least two dozen times by now) and more time with issues of Ghosts, a DC title that I read semi-regularly back in the 1970s. Sub-titled "True Tales of the Weird and Supernatural," Ghosts wasn't as well-written (or as gruesomely rendered) as its EC forebears; but the artwork was usually quite solid (even borderline psychedelic at times), and the stories were usually good for a scare or two — at least for a young horror fiend like myself. I've really been enjoying giving them another look, not least because of all the ads they include for Topps baseball cards, X-ray specs, novelty t-shirts, and war games from the Helen of Toy Company (Tank Trap! Task Force! Woods Edge!), all of which I vividly remember drooling over during my childhood.
I have no memory, however, of "Eyes From Another World," a two-page story from the July 1975 issue that recalls the rash of UFO sightings that occurred in the US during the years immediately following World War II. Though it's kind of an unremarkable piece in itself, it does include brief accounts of UFO sightings by such celebrities as Sammy Davis, Jr, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Godfrey and Buddy Rich. And the panels with Sammy and Buddy's flying saucer encounters are just too good not to share with you here...
Pretty cool, huh? Certainly a lot cooler than AMF Voit's nylon baseball bat, which is advertised on the back of the issue. I'm really glad nobody ever gave me one of those for Christmas — I would have been immediately laughed out of my local little league.
Anyway, I'm gonna get back to my comics. May you all have a relaxing, fun and (if you so choose) funky holiday season. Catch you in 2017.