Monday, June 2, 2008

Lip Service, 1958

Todays story is Lip Service, from a 1958 issue of True Love. Lip Service is only a 5-pager, but it makes up for its brevity by the complete freakishness of its subject matter. I don't want to ruin the surprise, so I'll just say creepiest. story. ever.

Nice. Very nice, not crazy at all.

I think the reason most people find ventriloquists and their dummies so creepy is that we imagine the ventriloquist goes home and has a conversation with his dummy a lot like what you see above.

Obviously, Harry has issues but Linda has ignored the subtle signs of his complete nutcakery. Watch in the next page how she very quickly dismisses his weird habit of talking about Charlie as if he were a real person with some quick rationalizing.

The panel where they're smooching with Charlie leering in background makes me a little queasy. How is this not a horror story?


"Loretta? Girl, did you hear about Linda's date with that ventriloquist?"
"Didn't be bring his dummy to the beach?"
"In a suitcase, girl. He had it ask her for a handjob!"

What cinches it for me is that Harry ends the story by doing exactly what Linda's been begging him NOT to do the entire time. That, and Harry's hangdog expression in the very last panel, where its clear that he is Charlie's prisoner and unhappy slave.