Thursday, November 25, 2010


I read this story for the first time in 1973, when it was reprinted for the umpteenth time in the pages of Weird Wonder Tales #1.  It was may have been my first exposure to the wild, woolly and utterly insane world of Basil Wolverton.

I was instantly traumatized.

This story terrified me in ways I have not begun to understand. I refused to keep it with my other comics, fearful that the giant eyeball—sensing my fear—might somehow escape from the pages of the comic and engulf me with its slimy protoplasmic body, I kept it in a drawer of my father's desk in the dining room. Every now and then I would sneak it out and peruse the piece, only to return it to the drawer, vowing never to look at it again, so help me God! But, as David Mamet observed, "Every fear hides a wish." Does this mean I wanted to be absorbed into the mass of a giant eyeball from the planet Venus? I can't say. I can say that drawings of giant eyeballs decorated the margins of my elementary school notebooks for months after. (Only to be given over to Martian tripods after reading The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells.)

I have never forgotten this comic story, nor the way in which it warped my psyche at so young and impressionable an age. My horrified fascination with this story could explain why I glommed onto The Residents when Lou Stathis first introduced them to me in his music review column, then published in the pages of Heavy Metal magazine starting in 1980.

The resemblance is striking, no?

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