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The Horrors of Disenfranchisement Become Literal Ones In This Eerie Classic

Welcome to 31 Days of Horror Comics, where I will spotlight some of the best horror comics around, as chosen by a bunch of my favorite horror comic writers and artists around!

Today's creator is Ted McKeever, who burst on to the comic book scene in the late 1980s with his brilliantly offbeat independent series, like Transit and Eddy Currant before he was picked up by Epic back towards the tail end of the Marvel line of comics. It was apparent then that McKeever's work was perfectly suited for horror...

And he's been a go-to artist ever since if you want a twisted spin on classic horror themes...

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He's great for non-horror, as well, of course, but his work translates to horror beautifully.

Ted's suggestion is "Disenfranchised" from 1972's Eerie #39 by artist Tom Sutton and writer J.L. Cochran. It was actually the cover piece for that issue...

Ted explained his choice thusly, "Illustrated by the brilliant Tom Sutton, who produced one of the greatest displays of exquisitely paced atmospheric horror, on the sequential page."

He's absolutely right, as the great Sutton nails the pace of the comic. One of the most interesting things that artists can do is control the way a comic book is read, time-wise. It's something that you can easily achieve in video, but it is a lot harder to do in a piece of art that doesn't actually move like video and yet Sutton achieves it here as he slowly introduces our disturbing villain for the story...

The story is about a young man named Harold whose father owned a butcher shop in a part of the city where the citizens were getting pushed out of their businesses and homes...

Harold eventually snaps and goes nuts with a meat cleaver in the shop. He doesn't kill anyone, but he ends up with this twisted grin on his face and when things get worse, well, Harold gets worse...

Cochran and Sutton cleverly contrast the horrors of disenfranchisement (people forced into dangerous living situations and then homelessness by the callous disregard for humanity by big business) with the literal horror of Harold slaughtering a city inspector...

Dark stuff.

Thanks for the suggestion, Ted!

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