Writer: Jon Judy
Artist: Luciano Kars
The story of Wallace and Gertrude Dietrich, world renowned pioneers in aviation, is one of fame and tragedy. Despite their celebrity, wealth and success they are dealt the cruellest of blows when their infant son is kidnapped and brutally murdered. But as the complex tale of the infant’s gruesome fate unravels, things are not as they may seem…
The basis for the story is obviously taken from the real life kidnapping of world famous pilot Charles Augustus Lindbergh’s infant son, although, of course, the more fanciful elements are clearly fictional. Lindbergh’s 20 month old son was taken from his nursery on March 1, 1932 and his body was later discovered in nearby woods. The shocking nature of the murder led to it being commonly referred to as ‘The Crime of the Century’.
Reminiscent of classic horror series such as The Twilight Zone, Vincent Price Presents is a collection of standalone horror tales that delve into the macabre and gothic. Issue 35 is no exception and its tale folds in twists and turns all the way. Inspired by the work of actor Vincent Price, famed for his work in the horror genre, it has a wonderfully old-fashioned horror tone that evokes the black and white thrillers of the 1940s and 1950s. In keeping with this theme, much of the artwork is done in greyscale while even the full colour portions of the story are rendered in muted tones. This understated colour palette gives the tale an appropriately grim, unnerving feel.
This issue holds at its narrative heart an act of ultimate human evil. The story revolves around the theme of human avarice and the sacrifices some people will make for money. However, like any good horror story, the players’ motives are not always as straightforward as the reader might initially expect. Writer Jon Judy weaves an interesting story that keeps the reader on their toes and in the dark until the very end.
Artist Lucian Kars’ use of colour and tone in this issue is masterful and eloquently captures the mood of the story. He shows a particular aptitude for the subtleties of human expression, which in this story is vital in conveying the emotional depth of the characters. His style is bold and unfussy but manages to speak volumes in its simplicity.
Verdict: A good fun read that gleefully embraces everything that is great about classic horror fiction – mysterious millionaires, deals with the devil and secret satanic cults. 6/10