Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jeff Segal on Robert Bloch: a guest post

Marvel Comics sequential art adaptations, and secondhand paperbacks which mixed his stories in among those from other writers whose careers began and flourished during the pulp-magazine era, were my introduction to the punning prose of Robert Bloch. With an eye-catching cover illustrating "That Hell-Bound Train", the Ballantine/Del Rey Books The Best of Robert Bloch was the first collection I purchased of his work, which introduced me to the ironic resolutions to his science fiction tales. I was also thus acquainted with Bloch's psychologically-driven fiction (most famously, of course, in Psycho) and his early involvement in the Cthulhu Mythos. 
My favorite Bloch moment of my youth was reading "The Head Man" in a vintage anthology during,
I think, high school. That tale of witchcraft targeting the Third Reich and of mixed-up severed heads had me roaring with laughter.
Even with all of the subsequent Bloch that I've collected and read, I realize that I've only experienced a fragment of his literary legacy, not even counting his radio drama, teleplays and screeplays. I look forward to experiencing more of his more than half-century of work in coming decades, I hope in affordable, comprehensive editions. 
The movie Psycho should not be his only headstone, given the extent of his contributions to several genres as well as his non-fiction.

Possibly Jeff's introduction to
"The Head Man"...

The 1975 Marvel large-format B&W reprint magazine issue where Jeff
 first read the Bloch and other adaptations detailed on the cover...


  1. Did not know about that Marvel version of "Yours Truly ..." and I have a pretty extensive collection of JtR material. One for the want list!

  2. And I need to double-check with Jeff to learn if he meant mostly/entirely HAUNT OF HORROR and similar Marvel large-format B&W issues...but JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY clearly had a Bloch jag...

  3. And as it turns out, Jeff first read the Marvel adaptations as reprinted in MASTERS OF TERROR...


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