Now then, what's this web-winged horror flapping down from the skies? Now at first, judging by the somewhat crude art on this card you may be forgiven for thinking that this was a quick filler sketch. After all, bats are a staple of horror imagery, and this one seems to have been drawn with little or no consultation to what bats actually look like! Indeed from the slap-dash rendering, it's all too easy to imagine our Unknown Artist being fatigued and possibly overcome by paint fumes when he drew it.

However that said, I always found the fizzog of this particular vampire bat to be strangely familiar. Now then, in previous instalments of our journey through the decks we have discovered that as well as borrowing from film and TV, the world of horror mags and comics has also been ransacked for inspiration more than a few times. And I couldn't help noticing while going through my old House of Hammer mags in search of a Killer Rat that this werewolf cover star rather reminds me of the Vampire Bat...

House of Hammer cover

However looking inside this issue of the classic horror mag (Issue 18 fact fans) we find the comic strip featured on the cover - a one-off strip written and drawn by comic legends Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. This mini-epic features Count Dracula, Frankenstein's monster and a werewolf all crossing paths, and along the way we find the following panels which look very much like inspiration for our somewhat odd looking flittermouse!

comics from House of Hammer

Now there is not an exact match in any of these to be sure, but they do prove a couple of things. Firstly they are near enough for the old Vampire Bat to seem oddly familiar to me, and secondly, that whatever source image our Unknown Artist was working from, I rather doubt it was a bat! Plus, judging by the lack of detail and the type of lines used, I would put good money on the original image being a small panel in a comic strip. And quite possibly the source being two small frames, one for the bat-wings and one for the bestial face. Perhaps one day, I shall open some old horror comic and find the Vampire Bat's doppelgänger...

comics from House of Hammer
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