AskDefine | Define ghastly

Dictionary Definition

ghastly adj
1 shockingly repellent; inspiring horror; "ghastly wounds"; "the grim aftermath of the bombing"; "the grim task of burying the victims"; "a grisly murder"; "gruesome evidence of human sacrifice"; "macabre tales of war and plague in the Middle ages"; "macabre tortures conceived by madmen" [syn: grim, grisly, gruesome, macabre]
2 gruesomely indicative of death or the dead; "a charnel smell came from the chest filled with dead men's bones"; "ghastly shrieks"; "the sepulchral darkness of the catacombs" [syn: charnel, sepulchral] [also: ghastliest, ghastlier]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. Horrifyingly shocking.
  2. Extremely bad.
    The play was simply ghastly.


horrifyingly shocking

Extensive Definition

Graham Ingels (June 7, 1915- April 4, 1991) was a comic-book artist best known for his work at the EC Comics company in the 1950s, notably on The Haunt of Fear and Tales from the Crypt, horror titles written and edited by Al Feldstein, and The Vault of Horror, written and edited by Feldstein and Johnny Craig.


Early Career

With the death of his father, Ingels began working at the age of 14, entering the art field when he was 16. Graham and Gertrude Ingels married when he was just beginning as a freelancer at age 20. He entered the Navy in 1943, doing illustrations in the post-WWII years for Fiction House, Magazine Enterprises and other publishers of comic books and pulp magazines. The Ingels had two children, Deanna (born 1937) and Robby (born 1946), who was named after a character on the Baby Snooks radio program created by child impersonator Lenore Ledoux. Artist Howard Nostrand, a friend of Ingels, recalled:
Robby, his son, was about 12 then... skinny little twirp when I knew him. He's probably flying a jet airplane now or something. That's what always happens with little kids, you know. Robby was short for Robespierre. The reason why they called him that was left over from the old Fanny Brice show, Baby Snooks. Baby Snooks had a little kid brother named Robespierre. They called him that when he was a little kid, and the name stuck.

EC Comics

Ingels began at EC by doing Western and romance stories in 1948. In the book "Foul Play", editor Al Feldstein explained that Ingel's early work for EC was dissappointing, but publisher Bill Gaines was fiercely loyal to everybody, which is why he remained at the company. When E.C. introduced the horror comics Tales From The Crypt, The Vault of Horror, and The Haunt of Fear, it soon became apparent to Gaines that Ingels was 'Mr. Horror' himself. His flair for horror led the company to promote him as "Ghastly Graham Ingels," and he started signing his work "Ghastly" in 1952. His unique and expressive style was well-suited for the atmospheric depiction of Gothic horrors amid crumbling Victorian mansions in hellish landscapes populated by twisted characters, grotesque creatures and living corpses with rotting flesh. A trademark of his was a character with a thread of saliva visible in a horrified open mouth. As the lead artist for The Haunt of Fear, he brought to life the Old Witch, host of "The Witch's Cauldron" lead story, and he also did the cover for each issue from issue 11 through 28. A prolific artist, Ingels also drew the Old Witch's appearances in Tales From the Crypt and The Vault of Horror, and had many appearances in Shock SuspenStories and Crime SuspenStories. After EC cancelled its horror and crime comics, Ingels contributed art to the New Direction Titles Piracy, M.D., Impact and Valor. He also later contributed to EC's short lived Picto-Fiction line.

Later Career

After EC ceased publication in the mid-1950s, Ingels contributed to Classics Illustrated but found little work in comics due to his notable connection with EC's horror comics, as discussed by Howard Nostrand in the book 'Foul Play': "he was kind of a sad case, because when the horror stuff went out, Graham went out with it. His forte was strictly doing horror comics and there weren't any more horror comics being done". Ingels took a teaching position with the Famous Artists correspondence school located in Westport, Connecticut. He later left the Northeast and became an art instructor in Florida, refusing to acknowledge his horror comics until a few years before he died.


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