MONSTER in the CELLAR
Real Name: Inapplicable
Identity/Class: Unknown (see comments); Pre-Modern era
Group Membership: None
Enemies: "Steve Bachman"
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Monster in My Cellar" (in story title)
Base of Operations: "Steve Bachman's" home
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#12/3 (November, 1960)
Powers/Abilities: A product of "Steve Bachman's" imagination, the monster looked somewhat like a giant salamander. It was eight feet tall, had scaly skin and long, rubbery lizard-like arms, and a single eye in the center of its head. The monster was strong enough to smash through a door.
History: (Tales of Suspense I#12/3) - Science fiction writer "Steve Bachman" was told by his editor to write a monster tale. Promising to come up with a monster tale to end all monster tales, "Bachman" went home and came up with a new gimmick -- to write a story as though it were really happening to him. Sitting at his typewriter, "Bachman" thought about what the monster would look like. As he sat there concentrating as hard as he could, trying to visualize the monster, an image came to him. When he wrote down the description of the creature in detail, a strange thing began to happen -- he began to picture the creature more and more vividly, as though it were coming into existence.
For seconds, "Bachman" sat in a kind of trance, when suddenly, he heard a noise behind the cellar door. Opening the door and going down the steps to investigate, he felt the presence of something dangerous, something menacing. Hearing a growl, he turned and saw the very monster from his imagination lunging at him! Dodging the attack, "Bachman" grabbed a shovel and struck the creature, but only succeeded in breaking the shovel. Racing back upstairs, "Bachman" slammed and locked the cellar door.
"Bachman" realized that he underestimated the strength of the monster when it came crashing through the door. Too terrified to flee, "Bachman" was caught in the monster's arms. As the creature began to squeeze him, "Bachman" realized that his mind had created the monster, so his mind could also destroy it. Repeating that thought in his mind, "Bachman" soon saw that the monster was gone. At first thinking that it had all been a nightmare, that maybe it really didn't happen, "Bachman" was stunned when he saw the smashed cellar door.
Left with a lot of unanswered questions, "Bachman" was sure of only one thing -- he'd never write another monster tale again!
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Reed Crandall.
In regards to "Steve Bachman": The writer was never actually named in this story -- it's just a name I derived from writer Stephen King and "Richard Bachman" (one of King's pen names) -- so it's subject to change.
Hmm...a monster that came into existence from a writer's imagination...I wonder if it could be an earlier and less powerful incarnation of X, the Thing That Lived.
Or maybe "Bachman" himself was actually a latent mutant who could form solid creations with his own thoughts (much like Willie Evans Jr.)
This story was reprinted in Where Monsters Dwell#4 (July, 1970).
In Captain America Comics#52 (1/46) "The Case Of The Telepathic Typewriter" writer Allen Slake used a Telepathic Typewriter to create AM, perhaps it is the same typewriter used in this story or someone (Sorcerer/Sorceress or God or Demon) has been creating more Telepathic Typewriters. The Telepathic Typewriter in Uncanny Tales#42 (4/56) is a different type of typewriter.
And a big THANK YOU to Dennis Giansante for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
The Monster in the Cellar has no known connections to:
A science fiction writer, "Bachman" was told by his editor to write a story about a monster. Coming up with an idea for what the monster would look like, "Bachman" was later shocked when he saw the monster actually existed! After a brief struggle with it, "Bachman" realized that his mind created the monster, so his mind could also destroy it. Willing the creature into non-existence, "Bachman" decided that he would never write anymore monster stories.
--Tales of Suspense I#12/3
Tales of Suspense I#12, p18, p6 (main image)
Tales of Suspense I#12 (November, 1960) - Reed Crandall (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Where Monsters Dwell#4 (July, 1970) - reprint
Last updated: 03/19/14
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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