Real Name: Inapplicable

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments); Pre-Modern era

Occupation: Predator

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies"Steve Bachman" (see comments)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Monster in My Cellar" (in story title)

Base of Operations: "Steve Bachman's" home, somewhere in America

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#12/3 (November, 1960)

Powers/Abilities: Apparently a product of "Steve Bachman's" imagination, the monster looked somewhat like a giant salamander. It had scaly green skin, with long, rubbery lizard-like arms and legs, and a single eye in the center of its head. The monster had a durable body, and was strong enough to smash through a wooden door.

Height: 8'
Weight: Unrevealed
Eye: Unrevealed
Hair: Inapplicable

(Tales of Suspense I#12/3 (fb)) - 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 long seconds, "Bachman" sat in a kind of trance, then he suddenly heard a noise behind the cellar door. Opening the door and going down the cellar 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 had 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. But as the creature began to squeeze consciousness from him, "Bachman" realized that his mind had created the monster, so his mind could also destroy it. Convincing himself that the monster didn't exist, and repeating that thought in his mind, "Bachman" soon saw that the monster had vanished.

   At first thinking that the entire incident 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 unidentified writer and Reed Crandall.

This 5-page story was told in "Steve Bachman's" narrative flashback.--Ron Fredricks

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" (a pen name used by King) -- 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 Barnaby Wade and 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 originally scanning this story for me!

Profile by John Kaminski. Expansion by Ron Fredricks.

"The Monster in My Cellar" has no known connections to:

"Steve Bachman"

A science fiction writer, "Bachman" was told by his editor to write a story about a monster. While he walked home, he got an idea that had never been done before: To write the story as though it were actually happening to him, to make it more dramatic and more realistic than any of his other stories.

As he sat at his typewriter, "Bachman" visualized in his mind what the monster would look like; but he was later shocked when he actually saw the monster in his cellar!

During a brief struggle with the creature, "Bachman" felt as though his very life was in jeopardy, as the monster began to squeeze him into unconsciousness; but then he realized that his mind created the monster, so his mind could also destroy it. After willing the creature into non-existence, "Bachman" decided that he would never write anymore monster stories.

--Tales of Suspense I#12/3

images: (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#12/3, p4, pan4 (main image - Monster gets struck by "Steve Bachman's" shovel)
Tales of Suspense I#12/3, p5, pan2 (headshot - Monster)
Tales of Suspense I#12/3, p4, pan5 (Monster lunges at "Steve Bachman")
Tales of Suspense I#12/3, p1, pan1 (Monster [rear view])
Tales of Suspense I#12/3, p2, pan4 ("Steve Bachman")
Tales of Suspense I#12/3, p3, pan2 ("Steve Bachman" visualizes Monster in his imagination)
Tales of Suspense I#12/3, p5, pan3 ("Steve Bachman" in the grip of Monster)

Tales of Suspense I#12/3 (November, 1960) - unidentified writer, Reed Crandall (pencils/inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters), Stan Lee (editor)
Where Monsters Dwell#4 (July, 1970) - reprint

First posted: 01/19/2007
Last updated: 05/09/2024

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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