Journey Into Mystery #71: The Painting"

Journey Into Mystery #71
"The Painting"
August, 1961

Story: Unknown
Art: Steve Ditko

Simon Squeed was a man who was into buying oil paintings for profit.  He
will soon be taking a trip from his dingy garret in Paris, and find
himself in an interesting story.

He has made more than enough money to retire on, but Simon Squeed does
not want to give up his con man career just yet.  He has heard about a
gypsy in Bessarabia who possesses a priceless painting, and Squeed plans
to con him out of it.  A trip by jet for Simon Squeed would be like a
walk around the block for you or me.  He finds the gypsy, who insists
that his painting is not for sale.  After feasting his eyes upon the oil
painting, Squeed insists upon paying twenty-five dollars for it.  When
the gypsy refuses the offer, the con man offers to raise the price to
thirty dollars, and knows that he could sell the painting for thousands
of dollars easily.  The gypsy regards the persistent man as a fool and a
thief.  Simon Squeed now resorts to other methods, such as pointing the
gypsy out to a policeman, and insisting that he tried to pick his pocket.
The lawman takes the word of the famous art dealer over the hapless
gypsy, and takes him to the station house.

With the gypsy in custody, there is no one to stop Simon Squeed from
entering the wagon, and taking the oil painting for himself.  Inside his
hotel room, he feasts his eyes upon the masterpiece once more, and thinks
about the fortune he'll be making on the open market.  The following day
finds no sign of the art dealer, and since he has not come forward to
press charges, the gypsy is released from jail.  Seeing that the oil
painting has been taken from his wagon, the gypsy heads for the hotel,
and heads for Squeed's room.  After opening the door to the hotel room,
he smiles.

The oil painting is there, just as he expected it to be.  It can never be
taken from him, for it is an enchanted picture.  Mr. Squeed knows this
now.  In trying to frame the gypsy painter, the oily con man has put
himself into the picture.

This story was reprinted in Amazing Adventures #24 (May, 1974).

According to the Grand Comics Database, page 2 of the story had been

This story was also reprinted in Where Creatures Roam #6 (May, 1971).
(Holy May Day, Batman!)

The job number came from Tom Lammers and Ger Apeldoorn from the
Atlas/Timely Discussion Group.

On the splash page, Simon Squeed is holding onto the oil painting, and
tries to ward off the approach of the giant shadowy gypsy before him.

Squeed is a little man in a business suit and carries a cane.

The gypsy is a big bull of a man with a bushy mustache and beard,
earrings, black hat, red shirt, and baggy purple pants with brown boots.

This Review Is Dedicated To Dave Blanchard and Tom Lammers.

Steve Chung
"The Painting Review"