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The Abominable Snowman (Monsterbus p.323)

Superb! Another Kirby classic:

  • Exotic locations (Calcutta, the Himalayas). 
  • Exciting activities, (cliff edge railways, mountain climbing), 
  • Conflict of different kinds (violence, threats), 
  • Strong passions driving the story forwards,
  • Ancient legends (both the snowman and the curse),
  • Educational details (referencing the language Hindi; the Tibetan costume)
  • A powerful message: how greed can turn a man into a monster
Note the differences between a Kirby twist ending and a Lee twist ending (see the Lee-Ditko stories for more examples of the latter): 
  1. With a Lee twist, that's the whole story. Without the twist ending there is no story. That is, the story only really has one idea and once you see it, or if you've seen something similar before) then the story loses any interest. In contrast, with a Kirby twist, the story works even without it: every page is satisfying. This story could have ended like the novel Frankenstein, with the protagonist fading into the icy distance. The final twist ending is just the icing on the already rich cake.
  2. With a Lee twist, the twist is the opposite of the story. That's the whole point, it's a surprise (if you're lucky). But a Kirby twist arises naturally from the story. This present story is a perfect example: even if we didn't see the final picture we know that he's becoming a monster.
  3. Lee stories quickly become dull. They are practically all twist endings, and once you realise that you can often predict the twist from the very start. And since the twist is all you have, Lee stories soon lose all interest (to me at least). But a Kirby story only sometimes has a twist, so it's a genuine surprise, and they are so full of ideas that they are always worth rereading.
As for this being prophetic, note that it is about wanting money, and the protagonist is known across the continent: he is a minor celebrity. He will do anything for money, including taking advantage of both the photograph owner and the monster. The message: we become monsters when we take advantage of others. That is, when one group gains more than another without doing more work.

We now live in a day of unprecedented inequality, suggesting bigger monsters. The monster himself may be innocent of course: he is just doing what comes naturally. To himself he is doing what is right. But to those who pay the price, he is a monster. These monsters have to live separate lives, far above us. They have to be icy inside to be able to enjoy their millions while the poor starve. And of course, to those who are far poorer than us, we are the monsters. We used to be dirt poor in previous generations, but our quest for riches makes us all cold, elite monsters to those below us. It is all relative.

Note that the curse is real: the curse is greed.

As I wrote in the opening post, I am not suggesting that Kirby intended any particular interpretation. Like any prophet, Kirby dealt with platonic patterns, eternal principles, and I am just pointing out where the principles might apply today.