Friday, July 03, 2015

Number 1756: Lady Blackhawk shows her stuff!

Zinda, the only female with those testosterone troopers, the Blackhawks, stumbles into a mystery while on vacation in France. She changes into her Lady Blackhawk costume (tunic with mini-skirt and boots), just in time to dive into the water, chasing some crooks. After presenting the mystery to the Blackhawks, she basically disappears for a few pages, just in time to reappear, parachuting into the finale.

I am sorry that the writer could not think of more for Zinda to do than be a bit player in the story. It is of its time, 1963. Other female superheroines and plucky non-super females appearing in DC Comics notwithstanding, girls usually didn’t do the rough stuff, not when they had a gaggle of guys to do it for them.

From Blackhawk #186. Drawn by Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera.

Meet me after the story, okay?

When I scanned this from my copy of the comic I picked up on this. Even though I have owned the comic since it was new, I had not noticed this. Dillon and Cuidera got away with something in this Comics Code approved issue. As Zinda parachutes down she flashes an unidentified member of the Blackhawk team. I call it as I see it. What would you call it?

There is a similar situation in this posting from last fall. Click on the thumbnail to see what I mean.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Number 1755: John Stanley: Three beyond Lulu

After  John Stanley left his magnum opus, Little Lulu, there were other series. None of them lasted as long as Lulu, but they are still classic for being written by a master of comic humor. I am posting examples of three today.

First, a late fifties Stanley version of the Ernie Bushmiller newspaper strip, from Nancy #170 (1959). Next is an example of Stanley’s inspired and bizarre Melvin Monster, written and drawn by him from issue #5 (1966). Finally, the first story in the short-lived Gold Key series, O.G. Whiz. When I found this on the comic book spinner, on its first release in 1970, I knew Stanley’s name and unmistakable style. I owe that to Don and Maggie Thompson’s excellent fanzine, Comic Art, circa early 1960s, which is where I first read Stanley’s name.

Always highly recommended, the Stanley Stories blog by Frank Young.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Number 1754: The Sub-Zero Man cools it

Where I live the calendar is moving us into the hottest time of the year. Not that it hasn’t been hot, already. It just gets hotter.

So I don’t know if the Sub-Zero Man will make us cooler, but maybe if we put our faces closer to our computer screens we will feel a gentle, cool breeze wafting over us. Ahhhhh. I can feel it.

The Sub-Zero Man is an early superhero who appeared in Blue Bolt Comics. He was yet another alien who came to Earth* (in this case from Venus) with superpowers. When you read the story you’ll easily enough understand his powers. Oh yeah...he is called Sub-Zero by the other characters, and officially Sub-Zero (dropped “The” and “Man” from his name) sometime later.

From Blue Bolt Comics #3 (1940). Signed by Larry Antonette.

*For some reason these good alien superheroes land in America. Lucky for us Yanks, eh?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Number 1753: “Dead men’s soundless screams”

Over the past few years I have read several news stories about funeral homes and crematories that cheat customers. Overcharging for cheaply built coffins, and worse. There was a story of a Georgia crematory where unburned bodies were stacked up in nearby woods. Another story from Baltimore tells of 40 bodies in a garage. Gee, makes me not want to die if I’m going to be treated like that. I thought at the time those stories would make good horror comics material. And they have. The Beyond #25 (1954) has a story about the dead coming back to life because of the shoddy caskets they have been given to lie in. I am fairly certain that corpses rising from the dead notwithstanding, in real life thievery of the living who are paying to honor their beloved dead has gone on many, many times.

Art attributed to Jim McLaughlin.