Friday, January 31, 2014

Number 1517: Giant zombie and dead husband walking

I like these two pre-Code horror stories for various reasons. The first, “Was He Dead?” from Avon’s Eerie #3 (1951), is a murdered-spouse-returns-from-the-dead story. In a few days I will show a Graham Ingels story where I will expound further on this theme, but for now suffice it to say this is a not-untypical example of that type of horror comic story, with nice yet derivative art by Moe Marcus and Rocke Mastroserio. It’s derivative in that some panels are borrowed from the style of Johnny Craig and Craig’s dripping sweat, as well as some inking inspired by Wallace Wood. A big plus is it’s got a bikini-clad babe!

“The Walking Dead” appeared in Web of Evil #12 (1954), and the artist is unidentified. You’ll recognize immediately that it is a zombie story with a borrowed twist: the zombie is a giant because the story is inspired by King Kong. That classic movie was re-released to theaters in 1952 and was a big box office success all over again, so it was aped (ho-ho) by several comic book scripters. (See the link below today’s two stories.)


More on the 1952 King Kong re-release in this posting from nearly two years ago:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Number 1516: Avenger’s scarlet “A”

 Casting about for new ideas to fit into the post-Comics Code era, ME Comics came up with superheroes The Avenger and Strongman. Neither of them made it past four issues, but they were an interesting experiment to see if new long underwear characters (beyond the lone remaining, still popular heroes like DC’s Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) could still be viable despite having been a near-dead comic book genre for several years.

It would take just a few months longer until DC reintroduced the Flash and superheroes began their climb back into comic book supremacy, but before then ME’s contributions to the genre came and went.

These two stories are from The Avenger #1 (1955), drawn by Dick Ayers, with scripts attributed to Paul S. Newman. Last May I showed stories one and four from the issue (including the origin story), and these are stories two and three. So if you want to read those others first you should go to the link below and click on the thumbnail of the cover to see them.

 Click on the thumbnail to see the other two stories mentioned above:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Number 1515: Little brain, big body

A week ago I showed the Jack Cole story, “Murder, Morphine and Me” from True Crime #2. It featured the “injury to the eye motif” panel in Fredric Wertham’s anti-comics screed, Seduction of the Innocent. A week later I’m showing you more Jack Cole, and one other injury to the eye panel.

Above is the cover of Police Comics #24, which is yet another example. Kids saw this sort of thing every time they saw a Three Stooges film short. Did Jack Cole have a thing about attacking eyeballs? I don’t know, but if you know of any similar panels in other stories of his let me know.

Eyeball attacks notwithstanding, this is a totally screwball story, which has to be read to be appreciated. You know you’re in the middle of something bizarre when you see a panel where the top of a man’s head is blown off and on the ground nearby lies a waiting brain.

From Police Comics #11 (1942):

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Number 1514: Pat’s day in court: Terry and the Pirates #8

Not only does Pat Ryan get his day in court against the lying and scheming Tony Sandhurst (husband of Pat's love, Normandie), but gets some justice in the bargain.

I will be ending my postings of Terry and the Pirates with the next issue, which I'll show in late February. After closing out Terry’s boyhood adventures, Harvey began reprinting the stories of Terry during World War II.

This episode is from Terry and the Pirates #8 (1948):


More Terry. Just click the cover thumbnails.