Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Number 2065: Daredevil aces the spinning chair

After his symbolic appearance in the splash page, Daredevil doesn’t show up in this story until page 10. The story is mostly about Daredevil’s secret identity, Bart Hill, joining the Air Corps and learning to fly. He survives the Air Corps physical, shown as a spin in an office chair (page two). On a training flight he even takes out a Japanese sub!

This story appeared in Daredevil Comics #10, cover dated May, 1942. It was written and drawn shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Patriotic fervor was high in those days.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Number 2064: The charming but alarming snake charmer

Jeff is a guy who hates snakes. But this is a horror comic book. So who does he end up with? Why, a snake charmer, that’s who. We also know the lovely snake charmer’s secret because some dumbbell gave it away in the SPLASH PANEL!

The “dumbbell” was probably the writer, not the artist, Hy Fleishman, who was a regular in this kind of second and third tier publishing endeavors, but had a professional flair not matched by other artists in Dark Mysteries #9 (1952), where “Medusa” appeared. Fleishman also did work for Atlas Comics, and after the Comics Code was implemented did 13 issues of the weekly comic book, Poppo of the Popcorn Theater for the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA).

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pappy's Sunday Supplement #11: Raboy's Flash Gordon

A couple of months ago I showed a post featuring a 1957 Mandrake the Magician continuity. That year my parents subscribed to a Seattle newspaper that featured the major King Features comic strips, including Flash Gordon Sundays by Emmanuel "Mac" Raboy. I don’t remember it specifically, but it was in the time frame I would have been reading it. And looking at Raboy’s artwork has a way of putting me back in touch with those gosh-wow feelings I had 60 years ago, when I would be the first one at the Sunday paper so I could read the comics.

These black line pages, courtesy of xxx Spax, who scanned them, were found on the Internet Archive. The sequence appeared on Sundays between September 8, 1957 and November 24, 1957.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Number 2063: Robotman: man-robot in the moon

Hmmm. This story is credited by the Grand Comics Database as being written by Otto Binder, who, when it was published in 1948, was one of, if not the main writer of Captain Marvel stories. So how did Binder work both sides of the street? I don’t know, but at the time Fawcett was being sued by DC for copyright infringement on Superman by Captain Marvel. It seems odd that Binder was writing for both publishers.

Robotman was created by Jerry Siegel, Superman’s co-creator, in 1942. I assume that Binder was aware that Robotman was a robot with a transplanted human brain. It made a puzzler of the panel where Robotman, marooned on the moon, thinks, “. . . there’s no sound on the moon because there’s no air to carry it! Good thing I don’t have to breathe!” But how did his human brain stay alive if he didn’t breathe, or have a blood supply to deliver oxygen to the brain? One also presumes, because of the original intention of the rocket to crash land on the moon, that no oxygen was provided during Robotman’s trip through space.

Arrrgh. My brain hurts just thinking about it.

Jimmy Thompson, an excellent but underrated Golden Age artist, did the artwork. He left comics after 1952, but was known for also working both sides of the street, having worked for Timely and DC at the same time.

From the Canadian printing of Detective Comics #141 (1948):

I have shown other Robotman stories, including this one with yet another serious error. Just click on the thumbnail.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Number 2062: Karen's bitter love

Trouble brewing. Karen meets Brad, a handsome guy who falls for her. So far so good. But Karen has a boyfriend-stealing sister, Enid, to whom she introduces Brad. Uh-oh. Karen even tells Enid she is bringing Brad home because, “I want him to meet you.” Why is Karen playing with fire, knowing her sister will make a play for Brad? Is she testing Brad’s love and devotion? Is she purposely sabotaging her relationship with Brad so she will be able to grow into an old, bitter women (hence, the title of the story), blaming her sister for ruining her life?

That’s all the amateur psychiatry I can muster for a six-page love story. The main selling feature for me with “Bitter Love” is Reed Crandall’s artwork. He draws Karen as pretty but demure, and Enid as gorgeous and sexy (the red hair and the plunging decolletage are clues). Beyond the artwork, the story follows the predictable patterns of comic book love, with Karen’s demureness and dignity winning out over hot sister’s hotness.

Illustrator Norman Saunders did the cover. From Cinderella Love #11 (actual #2, 1951):