Friday, January 23, 2015

Number 1687: A dandy Dan Dare

Today we have a science fiction adventure that, while also fanciful, was produced during a time when rocketry and space were entering into the public consciousness as part of a viable future of science and technology. Dan Dare, a famous and lavishly drawn strip from the UK which appeared in the weekly Eagle paper, represented that interest.

This particular strip is from Eagle Annual #7 (no date, but I estimate about 1957). It was beautifully drawn and painted by Frank Hampson. You can read more about Hampson and his creation, even see a British Pathé short feature on him, in the link provided under these scans to a 2011 Pappy's post.

More Hampson Dan Dare and the promised video. Just click on the thumbnail.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Number 1686: Back door to fame

Mindy loves Dave, but to marry him would mean “hideous boredom” and “the drab life of a middle-class housewife.” And what would be wrong with having ambition, not wanting to be one of the masses? When “Back Door to Fame” was produced in the mid-fifties the popular belief was that all women wanted to be middle-class housewives and moms. Who would blame Mindy for sacrificing her love for Dave to the slimy touch of the oily producer for her chance to dance her way out of such a lifestyle?

Ah, but would it be a fifties love story if Mindy had danced off into the sunset and forsaken her one true love?

Drawn by John Forte and Bill Ward, and published in Love Letters #38 (1955).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Number 1685: Bulletman and the suspension of disbelief

Bulletman, who is police scientist Jim Barr, teamed up with Susan Kent, who became Bulletgirl. But that pairing came after this entry into Bulletman’s history, where Susan does not know Bulletman’s identity. Since this story ends in a cliffhanger and I don’t have the followup issue, we can assume that the unseen story is when Susan discovers Jim is Bulletman. Here is where the suspension of disbelief comes in. Besides the normal superhero stuff, flying, special powers, etc., we are asked to disregard the fact that Susan does not know who Bulletman is despite him wearing nothing to disguise himself. He just wears a bullet-shaped helmet. Maybe Susan has eye problems, but if not I’d think she would know who Bulletman is.

[SPOILER] I notice a lack of concern for Jim when Susan approaches his unconscious body in the final panel. She is not thinking “Is he dead? Is he badly injured?” No, the first thing out of her mouth is, “At last I can see who Bulletman really is!” Her lack of empathy is as bad as her powers of recognition. [END OF SPOILER]

From Master Comics #12 (1941). The Grand Comics Database guesses the art is by Al Carreno.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Number 1684: Rick the rocketman

Rick Evans was a rocketship pilot from Fox comic books...this is from All Good Comics #1 (1946), which is an anthology comic. Evans also appeared in Zoot Comics, and I have a link below so you can check out that stellar  appearance. (Get it? Stellar? Little spacy humor there.)

Rick Evans fits into what I would call the Buck Rogers school of science fiction heroes. In this installment Rick and his friends go to a planet of snake people. It is science fiction silliness — and despite that silliness, as the title of the comic book says, it's all good.

Almost five years ago I posted three rocketship heroes from Fox comics. Just click on the thumbnail.