Friday, August 22, 2014

Number 1621: The patriotic hero

Minute Man, the “One Man Army” was yet another hero wrapped in the American flag, jumping in to fight enemy agents and saboteurs. In this episode from Fawcett’s Master Comics #12 (1941), he does just that when he investigates who is causing experimental aircraft to fail.

From a historical point of view, a story like this, published less than a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into the global fray, shows an attitude that we would eventually have to go to war. With a hero like Minute Man we couldn’t lose!

According to the Grand Comics Database, the story is drawn by Charles Sultan.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Number 1620: “Face of an angel, soul of a devil”

In one of the many crime comics versions of the life and criminal career of Charles Arthur Floyd, aka “Pretty Boy,” much is made of the fact that such a good-looking boy shouldn’t be out committing crimes. Good looking? How good looking was Pretty Boy, and what do looks have to do with being a criminal? Artist Fred Guardineer used this mug shot of Floyd, and prettied him up.
From Public Enemies, America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI 1933-34 by Bryan Burrough. Pretty Boy’s picture is right below Machine Gun Kelly and his wife Katherine. Kelly looks more like a young Rodney Dangerfield to me, but even so, at least in this picture out-pretties Pretty Boy.

According to Burrough’s book, no one but the newspapers called Charley Floyd “Pretty Boy.” If any of his associates called him Pretty Boy they didn’t say it to his face, but it struck the public imagination, and that is how we know him now.

From Crime Does Not Pay #51 (1947).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Number 1619: Tooteley-toot on Lulu’s magic flute

As I’ve said before when showing stories by John Stanley, I prefer when he goes off into fantasy. I think the Little Lulu stories which involve the activities of children are wonderful, but the stories Lulu tells her little neighbor, Alvin, are just that much more wonderfull-er.

In this particular bit of Stanley comic genius, Lulu gets a flute for 11¢, and finds that it has magical properties. Panels showing the effects are hilarious, including those of a cat and dog dancing. The story also shows Stanley’s opinion of the moneyed and powerful.

See Frank Young’s excellent blog, Stanley Stories, for more Stanley.

From Little Lulu #27 (1950):

Friday, August 15, 2014

Number 1618: The Marvel Family become “Ancient Aliens”

This is the third and final of our Spacey Stories theme week, today featuring the Marvel Family crew: Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr, and Mary Marvel.

Have you ever seen the television program, Ancient Aliens? It’s the contention of the show that in order to get where we are as humans today we had to depend on help from aliens from space. Personally, I think the show stretches a lot to fit events into their theories. But, like the hosts of the program, I wasn’t there.

Which leads us to the Marvel Family, who become the Earth version of Ancient Aliens, flying to Jupiter, bringing some civilization to a race that is about where we were 40-50,000 years ago. No timetable is given, but it seems pretty quick to teach anybody anything, even how to use fire or spell “cat.”

From The Marvel Family #5 (1946).