Friday, February 29, 2008

Number 268

The Glittering Nightmare

John Forte was a solid artist from the golden and silver age of comics. His work was known to me mainly in the late 1950s in the ACG mystery comics, Adventures Into The Unknown and Forbidden Worlds. A few years before his death in 1965 he went to work for DC Comics, and in a brilliant assignment by editor Mort Weisinger was picked to do the "Tales Of The Bizarro World" series in Adventure Comics.

"Bizarro World" was my favorite feature, but its oddball humor was ahead of its time. I was upset when it was canceled for "The Legion of Super Heroes." Oh well. DC Comics reprinted all of the Adventure Comics "Bizarro World" stories in 2000 in book form, so I could enjoy them all over again.

"The Glittering Nightmare," written by ACG editor Richard E. Hughes under one of his pen-names and drawn by Forte, is from Forbidden Worlds #76, 1959. It owes something to Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Hughes wasn't above borrowing ideas, and like most comic book writers, turning them into Bizarro versions of the originals.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Number 267

The tallest tale

I'm in need of a laugh today. I went looking for a laugh and found several good ones in Spunky Junior Cowboy #3, September 1949. The whole book is drawn by one of the all-time cartooning greats, Jack Bradbury.

I've posted another Bradbury strip, a Spencer Spook episode from Giggle Comics here.

I bought this comic book in the 1970s. What struck me immediately on re-reading this story is nowadays how much Old Bill reminds me of…me. Yup, Pappy is like Old Bill: a white-bearded windbag, full of stories of dubious veracity. Old Bill has a mule named Sal, and Pappy has a wife named Sally. Just don't tell Mrs. Pappy I said that, will you?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Number 266


"Hordes Of The Immortal Emperor" is from Wonder Comics #16. I've posted stories from this issue before in Pappy's #158 and Pappy's #166.

Someone needs to collect all of the Wonderman stories. We're seeing part of a longer continuity, and what a continuity! A city, Pyropolis, on the sun! A villain named Dr. Voodoo! An "immortal emperor" (page 3) who looks like a smiley face caught in a vise! This is pretty crazy stuff, very entertaining.

The Grand Comics Database has mistakenly listed the contents of this issue, #16, under #15. It also lists the artist of Wonderman as Bob Oksner. Even Oksner's wonderful art doesn't detract from this being a screwball comic classic.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Number 265

Vampire At The Window!

"Vampire At The Window," a shorty originally from Astonishing #18, is written by Stan Lee and according to the Atlas Tales site, drawn by Hy Rosen. What I like about it is the creepy Max Schreck-Nosferatu vampire.

I scanned this from tear sheets. It's from a Marvel reprint of the 1970s.

Scarecrow At The Window!

My local library carries graphic novels in three areas, adult, young readers and juveniles, so I check all three. I ran into this volume, Goosebumps 3 Ghoulish Graphix Tales #1 in the juvenile section, for the little kids. All three stories have their merits, but "The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight," adapted and illustrated by Greg Ruth, is my favorite. This particular sequence was especially creepy. I'm sure if I'd seen this when I was a little kid I'd still be in therapy today. Grandpa creeping in the window in the middle of the night…then Grandma shows up...both of them with lips sewn shut…yow. Can I sleep with the light on, Mom? And Grandma and Grandpa aren't coming to visit anytime soon, are they?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Number 264

Never trust a dame

Poor Johnny D. The lady with the camera shot his eye out. It must've been a pretty fancy camera if it could do that! Now he's looking for payback. He gets it in the next to last panel when he returns the favor. I guess gut-shooting and then eye-shooting the dame who de-lamped him is justice, even though she's got a crippled kid in the next room!

Such was the violent world of this Mike Hammer-styled private dick, from Dynamite #4, published by Comics Media in November, 1953. The artwork is by Pete Morisi, later known as PAM in the Peter Cannon Thunderbolt comics from Charlton. The story, likely written by William Waugh, bylined as the writer of another story in the issue, is a document of its time, an attempt to take adult paperback sleaze and turn it into comic book sleaze.

Oh yeah…despite the similar names, there's no truth to the rumor that Johnny married his secretary, Judy, and had a son.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Number 262

Flipping the bird

You never want to scoff at an old Indian legend. No sirree. Otherwise you'll end up like this hunter who went against the strong advice of an old Indian. "Wings Of Death" is likely inspired by "The Birds," a novelette by Daphne DuMaurier published in 1952 in her collection The Apple Tree, and later made famous by Alfred Hitchcock in his movie version.

The story is signed by Frank Giacoia. A commenter on this posting gave the opinion that the pencil artwork was done by Mike Sekowsky. The story is from St. John's Amazing Ghost Stories #15, 1954, reprinted from Weird Thrillers #5 (1952).