Monday, June 30, 2008

Number 333

The Conscientious Klepto

Our girlfriend, Lady Danger, is back. As with the other two Lady Danger stories, shown in Pappy's #254 and Pappy's #302, our pretty young heroine is drawn by Bob Oksner, this time with inks by Bernard Sachs. The story is from Sensation Comics #86, February 1949.

Valerie Vaughn, Lady Danger, was one cute but tough tootsie! She could kick butt with the best of them. Unlike Wonder Woman, who was the headliner in Sensation Comics, Lady Danger depended on martial arts skills and smarts, not Amazonian-style super heroics.

She dressed well, too. I love the slacks and the high heels with the puffball on them. They look especially good buried in some bad guy's crotch when she turns him into a tenor.

Valerie Vaughn is va-va voom.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Number 332

Steve Gerber and Ronn Foss' Little Giant

This strip was drawn on spirit duplicator stencils by Ronn Foss and used in the first issue of Steve Gerber's 1962 fanzine, Headline. Gerber wrote it under a pen-name, S. G. Ross.

Foss was a popular fan artist and got a lot of requests to do artwork. He was older than Gerber or me, working with teenage fans too young to have drivers licenses. At the time he drew this he was a Post Office employee living in Suisun, California.

Like me, Gerber was young. He wrote "Little Giant" when he was 15 and it shows. No originality here. He even borrowed the War Wheel from Blackhawk.

In looking at the story now I'm struck by how "Comics Code" it reads. It reflects the type of thing we were reading in the mainstream comics of the early 1960s. Steve Gerber went on to bigger and better things, and made his name in the business. Ronn Foss never hit it big in the comics biz. He always drew, though. He moved east to a farm and did artwork for various publications right up until his death in 2001.

I don't have the second part to this story, but I'll bet the Little Giant wins.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Number 331

The bloody eyeball

The Thing #16, a Charlton horror comic from late '54, is notorious for having some sort of gory violence in every story: a spear through a guy's throat, a guy stabbed in the chest, a spike through a guy's cheeks. Kind of a one-note comic book! This story, "The Mentalist," drawn by Bill Molno, has a spear thrown into a guy's eyeball. It's what Doc Wertham called "the injury to the eye motif." Whatever, this is one gruesome comic book.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Number 330

The Day That Vanished

The Hairy Green Eyeball is having a "Flying Saucer Week," and I'm joining in the celebration. I scanned this great story by Reed Crandall from Twilight Zone #14 several months ago, then forgot it until I saw the Eyeball's blog on Sunday. I posted a flying saucer story that day, too.

This Twilight Zone story has the aura of alien abduction mystery, missing time. That could creep me out because I've experienced missing time. But mine is more along the lines of, "Where did all the damn time go?" as I get older and my life hits warp speed.

Good story, and of course the Crandall art is great.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Number 329

No high-hattin' for Hatlo!

While I was growing up Jimmy Hatlo was one of my cartooning heroes. I turned to his single-panel feature first thing every morning, and read his Sunday panels religiously . (The Sunday funnies were the only religion I got or wanted on Sunday.)

I loved the ironic humor, the foibles of people pointed out by Hatlo through his contributors: his readers. Hatlo, who had been a sports cartoonist, had a wonderful ability to connect to his fans, who read his panels and said, "Yeah! I recognize that situation!" Saying that, it must've been havoc around the Hatlo studio, opening thousands of envelopes and reading submissions by the train car load. I wonder if they ever did a cartoon about that?

These panels are from a David McKay Co. 1943 hardcover collection of They'll Do It Every Time panels. Like the greatest cartoonists, Hatlo could draw not only funny faces, but perspective and architecture. His panels are rich with detail, eye candy everywhere. And everything looks right. The office settings he drew aren't Dilbert's, that's for sure.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Number 327

Fremont Frog's devilishly heavenly music

As you might have guessed by now from past Pappy's postings, I really like Jack Bradbury. Fremont Frog was a character he drew (maybe wrote, also?) for Giggle Comics. This is from #52, April 1948. Funny story with top notch Bradbury art.