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.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Number 332

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," 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.

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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.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Number 328

Saucer Man!

Since the first reports started coming in of flying saucers in 1947, they were big news and moved into popular culture fast. Movies, comics, magazines were full of flying saucers. Jack Kirby did several flying saucer stories, including "Saucer Man" for Race For The Moon #3, 1958. In my opinion, the 5-pagers Kirby did with inker Al Williamson in Race For The Moon are some of the best he drew during that period. A couple of years later when Kirby was doing science fiction and fantasy for Stan Lee, a similar story would have probably involved an invasion. For the feverishly paranoid 1950s, "Saucer Man" seems pretty sensitive.

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.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Number 326

John Stanley's Mudman

In "The Mudman" from Tales From The Tomb, the Dell Giant Comic from 1962, John Stanley again shows us his storytelling skills. I don’t know who the artist is. A boy and his dog go into a swamp, encounter a monster, the dog saves the boy. It's a compact and intense story. There are some Stanley-isms. With some changes this could be a humor story. There are panels where you can visualize Tubby or Melvin Monster running while yelling, "Ma-a-a-a!" or at the kitchen table hollering, "No Ma! No, no, no!"

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Number 325

Space Garbage!

What's fun about Kirby's short run of Race For the Moon stories is how much story he packed into five pages. In "Space Garbage" he has a space criminal, an exploration team, and a medical discovery. Any one of those ideas could carry a whole story.

This story starts out with a startling scene: Wiley Breck, the criminal, is shackled to an asteroid "until his air runs out." Apparently his "friends" did it to him, and Wiley is the guy who originated the idea. But with friends like that...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Number 324

Rat Man!

Today Karswell of The Horrors Of It All and I are running two versions of the same story: He has the printed version of Bob Powell's "The Rat Man" from Harvey Comics' Tomb Of Terror #5, and I am showing the original art. Wish I owned this art, but I stole…errrrrrrrr…I mean borrowed it from the Internet.

This is a good example of how Powell used blue watercolor to indicate to the color artist where he wanted color emphasis. You can compare these pages to the printed pages and see if he got through to that colorist.


...and while we're showing original art, here are three pages I bought over 20 years ago at the San Diego Comics Convention, all hand-picked for their horror qualities, drawn by a couple of superfine Filipino artists.

"Beware the Snare of the Tarantula," from Witching Hour #54, is drawn by Jess Jodloman, written by EC Comics vet Carl Wessler. Love that Modred figure in the splash panel. Love the whole splash panel!*

Fellow EC vet Jack Oleck wrote "Way of the Werewolf," and here's a great page by Gerry Talaoc. A really nice werewolf tale, and this issue, House Of Mystery #231, has an incredible cover by Bernie Wrightson.

My thanks to best friend Dave Miller for doing the work of stitching the pages together via Photoshop.

*After posting this Karswell sent me this poster for The Fly, which obviously influenced the splash. Thanks, Karswell!