Sunday, November 30, 2008

Number 423

The Photo Phantom

The Human Torch and Toro flame on, from Marvel Mystery Comics #83, July 1947.

The postwar period was a tough one for those two hot-heads. They no longer had America's war enemies to give the hotfoot. How do you follow that act? By solving mysteries, apparently. This particular story involves some blackmail and a masked photographer who pulls a few camera tricks. In these days of Photoshop, where no one can trust a photograph, it's hard to remember when a picture was worth a thousand words, or in this case ten thousand dollars.

The Grand Comics Database gives us a couple of names with question marks for credits. They throw out Al Fagaly? and Carl Pfeufer? for artwork chores, so take it for what it's worth. The cover they credit to Al Avison and Syd Shores. It's a pin-up style, not unlike the kind Alex Schomburg was doing in that era when like Torch and Toro, he had to give up wreaking havoc on the Axis powers.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Number 422

Two by Stanley

We've got a double dose of John Stanley today. I woke up Monday morning and said, "I've got to see some Walt Kelly and some Stanley this week," so here we are. Check back to Monday's posting for the Kelly.

Sluggo is a character just made for Stanley. He's the kid who makes it by himself, an orphan in a big world. He's also hated by his neighbor, Mr. McOnion. The story is from Tip Top Comics #220, 1959.

I got the Heckle and Jeckle story from Gold Key's Mighty Mouse #172, dated 1980, but it's reprinted from a 1960 comic. I think Stanley got the essence of the characters very well. The panel of the guy in bed with a bugle caught me by surprise. How did Stanley come up with this stuff? Not only in this strip, but over and over again, story by story, comic book by comic book, year after year. What an amazing writer John Stanley was.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

 Number 421

Thanksgiving Turkey Awards 2008

Welcome to a special Pappy's for Thanksgiving Day. This is the third annual Pappy's Thanksgiving Turkey Awards presentation. Our first was in 2006, with the classic but stupid "The Flat Man." We followed up the next year with "The Day The World Died", an unusual science fiction story. Unusually dumb, that is.

I make the rules for the Thanksgiving Turkey Awards. That means that my judgment is final, my choice of a winner can be whatever I think fills the bill. This year it means a bizarre Jimmy Olsen story, "The Bride of Jungle Jimmy," from Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #98, December 1966.

What's supposed to be a comedy comes out as is a weird tale of near bestiality, condescending, racist attitudes ("We pay our native extras off with trinkets!" Those ignorant villagers worship a gorilla! Ha ha!"), and even showing "scenes" from King Kong with a brunette Fay Wray. Talk about sacrilege.

The only comedy in the story is the unintentional kind. The panel of Bruna, the love-struck gorilla gal, eating the banana is so obvious you just know what kind of wedding night our furry bride has in mind for her groom.

Artwork on this story is by Pete Costanza, who worked with Captain Marvel artist C. C. Beck on many of the Captain Marvel stories. It's written by Leo Dorfman.

"The Bride of Jungle Jimmy," our 2008 Pappy's Thanksgiving Turkey Awards winner, gets three-and-a-half gobblers.

NOTE: I re-scanned the pages for this story in August, 2012.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Number 420

Spacy Pussycat

Pussycat, Bill Ward's voluptuous agent of S.C.O.R.E., takes us around the world while she gets off...the planet, that is.

This is yet another classic from the 1968 one-shot, Pussycat, published by Marvel Comics. The stories are reprinted from men's magazines published by Martin Goodman, then Marvel Comics publisher.

Other episodes from this excellent book have been posted here, here, and here.

After you screw your eyeballs back into your heads, travel on over for more feline excitement with Killer Kittens From Beyond the Grave, an excellent blog presided over by Kitty LeClaw. You get to see Karswell, of The Horrors Of It All, starring in a splatter comic book, circa 1991. "Purrrrrr-fect," as Batman's sexy nemesis, Catwoman, used to say.