Sunday, May 31, 2009

Number 532

Ol' Metal Mouth is back

Iron Jaw was a great villain who kept coming back to plague Chuck Chandler, Crimebuster, Loover of the FBI, and even some crooks who got in his way. He was a take-no-prisoners kinda villain.

This comes from Boy Comics #13, December 1943. It's drawn by Norman Maurer, a staple of Charles Biro's comic book bullpen for several years. Maurer partnered up with Joe Kubert in the early 1950s. At St. John Publishing they unleashed 3-D comic books on the world.

Aside from the grisly splash panel Iron Jaw doesn't show up until late. The first part of the story is taken up by two low level criminals and their fence, Wart.

Try as I might I can't think of any other comic book of this era that had a villain yell "Damn you!" It's on page 15.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Number 531

Clint Clobber's hectic day

DeWitt Clinton Clobber was a creation of animation director Gene Deitch for Terrytoons. Here's a 1957 model sheet Deitch did of the character.

"Clint Clobber's Day" is from Mighty Mouse Fun Club Magazine #5, 1958. It's funny, almost like a storyboard for an animated cartoon. Deitch, who relocated to Prague, Czechoslovakia in the late '50s, is considered a legend among animators. I find this artwork and style completely charming and evocative of that era of the 1950s when the cartoons were created.

Among his many other accomplishments Deitch had done a comic strip called Terr'ble Thompson for a short time in the '50s, then turned Terr'ble into the animated Tom Terrific, which I watched on the Captain Kangaroo TV show. Even in the late '50s I was too old to be watching a show which featured characters like Bunny Rabbit and Mr. Greenjeans. I just dug Tom and his dog, Mighty Manfred.

Deitch also has two sons, Kim and Simon, themselves legends amongst the comic community for their groundbreaking work in underground comix.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Number 530

Kirby monsters

Jack Kirby worked for a time at DC in the late '50s before moving full-time to Marvel so he could completely reconfigure the comic book industry. He drew some terrific stories during his time at DC. For some reason he incurred their displeasure and his stay was short.

Jack came up with some wild-looking creatures in "The Creatures from Nowhere," originally published in House of Mystery #70, January, 1958. "The Stone Sentinels of Giant Island," from House of Mystery #85, April 1959, is a setting he had visited before. Even though this particular story doesn't take place on Easter Island, he chose its stone enigmas as a subject more than once.

The two stories are scanned from DC Special #11 from 1971.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Number 529

"...lately he's been overheard in Mayfair..."

You all know the song, don't you? "Werewolves of London" by the late Warren Zevon. I used to sing along when it came on the radio: "He's the hairy handed gent who ran amuck in Kent, lately he's been overheard in Mayfair.You better stay away from him, he'll rip your lungs out Jim. Huh! I'd like to meet his tailor. Aaaaahooooo, werewolves of London, aaaaahoooooooo..."

My friend Nix sent me these scans from the first Bentley of Scotland Yard in Pep Comics #1, January 1940. "Monster of Mayfair" is drawn by M. Gutwirth.

Thanks, Nix. Aaaahoooooo!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Number 528

Mars God of War

From Planet Comics #69, Winter 1952-53, a reprint of Mars God of War from Planet Comics #20, 1942.

Dick Warren flies to planetoid Zog, where he meets some tribesmen led by Wad (!), who hold a captive "white girl," Ada. Wad has his body inhabited by Mars, God of War, becomes hostile, and goes after Dick. Dick and Ada embark on an adventure where they encounter a queen and some "queer little men."

The artwork is by Joe Doolin. I wish it had been printed better. Doolin packed every panel. He was a terrific illustrator, and he could not have been paid enough for the work he lavished on this 10-page story.