Monday, November 29, 2010

Number 852

Blazing Death!

I don't know if any story drawn by Basil Wolverton could ever be considered routine, but this Spacehawk episode from Target Comics Volume 3 Number 3, 1942, seems like a standard superhero vs. mad scientist story. Still, it's Wolverton...and even routine Wolverton is better than most other stories of this era. His artwork is so distinctive he hardly needed to put his name on it.

Spacehawk's early adventures were freeform science fiction set in outer space, on other worlds with bizarre aliens and are usually what we remember about the feature. Then someone, the editors or Wolverton himself, decided to put Spacehawk on earth fighting on the side of America during World War II. So Spacehawk lasted just seven more issues of Target Comics after this and was gone. I don't know how long Spacehawk would have continued if the original premise of the strip had been kept. We can only speculate, but Spacehawk was fairly interesting, even in his later earthly adventures. He had the power of anti-gravity, he lived in his spaceship cruising through the stratosphere, and had a pal named Dork. I showed another story of Spacehawk and Dork a year ago in Pappy's #637.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Number 851

Target: Hitler

The Target was a superhero who usually ran with a posse, the Targeteers. The Targeteers are missing from this story, from Target Comics Volume 4 Number 1, 1943. The artist puts himself into the story, talking to the Target, who tells a strange and allegorical tale about Hitler. The Target is telling a hallucinatory tale, or else the artist is hallucinating about the Target hallucinating.

Superheroes getting to Hitler was no big deal in the comic books of World War II, fairly common, actually. But those stories were mainly of the smash-into-the-bunker-and-punch-Hitler's-lights-out variety. This has religious overtones, not unheard of, but unusual for the comics of the era.

Surprise! Another story from Target Comics tomorrow: the one and only Basil Wolverton and a Spacehawk adventure.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Number 850

2-D Tor

I'd like to thank whoever took a 3-D copy of St. John's Tor #2 (actually, according to the indicia, 3-D #2, 1954) and blew out the 3-D effects, giving us a blackline copy.

I took their work and hopefully added to it by tweaking it a bit with my own software. I don't know who you are, anonymous scanner, but if you step forward and identify yourself I'll be glad to give you credit.

Tor is, of course, Joe Kubert's creation, a sort of serious Alley Oop caveman, wandering the world of "1,000,000 Years Ago," an anachronistic world where dinosaurs and humans co-exist, in a time roughly 64,000,000 years after the last dinosaurs died out. It may not be accurate in any way, but it sure is fun to look at, with or without the 3-D. It's just that for the purposes of this blog and Pappy readers, you don't have to hunt around for 3-D glasses to read it.

I do have 3-D glasses, and 3-D works on my computer screen just like it works on paper. Sometimes better. But they are a pain to wear over eyeglasses. Given my druthers I'd druther have the black and white.