Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Number 2454: Wallace Wood’s “Sanctuary”

Wallace Wood has been a favorite artist for this blog, because he is a favorite of a lot of comic book fans. Including this story today, I have posted 46 stories by him. The man died almost 40 years ago, and yet his artwork is still thrilling fans, including cynical old me. In 1970 Wood did some stories for Marvel Comics’ Tower of Shadows. He wrote and drew them, along with his assistants. I enjoy the imagination of his sword and sorcery stories. Wood, besides being an artist who could do dynamic work from scripts of other writers, was a natural storyteller on his own.

“Sanctuary” appeared in Tower of Shadows #8 (1970).

Monday, September 21, 2020

Number 2453: Prison: nasty or nice?

A story from a crime comic book got my attention with a bare-knuckled, nose-busting fistfight. In this corner, prison guard Frank Brandon, and in the other corner, Henry “Mad Dog” Kelt. Kelt is a prison bully, extorting money and food from other prisoners. Frank is a prison guard who cares.

The action artwork is by artist Robert Q. Sale. “Tension!” is from Atlas’s Crime Fighters #12 (1954), a few months before the Comics Code went into business, and would probably have given a first-round knockout to a story like this.

As a person whose weightlifting and muscle building regimen means lifting a pencil, or getting my butt out of bed in the morning, this is another good example (of many) of why I would not want to go to prison.

In 1945 the Department of Corrections for the State of California issued a 12 page pamphlet for new prison inmates. It shows prison to be a place where training for improvements in one's life can be made. Which depiction do I believe? That is a rhetorical question. Since my personal belief is I would not last a day in prison, I have to go with prison being an unpleasant and rough place, and not believe the relatively placid look at captivity in the latter.

The artist, who signed his name “Peek,” was described only as “a talented inmate.” Peek showed the skills of a commercial artist from that era. The display lettering, which was important to an artist in those days, is impeccable. The illustrations, probably done from photographs, are also good. I hope when Peek’s time was up he got out, got a job as an artist, and never went back to prison.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Undercover Girl underwater

Undercover girl is tough. She can do what is necessary to solve a problem, thereby protecting the good ol' USA.

What a gal. Undercover Girl can also hold her own when it comes to fighting with other women. We know that because from what I have seen, Undercover Girl gets into a fight with another woman in almost every adventure (see the link below). In this adventure, though, she becomes not Undercover Girl, but Underwater Girl. She puts on a two-piece bathing suit and finds a missing ring on the sea bottom. That is after watching a shark kill a guy. She does not let dangers of the deep keep her from doing her job.

Ogden Whitney did his job. He was a comic book artist who over a long career drew beautiful sexy women and handsome heroic men. Some of his last work in comic books had him drawing the inimitable Herbie Popnecker. As much as I like Starr Flagg’s pulchritude, for me Whitney's depictions of Herbie were the highlight of his long career.

From ME’s Undercover Girl #5 (1952):

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Number 2452: Hey, Tarzan, your wife wonders where you are

Jane and Boy are suddenly without a husband and dad when Tarzan mounts the giant eagle, Argus, and takes off for Pal-Ul-Don, another lost kingdom in Tarzan’s fantasy Africa.

Jane looks like she dressed for the occasion, perfect hair and makeup, looking plenty sexy. Tarzan appears unaware of her charms. The red bra top and slit-up-the-side sarong are indications she is aiming for his more primitive instincts.

I have been married for over 50 years. What would Mrs Pappy do if I suddenly got on the back of an eagle and flew off? Well, I’d know there would be hell to pay when I got back. I keep Mrs P apprised of my plans well in advance, and she returns the courtesy. Not so Tarzan, who is a guy with muscles and brains, but lacking in simple courtesy. My advice to you or to a guy like Tarzan: you can get away without too many brains and no muscles, just let your significant other know where you are going and when you plan to be back.

Oh, and Tarzan must have gotten the tourist map from the Pal-Ul-Don Chamber of Commerce.

Story by Gaylord Du Bois, artwork by Jesse Marsh. From Tarzan’s Jungle Annual #1, 1952.