Friday, December 07, 2007

Number 229

The Phantom Of Notre Dame

Reader Steve K. has reminded me that I promised in Pappy's #87 that I'd post this story from Lev Gleason's Daredevil #11, June 1942. Thanks for the nudge, Steve, and if any of the rest of you find any unfulfilled promises make sure to let me know. The memory isn't what it used to be, but then, nothing about Pappy is what it used to be.

This story is a great example of why Charles Biro sold millions of comic books. They leapt off the newsstands and grabbed readers' eyeballs in a vise grip. The cover defines "lurid," and the contents continue the definition. I'm not sure how many comic book stories Biro drew, because he seemed too busy writing, editing and doing covers to draw any of the contents, but this is Biro at his early best. The story has all the elements: super-hero, Hollywood, a monster, murder…all in eye-blistering primary colors.

I'm willing to overlook the lapse of logic as the actor, René Venge, howls, "Owww, my back is broken! I'm a hopeless cripple!" and then goes on to commit murders using acrobatics. Maybe it wasn't really broken and he just needed a couple of Advil. The thing I find completely unnecessary is the lisp of the character, Sandy. Other than that annoying dialect this is a fun story from a prime period of Biro's career.


Karswell said...

Fantastic cover on this one, weird and fetishistic and much more inspired than the interior art (personally I find the primary color scheme a bit uninspired.) Still, I have a couple 50's crime comics with Biro art that are fun but nowhere near as cool as this.

Yo said...

Great post!
Love the blog Pappy!