Friday, October 31, 2008

Number 405

Vampire Valtz


A year ago today I showed you this MLJ Witch's Tale story. Pappy's friend, 1506NixNix, who provided the scans for that, has provided the scans for yet another MLJ treat. This time it's starring Mr. Justice from Blue Ribbon Comics #11. We see a dance called the vampire waltz, and we also find out that vampires can turn into werewolves. Has anyone else ever suggested such a thing?

The name Carlos Hubbello is an inside joke. Carl Hubbell was an artist who worked in comics for many years. According to the book, The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu, Hubbell's wife, Virginia, actually ghost-wrote many of the stories signed by Charles Biro.

OK, so that's off the subject. Sam Cooper and Joe Blair did the creative honors on this story, which runs the gamut from super heroes to horror, and is a good example of why for a couple of years at least, MLJ, in its pre-Archie incarnation, was one of the most garish and lively of the comic book companies springing up in the late '30s period.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Number 404

Mr. Green and Tubby's ghost

Here are a couple more entries in our Halloween theme week.

I've shown a couple of stories from the John Stanley scripted Tales From The Tomb #1 (and only) giant comic from 1962. I don't know why this comic didn't continue. It could be that even though the stories are great, the artwork can be at times indifferent. "Mr. Green Must Be Fed" is the lead story, drawn by Frank Springer. The green monster ("Mr. Green") looms up much the same way the mud man did in this story from the issue.

If Dell had been under the Comics Code they probably couldn't have shown Mrs. Wittly getting away with feeding Mr. Grimes to Mr. Green. She doesn't seem too concerned that young Harry gets away, even gets away in a police car. She knows no one will believe him.

The second story is "The Ghost", one of my favorite Tubby stories, from Little Lulu #86, August 1955, drawn by Irving Tripp. Stanley doesn't make it easy for the reader by showing us whether the ghost is real or in Tubby's head. The important thing to the plot is that the ghost is real to Tubby. His parents are puzzled observers while Tubby is on his own, in a desperate struggle to get rid of an apparition. It's funny, but there is an element of paranoia in the situation.

Mr. Green is murderous and violent, but the ghost is benign. Mr. Green wants to eat young Harry, but the ghost seems content to just sit and look at Tubby. Either seems creepy to me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Number 403

Vampire Jungle Gal!

It's day two of Pappy's Halloween week.

You'll see some creepy stuff here this week. Just keep hanging around.

In "Moon God's Death-dealing Idol" you get a white jungle princess, but she's a vampire white jungle princess! That's mixing genres for you. This is the final story from Beyond #11, from 1952. The first page reminded me of old Tarzan movies: "Bad juju, bwana! We not go there!"

I've also added the one-page filler strips from this issue, "True Stories of the Supernatural." A word of advice: don't put too much credence in the word "true" when it comes to stuff like this.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Number 402

The Ghost Rider has spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle...


It's Sunday and the start of Halloween week at Pappy's! We have some different types of horror stories for you, from these two gothic Westerns from Ghost Rider #10, December 1952, drawn by Dick Ayers, to a couple of John Stanley stories, an Ace Comics horror story (Karswell has been running Ace stories lately; an underappreciated horror comics publisher), and an old MLJ superhero/vampire story from the real early days of the comics.

Should be a fun week, full of tricks and treats, so check back.