Friday, December 26, 2008

Number 442

Boxing Day noir

Americans don't know what Boxing Day is, a holiday celebrated in the rest of the English-language speaking world. For my fellow Americans, here's an explanation of Boxing Day.

I don't have a posting that relates to the Boxing Day holiday so I came up with a boxing strip. This is from Silver Scream #2, from 1991, a black and white reprint from Harvey Comics' 1954 Black Cat Mystery #51. The drawing is by Mort Meskin. Because of the moodiness of horror comics, I think some would have been improved had they been printed originally in black and white. Oftentimes the coloring detracted, rather than added, to the mood. "Punch and Rudy," sans comic book colors, is a noirish story, stark and dark, with a punch ending (literally).


While on the subject of noir, recently I watched the film, Blast Of Silence, part of the Criterion Collection on DVD. The movie was made as an indy film in 1960, released in '61. It was written , directed, and starred Allen Baron. The reason I mention it in Pappy's is that Allen Baron was a comic book artist sometime in the Golden Age. In the German-produced documentary that accompanies the movie, there are some quick and tantalizing shots of comic book original art. I did some screen captures. I didn't find Allen Baron in the Grand Comics Database, but maybe somebody out there will recognize these stories.


peter said...

o the blasts of silence....the screentests that allen baron did and the film seem to have been well studied by mr de niro........those moves and mannerisms........ one of my favourite xmas-time movies

and yes.....i don't miss the colouring of the comics - perhaps that is and was my upbringing.....all those uk reprints

thanks pappy

Mr. Karswell said...

You're right Pappy... this Harvey story is miles better without the coloring. And that's a fascinating bit of info about Baron. I've watched Blast of Silence many times on TCM, now I need to check out the Criterion for sure, it's definitely one of the best late era noirs.

Also recommended is the Criterion edition of The Small Back Room which just came out last summer. It's one of the smaller overlooked Pressburger & Powell films (and definitely no Black Narcissus or Colonel Blimp) but definitely worth checking out.

Frank M. Young said...

"Blast of Silence" is a great film! I, too, have the Criterion DVD. I bought it when it came out. Haven't watched the extras yet. Well, that's what I'm doin' tonight.

Come to think of it, it's a Christmas movie, in a perverse way. Hell, mebbe I'll watch the whole shebang. I can work on my Lionel Stander impression, too!