Friday, January 30, 2009

Number 462

What the Heck...?

I like the job Don Heck did on this well-drawn strip. It's obvious he put a lot of work into this five-pager from Strange Worlds #1, 1958. You'll probably recognize the last panel of this story It's a tale told in various forms over the years, with the same punchline.

I've now posted all of the stories from Strange Worlds #1, which was the reintroduction of the old Atlas line after a hiatus of over a year, when publisher Martin Goodman sold his Atlas distributing company.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Number 461

Oh, you Boodyful Babe...

Boody Rogers' exquisite creation, Babe Boone, returns to us in this story from Babe #8. The story is bizarre, the dialogue, told in dialect, practically needs translation, but as always, the drawings are hilarious.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Number 460


I know you guys are here to read comics and not get preached to, but bear with me. Here's a PSA, a Pappy Service Announcement:

Last week I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I don't want sympathy. It's a curable form of cancer, and because of my astute primary care physician and my habit of going to my doctor once a year, it was caught at an early stage. So while I have cancer right now, there's no reason to believe I will have it after my surgery in a couple of weeks, or that it will be what ultimately kills me. Here's my preaching, though: Because this blog is read mostly by males, I am advising if you are over 40 you have your prostate examined once a year. Most guys don't like the idea of a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), but for a couple of seconds of inconvenience and indignity, your life may be saved.

So, now that I've had my say, we return to our regularly scheduled posting...

Vern Henkel's artwork might not have been splashy, might have been derivative--in "The Man Who Made A Wish" the devil looks like he's swiped from Will Eisner--but the Golden Age of comics wouldn't have happened without artists like Henkel. They were the guys who weren't stars, who did all of the backup stuff, kept the comic book machine running.

Henkel, who was born in 1917, sent a comic book story unsolicited to Quality Comics publisher Everett "Busy" Arnold in the 1930s. Arnold accepted it and Henkel's comic book career began, right around the time the comic book industry began. Over the years there were dozens, maybe hundreds, of guys like Henkel, who were the journeymen of the business.

"The Man Who Made a Wish" is originally from Mystic #7, 1952, but scanned from the reprint in Marvel's 1974 Crypt of Shadows #8. "Captain Fortune" is from Feature Comics #26, November 1939.

I posted a crime story by Henkel in Pappy's #132.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Number 459

Joe and Moe

"The Case of the Vanishing Year" is from Flash Comics #88, October 1947. The artwork is by Joe Kubert and the inking by Moe Worthman.

The story is a time travel story. Scientist Homer Brown loses a year, as does Flash. I thought while reading it, what would I do if I ended up a year ago, January 2008, with knowledge of the whole year until now? I'd probably have bet heavily on Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidency. As I recall a year ago he was quite a longshot. I would have dumped all my stocks before the economy, banks and stock markets tanked.

"Vanishing Year" is a fun story. Even with the talent he showed early on, some of Joe's figures look foreshortened, squatty and squashed. He kept working at it and became one of the best comics artists of all time. Inker Moe Worthman did a decent job here. Joe and Moe seem to have worked well together.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Number 458

More Space Rangers

A couple of weeks ago I showed you a Rocky X story, another Space Cadet/Space Patrol/Space Rangers type of story from the early 1950s. When it comes to a good thing, I'm all for overdoing it. So here's a Fiction House strip about--appropriately enough--Space Rangers!

It's from Man O'Mars, a Fiction House one-shot from 1953, which consisted of one new story, "Man O'Mars", and the rest of the contents reprints from Planet Comics.

Lee Elias, one of the greats of the Golden Age drew the story, attributed to the ficticious Hugh FitzHugh. Elias drew another Space Cadet series in the '60s for DC, Tommy Tomorrow in Showcase.