Sunday, January 11, 2009

Number 451

A Heap of trouble

Don Markstein's Toonopedia gives information on the various incarnations of The Heap. About the only one he misses is the one from Mad #5, illustrated by Will Elder in "Outer Sanctum."

The Heap, as Markstein explains it, was derived from Theodore Sturgeon's classic 1940 short story, "It," originally published in John W. Campbell's Unknown. It was too good an idea to contain itself to a single story, and the (unauthorized) descendants of "It" rose up from swamps all over the place. More modern versions are Swamp Thing and Man-Thing.

This particular story, from Airboy Comics Volume 3 Number 4 (in that annoying way Hillman Publications had of numbering their comic books), we find The Heap making his way to America. According to the Grand Comics Database, this 1946 episode of the soon-to-be-defunct Sky Wolf feature was the fourth appearance of the creature who was once the German air ace, Baron Von Emmelmann. The GCD doesn't know the artist, nor do I.


The Fortress Keeper said...

It's always good to see Skywolf and the Heap! Thanks for sharing!

Karswell said...

Could Bob Powell have maybe had his hand in this somehow? Some of the line work looks a bit like his style, or what his style could have looked like early on before it becomes totally recognizable in the 50's with Harvey. Third panel page 4 is a good example.