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Sunday, January 18, 2009



Number 455



"Dey say it's hanuted!"


Emmanuel "Mac" Raboy was a top cartoonist, drawing Captain Marvel Jr. and Green Lama. He drew the Flash Gordon Sunday strips from 1946 until he died in 1967. At Fawcett he worked with Jack Binder, who ran a shop that provided artwork for comics. I talked with Jack in 1970 and he told me that "Raboy was talented, just slow." Apparently a perfectionist, he was also temperamental and could tear up a job he didn't like. Another story I heard about Raboy many years ago is that he moonlighted drawing comics while in the Navy during World War II. He had very little space on ship to draw, so drew his comic book pages the same size as the printed page. That looks like what happened with "The Punching Polties" from Master Comics #40, July 1943.

There's no telling why the speech balloon was changed on page 9, panel 3, to a crude paste-up misspelling "haunted" as "hanuted." You've got to wonder where in the production phase this happened, but it might have been done by poltergeists.












12 comments:

oeconomist.com said...

Hanuted? Ain't nothin' worse than a hanuted house!


Setting that aside, I note that the policemen who were shot were described as meeting “doom”, and that Junior focussed on catching the crooks, rather than on getting the officers to a hospital. So I infer that the poltergeister killed them. And, as punishment, the poltergeister were… er… evicted? The penalty for homicide is the same as that for non-payment of rent?

The scales od justice seem in need of adjustment here.

Booksteve said...

Raboy was way too good for the medium at his best. (See GREEN LAMA) His figures could be a little stiff but they were so pretty! I had heard also that he was African-American which would explain why black characters in his CAPTAIN MARVEL JR stories looked realistic as opposed to Steamboat over in Beck's CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Pappy said...

Someone else would have to confirm the African-American story, because I haven't heard that before. Another story I heard was that Elvis Presley's hairstyle was influenced by Captain Marvel Jr. He ain't nothin' but a hound dog!

Booksteve said...

A quick check of the net and I find several other folks who have heard that Raboy was African-American and others who dispute it. No verification one way or the other. His real name was Emanuel but that doesnt really mean anything and the only pic I found was hard to say definitely. Curious.

oeconomist.com said...

George Herriman (Krazy Kat) was essentially “passing”, and possible Emmanuel Raboy was as well. It seems to me that, if Raboy's ethnicity had been known to be other than “white” when Steranko was writing his History of Comics, then it would have been mentioned there.

Pappy said...

We Americans have elected a mixed race man for President of the U.S., but only a generation or two ago being mixed race meant being subject to institutionalized racism and prejudice. It wouldn't be surprising if people who could pass for white did. I still don't know whether Raboy was passing or not. It seems important only in the sense of the times, and nothing about his talent or the work he did.

Booksteve said...

Well said, Pappy!

oeconomist.com said...

Well, the question of whether Raboy was “passing” could be answered by examining census records. But the more interesting question (how his perceptions were affected by his position in society) may now be unanswerable.

Rocco said...

Here's a link to a photo and bio of Mac Raboy from a promotional booklet that was put out by King Features.


Mac Raboy Bio

"Raboy was born Manuel Raboy, the son of Isaac and Sarah Raboy, on April 9, 1914 in New York...

recluse said...

Raboy was NOT Afro American but the grandson of Russian Jewish immigrants escaping the pogroms. My source? I am a family member

audreyb212 said...

I too am a relative and Mac was not Afro American but as the blogger up above stated, he was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants.

His mother Sarah was my grandfathers sister and her husband, Mac's father, was a novelist who wrote in Yiddish.

recluse said...

Mac Raboy was not born Manuel but Emmanuel. He did not consider comics as art but rather a way to make a living. Within his comics, one might find stereotypes of evil and "bad living" such as typical stereotype descriptions of the devil, Germans, or 'bad' women. Flash Gordon was blonde blue eyed and buff. Audrey, if you are out there still, Mac was my wifes grandfather, Isaac her Gr Grandfather. Love to get in touch with you somehow