Monday, March 09, 2009

Number 485

Katz Outta the Bag

Uncanny Tales #20 was about the second pre-Code horror comic I ever saw. I was 12 in 1959 and in that youthful way I was very impressed by the panel of "Who Shall Judge" with its graphic suicide. Wow. When I saw it I felt I knew why comic books had at one time been in trouble.

The story is drawn by Jack Katz, an artist who, later in his career, spent several years drawing his magnum opus, The First Kingdom. Katz was a good artist, with a careful approach to anatomy. His panels are obsessively busy, loaded with detail.

Uncanny Tales #20 is dated May 1954. I scanned "My Other Body" from Vault of Evil #17, a Marvel Comics reprint. The story was originally published in Menace #11, the last issue of that title with, coincidentally, the same date as Uncanny Tales #20.

I've also scanned a vignette 1954 from Johnson Smith in Uncanny Tales. Something else that got comics in trouble: advertising. An 8-foot plaited leather bullwhip for only $2.69! You definitely want to arm kids with something like that.

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