Monday, November 30, 2009

Number 639

Jann and her man can!

This is the second of five jungle girl stories I'll be posting this week.

Jann of the Jungle, yet another jungle princess, was published in Jungle Action, then the title was changed to Jann of the Jungle after the titular (smirk, smirk) heroine. Atlas' other jungle girl, Lorna, was fortunate to be drawn by Werner Roth, and Jann by Jay Scott Pike, both great girl artists. Both series were written by Don Rico, apparently the resident jungle girl scripter.

"The Jackal's Lair" is a fun little story from Jann of the Jungle #10, 1956, about Jann, her man, and a jungle monster. This comic also dispels a myth I've believed for years about Code-approved comics, that female breasts were supposed to be de-emphasized.

Pike left comics to do illustration and did some topnotch pin-up work. Here's a posting I did about Pike in Pappy's #334.

Grab the nearest vine and swing on over to Chuck Wells' Comic Book Catacombs Blog for another Jann story!

TOMORROW: The thrilla that is Camilla!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Number 638

Sheena in harem pants!

This week we're going to do something different...I've got all jungle girl stories lined up for this week. It's cold where I am...the first week of December, a bleak and cold month. Ugh. I need to go someplace warm, someplace where I can see babes in leopard-skin bikinis swinging through treetops and wrestling crocodiles. Unfortunately, for me such traveling to exotic places is done vicariously via the four-color world of jungle comics.

Chuck Wells at Comic Book Catacombs and I are in collusion. He is also showing jungle girls this week. Check them out here.

First up, Sheena, the original Queen of the Jungle. In this story some traders get the drop on Sheena and her idiot boyfriend, and sell them into slavery. You get to see Sheena wearing a harem outfit in this story, which is the main reason I chose it. We all have our fantasies.

It's from Sheena, the Queen of the Jungle #3, Winter 1943.

TOMORROW: Jann of the Jungle!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Number 637

Spacehawk and Dork help the war effort

We've had some fun this week, and we'll end the week in the same way. Spacehawk was Basil Wolverton's creation, who started his run in Target Comics #5 as a strictly off-this-world spaceman who fought Wolverton-style grotesque aliens. As World War II began Wolverton's editors told him to bring Spacehawk to Earth so he could fight our enemies. Wolverton is said to have protested this change, and in retrospect he was right. Spacehawk didn't last long after that.

Even after the theme of Spacehawk was changed there were still memorable stories in the Spacehawk canon because they're by Basil Wolverton, who never drew an uninteresting comic in his life. He was famous for his funny dialogue and funny names, and for an alien name "Dork" seems great. In 1942 when Basil drew this he was probably thinking of a good, punchy name, not realizing he would be making us laugh almost 70 years later for reasons he couldn't anticipate.

From Target Comics Volume 3 Number 1, March 1942:

Make sure you come back on Sunday for the beginning of a special Jungle Girl week. We're kicking off with a Sheena story, and will follow each day for six days with beautiful jungle babes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Number 636

Pappy's Fourth Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Awards

Thank you. Thankyouverymuch. I am thankful for all of Pappy's readers.

Today is Thanksgiving Day, time for Pappy's annual Thanksgiving Turkey Awards. It's the one day a year I get to pick the dumbest story I've found all year and present it to Pappy's readers. It's all my subjective judgment. You don't get to vote.

This year I've chosen "Million-Year Monster," which originally appeared in Forbidden Worlds #14 in 1953. I've scanned it from its appearance in a black-and-white magazine, Shock, volume 1 number 3, from 1969. Here's the cover of Forbidden Worlds by artist Ken Bald, where the story was so highly thought of it got the pole position. Note the red dinosaur with a man's face, note the Shemp Howard hairstyle. Note the atom bomb cloud surrounding the monster and a lone soldier shooting.

Inside note that the Million-Year Monster can speak, but what it mostly says is, "Me want Jill!" Words alone cannot describe this story. You just have to read it. The Grand Comics Database says the artists are Paul Gattuso? (? means they aren't sure) and Dick Beck.

"The Million-Year Monster," our award winner for 2009, earns four turkeys.

Previous award winners are:

2006: "The Flat Man"
2007: "The Day the World Died"
2008: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen in "The Bride of Jungle Jimmy"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Number 635

O. U. Kidd!

I considered running this strip in September on Talk Like A Pirate Day. It's by Al Hartley; a prime example of his pre-Archie days and his ability to draw busty woman. Hey, talk about your treasure chests...

"Captain O. U. Kidd" is from an Atlas Comics Mad imitation, Wild #1, 1954. We've shown two other Hartley satires from Atlas' sister publication, both of them featuring buxom girls. You can go here, and then you can go here for those tales.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the fourth annual Pappy's Thanksgiving Turkey Award for the dumbest story I've found this year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Number 634

Our bud, Pud

These Fleer Dubble Bubble ads are taken from DC and Fawcett Comics of the early 1950s, circa 1951-54. They're drawn by Ray Thompson, an oldtime cartoonist who went into advertising.

Pud, who looks like Tubby Tompkins' first cousin, and his gang, are featured in these Sunday-style strips. They (of course) prominently display the bubble gum product the kids are selling. What I remember about Dubble Bubble was if it wasn't fresh it was a tiny pink brick which could break your teeth. You worked it in your mouth to get it softened sufficiently to chew. The flavor didn't last very long, and was usually gone by the time you could make a bubble.

Pud and his gang hung around places like haunted houses.

They promoted international goodwill by helping a boy who didn't speak their language. And, of course, with Dubble Bubble gum.

Pud was a hero. He single-handedly foiled robberies, just by using gum! Pud's gang could be a little kinky, playing pirates and bondage. Pud saved his sister, tied up by his friends. Heh's all in fun, isn't it, Pud? No need to get hostile. Have another chaw of tiny pink bricks.

Pud gave out really bad advice. Kids, listen to Pappy, not to Pud: Bears in the wild are not tame. Every year there are campers who get mauled by bears. Do not mess with bears.

Pud and his gang visited the zoo and despite the "Do not feed the animals" signs they give a chimp some gum. Some fun!

The Dubble Bubble kids went to exotic locales, including the frozen north...

...and the land of the headhunters. Hope they got away before the flavor of the Dubble Bubble disappeared and the headheader got interested again in their heads. Where were their damn parents?

They showed up in India, where they met a snake charmer:

Pud and his friends didn't practice safety when playing. Once again kids, listen to Pappy. Do not shoot arrows in the direction of your friends.

Finally, the Pud Posse were able to defy the law of gravity with bubble gum.

The ads were so well known they were the target of satire in Mad #21, drawn by Will Elder.

Thompson also did the campaign for White Cloverine Brand Salve, another advertiser ubiquitous in comics. The history of the Wilson Chemical Company, which produced the salve, is interesting in itself.

It's Thanksgiving Week. Even with travel and get-togethers I'd like you to stop in on Thursday, November 26. I'm not going anywhere. I have Pappy's annual Turkey Award, given to the dumbest Golden Age story I've read this year.