Friday, April 30, 2010

Number 728

The apes of Ape-ril

As you read in Pappy's #705, I've got some weird thing for simians in comic books. I'm apparently one of many ape fans, because as I've said more than once, DC Comics found out years ago that putting gorillas on the covers of comic books sold more comic books.

I have three stories for you today: From DC's Strange Adventures #8, 1951, a tale of evolution* by Gardner Fox, illustrated by Bob Oksner and Bernard Sachs. Moving forward along the evolutionary scale we have Nick Cardy's drawing on "Experiment 1000" from House of Secrets #6, 1957. We swing from the branches, away from the DC experimental lab to the Gold Key jungle and a 1964 Boris Karloff tale, starring the Great Man himself, Karloff! chasing after the great white ape in "The Mystagogue." The art is by Frank Thorne.

Chuck Wells' is joining in with his Comic Book Catacombs Going Apeshit jungle story here.

*Yet another take on Edmond Hamilton's "The Man Who Evolved," here.



And here's an extra, from Smash Comics #11, 1940:

By Jove, Captain Cook...a rare chimpanzee with transplanted owl eyes trained to steal green so he could eventually steal the royal emeralds would have been my choice for the culprit, too!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Number 727

"Jeepers! A dame--!"

This story had a panel reproduced in Fredric Wertham's Seduction Of the Innocent, from 1954. The panel lacked attribution in SOTI, but had appeared in Crime Smashers #1, 1950, from Trojan Magazines.

Dr. Fredric Wertham's infamous screed is a good example of the Law of Unintended Consequences: although it succeeded in its original intention, focusing public attention on the contents of comic books, it's now a cult classic. Comics containing panels referenced or shown in Seduction Of the Innocent are collectors' items for comic book fans.

The girl in the panel also owes something to 1948's Pay-Off #1.

In Straight Arrow #13, 1951, she showed up here:

For being dead, this gal gets around!

"Sally the Sleuth" is a character brought forward from the 1930s, where she appeared in two-page snippets in the pulp, Spicy Detective, drawn by Adolphe Barreaux, later the editor of Crime Smashers. Sadly, in this story she doesn't find her way out of her clothes (her main talent in the pulps), otherwise Dr. W. would have really had something to squawk about.

The fascinating story of how DC Comics plays into Trojan Magazines is told here. DC Comics came out of the comic book controversy fairly well, but not completely untouched (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman and Robin came in for criticism), some comics with financial ties to DC helped bring about censorship. There were wheels within wheels in the comic book industry of that era.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Number 726

Happy Birthday, Katy Keene and Mrs. Pappy

I've mentioned before in this blog that Mrs. Pappy does not like comic books, nor does she read them. Still, she remembers Katy Keene from her youth, and because Katy Keene is having a birthday, I thought I'd let them share the celebration.

Katy has her birthday in Suzie Comics #60, from 1947. Mrs. Pappy was born on this day in 19........errrrrrr, on second thought, maybe I'd be better off not saying.