Sunday, August 22, 2010

Number 794

Comical Comics Week: Cosmo the Merry Martian

This is the first day of Pappy's last August theme week. In recognition of school starting next week we're presenting some kids' comics, funny stuff from my collection.

Cosmo the Merry Martian, published by Archie ("Archie Comics Are COMICAL Comics!"), and drawn by Bob White, came out in late 1958. There were a lot of space stories in that time, reflecting the interest because of the Russian satellite, Sputnik, launched into orbit in the fall of '57. I bought Cosmo, and thought it was pretty clever. The title only lasted six issues, and I'm not sure why. People who remember it recall it with fondness, but maybe there just weren't enough of us to keep it going.

Sherm Cohen showed this first issue on his Cartoon Snap blog in April, 2009, but I think it's been enough time to give it another viewing. According to Scott Shaw! and his Oddball Comics website, Bob White was a regular Archie artist until he got caught moonlighting, drawing for Tower Comics in the mid '60s. He was blackballed by Archie, and left comics to go into another line of work. Another source online said White died a few years ago. I'm sorry about that, but a positive is that over 50 years later we can still look at Cosmo and enjoy what Bob White did for the kids of that time.

That year I bought all of the Archie Annuals but Katy Keene. That's the one I'd want now.

This is the back cover of Cosmo the Merry Martian #1. I never ordered anything from the ads in comic books. My mom would never have given me $2.98 to buy it, and even then I figured the rocket couldn't be more than some printed cardboard. If anyone has ever seen one of these for real let me know if I missed out.

Go ahead to Cosmo the Merry Martian #2. Just click on the thumbnail:


Karswell said...

It's like Schmoo's from Outer Space! Fun stuff Pappy, gonna be a neato week around here, I can tell already.

Daniel [] said...

Odd that they would declare Mercury to be the smallest of the planets while presenting Pluto (poor Pluto!) as a planet.

Tamfos said...

Wow! A whole issue of Cosmo! A lot of folks I know never even heard of this little gem. Amazing stuff. I bought these many years after they were published and love the work (both writing and art). So cool to see them here and know that White's reaching a whole new audience

Pappy said...

Daniel, even I know by watching National Geographic Channel that Pluto is a dwarf planet. But as far as anyone in 1958 knew, Pluto was just a regular planet.

I was kind of sorry when Pluto was demoted.

Pappy said...

Karswell, did you notice as I did that the Martians are shaped like phalluses, and the moonmen like balls?

Or am I the only one whose mind runs in that sort of direction?

sandor said...

Anybody who comes to comics for hard science would have to be in a sad state.

Mykal Banta said...

Pappy: "did you notice as I did that the Martians are shaped like phalluses, and the moonmen like balls?

I didn't notice that until you said it, and of course spent the next few minutes looking for a panel that had a moonman-Martian-moonman arrangement where the three are standing tightly together. No luck.

I have never heard of this comic. Great stuff! Thanks for the introduction and the Bob White info.

Pappy said...

Mykal, if it were on purpose, White would have pulled off a great dirty joke right under the noses of the Comics Code.

My belief is that artist Bob White and his editors didn't notice what would, to a mind like mine, look like male genitalia. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because sometimes, as Freud said, "...a cigar is just a cigar." In this case Cosmo was probably just a Merry Martian and not a Merry Penis.

Karswell said...

I'm pretty sure you know how my mind runs Pappy... haha

Daniel [] said...

Pappy— I'd completely forgot that they didn't begin to ball-park correctly the size of Pluto correctly until the discovery of Charon, in the late '70s.

Pierre Fournier said...

That rocket was cardboard alright. Here's a photo: