Friday, December 31, 2010

Number 870

The Dover Boys

Goodbye, 2010! Tomorrow morning we wake up, bleary-eyed and cotton-mouthed, to the second decade of the 21st Century. It's been an eventful first decade, that's for sure.

We wrap up the decade here at Pappy's with an obscure comic from the folks at Archie, Adventures of The Dover Boys #1, from 1950. The title is a knock-off of a popular series of boys' books from the early part of the 20th Century, The Rover Boys, who did their roving from 1899 to 1926 in thirty novels written by Edward E. Stratemeyer, using the pen-name Arthur M. Winfield.

I haven't read any of the original Rover Boys novels, but have read many books from Stratemeyer's syndicate, as a boy supplementing my comic book reading with the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift Jr. books. I'm not sure the comic book Dover Boys lasted only two issues because it didn't sell, or was a little too close to the original title for the Stratemeyer syndicate. By 1950 with founder Edward Stratemeyer dead, his company was run by his daughters. It was still doing well, even with the competition for juvenile readers tipped toward comic books.

Adventures of the Dover Boys is drawn by Harry Lucey.

Happy New Year, and I hope we'll see each other in 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Number 869

Exquisite delirium

I love nonsense or I probably wouldn't be a comic book fan, where about 90% of everything is nonsense in one way or another. But George Carlson took nonsense to another level when he worked for Famous Funnies, doing pages for Jingle Jangle Comics.

No less a literary luminary than Harlan Ellison was the one who brought George Carlson to the attention of fans, with his essay in All In Color For A Dime. I posted another couple of stories by Carlson in Pappy's #740, where I explain more.

"Jingle Jangle Tales" and "The Pie-Face Prince of Pretzleburg" were Carlson's regular features, but he also did puzzle pages, as with the scrap paper page featuring the Pixies. There were other well-drawn strips in Jingle Jangle Comics, but you rarely see them, because no one can get past Carlson's wondrous, wacky work. These are from Jingle Jangle Comics #15, 1945.

Mykal Banta, in his Big Blog of Kids' Comics, has a couple of great Carlson Christmas stories here and here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Number 868

I wooden do that if I were you

I submit that the cover of Marvel Tales #97 from 1950 is one of the great comic book covers of all time. Weird, oddball, totally dotty. It's why I've used a vignette from it on my blog for the past year or so.

The story of the puppet or dummy who is really alive is practically a sub-genre of horror stories and movies. It goes back a long way. The artwork on this story is uncredited by the Atlas Tales web site, and I'm terrible at picking out Atlas artists. But it is pretty good, much better than a lot of the generic-looking Atlas artwork from the late '40s.