Monday, January 31, 2011

Number 888

Black Besses

Last September in Pappy's #810 I showed a Captain Fight story from Fight Comics #53, 1947. A reader mentioned that the villainess in that tale, Black Bess, also appeared in this issue of Jumbo Comics, #103, also 1947.

If you look at both stories you see the Black Bess of this Hawk story drawn by R. H. Webb is a sexy highway robber, and in the other, drawn by Jack Kamen, a sexy pirate. They appear to be two characters with the same name. Personally, though, I like the cuts of their jibs, and I'd go down to the sea in ships for either one, or both of them, matey!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Number 887

Star Ranger #1

Dave Miller, to whom I salaam deeply in thanks, provided scans for a recent acquisition of his, Star Ranger #1. He found a coverless copy and agreed to scan it for me so I can show it to you. Star Ranger #1, dated February, 1937, is the first Western comic, but also significant because it is a platinum age comic book using original material, while many comics were still doing reprints of newspaper comics.

Some of the artwork is very good, but some is crude, some of the stories even cruder. There are racist depictions of Mexicans and at least one ugly page of caricatured black people. For those I apologize, with the excuse that it was the way things were done in those days, without regard to any offense they might cause.

I have reduced the size of Dave's scans, but essentially left them alone so you can see the comic as he bought it, as it survived 74 years until it came into his possession. The cover I took from the Heritage Auctions site.