Monday, January 03, 2011
Freddy Firefly lights it up
We're into a theme week on EC Comics, and today we've got examples of EC's funny animals from the 1940s. Animal Fables, which ran for seven issues in 1946 and '47, featured some covers with Freddy Firefly, who did a Human Torch imitation. He could burn through walls just like the Torch. He just had to yell, "Take fire!" and the young bug became the flaming firefly.
I don't know who drew Freddy; I haven't been able to find any reference material from the Grand Comics Database, or even my usually reliable EC sources. But what I think is that Freddy probably looked a little too close to the Human Torch for the purposes of Martin Goodman's Timely Comics.
By #7, the last issue of Animal Fables, Freddy was burning with "green fire", a creative way to solve the problem of the lookalike characters, but too late.
Actually, I don't think anyone, even very young children, would've confused the two, but that's what lawyers are for, to bring up those subjects. Freddy wasn't seen again after 1947.
By the time the last issue of Animal Fables was published EC founder, Maxwell C. "Charlie" Gaines, was dead, killed in a boating accident, and his son, Bill, was sent by his mother to take over the company. Although it eventually led him to become a millionaire with Mad, in 1947 he wasn't interested in comic books. Within a short time the funny animals published by EC were gone, and over the next couple of years it became the notorious EC Comics we know and love.
From Animal Fables #4, 1947:
From Animal Fables #7, 1947: