Sunday, March 20, 2011

Number 915

Doom in the Airtomb!

Airboy stories could go from adventure in exotic lands, a la Terry and the Pirates, to science fiction or supernatural. Misery is a supernatural character who showed up in his Airtomb to plague Airboy from time to time. Misery is still with us. I think I took a flight in the Airtomb once between Pittsburgh and Chicago.

This story, also featuring the sexy ex-Nazi flier, Valkyrie, is from the second issue of Airboy Comics, Volume 2 Number 12 (1946), after the title was changed from the World War II-era Air Fighters Comics. It's drawn well by Fred Kida, and the macabre panels of Misery and the Airtomb are out of a nightmare.


borky said...

Ooh, this looks good - love the cover!

borky said...


I've never read any Airboys before: I had this picture of him as a lesser spotted Tintin before he grew a pair.

A redeemed Nazi beauty seems almost radical.

A two-fisted bloke who thinks nothing of decking his girl just because she's possessed - whew! - seems almost shocking.

There's one panel - the fourth one on page 8 - which I find absolutely stunning: Airboy reduced almost to pure abstraction.

I look at this and find myself wondering if this was one of the direct ancestors of all those peculiar pictorial conventions which turn up in Japanese Manga comics - the tendency to draw faces with no eyes.

I loved the idea of Misery and the Airtomb, too, (presumably inspired by all the missing WWII planes never recovered).

There's one part makes me glad comics don't have sound - imagine the inadvertent hilarity that'd ensue listening to Misery making his doom mongering deathly pronouncements in a high pitched squeaky voice, accompanied by the even more highly pitched voice of an already adolescent Airboy.

Unca Jeffy said...

Airboy Comics have a great feel to them. Very exotic, in a way. Thanks for having me revisit them, Pappy!

Daniel [] said...


Pappy earlier posted the first appearance and origin story of the Valkyrie and the Airmaidens.

borky said...

Pappy, I was so impressed with my first impressions of Airboy I've been irresistibly drawn back for yet another read - aware, of course, familiarity might breed contempt.

But, no! I'm just as impressed as ever: I only wish my boyhood self'd had the opportunity to read this outstanding strip - maybe fate knew it'd be too awesome for his brain to survive the impact.

Marvellous, marvellous stuff!

I only hope somewhere in your next 60 preplanned blogs you've managed to slip in one or two more.

Thank you from me, now - and all my other mes from seven years old onwards!

Pappy said...

We made an Airboy fan of Borky!

I have an Airboy story set for June 20, "Crabmen of Paris!" Watch out for those French crabs.