Sunday, April 03, 2011

Number 923

Atlas animal antics

I had more fun than usual putting together this post. For over a year I have been wanting to use the Bob Powell story, "Talking Dog," from Marvel Tales #133, 1955. It was while going through some other Atlas post-Code comic books that I found a few more short-short stories where animals are prominent.

"Where Dinosaurs Dwell" is from another Marvel Tales, issue #143, from 1956. It's a time-travel story featuring a big green dinosaur. That would have gotten my attention when I was a kid, had I seen it. It's drawn by Bob Forgione and Jack Abel.

Strange Tales #66, from 1958, has yet another talking dog story, "Voice of Fido," drawn by Werner Roth. In this case the dog's voice is provided by the ventriloquist...or is it?

"The Flying Horse," drawn by Ed Winiarski, and scanned from Uncanny Tales #37, 1955, has a surprise last panel that actually surprised me.

Finally, an oddball tale by Howie Post (Spooky, Hot Stuff, etc.), telling a shaggy dog story in his shaggy drawing style. This is from Marvel Tales #131, 1955, the last pre-Comics Code issue of this title. Atlas was switching away from horror to more "acceptable" stories, but even so, the whipping wouldn't have made it past the blue noses at the new Comics Code. The characters are werewolves from the moon (!) Werewolves were also prohibited by the CCA, who was just no damn fun at all.


borky said...

Whoh! Five stories? Our Cup runneth over!

I'm go'n'o enjoy these, particularly the doggy ones, because I used to love animal stories, too, particularly, (for some weird reason), ones featuring devoted doggies willing to sacrifice themselves to save the day.

My all time favourite was the one where a race of space dogs, (which, for some reason, were also robots!), planned to invade the Earth, so sent in their most ruthless operative as a fifth columnist, only for Robo-Poochie to sacrifice himself out of a love for the boy who was his owner.

Nowadays I'd tend to take a mocking tone, and observe how apparently being made to fetch the same stick or ball over and over again, (and maybe the odd game of Red Rocket!), was preferable to a life of ruling the galaxy, but at the time I wept buckets - and that was last week!

borky said...

Some of these remind of the Mr Thirteen stories, where a sort of Scooby-doo style explanation is given to explain away various strange episodes, leaving us to supposedly wonder.

I did indeed wonder, but what I tended to wonder was how did these supposedly sceptical explanation ending type stories perform in terms of sales and longevity compared to out and out wonder stories.

There must've been some sort of market for them, but how much of one?

Pappy said...

Borky, I've been leery of dogs since I was a youngster. They look at me as a chew bone to gnaw on. I still have scars from a German Shepherd's bite when I was 12 years old.

Animals don't really need to talk, as in "The Talking Dog" by Powell. I have found domestic critters have a non-verbal ability, maybe ESP, where they make their feelings and needs known. I have three cats right now who are excellent at projecting "Feed us! Feed us now!" into my brain.

rnigma said...

Borky: is this the comic you were thinking of?

Karswell said...

In the midst of reading this fine post, my own cat began to tell me (in so many words) to get off my ass and let him outside already.

rnigma said...

Crud... the url was cut off:
let's try this again.

From the lettering it looks like it's from an ACG comic.

Pappy said...

rnigma, "Rover's a Good Dog" is from Forbidden Worlds #106.

john adcock said...

Good comics. Two other talking animals, stars of TV and comics were Francis the Talking Mule and Mr. Ed. The first comic I ever bought with my own money was Rex the Wonder Dog. Rex couldn't talk but he could ride a horse, drive a car and fly a plane.

Jeff Overturf said...

YOW!! Pappy...yuh out-done yerself with THIS one. And that Howie Post story is the real treat in the batch! Had no idea he ever worked for anyone but Harvey!

Pappy said...

Jeff, Howie Post worked for several companies over the years, including DC, where he did funny animals, and where in the late '60s did the caveman comic, Anthro.