Monday, May 23, 2011

Number 952

Klaus Nordling's Barker is no dummy!

Klaus Nordling, who was born in Finland but emigrated to the U.S. as a child, was an important artist in the Will Eisner studios from 1939 until the 1970s. He drew Lady Luck for Eisner's Spirit Section. He also drew other characters for Quality Comics, using his smooth ink line and cartooning skills on several features, including Pen Miller and the Barker. This story is from The Barker #7, in 1948. The Barker was Carnie Callahan, who presided over a carnival sideshow of characters.

In this story Nordling draws a sexy ventriloquist's dummy, Lulu Belle, who uses "her" sex appeal to separate suckers from their money. Nordling made Lulu Belle a vamp while also showing she was clearly a dummy. Her ventriloquist had some special equipment installed to make her more human, and even the Barker, no dummy he, is fooled for a time.

Nordling died in 1986, age 76.

I showed another Barker story in Pappy's #718.


Martin OHearn said...

The "Yawp" on the last page pinpoints the writer as Quality editor Gwen Hansen. She wrote most of the Barker stories after Joe Millard created the character with Jack Cole. She's best known as the writer of Torchy; she wrote other comedy features like Will Bragg. Her superhero work was mostly on the humorous side with Plastic Man, and his sidekick Woozy and Blackhawk's Chop Chop in their own strips.

Pappy said...

Martin, thanks for teaching me something today. Now I know that Gwen Hansen wrote stories recognizable by the word "Yawp!"

I'll be looking for that, and I appreciate the heads up.

(John Stanley's stories can be recognizable by use of the word "Yow!" and there was an ACG scripter writer whose name I don't know who used the expression "Ye gods!" in many stories. Why Y-words? Y, I just don't know!)

Daniel [] said...

So what seemed to be a puppet was really a … puppet.

Pappy said...


Yup, it