Friday, October 14, 2011
The world of your tomorrow is full of comic reprints!
Working with the black line reprint of Ibis the Invincible #1 for my posting the other day reminded me to dig out yet another Fawcett reprint.
When Alan Light, editor/publisher of The Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom started his Flashback line of Golden Age comic reprints, there were very few reprints available. Not like today, with fantastic books from Yoe Books, Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly and Dark Horse, to name a few. In the early '70s I paid $10 for 3 Flashback reprints at a time, until I had them all.
Some of the reprints were printed better than others, some so grayed down by the half-tones that they were almost unreadable. I got rid of the worst of them, but still have the rest. America's Greatest Comics #7, as it says on the inside front cover, was printed from photostats for all but 9 pages. They got the stats from a former Fawcett employee. The art wasn't the greatest on this 1943 comic, because it looks to be all shop drawn, either by C. C. Beck's shop (this Captain Marvel story), and some, or all, of the rest of the contents probably came from the Jack Binder shop.
The title, "World Of Your Tomorrow" is misleading. Issues of Fawcett's non-comics magazines like Mechanix Illustrated were full of prophecies of post-war inventions to make our lives better. That's what you're lead to believe from the title from America's Greatest, but it's about a scientist, his evil partner, and instantaneous transmission of matter, bringing Nazis to America via 3-D television. We have 3-D TV now, nearly 70 years after this story was published, but to the best of my knowledge still no matter transmission.
I just read The Men Who Robbed Brink's, a 1961 book on the famous 1950 robbery, which for years held the record for most money stolen. The robbers wore Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. masks. When I came across that factoid in The Men Who Robbed Brink's I read this, by author Bob Considine:
"[Tony] Pino, who read comic and adventure strips in the Boston newspapers, discovered that novelty stores were offering plastic or rubber masks of a number of his cartoon heroes. He chose masks in the image and likeness of Captain Marvel and his cowlick zombie son, Captain Marvel, Jr. He made a trip to Chicago principally to buy the masks."
"Cowlick zombie son"!? Captain Marvel Jr is not Captain Marvel's son, yet the confusion because of the word "junior" is understandable. But cowlick zombie? I don't understand that remark at all. Here are FBI pictures of masks like the robbers used.