Sunday, March 31, 2013

Number 1341: Jungle Jive Week: The Phantom and the dragon breath death

We have a theme week to end March and begin April: Jungle Jive week. We'll feature four tales this week from the comic book Africa.

First up is the second and final story from Harvey Comic Hits #56 (1952) by Lee Falk and Ray Moore. The Phantom faces a dragon god, in an edited version of the Phantom’s Sunday newspaper continuity from July 6, 1947 to November 16, 1947. Thanks to reader Darci for pointing out where to find that information, and if you’re interested in the Phantom, you can find the website here. The site has not been updated since 2007, but for our purposes it is still a valuable resource.

In “The Dragon-god of Death!” the Phantom rides off alone to fight the dragon menace, telling his girlfriend, Diana, to stay home with the Bandar tribe. He gets himself in a mess so the pygmies and Diana have to ride to his rescue. But it takes the Phantom’s dog, Devil, to save the day. See? It pays to be prepared with back-up. I hope the Phantom learned a lesson.

There’s an ad in the back of the issue promoting one of the most iconic of the “drug menace” comics, Teen-Age Dope Slaves. It’s a very salacious title for a reprint of a sequence from the Rex Morgan, M.D. newspaper comic strip.

The other story from this issue; click on the picture:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Number 1340: That '70s show!

Here at Pappy's Golden Age we are usually stuck in the 1940s and '50s, and so I’m going to the Pappy closet. I'm putting on a polyester shirt, some bell bottom jeans, my platform shoes and I’m dusting off the disco ball for a journey to the 1975, and the short-lived Atlas Comics line. You may remember when Marvel Comics founder Martin Goodman created a rival comic book company, threw a bunch of comics onto the stands and was out of business in a very short time.

Among his publications was Weird Tales of the Macabre, which was part of the big black and white explosion of the era. I’m showing two stories from this issue by two cartoonists who had different approaches, but whose work in black line looked great: Pat Boyette, whose work appeared mainly in Charlton comics, and John Severin, who worked a lot for Marvel and was a regular at Cracked. I thought it appropriate that the issue the Severin story appeared in also had an ad for monster model kits.

From Weird Tales of the Macabre #2 (final issue), 1975:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Number 1339: Captain Marvel Jr and the disturbing dreams

Mr. Morpheus works for the Nazis. Mr. Morpheus brings nightmares, which he promises to stop if the distraught dreamer gives up defense secrets. Mr. Morpheus has discovered some sort of hallucinogen. A couple of days ago we had a marijuana story, today a hallucinogenic story. This is not a trend, just a coincidence.

There is also a formula given up to Captain Marvel Jr by the inventor of a rubber substitute. (Although what Junior will do with a formula that is simply put as “X56Y43” escapes me).

This whole crazy story,with some good hallucination artwork by an unidentified artist, is from Fawcett’s America’s Greatest Comics #8 (1943), which was the last issue. The story reminds me of another story of dreams from Ibis the Invincible #1, which I showed in Pappy's #1032.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Number 1338: Claire and her scandalous marijuana scare affair

“I was furious,” said Claire, ”I know now I could have killed my stepfather. Reefers make a thing like that easy. But he took no chances...”

From the days of reefer madness, when a toke of the Devil's herb could turn a teen into a slobbering, giggling murderer, comes this romance tale of drugs, wild nights and redemption, “My Scandalous Affair.” Not only have we a cannabis-cautionary tale, but it is very well illustrated by Everett Raymond Kinstler, who went on to fine art fame after his comic book career. Mr. Kinstler has forever earned my respect by not only reaching the top of his profession as a painter, but by not denying, indeed, by praising, his time in the comic book biz.

Personally, I have nothing to say about marijuana except I’m a sixties survivor, and besides, the statute of limitations on any illicit behavior has expired by now.

From Avon’s Realistic Romances #16 (1954):