Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Number 1471: Doll Man and the Vulture

I once opined that Doll Man was the dopiest name for a superhero ever, because I thought boys would be unlikely to buy a comic book with the word “doll” in the title. Maybe I was wrong (the character was around into the early ’50s, after all), or maybe boys had their sisters buy Doll Man Quarterly for them. Anyway, I've come up with a solution. Rename Doll Man “Action Figure Man” and the problem is solved.

But Doll Man is no longer being mind.

This is the third posting for our Week of Quality, spotlighting Quality Comics of the 1940s. Today’s Doll Man story comes from Doll Man Quarterly #1 (1941). It’s time to mention the obvious, that these early Quality issues had weird coloring. The colorist(s) presented jarring color schemes, including a Caucasian flesh tone that looks like everyone has jaundice. I’m not sure it’s what was intended, but it runs through this issue. Years ago I read (was it in The Steranko History of the Comics?) that publisher Everett “Busy“” Arnold, who had a very hands-on approach to his comic books, was color blind. He might ask a staffer, “What was the color of the cover of last month’s Hit Comics?” because he couldn’t see it. Maybe that explains the oddly colored magazines from the early years of the line.

The art credit is given to John Cassone ? The question mark means the Grand Comics Database is not sure.


Daniel [] said...

You've found a way to save Doll Man, Pappy! “Action Figure Man” it is! (But let's swap-out those elven booties for something more … butch.)

I realize that the Quality colors could be especially screwy, but a lot of early golden age stuff has markèdly unrealistic coloring. I tend to regard it as a deliberate choice; and, in any case, I find it part of the charm.

Darci said...

I thought that most Golden Age comic books paid little attention to coloring, as it was a part of the printers' process? I think I read that was one of the things that set EC apart (and perhaps I read that in Dewey Cassell's biography of Marie Severin?).

Pappy said...

Darci, I'm not sure how it worked with all the various comic book companies. I think there were some that let the engravers color their books. But Quality's was so different than most I believe they had someone in-house do their coloring for them.