Thursday, November 28, 2013

Number 1480: Thanksgiving Turkey Award 2013 featuring Shock Gibson

It is time again for our annual award, the Thanksgiving Turkey Award, which is given to the comic book story I think is the most oddball, stupid or awful (or some combination) that I have encountered in the past year. The judgment of what wins the award rests solely on me. You don’t get a say in the matter, so if you don’t agree with me you can tell me, but my decisions are final.

The 2013 Turkey Award story was a clear winner, which I picked out of Speed Comics #8 (1940) this past January. I figured I wouldn’t find a more worthy candidate for the honor of accumulating gobblers than this story of Shock Gibson’s trip to Africa to end the slave trade, wrestle a gorilla, fight a knight from a lost city, build a pyramid single-handed, rescue the sexy queenֹ’s son from some other knights, and reject the queen’s marriage proposal. (We are not told what happened to the former king, the prince’s father.)

The Grand Comics Database gives credit to writers Maurice Rosenfeld and Bill Scott as “Maurice Scott,” (it took two guys to write this?) and art credit to Norman Fallon ?, with that question mark meaning they aren’t sure. Whoever is to blame, it earns a solid three-and-a-half turkeys out of a possible four.


From latest to earliest, the former Thanksgiving Turkey Awards winners. Just click on the thumbnails:

2012: “Yarmak’s yakety-yak”:

2011: “Andy’s Atomic Adventure”:

2010: “Satanas”:

2009: “The Million Year Monster”:

2008: “The Bride of Jungle Jimmy”:

2007: “The Beyonders”:

2006: “The Flat Man”:


TheUUShadow said...

Happy Thanksgiving Pappy!

The appearance of the Secret Kingdom looks to have been lifted from one of the many lost civilizations that Doc Savage and his seconds encountered but my brain Is misfiring and not pulling up the exact one at the moment.

Angeline B. Adams said...

Shock Gibson - that name (and the face) seem to be closely modelled on Flash Gordon.

There's nothing in that comic that wasn't a threadbare cliche by the time it appeared...

Pappy said...

Angeline, I agree. Flash Gordon, Tarzan, Doc Savage...they all had their lost world stories and they were old even in 1940. When it came to shopworn ideas, comic books were right in front. But consider that it might have been new to at least some young readers of the era.

AB said...

That was shockingly awful. Quite a few comic books from "the golden age" appear to have been written and drawn, not just for small children, but BY small children.

Alicia American said...

OMG Pappy I think next yeer u shuld switch 2 handing out Vegan Tofurkey Awards yo! HAPPITY THANXGIVERING PAPPY!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

Pappy said...

Thanks for the advice, Alicia, but it's got to be a 100% real turkey to qualify for my award.

Pappy said...

AB, the late comic strip historian Bill Blackbeard said when as a teen he saw the earliest comic books he thought of them as "meretricious dreck," drawn by teenagers like himself.

I suppose this might be a good example of what he was talking about.

erik nebel said...

that comic was one of the most enjoyable comics i've read all year.

it's hard for me to understand how people can think of it as "awful" and "dreck" when it's so fun to read.

it may be unintentionally funny, but does that matter? in other words, maybe the people making this comic didn't realize they were making something gloriously absurd, but that doesn't mean we readers can't enjoy something and call it "good" even though it's "good" in ways that the creators didn't intend.

Pappy said...

erik, well said. I appreciate your input.