Friday, February 28, 2014

Number 1533: I spy, with my little Eye...

“The Eye Sees” by Frank Thomas appeared for a short time in Centaur Publication’s* Keen Detective Funnies, and in a couple of reprint issues, Detective Eye. The Eye was a mysterious creature whose origin was never explained, although in one issue the splash panel proclaims, “The Eye! A symbol of the haunting voice of man’s inner conscience! That mystic all-powerful force that causes evil deeds to boomerang and destroy those who plot them!” With that sort of mystical status you’d think The Eye would be an unseen force, but it has a physical presence, as we see in this story (the second published) from Keen Detective Funnies #18 (1940) when it is spotted by one of the gang members plotting sabotage.

*Centaur has the distinction of being a comic book company that went out of business during comics’ original heyday. According to Wikipedia, “Centaur Publications, Inc. ceased production at the end of 1940, but continued to produce comics under the name Comic Corporation of America. Centaur ceased publication four years later, primarily due to poor distribution.”

 Here’s the first story featuring The Eye. Just click on the thumbnail:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Number 1532: What about Bob?

Bob is some kind of unlucky guy, or maybe he’s just dumb...or maybe he plans it to prove Sheena’s love for him...but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t get in a lot of messes that force her to rescue him. In this case he’s being rescued from a witch doctor’s daughter who gives him a choice of being with her or being stomped by an elephant. I know what my answer in that situation would be, but Bob is more noble than that. Sheena is his woman, and besides, she rescues him at least every month in Jumbo Comics. Bob, who likes a strong woman, will stick with Sheena.

The witch doctor’s daughter appears to revive the dead, but she apparently also has the power to change her skin color. The splash page and end of the story show her as Caucasian, in the rest of the story she’s not. Did anyone check the colorist’s work before it went to the engraver? That is an editor’s job.

From Jumbo Comics #83 (1946), drawn by Robert Webb:


More Sheena here. Just click on the thumbnails:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Number 1531: Zapped by Pyroman

Despite his name, Pyroman didn’t set the comics world on fire. He appeared in comics published by Nedor (or Better, or Standard), edited by Richard E. Hughes (who stayed on when the publisher became the American Comics Group, known as ACG.) Pyroman, as Dick Martin, was charged up with electricity by being zapped in the electric chair. He got his powers when he survived the execution attempt and was from then on loaded up with electricity. which could be re-charged by grabbing on to live wires, (Kids, do not try that at home.)

The Nedor stories of the era are mainly action, panel after panel of slugging and flying and escaping and — you get the picture. This is no exception. In this tale a mechanical “brain” leads a group of German saboteurs and that’s all it takes for Pyroman to do his electric/magnetic thing for 12 pages.

Artist is unknown by the Grand Comics Database. The story is from America’s Best Comics #6 (1943):

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Number 1530: Boyhood adventures end: Terry and the Pirates #9

With issue number 9 (1948) of Harvey’s Terry and the Pirates reprints, Terry’s adventures as a boy ended. The closing adventure (at least for the sake of this reprint series) I am showing  here. The rest of the book picks up during World War II when Terry Lee has become an air cadet. I won’t be showing those stories, so this post ends my reprints from this historic series.

I thought I’d apologize to any and all who take offense at the Asian caricatures. Unlike the white characters, Connie and Big Stoop are comic figures. That was the way they were presented 75 years ago when the strip was appearing in newspapers. While those depictions may make us uncomfortable today they were part of the popular culture of the era.

If you haven’t done so already, pick up from the beginning of the series, which began with Terry and the Pirates #3. Just click on the thumbnails of the covers: