Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Number 1528: Phantom Lady “just doodly do it...”

I googled the lyrics the chorus girls are singing on page 6 of this Phantom Lady story, and came up with a 1924 song called “Doodle-Doo-Doo” sung by Eddie Cantor. Isn’t the Internet amazing?*

The story is also amazing, if not for the plot but for the Matt Baker pretty girl artwork. For you connoisseurs of such things there is a lingerie panel and also a panel of Phantom Lady tied up. I, being a comic book historian, am more interested in the story in its historic context and avert my eyes at such pandering to the pin-up crowd of the 1940s. (Ha. You are right not to believe that. The great thing about this sort of artwork is that it looks just as sexy as it did when it was drawn 66 years ago.)

From Phantom Lady #16 (1948):


*I also found a YouTube video of Eddie Cantor singing the other song on the page, “I Faw Down and Go Boom”.

Here's another Phantom Lady story, with a bonus Blue Beetle story, I showed in 2011:


Daniel [] said...

Let's say tha Gyp were carrying 50 pounds (avoirdupois) in silver dollars. That would be $848.47.

Had he been carrying 50 lbs of US coins in lower denominations, that would have been a little bit more in nominal value, as those coins were slightly under-weighted tokens from the mid-19th Century onwards. Still the sum would be less than $900.

We could propose that Gyp had instead been carrying 100 pounds; but, well, the point is pretty clear; the sum of money is too small to motivate key events. The writer solved one problem by creating another.

6:7 is considerably more brutal than anything that I recall seeing in SotI. (My copy of SotI has been boxed-up for more than 25 years, so perhaps memory simply fails me.)

But Baker's artwork is indeed outstanding.

Pappy said...

Daniel, I have seen worse panels in comics than what Dr. Wertham chose to show in SOTI, but I don't think he saw everything. I can't visualize Dr. W. at the candy store every Thursday buying up all the new comics to check for atrocities. My understanding is that children brought him comics they were reading. Apparently his primary work was done in the late '40s, since a lot of examples from comics of that period were used.

Debbie American Hooray! said...

OMG Pappy! That hand is guna shoot a hole in the wall 2 the left & Bhind that pritty blond L8Y yo OMG!

Phantom L8Y is pritty 2!

We luv u Pappy! <3

Brian Barnes said...

Phantom Lady is certainly gorgeous, but as a superhero, she's terrible.

First off, she dedicates a night to, do what, make a busy body "pay"? Only to stumble onto a crime? And she can't follow two targets at once?

Yes, baggy pants and a sexy halter top are the best clothes for digging. I can't believe I ever thought otherwise!

Baker's art, which is incredible, reminds me of a much less static Feldstein.


Enjoyed the post, Pappy! That panel that Daniel mentioned stuck in my mind also...
I've said it before, I'll say it again - Best comics blog ever!

Pappy said...

Brian, your observations are right on the money, as always.

Feldstein and Baker did have their tables close when they both worked for Jerry Iger's shop. Feldstein said they didn't socialize, but it was obvious Feldstein was looking over at what Baker was doing.

Darci said...

Hi Pappy,
Over at the Digital Comics Museum Jim Vadeboncoeur has been weighing in with advisories by Henry Steele, Hames Ware, and himself about a lot of stories that are attributed to Matt Baker. Apparently the Iger Studio made a cottage industry of emulating him. Quite an achievement!

Pappy said...

Apocolyte, thanks for the comment, and glad to see you back to blogging again.

Pappy said...

Darci, I don't know whether that's good or bad means that I could be leading people astray. In my opinion Baker did many stories with other artists pitching in (it was a shop, after all, a sort of assembly line). I'm guessing he probably did the faces to give it overall consistency, but some of the figures in stories attributed to him look like they were drawn by Jack Kamen and/or others.

AB said...

I think the Baker skeptics are wrong. 90% of the pencils in Fox Phantom Lady are, in my opinion, by Baker. I emphasize "pencils," because he was inked mostly by Iger Shop hacks who did their best to destroy his art, and sometimes succeeded.

The problems started when people started attributing just about everything Fox published in 47-48 to Baker. He didn't draw Rulah or Jo-Jo.