Friday, May 30, 2014
Number 1585: Man of the atom
And now, back to our regularly scheduled post...
Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom was created by Gold Key comics to compete against the popular superheroes of the day. At the time I liked the first three issues, finding them well drawn in a more sophisticated, illustrative style, but lost interest when Dr. Solar gained a costume. I just didn’t think he could go toe-to-toe with what was coming from Marvel Comics. But I was wrong; the costume was what fans were clamoring for.
Jerry Bails, the godfather of comics fandom in the early '60s, had a letter in Doctor Solar Man of the Atom #7 in 1964, praising Gold Key for putting Dr. S. in a costume. Jerry was a bit more conservative about villains. He said, “Nothing destroys a super-hero faster than fantastic villains.” I’m reasonably certain the readers of superheroes wanted those fantastic villains...as Marvel Comics had proved.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Number 1484: Viking Prince by the crown prince of comic artists
From The Brave and the Bold #20 (1958):
Monday, May 26, 2014
Number 1583: You never can tell!
’You Never Can Tell!” is a story about a little man with a big case of obsessive-compulsive disorder involving auctions and treasure. It’s from Adventures Into the Unknown #107 (1959).* “In the Beginning,” with its shopworn science fiction/early man plot is from Forbidden Worlds #76 (1959).
Williamson often worked with other artists, but I don’t see the most obvious, Roy Krenkel or Frank Frazetta, in either of these stories. There are some Frazetta-style touches in some of the Neanderthal men panels, but I don’t see his dynamic pencils or inks. Al also worked with George Woodbridge and Angelo Torres on some, and they could have helped him here. The Grand Comics Database doesn’t say, crediting Williamson with pencils and Inks on “In the Beginning,” and Jack Davis with the inks on “You Never Can Tell!” That is a collaboration I don’t see by looking at the story. Someone will have to explain to me how they came to that conclusion.
I have shown these stories before many years ago. I have re-scanned them for this posting.
*“You Never Can Tell!” likely got its inspiration from “Rock Diver” by Harry Harrison, which was first published in the science fiction digest, Worlds Beyond #3, in 1951. In that story prospectors use similar suits to explore underground.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Number 1582: Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy, Dell squareback days of summer
Bugs Bunny’s Vacation Funnies was part of that reading. I’m posting the lead story from that title’s issue #2 (1952). It’s a funny fantasy. Bugs travels through time to meet his and Elmer Fudd’s ancestors in the town of Salem. The art is by Fred Abranz (1909-1992), an animator/comic book artist I associate with Bugs. You can see more examples of Abranz’s work from Mykal at The Big Blog of Kids’ Comics and a Chilly Willy story by Abranz from Steve at Four Color Shadows.
The cover, attributed to longtime Bugs Bunny comic strip artist Ralph Heimdahl, has Porky and Petunia swimming in their clothes!
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