Monday, March 30, 2015

Number 1715: Tut-tut for King Tut

Kid Eternity’s job was to aid people in trouble, and did it by coming to Earth from his home in Eternity. In this episode Kid E fights off ancient monsters, the Thuggoths. Centuries ago the Thuggoths were defeated by none other than King Tut, also known as Tut-Ankh-Amen. In reality Tut lived a short life, and as shown by the BBC and a photographic re-creation based on his remains, was physically challenged as a result of inbreeding.

In the Kid Eternity stories the Kid calls famous people from Eternity to help him fight whatever menace he is battling. He does not differentiate between mythical figures, like Atlas, or real-life people. William Tell is regarded to be legend, but Johann Martin Shreyer was a real person. The kids who read these stories might have been a bit confused...or maybe they just did not care (personally, I do). The art is by Al Bryant. Credit — or blame — for the script goes to William Woolfolk.

From Kid Eternity #1 (1946):

Interesting article on the real King Tut from The Daily Mail.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Number 1714: Mystery Tales...or mystery fails?

Both of these short stories are from Atlas Comics’ Mystery Tales #1 (1952) and represent to me what is both fun and yet challenging about these types of comics. “The Little Black Box” is a variation on the genie mythology. The wishes granted to the one who releases the genie come with a hefty price...sometimes a life. What bothers me is that the characters, the Seven Sisters of Evil, appear on page 1, and then are just dropped. Personally, I thought they were interesting and it disappoints me they didn’t bookend the tale. They could have shown up in the last panel and said, “Hee-hee, we warned you!” or something equally as trite, just to complete the circle. I think the writer missed on this one. The art by Joe Maneely is excellent, as always.

“The Horror on Channel 15” is a story from the early days of television. The main character conducts a search of haunted places to find inspiration for his new horror programming. In both a haunted house and cemetery he sees what appear to be genuine ghostly manifestations. So why not just film the real ghosts, eh? Nowadays there are hours of “reality” programming showing people wandering around “haunted” places after dark, using their night-vision goggles, only to come up with nothing. And yet this guy sees ghosts his first time out! Too bad he didn’t bring a camera. The terrific art is by Pete Tumlinson.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Number 1713: Two dummies fooled by a dummy

The Mouthpiece, a district attorney who wears a mask and blue suit like the Spirit, was a back-up character for a time in Police Comics. These two stories, taken from Police #2 and #5 (1941) are crazy but have energy, and the obsessively smooth ink line of Fred Guardineer.

In story one the Mouthpiece rescues a girl who has been thrown down a well after having had her feet encased in cement. She is really lucky to have him to rescue her, although I wonder how she felt when he had to chip that hardened concrete off her feet. Ouch. But the Mouthpiece and the girl rig up a trick with a store mannequin to fool the two cretins who tossed her in the well. Justice prevails!

The second story is even wilder, with a mad professor in a monk’s robe, who uses the old mirror-on-the-road trick to reflect the headlights of cars. In the words of the professor: “YEOW-HA, HA, HO!” I’ll let that serve as my feelings about this craziness, also.

Click on the thumbnail to go to a posting with three backup stories from Police Comics, including another adventure of the Mouthpiece.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Number 1712: Donna’s web of lies

Donna lies, you know. She moved to the big city and her roommate told her lying would get her far, and it has. On the job. Unfortunately it also gets her in trouble with men. Also on the job. Donna is “come-hitherish,” to Gil, to Ralph she is “stand-offish.” But she is never a cold fish, because she goes to both of them before being hooked and landed by her new boss, Frank.

As with most lies and liars, the truth catches up to Donna. So, learning from Donna’s bitter experiences as a prevaricator, I give you my vow. When it comes to love, I stand before you with my right hand raised and my left hand resting on ACG’s Lovelorn #14 (1951), where this tale appears, to swear to you that I will never lie to you, Pappy readers. I love you deeply and am committed to your happiness.

Ha-ha. And if you believe that then I am a better liar than I thought. Here is what I have learned in a lifetime’s experience. Everybody lies. On the job, to the traffic court judge, to the significant other. It is part of being human. The part that gets you in trouble is the bad lie, trying to lie yourself out of trouble with the boss or the law. Lying in love...well, all is fair, as the wise one said.

Art by Paul Cooper.

From years past, here are two more entertaining stories from Lovelorn. Just click on the thumbnails.