Friday, March 06, 2015

Number 1705: Ken Shannon’s “. . . weakness for slinky females”

I imagine Quality’s Ken Shannon #2 caused some bobbing eyeballs from adolescent boys (even adult “boys”) in 1951. After nearly 65 years Reed Crandall’s magnificent drawings, including a sexy chanteuse, are still effective.

Ken, a private eye with a big jaw is hired by the aforementioned sexy nightclub singer under false pretenses. Ken can get a lot done in a mere 7 pages, include give and receive beatings, and get ragged on by his assistant, Dee Dee, who sarcastically reminds Ken* in the teaser panel above of his predilection for gorgeous gals.

*Pappy pet peeve: using “your” for “you’re,” which the editor missed.

See more of Ken. Just click on the thumbnails.


J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Effective? Utterly fantastic, this one.
I've seen too little of Reed Crandall's stuff, aside from Horror, I like it.
Lovely gorgeus gals, some clever "Marlowe-Bogart" dialogue with a bad fat bumhead and a treacherous lady, and a good timing for 7 pages.
"Lust-ra", isn't it great? In italian "lustra" means "shiny" or "polished", more or less.
I also like that the hero is actually an ugly guy, this makes him... likeable.
Looks like an oversized Fred Murray, perhaps with a bit of Ronald Reagan's ugliness.
I notice en passant that life isn't kind with too many great guys in this business...

Pappy said...

Like most cartoonists/comic book artists, Reed Crandall had his "central casting," characters who looked alike throughout the thousands of pages of comic books he did during his career. But I don't remember anyone else looking exactly like Ken Shannon. It's the big jaw, which I said at one time makes it appear that Ken has the medical condition, acromegaly.

Thank you for the interesting translation of "Lustra," in Italian. In this case I think the emphasis is on the first syllable. "Lust" is what the young men reading this had for her.

Unknown said...

Wow, where do I start?
*The snappy patter between Ken and Dee Dee shows me what it would've been like if Mike Hammer dated Nora Charles.
*Holy cats, the cleavage on Lustra! The top of that outfit is about two inches from showing nipples.
*God, the constant exclamations on every line! I've written some scripts patterned after 70s horror comics, and the exclamation points started to grate on me after a while.
*"Is he...Is he dead?" "No, he's just lying face-down in a big pool o' blood! But he'll be fine!"
*Why did Lustra wear that outfit out of the club?? Those side shots where she's holding the coat open look like she's flashing.
*I love the panel where Ken hits Sammy so hard that he flips over backwards! Whattaman!

rnigma said...

Ken's jaw can't be any bigger than that of Olaf in "Blackhawk" - who makes Jay Leno look like Andy Gump.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Crandall used models for much of his work, so I always wondered if Shannon was someone he knew. I know some of his neighbors posed for some of his characters at times.

Pappy said...

Ryan, good points about Lustra's decolletage. Get it...points? Hahahaha.

And, ah yes...those exclamation points in comics. Sometimes called "bangs," as I recall the explanation for them is the poor printing. Often times something as small as a period would drop out. Rather than have no full stop on a sentence the bang was used.

I also recall a story that Ray Bradbury thought Feldstein used too many of them for the EC adaptations of his stories.

I also wonder if the printing processes created the ALL CAPS LETTERING, rather than caps and lower case.

Pappy said...

rnigma, hmmm. Olaf must've been another victim of acromegaly.

Since Crandall did many Blackhawk stories, and based on the note from Charles Rutledge that Crandall used models, was he drawing someone he might have known as a model for both Olaf and Ken Shannon?

Pappy said...

Charles, I have wondered if Crandall used models for at least some of his characters. Thanks for the information tht he did. I have mentioned before that sometimes his panels took on the look of a diorama, that the "actors" in his drawings looked posed. Using models would explain that.

Additionally, as for his action panels, they were much swiped by other artists. Artist Ken Landgraf told me last year that Wallace Wood had an extensive swipe file of Crandall's early work.

Kirk said...

Slinky...I'm not sure that term applies to comic book women anymore. Back in the 50s they were shapely, had the hour glass figure, but not ridiculously so, as they do now. I wonder if the wider availability of surgically-enhanced porn hasn't had an impact on 21st century comic book artists. I prefer the old time slink.

Gene Phillips said...

When I read your header in my Blog List, I could've sworn it referenced Shannon's weakness for STINKY females-- which would be very different indeed.

Alicia American said...

Dee Dee is so badass I dont Y this dude is interestered in any otherer girl yo ucchh

Anonymous said...

Pappy, I don't know if anyone else has had trouble viewing the earlier post of a Ken Shannon story, post of March 1, 2010. I could get the first page but clicking on the other pages brought up the icon of a white ? on a blue rectangle.
I really enjoy these Ken Shannon capers. Thanks!

Pappy said...

7f7, hmmm. I have checked the story you had trouble with and I am seeing it just fine. Anyone else out there having a problem seeing it?

Anonymous said...

The March 1, 2010 Ken Shannon post is working today —I've read it, thanks. Must have been some temporary glitch in the computer realm somewhere.