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.


J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

The "fake ghost" trick as a highly dramatic climax for a story, I think it comes from Dime novels and more ancient forms of popular literature, and eventually from greek/latin theatre as part of the literary device called "Agnitio" (= recognition).
I've seen it as a clichè in many 50's comics, e.g.: the hero rescues an amnesiac woman and cures her with a "trauma" (another clichè). She has been left for dead by a man and a woman, who marries her rich husband and threatens her kids. The hero won't just go there and put the evil stepmom in jail, but will stage the ghost trick. This is from "The end of White Wolf", an early story of the most popular italian western hero "Tex Willer" (you probably know Joe Kubert has drawn a Tex graphic novel).
Back to the stories: I really like this artist's skill in composition and the way he draws gals and cars.
The second story is incredibly silly, I wonder how would it be, drawn by Wolverton or Briefer, I mean sometimes art and writings just don't "meet"

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Please look at this fake Mr. Pappy, it has nothing to do with our discussion, but it's too funny!

"Kriminal" was an hard-boiled comic book of the Sixties.

Daniel [] said...

Yeah, the stories were crazy. Probably not much point in cataloguing the various ways in which they were crazy. (Mostly I wonder about the length of time that Lily's brain went without oxygen, and about the willingness of the Mouthpiece to let a driver to be sent into a crash in order that he might get to the bottom of a mystery.)

Pappy said...

Daniel, not only did he allow the car crash, he stood peering from behind a tree while the two thugs threw the girl in the well.

I guess just the act of carrying a girl with cement overshoes toward a well is not enough proof a crime is being committed. He just wants to make sure.

Pappy said...

J D, I have not seen Kriminal in comic books. I don't know if any from the series has ever been translated into English.

Thanks for the explanation of the "fake ghost." Today would someone be fooled by a fake ghost? I suppose so. There are "reality" television programs with teams of people chasing down ghosts they never seem to find.

I suppose if a ghost materialized in front of them, even if it was a special effect, the ghost hunters' hair would stand on end and they would climb over each other to get out of the way.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

No, I guess it was never translated, it was a very "tough" book for its age. The "hero" (very popular) was a sort of evil James Bond, an international highly skilled thief, murderer and blackmailer, in a word, a criminal.
I should call it an "exploitation comic". But this fake cover is great, I think, in recreating the style and suggesting a crossover with "The Phantom of Notre Duck" by Barks.

7f7f3e2a-4856-11e4-900a-bb8e57f8828f said...

That unique character, Mr. Mouthpiece! You've pulled out more amazing stories! As J D mentions, there are roots to the story elements —but put together like this? You got to hand it to 'em.

The only way I could have written anything like these gems would be to write scraps of episodic bits taken from a pile of comic books, put them in a hat and pull enough out randomly to form the plot in order as pulled. I must try that some time although I still doubt it would equal the dumb-founded-ness of what I see here. Wow. Thanks, Pappy. More dizzying inspiration.

Brian Barnes said...

Again, what does our hero do in these stories? It seems that in some of these 40 comics, people really don't know what to do with the hero.

In story one, almost everything of consequence -- and standing in the line of fire -- is the woman!

In the second story, he merely dodges and the professor kills himself.

And how can these writers miss a chance to really reel in the kiddies? Dime store novels were already doing this -- at least have the professor turn somebody into an ape or two headed monster before getting killed!

Pappy said...

Brian, you ask what the hero does, when it appears he just stands out of the way and lets others take the brunt. In other words, he is exactly as I would be if I wore a mask and enforced justice. If I can get others to take the risks, well, why not?

I am a coward! Yes! But I am a LIVE COWARD!

Pappy said...

7f7, sounds like a good way to write a Golden Age comic. Just take a bunch of stuff out of a hat. I'm pretty sure that if that wasn't the exact method of scripting some of these "classics," then it was something similar, like reading a pile of comic books and plagiarizing various scenes into one story.

I'm sure it works, even now.