Monday, August 31, 2015
As has been mentioned before, Marston was into bondage, domination and submission. It was the key plot element in many of the early Wonder Woman stories. When challenged, he used his psychology training to defend it. He claimed that the chains that held Wonder Woman were symbols: she was being shown breaking the chains with which men had bound women for centuries. He may not have passed his own lie detector test telling that whopper. The old boy liked seeing girls tied up, and used symbolism as an excuse.
This story is from Sensation Comics #4 (1942), which would be the fifth published Wonder Woman adventure (number one was in All Star Comics.) Slavery with bondage is a major story device. It also introduces the German spy and dominatrix, Baroness Paula Von Gunther. The haughty baroness became Wonder Woman’s first recurring villain.
Friday, August 28, 2015
William T. Overgard drew the satire on the popular Harold Foster creation, It is also, like Mad, full of references to American culture of the early fifties, including the “king” of television, Arthur Godfrey (as King Arthur, ho-ho), toothpaste ads which sold brands based on ingredients like chlorophyll, and even mentions my favorite toothpaste ad line (which made everyone paranoid about the state of their breath and social acceptability), “Even your best friends won’t tell you...” Your breath stinks!
Overgard, who died in 1990, was a comic book artist who went to syndicated comic strips, and had a decent career. Not only did he draw “Steve Roper and Mike Nomad,” he wrote novels, and late in his career, episodes of the animated TV series, Thundercats. He also drew a critically accepted, but ultimately failed comic strip from 1983, Rudy, which featured a talking simian in the image of comedian George Burns.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Doll Man is a tiny man, and the story is a tiny story. Four pages. There is no portent of how popular the character would become. Doll Man appeared throughout the forties, through the superhero crash, into the fifties. DC bought up the Quality superheroes, including Doll Man, who did show up later in DC’s revivals of the Quality heroes.
In 2012 I showed the origin of Doll Girl. Just click on the thumbnail.
Monday, August 24, 2015
I have the same dilemma I always have when reviewing these stories featuring “natives” because the Civil Rights movement was in motion at the time. It was still a few years away from its flashpoints of the sixties, but when I see stories like this I believe the natives were written in just as local color (excuse the expression). I don’t know if anyone, Hughes, Buscema, or the folks at the Comics Code, really thought a lot about it.
Another area in which public opinion has changed is in wanton killing of endangered species, but despite a splash panel with some really nice animal drawings, there are no animals shown, beyond background. All the uncomfortable elements in the story are just props for what is a fairly standard, although well-drawn, love comic story.