Monday, September 14, 2015

Number 1787: Favorite Females Week: Torchy

This is a theme week, where I will show three stories featuring favorite female comic characters of mine. First up, the beautiful Torchy.

According to Don Markstein’s Toonopedia, Torchy was introduced by cartoonist Bill Ward, then a member of the U.S. Army,  in the base newspaper at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, New York. After the war, Quality Comics publisher Everett Arnold asked Ward to come up with a backup feature, and he re-introduced Torchy to the world.

This is that re-introduction, from Doll Man Quarterly #8 (1946). Torchy looks different than she did later, which is not uncommon in many features. The usual humorous situations are there, with guys falling all over themselves at the sight of her. Ward left comic books a few years later, and Torchy remained under his ownership. For the rest of his life Ward made his living drawing pretty girls.

Before you ask me if the last page is missing, no, it is not. Page five is the last page...the end being Torchy’s lovely rear end.


I got an email the other day. A reader asked what I actually do on this blog. I decided to share it publicly:

I just wanted to drop a line and say I have been reading your blogzine posts for years and have enjoyed your well thought out and extremely informative posts. Your wealth of knowledge of the golden age of comics and its creators is amazing and inspiring. I was just curious how you go about picking the topics of your posts? What is your process like? With all of the creators and characters from the golden age i'm sure it is quite the task!

Dave Harding
Catasauqua, Pa

Thanks for the note, Dave. I appreciate your questions.

The work that goes into choosing what stories to show is fairly easy...I just try to keep a variety. To do that I go through old comics, looking for something that interests me. I figure if I like it someone else will like it also. Not always true. But I am always trying. My process is a set of tasks I do to get the projects completed. I work two months ahead and when I make my choices of what I want to show I keep a log of upcoming posts.

The log page for August, 2015, which I completed in late May. I do my notations in pencil, because I erase and move listings around while scheduling. I have to have something to keep track, even something as low-tech as pencil on paper.

My computer equipment is ancient. My desktop PC is from 2010, the newest thing I have. The software I use and my flat-bed scanner are from 2003. They are all growing old with me. The most time consuming part of my job is preparing scans of the comic book pages which I do with the help of a couple of old photo-editing programs.

As I have found when checking my counters, the posts that are the most popular with readers are sex (as in the Torchy post above) and superheroes. If all I did was show pictures of superheroines with huge boobs I would probably have the most popular comics blog on the Internet. Although I have few scruples, the ones I have prevent me from such obvious pandering. I try to make my pandering a little less obvious.

I own a lot of literature about comics, collected over decades. If I had to go through magazines and books to do the comic book research for the blog I would never get anything else done. Websites like Grand Comics Database, Toonopedia, and Public Domain Superheroes help me tremendously. It isn’t possible with every post, but I try to have something interesting to say about the story, the artist, or something historical to put the story in the context of its time.

And finally, yes, there are a lot of creators and characters from the Golden Age, but they all helped to create the art form. I have my favorite comics and artists, and show them more often (that’s called “heavy rotation” when playing popular songs on the radio). But every comic, every artist or writer, no matter if they are excellent, good, bad or indifferent, deserves to be recognized for adding to the history of the comics. By showing a lot of different comics in many different styles I believe I am helping to keep that history relevant.

Best wishes, Pappy


J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Yours is a very wise way to run a blog, I think. Well balanced and accurately scheduled. Were I not too lazy, I'd try the same.
But the most important thing in my opinion is that you always try to give your readers a sign of appreciation for their comments, sharing point of views and answering questions if possible.
This gives the feeling you actually care for your readers, and like to discuss with them as friends. Frankly I would not be SO interested in a monothematically T&A blog (and yet I'd wallpaper my room with Torchy art if I could).
I came here looking for Golden Age Sci-Fi, and learned to appreciate things like Little Girl Lulu, which I didn't care for before. That's cool.

Pappy said...

J D, I try to appeal to readers who already know a lot about the subject, and those who are coming in "cold," with no knowledge beforehand.

I do care about readers, those who write in the comments section and those who make an occasional comment (or correction) via e-mail. (Even those who just want to read and leave, they are okay, too.) I try to answer all who write, but if I don't there is usually a reason. First would be that I couldn't think of a good enough response, and second would be that I thought the reader said his or her piece very well, and there was nothing I could add. Third would be that I got lazy. That is rare, but does happen.

Like today. As I write this, J D, I am thinking siesta...just give me 30 minutes with my head on a pillow and I will be

Howard said...

I love this blog. Can't imagine the work involved. But I'll keep on checking in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Thank you so much, Pappy!!!

Alicia American said...

Torchery's a huge impspiration 4 us Pappy I may write more afterer I readerize this comic yo #XSIGHTING

Ryan Anthony said...

Torchy certainly does look different than she did later, especially after Gill Fix took over. Here she's more femme fatale-looking than va-va-voom. Thanks for telling us about your process, Pap; I always wondered. You're so professional!

Pappy said...

Howard, you're welcome. Thanks for the note.

Pappy said...

Ryan, I like the word professional, but I see myself as someone who knows his limitations. If I didn't do what I do to prepare it would be too easy to just skip a day here and there. That might disappoint someone, and I don't want to do that.

Pappy said...

Alicia...I await your analysis.

Joe Thompson said...

Hi Pappy. I'm always happy to see Torchy. Thanks for talking about how you manage the blog. You are a good example to all of us bloggers of how to keep things sailing on an even keel. Thanks for all the wonderful comics you have shared.