Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Number 1812: “The weed of crime...”

“The Goona Goona Fan” refers to an actual electric fan to cool a nightclub, not fanatic, which is what all of us comic fans are, eh?

And comic fanatics of 1942 were probably also tuning in for The Shadow on radio. The comic book Shadow, while using some plots, much condensed, from the Shadow’s pulp magazine adventures , was actually closer to the radio version. Able to cloud men’s minds, the Shadow could become invisible, which is shown in panels with his cloaked and hatted figure shown in a blue surprint.

At this point of the comic book adventures of the Shadow, the stories were scripted by his most prolific writer, Walter B. Gibson, who had written the novels for years under the name Maxwell Grant. Gibson reportedly got double the rate for his pages in the comics, and compared to knocking out a novel every two weeks, as he had done in the 1930s, that must have seemed a snap. Vernon Greene, the artist who initiated the Shadow’s daily newspaper strip in 1940, was also doing comic book stories. The daily strip ended in 1942 with paper rationing and the need for more column inches for war news, but Greene drew the character for the comic books at least for a couple of years past the end of the daily strip.

No need to feel sorry for Greene. He also ghosted the Polly and Her Pals daily strip, and in 1954 took over the popular Bringing Up Father when  George McManus died

“The Mystery of the Goona Goona Fan” is from The Shadow Vol. 2, No. 9 (1942):

In 1947 both Gibson and Greene had moved on. Bob Powell and his crew took over the art chores for the comic book Shadow, with scripts were provided by Bruce Elliott. For a Powell story from the Pappy archives, just click on the thumbnail.


Mike Britt said...

In the thirties Greene was a political cartoonist for a local newspaper here in Portland, Oregon although not the Oregonian. He worked as an assistant to McManus for many years before taking over the strip when McManus died as well as ghosting POLLY AND HER PALS. He did the Standard and Harvey JIGGS AND MAGGIE comic books. I have a few pages of originals he did for Standard's REAL LOVE. About fifteen years ago his son and/or his daughter came in to a local comics store close to my home looking for comics that might have his art in them as they didn't have any thing by him as his wife had destroyed everything when he died. Because the store owner knew I had the original art, he took their phone number and address to give to me and promptly misplaced them. Pity as I would have given at least one of my pages to them.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

If you want to be a Succesful Pulp Hero, first thing you need is a Dumb Commissioner. And boy, this is one DUMB Commissioner!
I know someone in this blog with a sharp and inquisitive mind will ask: "How can Atlee be the murderer if Belwood was shot and Atlee has no gun?" How do I know? Because the Shadow knows... :)
[maybe It's ME who's dumb, but I've checked it three times and well, I see no guns on the crime scene.]
I like the art, and especially the clever use of colors in this one. As for the Cloak... Let's skip it! This story makes me think of old time radio shows, and this makes me want to re-read "Jeffty is Five" by Harlan Ellison.

Daniel [] said...

Margo's response in 1:2 pushes the story along, but it's still a nonsequitur; the murder than Kent— er, excuse me, Lamont mentioned wouldn't naturally be presumed to be located at the Club without the datum that the proprietor had been threatened. (Gibson could have put a “here” in Lamont's previous remark.)

It would be rather odd if Lamont not only had time to write-down instructions for Margo but would have found doing so more efficacious than just using his powers of speech. I was expecting his odd choice to preserve some mystery or suspense, but it really doesn't do so.

Good thing that the slug didn't just keep going in 8:5. But [1] why does the Commish shoot without being assured that he's not going to punch a hole in the invisible dude? and [2] what is it with the summary execution? Cops in that town are … eh, like cops in a lot of towns, as I guess.

Pappy said...

J D, Daniel, as usual you two have picked up on story elements that blew right by my jaded comic book brain.

The Shadow may know, but I don't.

Thanks for the comments, as always.

Pappy said...

Mike, I wonder why Greene's widow destroyed all his work? Original comic art was not valued as it is today, but it seems odd to get rid of it after a spouse dies. I would think she might want to keep it if only for sentimental reasons, but by her actions it doesn't sound as if sentiment had anything to do with it.

Perhaps his survivors will Google his name and find this blog. It has happened before.

Thanks for the note.