Friday, April 29, 2016

Number 1886: Turok goes 'round 'n' 'round

The original Turok comics had a very simple premise. Turok and Andar, two pre-Columbian Native Americans, wander into a lost valley. They become lost within the lost valley and can’t find their way out. They share what seems like a huge place with a variety of prehistoric men, and creatures extinct in the outside world. This particular story, from Turok Son of Stone #4 (1956), fits that storyline. Turok and Andar, and their caveman pal, Lanok, look for Lanok’s home, and get into tussles with dinosaurs. The second story in the issue (not shown here), continues from this story, but is more of the same. That is not to say that Turok Son of Stone is not entertaining within its self-contained parameters, but a reader knows what he is going to get.

The story is credited by the Grand Comics Database to Gaylord Dubois for the script, and Bob Correa and John Celardo for the artwork.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Number 1885: The enemy of my enemy: the Blue Tracer and the Soviets

The Blue Tracer was a feature about a super tank, created and drawn by Fred Guardineer. The Tracer could do anything: it had weapons, it could fly, go underwater, on land...and it was built by two guys, “Wild Bill” Dunn and “Boomerang” Jones. The feature did not last too long, from Military Comics #1 (1941) through #16 (1943).

In 1975 Fred Guardineer re-drew the first episode. I showed it in 2009 from its appearance in Cartoonist PROfiles magazine. Just look for the link below.

This episode is from Military Comics #13 (1942). The Tracer is going up against a Nazi version of the supertank. Our heroes have the help of the Russians, who before the end of the decade became the bad guys. At this late date I'm still reading about differences we have with Russia.* Sheesh.

From Cartoonist PROfiles #31. Just click on the thumbnail.

*C'mon, people! Let’s work together!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Number 1884: Ol’ Witch Hazel at the seashore

Regular readers know I love the Little Girl stories told by Lulu to her next door neighbor, Alvin, in Little Lulu comics. The Little Lulu Annual* #3, a 100-page squareback giant comic published in 1955, is not only all-original material, but features four of those hilarious tales pitting the Little Girl against Hazel and her niece, Little Itch.

All stories are written by John Stanley and drawn by Irving Tripp and his assistants.

*Actual title in the indicia is Marge’s Little Lulu and her Special Friends, 1955, No. 3.

In this posting from 2009, Lulu tells a tale to Alvin, and even Tubby chips in with his own monster tale for the neighbor boy. Just click on the thumbnail.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Number 1883: Bitten by escaped gorillas!

After re-reading this “X the Phantom Fed” story from Sure-Fire Comics #3* (1940), I am beginning to regret not saving it for my Thanksgiving Turkey Awards feature in November. It is that screwy, with one jaw-dropping bit of business following another until the whole crazy plot (such as it is) plays out.

In the final panel we are told that X, the Phantom Fed, “fights single-handedly against the underworld,” which goes against the idea of being a fed and having the backing of the federal government to fight evildoers. If this story is typical of X’s cases, then it is no wonder the rest of the feds don’t want to get mixed up in his business.

The Grand Comics Database lists no writer on whom to assign blame. The artist is also unknown.

UPDATE, April 29, 2016: Reader Darci has asked a question of her friends in the Pulp Magazines group online, brought up in the comments section of this posting. They have confirmed that the story is taken from a 1934 Secret Agent X  novel,  City of the Living Dead. Many thanks to Darci for her follow-up.

*There were actually two #3 issues, and our story today is from the one Grand Comics Database identifies as #3a. The total run of Sure-Fire Comics was four issues, and was replaced by Lightning Comics which continued the numbering with #4. How hard could it be to count up to five? I can imagine the editor: “Good grief, I have five issues and yet only four numbers! What went wrong?”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Number 1882: A well staked-out tale

“Vampire Moon,” from Suspense Comics #2 (1944), has a familiar ring. You have probably heard the story on which it is based, that of the young girl who goes to the grave of a recently deceased girl. To prove she has been there she drives a stake into the grave. (You can read it on this page of urban legend synopses as “Graveyard Wager”.)

The story in its original version may be the first so-called urban legend I remember hearing. It is fun for me to identify the basis of any fiction, urban legend or not.

Artwork is by John Giunta, a comic book journeyman from the forties who worked into the sixties.