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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Number 1936: Little House on Mars

If nothing else, this episode of the Ghost from Nedor’s Thrilling Comics #17 (1941) should serve as a jaw-dropping example of how many elements can be dropped into a story. Time machine to Mars. Red Martian rocks holding the essential component to a successful defense weapon for America. A little house, almost a log cabin, really, on Mars protected by a bunch of ugly little men with ray guns. And out of the door to said house comes a tall blonde girl in a bra top and miniskirt.

Oh, and the Ghost is a comic book magician, so there is some of that finger-waving hokus-pokus going on, also.

The Grand Comics Database credits the art to Ed Wexler, and the story to Richard E. Hughes. Hughes, who was also the editor, stuck with the comics until his death in the late '60s. In my opinion Hughes’ magnum opus was the Herbie series, which made the goings-on in a screwball tale like this Ghost story seem almost normal. But Herbie was intentionally funny.









10 comments:

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Hahaha! Yeah, that was really thrown together!

Another thing that I note here is the relationship between the Ghost and Betty Morris. To a greater extent than with other partners of opposite sex that I've seen in comic books, these two interact in a child-like manner. The panel that you highlight captures their attachment, as they hold hands during what amounts to playful adventure. Betty looks to the Ghost to take-on masculine responsibility. But there's none of that post-pubescent mush-stuff.

(Compounding the child-like nature of the story, it seems that the Ghost basically breaks into the club house of the local bad guys, overcomes them, and uses their device, but doesn't destroy them or get them hauled-off the jail or whatever.)

When the Venerable One appeared, I was of course reminded of the Ancient One, though it seems that “Venerable One” was an appellation for multiple yogis.

Loose Ends: On top of doing no worse to Fenton than putting him to sleep and using his time machine, the Ghost seems not to have captured the agent who killed Miller and killed or otherwise injured the guard.

Ryan Anthony said...

A remarkable man who travels with a female companion through time and space. The Ghost is actually Doctor Who! And the lighter gravity of Mars--which gives him heightened strength and the ability to leap long distances--allows him to play John Carter, as well! But I don't quite understand how he gets magic powers from Yogi Bear.

Pappy said...

Daniel, I'll bet that when Hughes rolled paper into his typewriter he had a set number of pages to fill and wrapping up loose story ends just wasn't as important as getting it to the artist. He might have thought, "The kids won't care, anyway." That was probably true. He just didn't count on you, 75 years in the future, pointing it out. You are a very observant person, the bane of such writing.

I picked the panel for the teaser because of that element of childish fun. Can't always show danger to draw you readers in.

Pappy said...

Wow, Ryan, in one paragraph you got in Dr Who, John Carter, AND Yogi Bear! I love it!

Alicia American said...

OMG those R DOG MEN on page 7 yo OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #Spookery Dog Men R in fashion u no

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Someone found that panel worth pondering.

Pappy said...

Alicia, WOOF! https://youtu.be/6c3M2jGkzko

Pappy said...

Daniel, that's...er...PONDERFUL! Thanks.

Ann Reyna said...

Hey Pappy, have you already made a post about the 'Babe, Darling of the Hills' issue featuring Guy Guppy the 'man mermaid'? I can't seem to find that comic anywhere...

Pappy said...

Ann, I have never seen that Babe story.