Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pappy's Sunday Supplement #7 — The Face #2

The Face was a masked patriot. He pulled an ugly green mask over his face and went to war against America’s enemies. And anyone else who needed a pounding from a two-fisted radio reporter, Tony Trent, the face behind the Face.

I have complained before that the Face’s mask seems more silly than frightening. I have had it pointed out to me that Batman’s costume is designed for the same thing: to strike terror into the hearts of the bad guys. Well, there is the real world...and then there are comic books...and what works in one sometimes doesn’t work in another. Nuff said. The Face lasted through the war, then tossed the mask and became Tony Trent, where he finished out his run in Big Shot Comics, ending in 1949.

The Face #2 (1943), was mostly written, according to the GCD, by Gardner Fox, and it was drawn by Mart Bailey. Bailey, like his fellow Big Shot artist, Ogden Whitney (Skyman), had a very clean illustrative style with crisp inking. I have shown a couple of stories from The Face #2 in the early days of this blog, but these are much better scans. (P.S. Tony Trent may be a reporter, but he is not carrying a dictionary, or he would know that “skulldrudgery” is not a word (page 61, panel 2), but “skulduggery” is. Again, nuff said.) UPDATE: Look in the comments, where reader Ryan tells me I am wrong about "skulldrudgery."


Unknown said...

Believe it or not, Pappy (Ha! Friday callback!), the Internet says "skulldrudgery" is a word, if the frequency of its use is any indicator. The earliest example I can find is from the 1920 book The Searchlight on Congress, which includes the line "the biggest skulldrudgery ever perpetrated on a people." But that's not the only book (or website) in which it's appeared. In Richard Lederer's 2011 tome A Tribute to Teachers, it's a synonym for homework. If you have an Android phone, you can get a Skull Drudgery theme screenshot. And it's a song on one of the albums by a band with the name F**k the Facts (without the asterixes).

I've discovered in recent years that, if you've thought of a "new" word, chances are someone's already used it!

Daniel [] said...

Wow! That was a lot of Face time!

The smothering bed is cribbed from “A Terribly Strange Bed” by Wilkie Collins. (I believe that we've noted that story previously.) Collins' most famous story is the novel The Woman in White, which seems to have inspired a further story element. (As for me, I started reading WiW years ago, but set it aside and may never get back to it.)

The physics of the Face's leap from the awning are, uhm, questionable.

I don't know where to get the microscope, but copies of The Wonders of Living Things may had from various vendors.

Pappy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pappy said...

Ryan, perhaps I could have put on my Indiana Jones hat and gone looking in old musty places for "skulldrudgery." I have two print dictionaries I have been hauling around since my adolescence, and neither has the word. So I believe that skulldrudgery, while it might be taken out of the box in the attic and dusted off on occasion, is one of those archaic words that, at least to my eyes, looks wrong. Skulduggery means "by trickery" and skulldrudgery sounds like using your brain for heavy work. No wonder people think English is hard!

Mr. Cavin said...

I really liked the art all the way through this. It's kind of a halfway step between the formal cleanliness of Whitney (which I love) and the kinetic Blackhawkiness of Crandall (which I also love). Though I have to admit my fave here is probably the somewhat brushier Navy Bob Steele story, especially with all its cool 25- and 50-percent key screens (usually don't see this in color work, right?), and panels with an artistic distribution of characters who all look like clones of one another (like the top of page #47). That's a mighty strong statement about military homogeneity, I think.

But it's the color work here that really blew me away. Somebody was totally putting the elbow grease into this one.