Monday, May 22, 2017
Speaking of time, Green Lantern’s time as a forties superhero was coming to a close. With this issue, All-American Comics #100 (1948), Green Lantern was replaced on the cover by the Western hero, Johnny Thunder. A couple of issues later, All-American Western would replace the venerable flagship title of Maxwell Charles Gaines’ original comic book line, in partnership with DC Comics. Green Lantern would go on until 1949 with his own title, and until 1951 in All Star Comics, but after that would disappear until the new (if you prefer, “Earth One”) version would appear in 1959. Sheldon Mayer, who had been editor, quit that position to go back to drawing. Issue #100 was the first by editor Julius Schwartz, and the powers-that-be at DC thought some changes in the line-up were in order.
Credits by the Grand Comics Database have John Broome as writer, and Irwin Hasen the artist.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Morals were big in crime comics of the forties, bu mainly along the lines of if a guy does the crime, he will go to the electric chair. A “scared straight” approach. (And, the publishers thought, a way of mitigating criticism of the genre.) This story, drawn by Dan Barry, and published in DC Comics’ Gang Busters #6 (1948), appeals to the conscience, unusual for a crime comic.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
This story, from Daredevil Comics #10 (1942), features the Claw’s nemesis, the Ghost. The Ghost is pilot Brad Hendricks, who flies a fancy plane with a big skull emblem on the front. Like the Ghost’s mask, the skull is stylized with long piano-key teeth. I guess if he couldn’t scare his enemies, he could take 'em when they were laughing at his mask. Regardless, while the Claw went on for years yet to come, the Ghost disappeared, apparently forever, after Daredevil Comics #20.
I don’t think I am spoiling anything by telling you the story ends with the Claw tied up, a prisoner on a ship. It promises to be continued in the next issue, but the story in the next issue has the Claw in a different place wreaking havoc. There is often no explanation for the way they did things in those early days of the comics, except maybe some editor didn’t care, or screwed up. I showed the story from Daredevil #11 just over 10 years ago. You can go to the link below.
Art (presumably) by Bob Wood, who created the Ghost.
From Pappy’s early days. Just click on the thumbnail.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Five years later Drucker did a Perry Mason parody for Mad that caught my attention. (See the link below.) I had seen his artwork before, but it was the story that showed me how good he was. Caricatured likenesses became his trademark.
The National Cartoonist Society has an excellent 40-minute conversation with Drucker. You can see it here. I hope they will keep the video online forever, but if not and you find a black space instead of a video, well, you have missed out!
Go back to 2011 for “Perry Masonmint”...just click on the thumbnail.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
The art was by former animator, Owen Fitzgerald, and the scripts for the early issues were done by Cal Howard, a moonlighting comedy writer who later went on to writing for The Today Show. This issue, #9 (1951), is a good example of Hope’s style of comedy, mixed in with a Charles Addams style script. (It isn’t the only one of its type I have shown. I featured another issue in 2011. Go to the link below.) Hope died just a couple of months past his 100th birthday, with his career spanning about 80 of those 100 years.
DC went after popular comedians for licensing purposes in the fifties: Hope, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (Jerry Lewis solo when the team split up), and Jackie Gleason. They also licensed movie stars like Alan Ladd, and Roy Rogers’ distaff side, Dale Evans. Nowadays DC has moved to Burbank, California, because their characters are the ones licensed for movies. It’s interesting how that worked out.
This is the whole issue, all 52 pages, including the back up strip, “Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood,” drawn by Bob Oksner, who would later take on the art chores for the comic book versions of Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis.
An earlier posting from Adventures of Bob Hope by the team of Howard and Fitzgerald. Just click on the thumbnail.