Wednesday, May 31, 2017
This is not a particularly well-written crime story, but it is prettied up considerably by Matt Baker’s artwork. He could turn an evil psychopath into a blonde cheesecake model, so young fellows reading might fantasize about Laura. Nice trick getting her skirt to billow above her knees. It reminds me of his work on Sky Girl in Jumbo Comics. This story is from Weird Adventures #1 (1951), from the small publisher, P.L. Publishing Co., also known as X.L. Publishing. In one of the weirdest things about Weird Adventures, it has two indicias, one for X.L., and one for P.L.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Characters didn’t even have to be original. Steel Fist (Timothy Slade, steelworker) got his hand dipped in molten steel by Nazi saboteurs. That must have been the same magic that a few years earlier allowed Steel Sterling to get his whole body immersed in molten steel and come out invincible. Unlike Steel, Timothy didn’t get any other super powers, but oh, baby! could he throw a wicked punch!
Henry Carl Kiefer is credited with creating Steel Fist. Kiefer was one of those older artists (born in 1890), who came into the comic book field in the thirties after working as an artist doing illustrations in pulp magazines for several years. H. C. Kiefer was familiar to me from issues of Classics Illustrated. He was also a journeyman who did artwork for many different comic book publishers. He died in 1957.
And speaking of Steel Sterling, here is his origin from Zip Comics #1. Just click on the thumbnail.
Friday, May 26, 2017
Couple of notes: Judy kills a lion, even calls him an evil jungle prowler for killing sweet little Angela the doe. Shucks, folk, the lion was obeying the law of the jungle, and Judy should have been inured to violent death in the local food chain by this time in her career.
Frank Frazetta gets credit for the artwork. Although his style peeks out, I’ll crawl a ways out on a jungle tree limb and say that another inker, or inkers, worked heavily over his pencils. Another clue is the misspelling of his name as “Frazeta” in the splash panel.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Crumb with hat and glasses.
It is at very least an interesting coincidence.
Kurtzman’s early work lacks polish, but not earnestness. It is fun to look at the youthful drawings of someone I respect so much. He grew as an artist so that by the late forties his mature style was well on its way, and by the fifties firmly in place.
Although "Hap" isn’t signed, Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr credits it to Kurtzman.
Here is a link to some other early Kurtzman work. Just click on the thumbnail.
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.