Friday, June 30, 2017
Number 2069: Herbie and Dracula’s Pizza
Herbie meets Dracula, who has a taste, not for blood, but for pizza. That seems typical of a Herbie story, doesn’t it? Anyone familiar with the character knows the comic book has a surreal atmosphere, and the charm of Herbie is that nothing is surreal to him. He just solves problems put before him. Nothing seems out-of-bounds for Herbie, even a pizza-loving vampire.
I make note that the Comics Code (created in 1954), prohibited characters like vampires as well as other monsters. From the Code itself: “(5) Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.” The Code was relaxed a bit for so-called classic monsters like Dracula, Wolfman, mummies, even the Frankenstein monster. That may have been the effect of the age of the late night horror hosts and old monster movies on television. And as television went, so did the Comics Code, adapting itself along with other popular media of the era. But Herbie...I doubt Herbie could have existed anywhere but in comic books, especially in his superhero identity as Fat Fury.
From Herbie #20 (1966). Written by editor Richard E. Hughes using the pseudonym Shane O'Shea, and drawn by Ogden Whitney.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Number 2068: Severin and Elder and the Lazo Kid
I was charmed by the Lazo Kid and Pedro story, “The Lost Trail,” that appeared in Prize Comics Western #79 (1950). I obviously like the artwork, but I also like that the story has a sense of humor about it, especially with Pedro’s goat, “Billee,” pulling his small buckboard like a Roman chariot.
I have said before I don’t like dialogue done in dialect. The main characters are Mexcan, and trying to approximate their speech is annoying. Unfortunately, this was common in fiction.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Number 2067: Plastic Man sans shirtsleeve
There were some minor changes after Police Comics #'s 1 and 2. As a design, Plastic Man’s costume just did not work; Plas wore a top with only one sleeve, and some odd-looking black boots. By Police Comics #3 the boots were gone and a sleeve added. I mention it because the story today is from Plastic Man #2 (1941), and features the original costume.
Of all the characters created for early comics, most never went on to the great popularity of Plastic Man. He was a great success, going from backup feature to headliner. He earned a couple of one-shot issues during the war, and got his own regular title to go along with his Police Comics appearances after the war ended.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Number 2066: Ramona Fradon puts us through the wringer
Fradon had a looser, more cartoony style than many of her male contemporaries, which serves the funny “Through the Wringer,” written by David V. Reed and published in The Amazing World of DC Comics #10 (1976).
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Number 2065: Daredevil aces the spinning chair
This story appeared in Daredevil Comics #10, cover dated May, 1942. It was written and drawn shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Patriotic fervor was high in those days.
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