Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Number 2101: Thunderfist punches again

Canadian fans of American comic books, in color, replete with dozens of superheroes punching bad guys and enemies of Democracy, lost access to those books with governmental decisions on wartime exigencies. Comic books just weren’t considered important enough to be imported during those years. So Canadians grew their own comic book industry on a tighter budget than Americans, putting out comic books in black line, the so-called Canadian Whites. Active Comics was one of the wartime titles, with its own superhero, Thunderfist. You can read about Thunderfist in a posting from this past February by clicking on the link beneath this story.

Murray Karn, still a teenager when he drew Thunderfist, did a fair job with the artwork, although there are some Flash Gordon swipes here and there (common in American comic books, also). The story, by E.T. LeGault, commits the same sin as many American comic books, by telling us in captions what we are looking at in pictures. It also feeds into wartime xenophobia with a caption about “foreign-looking men” — but that came from the insecure times in which it was created.

In this story I like the giant robot. As you regular Pappy readers know, I am drawn to stories with robots, and also gorillas. Maybe it came from watching the cheapo/ultra cheeseball Robot Monster movie when I was a kid. They showed it several times on television when I was a youngster. I believe it permanently affected me.

From Active Comics #3 (1942):

Here is the Thunderfist story from Active Comics #2. Just click on the thumbnail.


Daniel [] said...

I will weep bitter, bitter tears if you say to us that you didn't spot the Jeepers girl or girls in 2:1. I'm not sure that the woman in front counts as one, but the one between her and the fallen man surely does.

It's interesting that this tale is set in America and that which you posted earlier was begun set in America, as if in this way to make them more like that from an American comic book.

Larry Rippee and Molly Rea said...

You can't go wrong with Robot stories.

Pappy said...

Daniel, far be it from me to cause bitter tears in any reader, and especially you. The Jeepers Girl may be put on my back burner, but she is still alive, errrrr, I mean dead, in my archives. (For those of your curious about what the Jeepers Girl is, go here.) I gave up posting obvious references to the Jeepers Girl when, except for you I got absolutely no response at all about my “research” into her origins and frequent appearances in comic books. I felt akin to the street preacher who stands on the street corner chastising passers-by for their sins and getting no reaction, only stony silence as those accosted by the sound of my strident yammering walk away.

But, bless you, Dan'l. You listened, and you remembered!

Pappy said...

Larry and Molly, yes, robots! Robots are a favorite here at Pappy's. Robots and gorillas or apes, and jungle girls in abbreviated costumes.

Thanks for the note.

Mr. Cavin said...

Argh, I guess I haven't been keeping up my end, either. Like Daniel, I saw the Jeepers Girl immediately. Not only do I notice them when they pop up in art here and there--and even in real life--but I always think of you when I do, Pappy. I should probably have been more vocal about that in the past. You've certainly opened my eyes to the phenomenon and given me a name by which to label it and pass the knowledge on to others. So thank you! (And thanks to Daniel from bringing it up this time!)

Pappy said...

Mr Cavin, I guess the part of your note (and thank you for writing, and for noticing the Jeepers Girl) that intrigued me was "Not only do I notice them when they pop up in art here and there--and even in real life--" (Emphasis mine.)

You're scaring me, man.

Darci said...

Hi Pappy,
I've been remiss about responding to your development of the Jeepers Girl trope as well. Thank goodness I haven't run into any in real life.