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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Number 2026: King Frankenstein

In “Hail the King,” the plot by writer/artist Dick Briefer hangs on the gimmick — introduced for this story — of Frankenstein’s signature disappearing shortly after writing it. There is a slug in the last panel that says, “Thanks to Ed Goggin for help on these tales. Dick Briefer.” Maybe I can blame Ed. I am not a hardcore consistency freak, but such a gimmick appears thrown in.

I do like the two-headed girl. Dick Briefer could draw some mighty pretty girls when he wanted to.

From Frankenstein #8 (1947).











Monday, March 20, 2017

Number 2025: “...to pop a copper”: Bulletman, Bulletgirl battle Black Spider

Here we go again: another story of a face-blind parent, who doesn’t recognize his own daughter while she is in her super heroine identity. And she doesn’t wear a mask, just a metal bullet-head helmet. Truly, it is easier to believe someone has super powers than they are unrecognizable to a parent or loved one.

Enough about that. At least the stories in Bulletman #1 (1941) were well drawn by Charles Sultan, a former pulp magazine artist, who went into comics in the late thirties. He continued in comics for years after the war, but eventually became a publisher of men's magazines. As David Saunders notes in his biography of Sultan, he may have been a front man for an organization needing someone with a clean record to go on record as being the publisher of magazines with sexual content.

Whatever. He had art talent. Sultan had excellent training from some top illustrators of the era, and for its time his comic art captures the sophisticated styling of artists such as Lou Fine and Reed Crandall.














Friday, March 17, 2017

Number 2024: Nuggets ain’t chicken

This is an example of early work by comics journeyman and Marvel star artist, John Buscema. Wild Bill Pecos and his scruffy, bearded sidekick, Nuggets Nugent, were characters appearing in The Westerner Comics. This story not only showcases Buscema's ability to draw cowboys and horses, but also beautiful girls. Dang, that Lulu Belle certainly turned Nuggets’ head; mine too!

From The Westerner Comics #33 (1951):










Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Number 2023: Wonder Woman: Duke of Deception’s Dream Dooms

I don’t know if there was a legal arrangement made after Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston, died in 1948. H. G. Peter, who was 61 when he began drawing Wonder Woman in 1941, continued as artist until his retirement in 1957 at age 77. (See link below for Peter’s last job as Wonder Woman’s artist, which appeared in 1958.) For some time when Wonder Woman was a big seller Peter had a studio where assistants were employed to help him with the artwork. I don’t know if he was still using assistants when Robert Kanigher took over editing and writing chores.

Peter’s distinctive artwork seemed more quaint as time went on. “The Dream Dooms” was published in Wonder Woman #81 (1956), the same year the Silver Age was born, with the revival of the Flash in Showcase #4, cover dated October, 1956. Kanigher may have been obliged to use Peter for the art chores until Peter chose to quit, but he chose a more contemporary style for the covers. The cover of #81* was drawn by Irv Novick.

Kanigher used two of Marston’s original characters, Paula Von Gunther, and the Duke of Deception, in this story.









*GCD entry for Wonder Woman #81

H.G. Peter’s last job as Wonder Woman’s artist was Wonder Woman #97 (1958). Just click on the thumbnail.




















Monday, March 13, 2017

Number 2022: The bad hire: “Vampire, Beware!”

Willie is a drinker with a failing business, a wax museum with monsters that scare no one. While in his cups, Willie decides to jump a freighter to Hungary and hire a real vampire to scare the hell out of people. He should have sobered up and thought out that business plan a bit more.

Stan Lee wrote this off-the-wall horror story, and Bill Everett drew it. Everett liked drawing horror stories, which gave him the opportunity to draw some really great-looking monsters. The vampire in “Vampire, Beware!” is far from the Count Dracula cliché. Willie must have been truly desperate to make an employment offer to such a horrible, toothy creature.

From Atlas Comics’ Suspense #23 (1952):