Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Number 2235: Goodbye Black Pirate

All American Comics #102 was the last issue before it turned into All American Western. It featured the first Johnny Thunder story, and the last stories featuring Green Lantern, Dr Mid-Nite, and Black Pirate, which I am showing today.

It was a good run for all of those characters, especially in the here today/gone tomorrow world of 1940s comic books.

Black Pirate appeared in three popular comics titles in his career. Created by Sheldon Moldoff, he first appeared in Action Comics #23, then switched to Sensation Comics beginning with issue #1. After 50 issues, he then moved over to All American Comics, bumping out The Atom. Not bad for a comic book character who never had his own book, or was on the cover of any issues of the comic books where he was a second tier feature.

I have read less than half a dozen adventures of Black Pirate, so I can’t give an opinion of how Jon Valor (Black Pirate’s secret identity) fared as a pirate, but in his final adventure he was inland, and rode away on a horse.

Artwork by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Number 2234: Two ogres

Both of the stories today are from Ha Ha Comics, and true to the comic book’s title, both of them made me laugh.

The Grand Comics Database has no guesses for the writer or artist for “The Magic Ogre,” from Ha Ha Comics #29 (1946), but it is the same team that created the second story, “Stalwart Swinburne,” from Ha Ha #33 (1946): writer Hubie Karp and artist Al Hubbard. Hubert Karp and Allan Hubbard both worked for the Sangor Studio, which produced comics drawn by moonlighting animators, and were published by the company that became ACG. Hubie’s brother, Lynn, was an artist for Ha Ha and Giggle Comics, and said that besides his comic book work Hubie wrote jokes for Bob Hope and Martin and Lewis.

Al Hubbard went on to draw other features; he took over the Peter Wheat giveaway comics from Walt Kelly, and later he drew “Mary Jane and Sniffles” stories for Dell Comics’ licensed comics based on Warner Bros cartoon characters.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Number 2233: Blackhawks caught in communist time trap

The communists have finally got Blackhawk where they want him. They have caught him and his Blackhawks gang and taken them into the future, to 2100, a time when the commies have conquered the world. They supposedly took over the United States in 1965. The world in which they have taken the Blackhawks looks exactly like those magazine articles common in the 1940s and '50s, previews of “the world of the future,” replete with flying cars.The commies also wear abbreviated costumes, as if they stepped out of Planet Comics.

Blackhawk leads his tiny gang, still a potent force for Democracy, against the  sinister plot of world Communism.

The Grand Comics Database doesn’t know who wrote the story, but guesses Bill Ward pencilled and inked the artwork for all three stories of the issue.

From Blackhawk #59 (1952):

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Number 2232: Revenge of murdered men

When Fawcett quit the comic book business in 1953 the Captain Marvel universe disappeared for two decades until DC picked it up, and some of their non-Captain Marvel comic book line went to Charlton. That includes a horror title, This Magazine is Haunted. Before the Comics Code was implemented Charlton was able to use unpublished inventory from Fawcett, and also material which had been published, but could be reprinted. Two horror stories today have similar themes. Both of them are about guys who commit murder, and the dead come back to wreak revenge. That is Horror Comics 101; one of the most basic plots of all.

I am not sure if they were written to appear in the same issue, but they both appear in This Magazine is Haunted #15 (1954, Charlton). They are drawn by the same artist, Bob McCarty. (McCarty’s name is sometimes written as McCarthy.) McCarty’s artwork is usually identified by the eyes he drew, which are sometimes confused with distinctive eyes that George Evans drew; but where Evans’s style is slick and unique to him, McCarty’s can sometimes (as in these stories) look cobbled together from different artists’ styles. McCarty worked for the Simon and Kirby studio, and drew various features for comics until at least the mid-fifties. He looks to me to be another comic book journeyman whose work in those days was mostly anonymous.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Number 2231: The Clock: “...a piece of rubber hose...”

The Clock is one of the earliest comic book heroes, appearing as early as 1936. His adventures, all signed by George Brenner, went on through several comic book titles, until the Clock stopped in 1944.

The Clock had been in comics published by Centaur, then Quality Comics, where he first appeared in Feature Funnies (title later changed to Feature Comics). He helped kick off Crack Comics, where today’s story appeared. The thing I first noticed were the gaudy colors of the stone work in the splash panel. The publisher, Everett “Busy” Arnold wanted more colors in his comic books, because kids liked colors. (Arnold was color blind.)

As I read the story I noticed that the bad guy, Moe Klone (love that name) was on bail for murdering a cop. That made me wonder where in America a guy could be arrested for killing a police officer and be released on bail. Well, nowhere, that is where. Unless the judge is taking a payoff, that is.

The other thing I noticed is Clock’s advice to the Police Captain: “...And a piece of rubber hose applied to the right spots, Captain, should make Klone tell you how he planned to leave the country.” So the Clock is encouraging police brutality! And did I tell you the Clock was once District Attorney? Now retired, and living as a society fop secretly meting out justice and also encouraging the third degree, Brian O’Brien is the man under the mask.

I have a couple of other Clock stories I showed in 2011. You can go to them with the link below.

This story is from Crack Comics #14 (1941).

For two more vintage Clock stories, click on the thumbnail.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Number 2230: Fobidden Worlds: Earthworm digs to danger

Jeff is a young scientist. In a comic book that means he can do anything scientific. He is first shown working as an assistant in a chemistry lab, but for his new job he is helping put together a machine to go to the center of the Earth.

This is a story from 1956, so we will look at a situation: Jeff meets his boss’s daughter, Gloria, who is a beautiful (of course) blonde. At some point Jeff cannot control the beast within and grabs her in an unwanted embrace. Gloria speaks to us in our time. She lets Jeff know she is not to be sexually harassed. Good for Gloria, and take heed, men.

Moving on, Professor Myatt has invented the Earthworm, the earth-boring vehicle that will take them to the planet’s core (being a professor in a comic book is the same as being a scientist: they can do anything). He is warned that the island where they are working is soon to have a hydrogen bomb dropped on it! Yow! That means getting out the wrenches and getting Earthworm ready even without any testing. Jeff shows during the descent he is not only a grabby guy, but a coward. Luckily for him and for the sake of romance he later shows some spine and Gloria forgives him his other flaws.

[SPOILER ALERT] The problems for our heroes are solved with an H-bomb. How many fifties science fiction films have you seen that echo that same thinking? [END SPOILER]

The “The Land that Time Forgot” was written by editor Richard E. Hughes, and drawn by Ogden Whitney. It was published in Forbidden Worlds #48 (1956).