Friday, August 31, 2018

Number 2227: Freddy Freeman never sleepwalks!

Captain Marvel Jr says of a narrow escape, “Another second and Freddy Freeman would have been killed! Freddy never walked in his sleep before!” Maybe I haven’t noticed it before (entirely possible), but Captain Marvel Jr is speaking of Freddy in the third person, even though Freddy is the one who hollers “Captain Marvel!” and becomes a teenage superhero. The difference in Freddy/Captain Marvel Jr and Billy/Captain Marvel is that Billy becomes a full-grown man with big muscles, and Captain Marvel Jr looks just like Freddy, but in a blue super suit with cape.*

Maybe he just likes to talk about himself in the third person.

The story, from Master Comics #98 (1948) is well illustrated by Kurt Schaffenberger, and written by Bill Woolfolk.

*And by the way, what does Captain Marvel Jr do with Freddy’s crutch when he transforms?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Number 2226: Gone, yet still with us

I am saddened each time I read of the death of a favorite actor, musician, writer or artist who had influence on me over my lifetime. The latest is Steve Ditko, who died recently. Before that, Bernie Wrightson, who died last year. What consoles me is knowledge that their work is still with us.

I found scans of Marvel’s Chamber of Darkness #7 (1970) online. (The first page of the lead story has an inscription, “Another fine HACSA/Grundy scan” — so I would like to thank them for making the scans available.)

On reading the comic with Ditko’s death still fresh in my mind, I realized all of the artists represented are deceased: Wrightson, Ditko, Sutton, and Kirby. Over the years I have spent many hours looking at their work, studying it and enjoying it. I was still a child when first encountering Kirby and Ditko, Tom Sutton I did not see until the 1970s, and Bernie Wrightson was my age, part of my generation and of a wave of artists who entered the comics field circa the late '60s-early '70s.

We have lost them, but we will always have something of theirs to remind us of them and their work.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Number 2225: Magno and Davey: Personal magnetism

Reading up on superheroes Magno and Davey I find that Magno is one of those characters whose powers are not explained. How did he get the power to magnetize? Carrying magnets in his pocket when he was boy? I don’t know. I also do not know who Magno is when he is not Magno, a secret identity; that information is also lacking. What I know is he went solo for a time until his youthful companion, Davey, joined him. Don Markstein’s Toonopedia makes a point of Davey using his given first name, which some tag-along boys used with their adult partners.

In this adventure of the duo, they are fighting a perennial villain, the Clown. The Clown also has no origin, and has an elastic criminal career. He is, among other things, a saboteur working for the Nazis, which is what we find him doing in today’s story.

Magno and Davey lasted from 1940 to 1947. The characters were created by Paul Chadwick (not the man responsible for Concrete, as Toonopedia would have us know), and Jim Mooney, who had a long career in comic books. No credits are given by the GCD for writing or drawing this story which appeared in Four Favorites #8 (1942):

Friday, August 24, 2018

Number 2224: Gentleman Ghastly

A couple of days ago I linked you to a circus story by Ghastly Graham Ingels. Here is a story by Ingels, before he became Ghastly.

Ingels joined the EC Comics crew early on, working for Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein on the comics they produced before they set off a bomb under the industry with their horror comics line.

“The Gentleman Gunman” is an expert safecracker who earns a lot of money with his nefarious endeavors. He also shoots anyone who stands between him and escape. He chooses to spend the stolen money on the good life and with the good life come women. Uh-oh. Distraction caused by sex is a good way to get a thief caught or killed. Not that I would know, heh-heh. I never stole anything in my life (too afraid of punishment). I was distracted by girls, but I got my money for a social life the old-fashioned way: My dad, Big Pappy, put me to work in his warehouse!

No writer is listed for this story. It appeared in Crime Patrol #12 (1949):