Friday, November 30, 2018
Number 2267: Herbie goes through
Hell Hades for good ol’ Peepwhistle Prep
“Good Old Peepwhistle” has Herbie, at his father Pincus Popnecker’s demand, going on to higher education, Peepwhistle Preparatory School. He is invited to join a fraternity, Tappa Kegga Koke (ho-ho), until other frat members meet him. What else can I say except that Herbie is misjudged by people at first, but he’s more than capable of the most impossible tasks.
From Herbie #7 (1965):
*The “Spirits” story. Just click on the thumbnail.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Number 2266: The lost H-bomb
The Avenger is sent out to find the bomb in the midst of London, England, which would be a big task for an army of searchers, much less a single person, even a costumed hero equipped with his own special jet plane and small flying saucers fitted with geiger counters. Never fear, people of London! A single American shall save you.
Bob Powell drew it, and a guess from the Grand Comics Database is for Gardner Fox as writer. From The Avenger #2 (1955):
Monday, November 26, 2018
Number 2265: Killing is a bad career choice
“Trigger-Men by Trade” appeared in Fox Comics’ March of Crime* #7 (actually #1, 1950). No writer is listed, but the artist is Wallace Wood. Grand Comics Database gives him total credit, and he may have done it himself, but I think the odds are that another artist or two helped him out. It seems most, if not all, of Wood’s jobs for Fox have something in common: the splash page is usually the best artwork in the story. Early Wood collaborator Harry Harrison explained the team’s dealing with the art director at Fox in an interview in Graphic Story Magazine in 1970: “We would slide in this ten-page pile of crap with a real good splash page for the first page on top. He would look at only the top page and count the other nine, flipping through them real fast. Nobody really cared about the quality. No one looked at these books; no one read the things very carefully.”
Also, Fox was a slow-payer, if he paid at all. He soon went bankrupt and Star Comics, run by L.B. Cole, picked up his inventory. Over the next couple of years Star reprinted many stories originally published by Fox, the self-proclaimed “King of the Comics.” This story does not have a GCD record of being reprinted.
Friday, November 23, 2018
Number 2264: Plastic Man set in Concrete
This appeared in Plastic Man #14 (1948). The Grand Comics Database gives writing credit to Joe Millard* and art credits to Jack Cole (pencils), and Alex Kotzky (? ), question mark meaning they aren't sure, for inks.
Although they have the same name, the villain Concrete is not the same as the character, Concrete, created by Paul Chadwick in the 1980s.
*I am a fan of the “Who Created the Comic Books?” blog by Martin O’Hearn, who by studying their styles, has proved he is observant and knowledgeable about writers and artists. I went to the blog to see if his research might show a corroboration with the Grand Comics Database that Joe Millard was the author of this story, based on the use of two unusual utterances I have seen before in other comics: “GRAWK!” and “YAWP!” In his posts concerning Millard’s style he does not mention them, which makes me wonder if GCD identified the writer of the story correctly, or if it is another writer who uses those made-up words? To look at Martin’s blog and his outstanding research go to the right and click on the link in the sidebar of this blog.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Number 2263: 2018 Thanksgiving Turkey Award: The Cat-Crook Caper!
In this case, I have chosen the story, “Krypto’s Cat-Crook Capers!” from Superboy #132 (1966), for being truly offbeat, stupid or unusual, although I also give it credit for being true to the spirit of many of the stories that appeared in the Superman family of comic books during the latter part of the career of editor Mort Weisinger. He would have had a conference with the writer, usually discussing plots, and told him to write said story. From a viewpoint of 52 years after the story appeared, today’s award winner looks to me to be even more oddball than usual, and that can be saying a lot when it comes to Weisinger. As soon as I saw it I knew it was going to be honored today, and has the additional honor of being scanned from my personal copy of Superboy #132, which is from a stack of sixties DC comics I got from who-knows-where, who-knows-when. I had forgotten it until some archaeology in my basement produced the comic, and immediate shouts of “Voila!” and “We have our winner!” The story earns three-and-a-half turkeys.
It is written by Otto Binder, who also wrote the goofy “Rex King” story I showed yesterday. Otto, who wrote hundreds, and maybe thousands, of comic book scripts in his long career, had a sense of humor, and I believe he probably got a kick out of writing something like this. George Papp was the artist. As an additional treat, see the circulation figures for Superboy on the last page, which shows that as wacky as comics edited by Weisinger could be, they appealed to a lot of readers.
If you wish to see past Turkey Awards winners, just click on the thumbnail from the 2017 winner, and follow the links. By following them you will eventually end up in 2006.
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