Friday, March 29, 2019

Number 2318: The Clock introduces Butch to the iron maiden

The Clock, early masked do-gooder, began his career in the earliest days of comic books, 1936 to be exact. He found his way to Quality Comics and Feature Funnies, beginning in #3 (1937). This story is from Feature Funnies #6 (1938), written and illustrated by the Clock’s creator, George E. Brenner.

I have shown a few Clock stories in the past, and you can find them by typing his name into the search engine in the upper left corner of this page. What I see in this story is that the Clock has a torture chamber where he takes crooks to scare them. I know I would be scared if someone threatened to put me in an iron maiden. Who knows? Maybe between issues he actually tortured people. “One can’t help but get chatty in the confines of my torture pit!” the Clock tells bad man Butch. What jolly fun we find in early comic books!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Number 2317: Two ghost stories

For a guy who doesn’t believe in ghosts, I sure enjoy ghost stories. (I also enjoy vampires, werewolves, walking dead...and I don’t consider them real, either.) I also love folklore, and both today’s ghost stories are versions of famous tales from folklore that I encountered when I picked up The Illustrated Story of Ghosts from the comic book rack in 1960.

“The Vanishing Hitchhiker,” illustrated by George Evans and Reed Crandall, and “Room For the Night,” drawn by Gray Morrow, are from a Classics Illustrated Special, The World Around Us. I showed “The Vanishing Hitchhiker” in the early days of this blog, and I have made new scans of it and its companion.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Number 2316: Bulletman and Bulletgirl and the atom smasher in a box

Bulletman and Bulletgirl meet the Murderous Wizard...and what weapons are carried by said Wizard! He totes a lightning pistol and an atom smasher! The atom smasher is very compact. It looks like a box with a camera lens and a Thomas Edison-style light bulb. The Wizard is also bizarre looking. Maybe he got too much radiation while working on that atom smasher.

The colorist for the whole Fawcett comic book has colored skin tones as orange. It reminds me of the spray tan color of the current occupant of the White House, and ’nuff said about that.

No artist or writer (or colorist) is listed by the Grand Comics Database. The story appeared in Master Comics #36 (1943).

Friday, March 22, 2019

Number 2315: Camilla: you just gotta have faith

At a later time Camilla, Queen of the Lost Empire, became a typical jungle girl, dressed in a two-piece zebra skin costume, with her origin re-written. But at the time of this early story she was still the Queen of the Lost Empire, and in the episode, having an adventure outside the usual realm of jungle beauties. She and the hunchback, Caredodo, encounter Satan, but first they meet Mephistopheles, the servant of the devil. Satan is portrayed as a two-headed ogre, which I believe is unique for stories featuring the devil.

The story also features the “angel of faith,” who looks like a standard angel with wings. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Camilla carves a cross out of stone with her sword. The whole story is based on religious belief, and while comic books sometimes used religious elements in their plots, the plot here hinges on the most potent symbol of the Christian faith.

The story appeared in Jungle Comics #7 (1940)> Grand Comics Database credits Bob Powell with the artwork. No writer is listed, but the script bases the usual comic book “magic” on faith in the Christian deity, and for Caredodo a miracle.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Number 2314: Captain Comet Crabbe

I think it is possible that “Captain Comet, Space Pilot” may have been intended for another publication. Eastern Color, also known as Famous Funnies, published 12 issues of Buster Crabbe comics between 1951-1953. In reviewing the issues I see that Al Williamson did a couple of stories for them. Today’s posting could have been originally intended for Buster Crabbe, but was not published. It appeared in Danger Is Our Business #1 (1952) instead, with the Buster Crabbe name changed. Not only that, “Captain Comet” was a character being published by DC Comics in Strange Adventures, appearing from 1951 to 1954. If I had been a comic book publisher in those days I would have worried about running afoul of DC’s lawyers, in light of the ongoing Superman/Captain Marvel lawsuit which dragged on for years, finally settled in 1953.

The “Space Pilot” story itself is drawn by Williamson and Frank Frazetta, and for fun it features space pirates. The pirate captain is a descendant of Captain Kidd, so he wears a skull-and-crossbones on his chest. I like the artwork, but am indifferent to the story...except for the pirate chief.

Toby Press published Danger Is Our Business, and the first issue was reprinted in 1958 by I.W. reprint comics, from which my scans are taken.