Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Number 2369: Tub’s mustache

This is one of my favorite stories of Tubby, Little Lulu’s pal. I think you can see the story’s ending coming, so I won’t belabor the point, but I have tacked on another element that caught my attention. The cop chasing the mustaschioed Tubby while yelling, “It’s against the law for a little boy to have a real mustache!” is a reminder that as kids my friends and I used to argue about what was legal. If I had seen this story at age seven I would probably have thought that a handlebar mustache on an underage boy was illegal. After all, a cop said it!

From Tubby #9 (1954). Written by John Stanley, and drawn by the Irving Tripp studio.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Number 2368: The scoop on Rocket Boy

Billy Woods got mixed up with a gang. Or rather the gang wanted to mix it up with him. Hearing of his problems Rocketman and Rocketgirl sent him a jet pack to wear, and hopefully some instructions. Rocketman and Rocketgirl aren’t seen in the story, but you can see them by clicking on a link below.

There is an act of sadistic violence in this origin story when the gang leader orders his men to throw a knife at a bound police officer. The gangster who hit the cop in the head with the knife got $100. As far as I can tell Rocket Boy didn’t gain extra powers, no super strength or invulnerability when gifted by the flying pair, so the gang must’ve been inept in order to be beaten by a single youngster, jet pack or not.

Rocket Boy appeared in Scoop Comics numbers 2 and 3, Major Victory Comics #3. and Punch Comics #12. His short career was in comic books from Harry “A” Chesler, a publisher who also had a comics shop, and various accounts among other publishers. This is from Scoop #2 (1942). There is no credit listed for the writer, but the artist is identified as Bill Madden.

Here is the Rocketman and Rocketgirl story I showed in 2014, also from Scoop Comics #2. Just click on the thumbnail.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Number 2367: The funny side of murder

In its early days Crime Does Not Pay could be funny. As funny as crime and murder can be, that is.

Here we have two stories and a page of “gag” cartoons. (“This’ll Kill You!”) The cartoons were drawn by Dick Briefer. In one panel he drew himself with editors Biro and Wood. “The Poison Dove,” also by Briefer, looks like slapstick on the first page, but loses its funny very fast. “The Corpse That Wouldn’t Stay Dead” has some dark comedy about a barkeep and cronies attempting to bump off a homeless person (in those days called a “bum”) for insurance money. The problem is the victim keeps coming back. It is drawn by Jack Alderman. In those days Alderman had a stiff (ho-ho) art style and he used lots of ink and shadows to add to the noir qualities of his stories. The laugh it invokes in me is that Alderman drew Tweety and Sylvester stories for Dell in the late '50s.

The stories are from Crime Does Not Pay #29 (1943).


Today is the thirteenth anniversary of Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine. I have been going through some old files I saved on CD, and I found some artifacts from 2006 of what I had originally intended for my blog. I was going to do a horror comics blog, and it was to be called The Grim Reader’s Horror Comics. I stole...errrr, appropriated some prospective headers from a Mexican comic book, and then had second thoughts. First, at that time I did not have enough material to scan for an all-horror comics blog. However, I had a couple of boxes full of golden age comics in varying degrees of bad shape, just right for scanning and presenting. A year later or so the idea of a horror comics blog, The Horrors Of It All, was brought to life by Steve “Karswell” Banes, and a very fine job he has done of it.

Here are the re-purposed and original images from a Mexican horror comic from 1987, Sensational de Terror. It’s a small comic book, 4 1/2 inches by 6 inches. It is missing now. I can never find it when I am looking for it. It hides from my sight by having larger comics put on top of it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Number 2366: Catman vs his readers and Dr Macabre

Catman #28 (1945) is considered scarce by Overstreet. I don’t know why, specifically. Perhaps by the time it reached newsstands and comic book racks (approximately April, 1945), the racks were full of too many comic books and it got lost in the jumble, or maybe Catman, being a costumed hero, was getting boring to readers. During that era the readers were fickle, and apt to drop comics that used to excite them and then after a while bored them. The issue even has an L.B. Cole cover, which I have always thought, based on Cole’s poster-like illustrations, to be foolproof in attracting buyers. Maybe not. The cover has a skull, no less, which has been gold for periodical sales since the beginning of publishing. Images of sex and/or death, the rule for big sales. So why no big sales for this issue? It has been 74 years since it was published, so we’ll never know for sure.

Something I do know: the Catman lead story is drawn by Bob Fujitani (signed “Fuje” in that time of war with Japan), who brought his usual craft and dynamics to the story.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Number 2365: Fish Story

Alex Niño is one of the artists to come from the Philippines to American comic books in the 1970s. His style is unique, even among such an artistically talented bunch. DC editor, Joe Orlando, at some point threw up his hands and claimed he couldn’t tell what Niño was drawing. “Fish Story,” from Orlando-edited Secrets of Haunted House #1 (1975), while stylistically different from most other artists, is easy enough to follow. The six page story reminds me of not only the movie, Creature From the Black Lagoon, from 1954, but even writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s 2017 The Shape of Water. Written by Jack Oleck, “Fish Story” has its own twist.

Niño went from comic books to animation. According to online biographical information, he now paints. To go back to Joe Orlando’s opinion, some of the work Niño did, especially for Warren, was so ornate it was difficult to follow. I also feel some of his visions were so avant-garde for comic books that they impeded the story telling. But, I still like looking at it.

Another Filipino artist, Luis Dominguez, did the cover illustration.