Friday, November 29, 2019
Number 2421: Babe and the li’l adopted boy
In this robust comedy Babe and her parents, Mammy and Pappy Boone, adopt a transient who has no name, but takes the name Firetruck. That reminds me of an old joke I heard from a friend when I was an adolescent: "What is a word that begins with the letter "F" and ends with "K"? I said the well known four-letter word. “No,” my friend said, “it’s firetruck!” Is that corny old joke what Boody and Stanton were thinking about...or do I just have a dirty mind and ascribe things to them they did not intend?
There are also the frequent kissing scenes between Babe and her new “brother.” They are not related but the constant reiteration during smooching of “my sister” and “my brother” sounds like...well...you know.
The whole dirty story...or clean, depending on the purity of your mind as opposed to mine, is from Babe #2 (1948).
More kinkiness with Boody, Babe and the Eric Stanton influence. Just click on the thumbnail.
Thursday, November 28, 2019
Number 2420: Thanksgiving Turkey Award: Dan Hastings and the baby killer
This one is definitely one or all of those. It has a mad scientist who sends huge bugs to kill children, and a couple of killings are shown in graphic detail.
Dan Hastings, according to Public Domain Super Heroes, is a copy of Flash Gordon, which was not unusual at all in early comic books. It explains why he wears a gaudy costume yet uses his real name. Dan has a Dr Zarkov-like friend, Dr Carter. Dan and Dr Carter’s daughter, Gloria, are a couple. After the gruesome beginning of the story, it turns into another mad scientist story, with the girlfriend of the hero, in a bondage scene, being threatened with death. The anonymous comic book writer in 1942 had a disturbing imagination.
The story is from Scoop Comics #2, and skeletons of bug-stabbed infants earn this story three and a half turkeys.
No writer or artist is credited by the Grand Comics Database.
More Thanksgiving Turkey Awards! Just clink on the thumbnail.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Number 2418: The dark side of Captain Video
Back here in the real world, on January 3, 2019 the Chinese landed a Chang’e spacecraft on the far side (commonly called the "dark side") of the moon. You can read about it in an article from Cosmos magazine online. There are no little green men, or none the Chinese have revealed yet to the rest of the world.
Art by George Evans and Martin Thall. From Captain Video #5 (1951).
Monday, November 25, 2019
Number 2417: Black X and the suicide bombers
Black X is a spy whose job is known to his enemies. When he meets Madam Doom in a nightclub she asks, “...is it true that you have resigned from the espionage?” Instead of asking where she got her information Black X dances with her.
Will Eisner created Black X, and according to the Grand Comics Database he scripted the story. It looks like one of his Spirit stories, but GCD credits artist Dan Zolnerowich with pencils and inks.
“The Legion of Living Bombs” is from Smash Comics #14 (1940).
Friday, November 22, 2019
Number 2416: Dennis the Menace: Crime does not play
Wiseman may have drawn in Ketcham’s style, but he was a talented cartoonist in his own right. For years I have admired his work, especially his years of drawing the comic book version of Dennis in collaboration with writer Fred Toole. This is an early example, from Dennis the Menace #3 (1954).
It was a sad day when I read that Tom Spurgeon had died. Douglas Wolk begins his obituary of Spurgeon with “Tom Spurgeon, the writer and editor of The Comics Reporter, died November 13,  at the age of 50. For the second half of his life, Tom was an extraordinary presence in American comics, as a chronicler of the medium and the industry around it, a critic, a convention organizer, and a nexus point for the comics community.”
I never knew Tom and never corresponded with him, but he was aware of Pappy’s Golden Age. At least once a week I go through the statistics of how many visitors the blog has had. When I saw a huge jump in the viewers for one of my postings, I knew to look at The Comics Reporter, knowing I would find a link from Tom. I am sure many people were first made aware of this blog by clicking on those links from Tom Spurgeon. I was very grateful to him for his unsung contribution to this blog.
Fifty is too young to die. But, Spurgeon was doing what he wanted to do. To spend one’s lifetime working at a job that is also one’s pleasure is a great gift. My regret for Tom is that he did not have decades more to write about he medium he loved.
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