Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Number 2464: Joe Sinnott could draw horror

Joe Sinnott, comic artist, died this year at age 93. Despite his advanced age, it is still a bit jarring when I see the death notice for someone I admire, no matter how old. I admire Joe Sinnott’s art, and have enjoyed it for over 60 of Joe’s 93 years.

For Halloween I’ve got four stories Sinnott did for Atlas horror comics in the early '50s. The stories are well drawn and effective, especially one of my favorites, “The Witch in the Woods.” It retells the story of Hansel and Gretel as a comeback to enemies of horror comics. We can assume that horror stories have been told to children around the campfire probably as far back as early humans telling their kids tall tales of monsters and ghosts. I have shown these before, some years ago. They're just as fun to read now as they were then.

From Menace #7 (1953):

From Dead of Night #1 (1973); reprinted from Adventures Into Weird Worlds #6 (1952):

From Uncanny Tales #13 (1953):

From Uncanny Tales #16 (1954):

Monday, October 26, 2020

Number 2463: Three witches

Halloween is in a few days, so we start off Halloween week with three stories of witches. What could be more appropriate?

First up is “They Burned a Witch,” from The Beyond #16 (1952). Grand Comics Database credits Dick Beck with pencils, but the inker is not known.

Our second witchy tale is by Robert Q. Sale for Strange Tales #29 (1954), called “Witchcraft.” Not long ago I showed a prison story from a crime comic drawn in Sale’s dynamic style. The writing credits go to Paul S. Newman

Third, we have a tale of a witch with a history lesson. Two panels on the bottom of page three succinctly tell of superstition, when people who first colonized the New World were on the lookout for witches. Speaking of their neighbor, Charity, the “witch,” she is suspected because she cooks food in a cauldron, and she has a black cat! If that doesn’t just scream witch I don’t know what does.

The “Witch of Death” is from Avon’s Witchcraft #5, drawn by Rafael Astarita.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Number 2462: Black Cat: one tough kitty

No one ever seemed to question why the masked Black Cat showed up when there was a mystery simultaneous with her secret identity, Linda Turner, making a movie. My guess is it was her costume. She wore a cute little outfit as Black Cat (little being the operative word), which kept the eyes of observers on her low-cut top and her legs. She was also good at judo, so she had no superpowers, just fighting skills.

In this story, Rick Horne, who is her boyfriend, can’t put two and two together and realize Linda’s bright red curly short hair is also Black Cat’s hairstyle.

The Black Cat was created for Harvey’s Pocket Comics (which had a short run), then on to Speed Comics. She also showed up in All-New Comics, from which this tale of Japanese saboteurs is taken. Her character was aptly handled by some talented artists, and she kept in print throughout the 1940s. My first ogle...excuse me, I mean Black Cat was in the three 25¢ Giant Size reprint comics from Harvey in 1962 and 1963, in stories drawn by Lee Elias. Al Gabriele, credited for the art by the Grand Comics Database, drew the story I am showing here.

From All-New Comics #9 (1944).

Monday, October 19, 2020

Number 2461: “I ran away from home!”

Flaming red-haired Evelyn wants to leave her immediate family and head out west. That gal has a hankerin' (cowboy talk) to be with her aunt and uncle, who own a tourist ranch in Arizona. She takes a long train ride and when she gets to Arizona finds no one at aunt, no uncle. She has nowhere to go so she climbs in through an unlocked window. She trespasses! She decides she'll just open the place up to tourists driving by, then starts doing chores and welcoming guests. She meets Yodelin' Slim, who plays a guitar and sings. Then she meets a traveling salesman who grabs her and kisses her. In those days it was called being fresh, but it’s assault.

I won’t keep you in suspense. Everything turns out all right for Evelyn...eventually. This lesson in love and what not to do when someone isn’t home is drawn by Matt Baker, and is from the St John love comic, Teen-age Romances #7 (1949).