Monday, June 14, 2021

Number 2530: Gary Concord and the death by miasma

We see Gary Concord, the main hero among the other heroes of this tale, in the first panel of “The Miasma of Death!” Gary is an Important Man in 2240 A.D. He is the High Moderator of the United States of North America. That sounds important, all right. Gary gets to wear a stylish blue helmet and short-shorts that look like he put on his underwear that morning and forgot to wear his trousers.

A madman (or course he must be mad!), Dr Tor, is issuing dire threats with the diabolical form of death, so Gary and his pal Alec, and a beautiful blonde called Carlotta Zambezi (a great scientist, as claimed by Dr Stark) have quite a threat to stop. Our High Moderator says, after hearing a description of the malodorous gas, “Its victims strangle on their own exhalations!”

Wait, Gary...we residents of Earth in 2021 A.D. have paper masks we are using to try and fend off a deadly virus. Maybe if you ask around you’ll find a box of them somewhere in storage.

I have one more thing to add. Gary’s pal, Alec, has a handsome mustache, waxed on the ends, making him look like the villain in a melodrama. In one of the last panels Alec has his arms around two men with beards. Hairy faces being in vogue right now gives them all a classic look.

From All-American Comics #14 (1940). Grand Comic Database credits Jon L. Blummer for both writing and drawing.


Daniel [] said...

Well, honestly, that story was relatively good for its time and genre. And I'm all for having brainy dames in lead female rôles.

As to the costuming, of course Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon was surely a significant influence, but I'd like to see a survey of pulp illustration. In any case, I think that comic-book illustrators so often tend to draw tight or skimpy clothing for two reasons. First is simply a fascination with drawing the human form as such. Second is the difficulty in drawing loose cloth. (One of George Bridgman's books offers a rather good treatment of doing this.) An illustrator like Lou Fine might be more impelled by the first reason; a hack would be more impelled by the second. Raymond, though, was basically kinky.

Pappy said...

Daniel, you've hit on something I hadn't really thought much about. It is undoubtedly easier to draw a superhero in tights than a character like The Spirit, wearing a suit.

I had the Nostalgia Press Flash Gordon book in the early '70s, and what I remember about it is that Raymond's artwork was great, while the writing was not. Between Alex Raymond and Prince Valiant by Harold Foster comic book artists were provided with swipe files.

Bill the Butcher said...

This was pretty funny because of all the expositioning.