Bob Montana should probably be given credit for creating the classic ARCHIE style but Dan DeCarlo popularized it on a host of features at Timely/Atlas including MY FRIEND IRMA and SHERRY THE SHOWGIRL. Al Hartley continued it on MILLIE THE MODEL and Stan Goldberg picked it up for the late 1950's series, KATHY, seen here. The latter three artists would, of course, all end up at Archie eventually and Goldberg is, in fact, STILL drawing for Archie every single month.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Angelo Torres was a late period EC artist who would go on to more fame at MAD and Warren. His work was very much in the Al Williamson mold as is evident by the lovely art in this mid- fifties Atlas tale. At a sparse four pages, the story isn't all that much but I absolutely love that splash panel.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Here we have Louie Lou...who is actually the great Asian detective Charlie Chan. It seems that Charlton gave up the rights to the Charlie Chan character in 1956 so they changed the CHARLIE CHAN title--in the time-honored manner of skirting postal regulations--to ZAZA THE MYSTIC, a completely unrelated character. Apparently they had some Chan inventory left, however, as this back-up story from the first issue under the new title is clearly Charlie! All they've done is add some glasses to the character and re-letter his name rather poorly throughout. Even "Number one son" is still called "Number one son!"
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Here's a bit of post-war economic propaganda adapted from a 1945 book by FDR's third term Veep and by then Secretary of Commerce, Henry Wallace. This is from PICTURE NEWS--an interesting experimental comic based on real life news stories--the kind sometimes found as filler in other people's books.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The art style looks a bit familiar here but no definite bells ring. What I found most interesting about this Charlton story was the opening panel in which we see our hero, Freshman Freddy, reading a copy of WHIZ COMICS and even name-checking Captain Marvel! Cap, of course, was a Fawcett character, NOT a Charlton character. In fact, by the time this issue of BRENDA STARR (made up mostly of reprints of Dale Messick's newspaper strip) came out in 1955, it had been more than a year since the Big Red Cheese had ceased publication entirely! Turns out that FRESHMAN FREDDY had originally been a Fawcett strip that began nearly a decade earlier. This particular story had actually seen print in WHIZ back in 1950. Other FRESHMAN FREDDY tales popped up as filler in various Charlton titles of this period.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Writer Joe Blair and artist Sam Cooper created MLJ's Mr Justice, the vengeful spectre (no pun intended) who reigned as one of the company's biggest pre-Archie stars. Here's a fun (if violent) wartime story in which the ghost of Julius Caesar sends Napoleon and the Three Musketeers back to earth in order to stem the tide of Hitler's terror. Things don't work out as intended and Mr J has to follow behind them. With two emperors already--as well as a would-be one in Uncle Adolf--it comes as a bit of a surprise when yet another dead emperor turns up late in the story as the unlikely voice of reason.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Bill Black has done an excellent job in keeping Tim Holt and Red Mask in the public eye through his publications over the years. Here's Tim's first time in his colorful cowboy alter ego from 1950. Tim Holt was the first B-western star i ever saw and he has been a favorite ever since but in context he was B-level even on the B-western level. The son of actor Jack Holt, Tim occasionally veered into A films such as THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS and TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE but spent most of his career riding the range with sidekick Chito Rafferty before ending his career in Z pictures. The art here is by Frank Bolle, an excellent if not particularly adventurous cartoonist who went on to a long career at Gold Key followed by an ever longer career in newspaper comics including a long-running (and still running!) stint on APARTMENT 3-G.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
How many of today's generation can even begin to grasp the concept of "beatniks?" BONGO & BOP were back-up characters in the two and only 1962 issues of Dell's transitional title, KOOKIE. Written by LITTLE LULU guru John Stanley, the art for the KOOKIE issues was by Bill Williams, an underrated cartoonist who had previously done HERRY ALDRICH and went on to do MILLIE THE MODEL and, when he ended up at Marvel briefly, DENNIS THE MENACE.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Sorceress of Zoom was a sort of anti-hero, distaff version of all of the male wizards and magicians running around in comics in the Golden Age. She appeared in Fox's WEIRD COMICS. Wherever she went, she took her cloud city of Zoom along with her! FRom 1941, here's a Don Rico outing with the Sorceress. Rico was an interesting fellow in comics history and you can find out much more about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Rico .