Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lucky Wings, the Atomic Bombshell-Atomic Comics-1946

This post-war story features a wacky female reporter who gets tied up in front of a nuclear device spraying radiation on her just before the screwball comedy ending. GCD says the art seems to have some Jack Kamen but also shows evidence of other hands.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Focus:Danger-Don Perlin-1968

In the late sixties, just before editor Dick Giordano defected from Charlton to National/DC, the former company was trying some fascinating experiments. For one thing their revived STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES served as a kind of SHOWCASE for new concepts and characters. Here, for instance, fifties artist Don Perlin (later to be known for his work at Marvel on WEREWOLF BY NIGHT) is given his head and comes up with FOCUS:DANGER, a sort of I SPY idea with a black and a white adventurer. Whether this was wholly original or was, in fact, "inspired" by the newspaper comic strip DATELINE:DANGER with similar black and white protagonists and which premiered in the comics pages that same year is not known. Still, it's some of the best work by Perlin I've seen.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cutie Pie-Gene Fawcette-1955

Throughout the 1950's there existed an entire sub-genre of comics that consisted of DENNIS THE MENACE rip-offs. Many of these, although hardly original, were quite good. Some copied the concept of the cute kid who means well but is constantly getting in trouble. Others copied the art style or the often unique layouts used in the long-form comic book Dennis stories. Quite a few just lifted the whole deal. Such was the case with CUTIE PIE, a mid-fifties Lev Gleason female version of Dennis lovingly drawn by Gene Fawcette, a prolific comics artist who had started in the Eisner-Iger shop but who had also actually at one point guessed it...DENNIS THE MENACE!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Terrible Encounter-Jay Disbrow-1953

Artist Jayson "Monkeyman" Disbrow is perhaps an acquired taste. His figures are stiff but his page design is never boring and his backgrounds often quite detailed. He worked regularly in comics and advertising beginning in the fifties, was discovered by fandom in the seventies and managed to exploit his own fame quite well. I actually met him at a Con in Philadelphia in 1977. In the 21st Century, he began and eventually completed a long-running sci-fi web comic entitled AROC OF ZENITH, arguably his best work ever!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Trap-War Battles-1951

THE TRAP is a short, out of the ordinary war story from the first issue of Harvey Comics' WAR BATTLES in late 1951. Even though this was around the time when war was in the air again in Korea, this particular tale is set in the Philippines during WorldWar II. The art isn't credited here or on GCD but it's quite good and a cut above a lot of the other war comics art of the day! Clearly one of the Caniff school of artists--my money would be on Lee Elias. The coloring adds to the atmosphere, also.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FANTASTIC FELIX FRIDAY-Felix the Cat-Felix Frees a Freezel-1948

In honor of the new book, FELIX THE CAT-THE GREAT COMIC BOOK TAILS by Craig Yoe, Yoebooks, IDW and Felix the Cat Productions are presenting FANTASTIC FELIX FRIDAY in which a number of comics blogs are featuring the iconic black cat today in various ways! Craig's book is loaded down with imaginative stories but we've chosen one not in the book just to whet your appetite! They're all this good! Felix stories were always deceptively simple on the surface but contained clever gags and a wealth of pure imagination not found in most other so-called "children's" stories. This, of course, is what makes them still an enjoyable and viable commodity today for kids of ALL ages! Amazon has FELIX THE CAT-THE GREAT COMIC BOOK TAILS at a great price right now so when you get to the bottom of this great Felix story, click on their link and you'll get a LOT more along with a brief but wonderfully illustrated history of the character's appearances in all media. And don't forget to keep an eye on your favorite comics blogs today for more Felix! It's FANTASTIC FELIX FRIDAY!