Thursday, June 30, 2011

Muss 'Em Up Donovan-Will Eisner-1939

Here's another of those non-color comics from an early color comic, this from the oddly titled KEEN DETECTIVE FUNNIES. What makes this one so special is that it's by a young but already impressive Will Eisner. Undoubtedly anyone reading this blog knows that Eisner would soon enough create the influential strip, THE SPIRIT, and many years later would promote educational comics through the US military and then, even later, produce one of the earliest graphic novels in A CONTRACT WITH GOD AND OTHER STORIES.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tex Thomson-Bernard Baily-1940

Premiering alongside Superman in ACTION COMICS # 1, TEX THOMSON (later "Thompson") was a blond adventurer who later became a dark-haired, masked superhero with a whip and a flying carpet. Here's one of his weirder earlier adventures with a Cyclopean villain reminiscent of the classic SILVER STREAK/DAREDEVIL character, THE CLAW! Art has some nice, easy to follow layouts and is by Bernard Baily, known also for his work on Hour-Man which, in fact, is plugged at the last panel.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dr. Leer/Bonzo the Monster--Holiday Comics--1951

Here's a fun Frankenstein spoof from an anonymous artist for HOLIDAY COMICS. Dick Briefer's Frankie was the definitive comic book Frankenstein of its day but variations turned up throughout the Golden Age of Comics as the book itself was public domain.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Eagle-Science Comics-1940

We met the Eagle here back in February but he looked at lot different. By this point at the end of his run in SCIENCE COMICS, the Eagle was visually the Blue Beetle in a cape. Some fun, over-the-top art here though along with some enjoyably cliched writing and action all the way.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Atomictot-Gill Fox-1949

Gill Fox is known as a "Good Girl Artist" but he also had quite a bit of skill with cutesy strips like this. Fox was a mainstay at Quality for much of that company's existence but also worked as an animator, advertising artist, an assistant on various newspaper strips and finally ending up as a Pulitzer Prize nominated editorial cartoonist.

Friday, June 24, 2011

R.I.P. Gene Colan--Grounded Sparrow-1965

Sadly we've lost one of the true greats of comic book art with the passing of Gene Colan. Colan didn't draw like Kirby at all...or like Kubert...or like Eisner or Ditko or Wood anyone but Gene the Dean Colan. He will be forever remembered for his illustrative "realism" in a medium that prizes stylized exaggeration. He drew many war, western, romance and horror comics up through the mid-sixties when he became known as one of the definitive artists for the Sub-Mariner, Iron Man and later for both Doctor Strange and, especially, Daredevil. In the seventies he teamed with Tom Palmer for a long and memorable run on Marvel's TOMB OF DRACULA, then moved back to DC where he was, for a time, their main artist on BATMAN. In later years, Colan's art was considered so unique it was often reproduced from the artist's pencils only.

Seen here is a perhaps lesser known but no less beautifully drawn war story from Silver Age DC. R.I.P.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dotty-Al Hartley-1948

This fun forties tale of Al Hartley's DOTTY comes from a one-shot entitled FOUR TEENERS. Online definitions for the odd word "teener" include "young looking porn models dressed to look as though they are high school students," "1/16th of an ounce of methamphetamine," "an 18 pack of beer usually sold in gas stations or grocery stores" and "a measure of cocaine half the size of an eightball." This is a fun story with cute art by the later Archie regular who would one day create Spire Christian comics. Just odd it's from a comic whose title today reminds one of alcohol, drugs and teenage sex!