Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Brass Knuckles-Marty Marion-1948

Here we have perhaps the earliest example of rapping in a comics story. With its vaguely Dagwoodish lead, BRASS KNUCKLES was the product of Mart Bailey, generally known for more straightforward strips such as THE FACE. This series was written by his wife, Marion, and thus was credited to their com0-alias, "Marty Marion."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rusty Ryan and the Boyville Brigadiers-Paul Gustavson--1943

I suppose I need to play Leonard Maltin at first and apologize for the insensitive portrayals of minorities in pop culture during the early part of the 20th Century. That said, this example of Quality's long-running RUSTY RYAN strip is loaded down with some really nice art and a really funny tie-in to Spike Jones music! The astonishingly zoot-suited sidekick character takes a back seat when modern readers notice that Rusty and his other pals are wearing Captain America's uniform! Why no lawsuit there? The strip ran for more than 100 issues! Was Quality beneath Timely's notice? Who knows? But place the stereotypes in their proper historical perspective and enjoy this one.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Secret of the Box-Joe Shuster/Ray Osrin-1954

I thought I'd run this one before or seen it run elsewhere but I couldn't find it so...This late pre-code horror tale from Charlton is notable for several reasons. One, the nice (and seemingly Kubert-influenced!) art by SUPERMAN co-creator, Joe Shuster, here on the outs with National (and around the time of his infamous "under the counter" semi-comics). Also interesting is taht it's inked by Ray Osrin, a longtime journeyman inker who would go on to fame as a major editorial cartoonist starting in the mid-sixties and lasting into the 1990's. The third reason this story is so notable is its final, hilarity-inducing panel. It wasn't MEANT to be hilarity-inducing but that's what you get!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Mirror Man-Fred Methot/Reg Greenwood-1942

By request, here's THE MIRROR MAN by Fred Methot and Reg Greenwood from TIP-TOP COMICS. Greenwood has been described as "a talented Golden Age artist with a classical, highly illustrative style" so I'm going to presume that Methot, about whom I can find nothing, is the writer. The Mirror Man is essentially a variation on The Green Lama and his inspiration, The Shadow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bingbang Buster-Basil Wolverton-1951

Seriously, how could other cartoonists even show their faces when Wolverton was on his game?His mastery of every aspect of what makes comic books a unique art form is evident throughout this short piece that packs more genuine laughs than any three Golden Age Humor comics in their entirety. For more total silliness with BINGBANG BUSTER, go here and then for even more go here!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tom Morrow-Mike Sekowsky-1966

TOM MORROW appeared as a back-up strip in the post-apocalyptic MIGHTY SAMSON title from Gold Key in the mid-sixties. Starting with this short strip, he appeared for a baker's dozen issues. Art here is by Mike Sekowsky who was still, at that time, providing the art for DC's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, also. GCD credits embellishment to George "Inky" Roussos.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shrimpy-Joe Harold-1960

If PAT THE BRAT was Archie Comics' answer to DENNIS THE MENACE, then the even lesser known SHRIMPY was their version of Good Ol' Charlie Brown and PEANUTS. The earliest strips here are credited to Joe Harold, about whom I can find nothing. Can't find anything about the trip itself either and have no idea how long it lasted but, as PEANUTS imitations go, it's pretty good.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Little People-Walt Kelly-1936

Only one lonely page today but quite an interesting one. You'll note that this page of IRISH TALES is by Walt Kelly, creator of POGO and longtime Dell artist. What you can't tell from this however, is that this page is, in fact, from a National Periodicals Publication! I won't even say DC because this MOE FUN COMICS issue was published in 1936, BEFORE the first issue of DETECTIVE COMICS itself! And also more than a decade before POGO hit the newspapers! Walt Kelly was only 23 years old at the time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Firefly-Warren King-1942

A superhero whose power is that his gluteus maximus glows in the dark? I dunno...Actually, the Firefly was just an ordinary guy, an entomologist, who taught himself how to utilize his strength and skills at full capacity...the way insects do. Not much better is it? Another cool MLJ costume, though. Here he is drawn by Warren King from near the end of his run.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Black Jack-Al Camy-1942

One of my favorite Golden Age costumes is that of MLJ's Black Jack, an otherwise fairly generic hero. In this sequence, we have a relatively rare instance of a 1940's continued story in which Jack battles against the creepy Poker Face over two issues of ZIP COMICS in 1942.