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Archie's Mad House Krazy Kat & The Art of George Herriman: A Celebration
Archie's Mad House The Carl Barks Big Book of Barney Bear
Archie's Mad House Amazing 3-D Comics
Archie's Mad House Archie's Mad House
Archie's Mad House The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories
Archie's Mad House The Official Fart Book
Archie's Mad House The Official Barf Book
Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales of Bud Sagendorf Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales of Bud Sagendorf
Archie: Seven Decades of America's Favorite Teenagers... And Beyond! Archie: Seven Decades of America's Favorite Teenagers... And Beyond!
Dick Briefer's Frankenstein Dick Briefer's Frankenstein
Barney Google: Gambling, Horse Races, and High-Toned Women Barney Google: Gambling, Horse Races, and High-Toned Women
Felix The Cat: The Great Comic Book Tails Felix The Cat: The Great Comic Book Tails
Klassic Krazy Kool Kids Komics The Golden Collection of Klassic Krazy Kool KIDS KOMICS"
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Dan DeCarlo's Jetta Dan DeCarlo's Jetta
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The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story
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The Art of Ditko
The Art of Ditko
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-Mark Frauenfelder
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The Greatest Anti-War Cartoons
The Great Anti-War Cartoons
Introduction by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus
"Pencils for Peace!"
-The Washington Post
Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers
Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers
"Crazy, fun, absurd!"
-Mark Frauenfelder
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More books by Craig Yoe
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos!

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Agents_of_S.H.I.E.L.D._logo.

Now that we’re just days away from the season premier of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the excitement is building fast, let’s take a look at (and a listen to) a little Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Not only was Nick Fury an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. but he is (was?) the commander of the whole secret organization! But this didn’t happen over night. Nick worked his way up through the ranks, starting as a mere howling commando back in World War Two. (Hey, you’d be howling too if you were still on active duty 69 years after the war ended.) In fact, Colonel Fury looks younger now than he did back then! (Shh… maybe he’s an LMD.) But time paradoxes aside, it’s good to see Nick’s spy agency on weekly TV.

Now if you were paying attention during Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and didn’t bolt for the exits as soon as the credits started to roll, you got a glimpse of that man you love to hate, Baron Strucker! Yep, that Nazi turned Hydra bad guy managed to sneak into the movie at the last moment. He’s up to no good, I’ll wager.

The Baron, aka Wolfgang von Strucker, dates way back to SFAHHC #5, and continued to make Fury’s life miserable for several decades/issues. Not to mention being a thorn in the side of Captain Savage. Before long, he’ll turn up on the big screen or the small screen (spoiler!) I have no doubt.

So while you enjoy this cover gallery of the Baron you can hum along with the haunting strains of the Howling Commandos theme music.

Baron Strucker 1

Baron Strucker 2

Baron Strucker 3

Baron Strucker 4

Baron Strucker 5

Click the link below and return to World War Two!

notessmall

DJ David B.


Monday, September 15, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Okay Adventure Annual 1957

OK, here’s an odd one, Okay Adventure Annual a British hardcover featuring a hodgepodge of boys own adventure prose stories and a very odd grouping of Golden Age American comic book reprints in color and black and white.  By which I mean there are stories which are, for no apparent reason, in black and white and color.  They clearly didn’t stint when it came to the cover.

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And the end papers sure were pretty as well.

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First up is an Invisible Justice story from Quality’s Smash Comics.

Okay1957-18 Okay1957-19 Okay1957-20 Okay1957-21 Okay1957-22

There was a couple of Golden Age heroes named The Voice, but the one who appeared in Quality Comics Feature Comics is undoubtedly the strangest.  Secretly a 150 year old man calling himself  Mr. Elixir who survived a 150 years of being shipwrecked on a desert island thanks to a steady diet of herbs which gave him long life, vitality and super strength.  It seems to me that all of that would make him a unique character but maybe all those years on the island made him a little weird because he decides he also needs to use ventriloquism to fight crime.

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And a page of Mickey Finn just because I like the strip so much.

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So, as you can see, most of the American reprints which from Quality Comics, but that doesn’t explain this Dennis the Menace comic book story being here.  It’s especially odd since the UK has its own Dennis the Menace who first appeared in the pages of  The Beano in 1951.

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And finally here’s a reprint of “The King of Blackhawk Island” from Quality’s Blackhawk #76.

Okay1957-60 Okay1957-61 Okay1957-62 Okay1957-63 Okay1957-64 Okay1957-65 Okay1957-66

Steveland


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: Comic Book Heroes Return!

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Back in the day (I’m old enough now that I use that expression daily) comic books were considered cheap, low-brow entertainment for morons and young children. When you see big-budget blockbusters like The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy it’s easy to forget that comics weren’t always fodder for hit movies. At best, comics were fodder for rip-off record albums designed to separate well-intentioned parents from their hard-earned cash. (“I’ll get this cheap record for Timmy. He’s just a dumb kid, he won’t know the difference.”) Especially after the Batman craze hit in 1966, there were more ways to cheat children than you can shake a Batarang at. Enter The Capes & Masks, a group so phony they make Milli Vanilli seem sincere. Holy hoax, Batman! The Capes & Masks didn’t actually exist, nor did 11 songs about comic book heroes. But did that stop them? No! This was the Sixties and comics were the latest fad to be cashed in upon (or the latest bandwagon to be boarded, if you prefer that metaphor). Some savvy record producer found a bunch of tapes lying on the floor, changed the titles of the tracks to sound vaguely comic-booky, and released an entire LP of disingenuous and fraudulent comics music on an unsuspecting public. And they sold like hotcakes. (They probably would have been better with butter and maple syrup.)

If all of this sounds familiar it’s because I’ve told this same story several times including here, here, here, here, here and here. Hey, there are 11 tracks on the album, so I’ll tell it a few more times before I’m through. As promised, here’s another song from Comic Book heroes.

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Click the link below and feel ripped off once again!

notessmall

 

DJ David B.


Monday, September 8, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Popular Comics #64

This week I’ll be revisiting Popular Comics, a particularly strong looking anthology title that had always featured wonderfully designed covers.  For most of it’s run its breads and various butters were comic strip reprints but for a time it had it’s own stable of original characters.  Most of these were surprisingly well written and drawn and even gave original takes on tropes that were pretty well trod even by the early 1940′s.

PopularComics064p01

Take, for example, the awkwardly titled Professor Supermind and Son.  Handsomely drawn by Maurice Kashuba the feature concerned Professor Harmon (“America’s Supermind” was apparently his nickname; apparently all the good ones were already taken) and his son. One of his inventions temporarily turned junior into a kind of a minimalist, generic superhero (no pseudonym, no chest insignia, etc.) but instead of fighting crime they meddled into the affairs of sovereign nations.  Captain America and Johnny Canuck may have punched Hitler in the jaw, but Dan Harmon did some real damage by shaming him with a misogynistic slur.  Either that or he was outing Hitler as a female crossdresser; I’m not sure which.

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I’ve covered The Hurricane Kids, Alan and Dave Burnham, are a couple of All-American kids who generally had pretty prosaic South Sea style adventures, in a previous installment.  But thankfully they did veer over into the fantastic elements lane as we see where they go from battling Zulus to blowing up a dinosaur real good.

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But there were still comic strip reprints like Herky.  Man, I love me that Herky.

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Heere’s an episode of Martan the Marvel Man who sadly isn’t from Mars to make the alliteration complete.  Not that you could tell from his his outing which is heavy on the spy vs spy stuff but along with a hot wife he possessed super powers and a alien/super suit.  It was a sweet like number that was vaguely faux Roman with kickass shoulder pads (lots of 40′s superheroes fought crime with bare legs but Martan was the only one I know of who did it in a skirt; a skirt that shorter than his wives).

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PopularComics064p28 PopularComics064p29 PopularComics064p30 PopularComics064p31 PopularComics064p32 PopularComics064p33PopularComics064p34PopularComics064p35

Wally Williams was one of those college boy heroes whose minor key “adventures” fill the middle of many a 40′s anthology comic.  Most of them were super student athletes battling jealous rivals, shady gamblers and Nazi spy rings that they conveniently found operating in the closest conveniently located haunted house; essentially endless pressings from the Frank Merriwell template.  It’s the sort of thing I usually leaf through to get to something more substantial but creators Victor Boni and Tom Hickey happily foreswore such trite antics and created something nicely homey and ordinary.

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On the other hand The Masked Pilot  was just another aviator with a domino mask.  Pass.

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And finally there’s The Voice who was more Invisible Man as a low rent superhero than a factory second Shadow.  But he was also kind of that as well.

PopularComics064p59PopularComics064p60 PopularComics064p61 PopularComics064p62 PopularComics064p63 PopularComics064p64 PopularComics064p65PopularComics064p66

Steveland


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: Go Go Pogo!

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igopogo

As your resident self-proclaimed expert on all things comical and musical, I know a lot about the nexus of records and comics. But even I, D.J. David B., don’t know everything. Shocking, isn’t it? I will pause now while you catch your collective breath and compose yourself. Go ahead, take a minute.

But it’s true. There are still a few musical mysteries that I have yet to solve. Today, one of my favorites.

As I’ve said on this blog before, my favorite comic strip ever is Pogo, by the absurdly talented Walt Kelly. I’ve collected and shared some of the records Kelly made himself (yes, he sang). But here’s one that I don’t quite get.

Made by Percy Faith, whose biggest hit was “Theme from A Summer Place” (literally the theme song from a film called “A Summer Place”) this was the flip side of that inescapable MOR smash. It’s called “Go Go Pogo” and it’s about Pogo Possum, star of the aforementioned comics.

Go-Go Po-Go

Or is it?

Percy_Faith_1949

Percy Faith in 1949.

Maybe “Go Go Pogo” is about the fad of pogo sticks. Or maybe ol’ Perce (I call him “Perce”) just needed a B side and decided to title this catchy composition with syrupy strings “Go-Go-Po-Go” simply because it rhymed. Perhaps it was just the first thing that popped into his head.

So here is your challenge, my loyal I.T.C.H. readers: Close your eyes and listen to the record. What do you see? Does the melody call to mind the adventures of Pogo Possum and Albert the alligator in the Okefenokee Swamp? Or do you picture the neighborhood kids hopping on pogo sticks and screaming until you want to stick your head out the window and yell, “Hey you kids! Get out of my driveway!”? Or maybe it conjures abstract images of swirling nothingness orbiting the very eyebones of your noggin.

For now, I’m going to presume that the song was inspired by Walt Kelly’s inspiring comic strip and share some cool related images. Enjoy!

I-GO-POGO

I Go Pogo

GoGoPogo

Click to enlarge this gorgeous piece of Kelly art.

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Magnificent wallpaper by famed cartoonist Jim Engel. Click to enlarge.

Click the link below and see what you imagine!

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Video bonus! Here’s Kelly his own self singing HIS song by the same name.

 

DJ David B.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: Mr. Peabody & Sherman!

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I haven’t seen the new movie, but they tell me it’s good. Personally, I’m more interested in the classic original which was not called “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” (or as I preferred to call it “Sherman & Peabody”) but rather “Peabody’s Improbable History.” Using great writing, excellent voice talent and crummy animation, these short cartoons told the amusing stories of a smart dog and his pet boy as they travel through time. Who knew in 1959 that one day these filler segments from The Bullwinkle Show would be beautifully animated in a lavish feature-length film? And who could have predicted that kids who were 10 years old in 1959 would grow up to be 64-year-old grandparents and bring their grandchildren to see a movie based on fairly minor characters they enjoyed (somewhat) in their youth? I’m betting DreamWorks did!

So let’s climb into our WABAC machine, turn back time, and listen to the classic theme song from the original series. Ah… memories. Sing along! You know the words!

PEABODY SHERMAN

Rocky 3

Rocky Fiendish Friends.

Peabody figure

Sherman Peabody

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Click the link below and travel back in time!

notessmall

DJ David B.


Monday, August 25, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Smash Annual 1969

I’ve already dealt with Smash, the British weekly comic that ran 257 issues between 1966 and 1971 that featured an oddball hodgepodge mix of British and American comics, but there’s several points of interest in this 1969 Annual edition of the title.  Like, the way the cover doesn’t feature your standard symbolic, iconic image. Instead, it’s first of a three page color story featuring the characters from the humor features (Grimly FeendishPercy’s Petsthe Swots and the BlotsBad PennyThe Man from B.U.N.G.L.E.The NervsCharlie’s ChoiceRonnie Rich) engaging in a game of footie. While these kinds of crossovers weren’t unknown in British comics they were definitely pretty rare.

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First up there’s a nicely drawn outing of undoubtedly the dullest stretchable hero in comics, Rubber Man, formerly James Hollis whose “powers” was actually a cruse given him by an Indian fakir.

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Next up the first of two stories featuring the Legend Testers, Rollo Stones and Danny Charters who worked for the Museum of Legend of Myth in the 40th Century and traveled in time to test artifacts to discover whether the legends around them were true.  People who know more than me about British artists tell me the art here was done by the series regular artist Jordi Bernet. Like Rubber Man the Legend Testers make a cameo in Albion, the 2005 limited series published by DC.

 

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This one off science fiction story Inferno which appears to be a Spanish origin.

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Lieutenant Lightning may very well be the goofiest British superhero of the 60′s, and that’s saying something.  For the record his chest insignia reads “Tin”, which is the name of the future organization that emplows him.

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Steveland


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: Adam West – Batman!

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Batman 75th

Whenever we run out of ideas here at Comics Tunes Headquarters, we always return to the sure-fire, tried-and-true, can’t-miss-with-this show that spawned more comics-related music than anything else I’ve found – the 1966 Batman TV series. No one really knows how many bat-songs there are, but it’s a bat-load!

 

This time we’re presenting a real treat. Rather than the “Batman Theme” which has been na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-ed to death, feast your eyes (and soon your ears) on this: An actual record of the real Adam West sort of singing. To tie in with the staggering success of the twice-weekly TV series, this gen-you-wine 45 RPM record was actually released, along with all kinds of other bat-merch. And now, you can listen to it and (try to) enjoy it.

Adam West

Miranda 1

Miranda 2

Click the link below and Batusi along!

notessmall

notessmall

DJ David B.


Monday, August 18, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Hugo Hercules

You may very well consider this week’s installment of whatever the hell this is supposed a deviation from it’s designated mission station, that being to read all the comic books I’ve always wanted to read before I died.  Not to mention the fact it’s a new all-time low in my over reliance on what I generously like to thin of as the cut and paste school of  journal (pick a subject, do some research, collect images, read other peoples posts then do a bit of cut and pasting; rewrite and you’re done).  But truthfully I am just as over fascinated with comic strips as I am comic books and that goes double for  Hugo Hercules, William H.D. Koerner’s short-lived strip.  It ran for five months, September 1902 to January 1903 in the Chicago Tribune and is thought by many to be the funny pages very first superhuman.  Albeit one who didn’t wage an never ending battle against evil so much as wander around aimlessly sans agency or visible means of support looking for cool stuff to do.  The strip itself was admittedly pretty meh; like a lot of early strips it relentlessly stuck to a repetitious single theme and rarely deviated from it.  In this case Hugo getting mixed up in stock situations that require a demonstration of super strength, punctuated by his not particularly catchy catch phrase.

Not being what you’d call a success Koerner left cartooning to become a painter.  In a lot of ways it’s still ahead of its time; as much as the trope of the superhuman has been, often brutally, deconstructed, no one to my knowledge has created so casual a ‘crimefighter’; maybe it’s time for someone to dust Hugo off and see what they could do with him..

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hugoherc020914 hugoherc021130 (1) hugohercules1hugohercules3hugoherc020907hugoherc020921 hugoherc021026  hugoherc021116hugoherc021123hugoherc021130hugoherc021221hugoherc021228hugoherc030104hugoherc030111hugoherc021005

 

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Steveland


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: Guardians of the Galaxy Again!

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I finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I’m not going to review the film except to say that Marvel Studios did a great job of bringing to the big screen a bunch of characters and stories that very few people care about. This is a big departure from the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man films, which had accumulated millions of fans over several decades. It proves that Marvel’s movie department has what it takes to make a hit, regardless of the popularity of the source material. Next year: Ant Man.

Guardians old poster

And I would be remiss (and who needs that?) if I didn’t give a shout-out to my childhood friend Keith Giffen who is credited as co-creator of Rocket Raccoon. How cool is that?

 Keith Giffen 5

WARNING: If you haven’t seen it yet, there are spoilers ahead.

 

The villain of the film (or one of the worst ones, anyway) is Ronan The Accuser, whom we first saw in Fantastic Four #65, looking very much the way Jack Kirby drew him, with his weird hammer-thing and that wild hat he wears. Also very cool.

Ronan FF

Ronan

Naturally I’m building up to a song. It’s the same song as the past two weeks, but this is the wackiest version of all. Enjoy Jack Sheldon singing and Benny Goodman swinging this recording of “Rocky Raccoon.”

Rocky real life

Click the link below and swing!

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P.S. I wanted to acknowledge the tragic passing yesterday of the wonderful Robin Williams. His connection to comics was already explored a while back when we were spotlighting Popeye. You can see those entries here and here.

DJ David B.


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