Super I.T.C.H » General
Get these books by
Craig Yoe:
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"
"Another amazing book from Craig Yoe!"
-Jerry Beck
CartoonBrew.com
Dan DeCarlo's Jetta Dan DeCarlo's Jetta
"A long-forgotten comic book gem."
-Mark Frauenfelder
BoingBoing.net
The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story
"Wonderful!"
-Playboy magazine
"Stunningly beautiful!"
- The Forward
"An absolute must-have."
-Jerry Beck
CartoonBrew.com
The Art of Ditko
The Art of Ditko
"Craig's book revealed to me a genius I had ignored my entire life."
-Mark Frauenfelder
BoingBoing.net
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
BoingBoing.net
More books by Craig Yoe

Get these books by
Craig Yoe:
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"
"Another amazing book from Craig Yoe!"
-Jerry Beck
CartoonBrew.com
Dan DeCarlo's Jetta Dan DeCarlo's Jetta
"A long-forgotten comic book gem."
-Mark Frauenfelder
BoingBoing.net
The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story
"Wonderful!"
-Playboy magazine
"Stunningly beautiful!"
- The Forward
"An absolute must-have."
-Jerry Beck
CartoonBrew.com
The Art of Ditko
The Art of Ditko
"Craig's book revealed to me a genius I had ignored my entire life."
-Mark Frauenfelder
BoingBoing.net
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
BoingBoing.net
More books by Craig Yoe

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Monday, October 27, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE – Solo

Sadly this British weekly comics isn’t an adaptation of Carla Lane’s situation comedy of the same name.  Solo  was a hodgepodge masala of strips based on movies and TV shows that’s kind of oddball even for a British weekly comic.  It’s probably best known for the strips and other material based on the Mysterons, the bad guys from the Gerry Anderson show Captain Scarlet.

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First up there’s Project Sword  a strip that’s based on a toy line created by Gerry Anderson but for some reason never got a TV series of its. own.

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There was quite a bit of Disney material, like this true-fact page taken from one of their nature documentaries.

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The internet tells me The Adventures of the Seaspray was an Australian kids series and I have no reason to doubt it.

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Here’s a chance to see some glorious Dan Spiegel artwork in black and white, as in this adaptation of That Darn Cat.

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1967 seems a bit late for there to be a Sgt. Bilko comic but I assume the repeats were currently running on British television.

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Here’s that Mysteron strip I was talking about.

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Here’s an intriguing original about a time traveller in the old west.

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As well as a not bad Man From U.N.C.L.E. strip.

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The real oddity here though just might be a one pager based on the short-lived American sitcom Run, Buddy, Run which had the hilarious premise of a regular guy constantly on the run from the mob.

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And here’s another couple of pages of wonderful Dan Spiegel black and white  art from an adaptation of the Disney movie Bullwhip Griffin.

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*Having seen Good Neighbors a.k.a. The Good Life at a vulnerable age I have a lifelong, full blown Felicity Kendal addition.  So I was much pleased that while studying in London I was able to see the first season of  Solo I assumed I would never get a chance to see the second.  But thanks to the magic of illegal downloads I was finally able to about a year ago.  And, as so often is with the highly anticipated, season two is more than a bit of a disappointment.  Mostly because the initial premise, a young woman struggling to find her place in the world after being cheated on by her boyfriend, lost most of it’s playful tone.  Like Lane’s other notable situation comedy, Butterflies it suffers from a central character who’s vague  dissatisfaction with a male dominated middle class existence is cloaked in feminist rhetoric. But who really needs (in my opinion) needs therapy and/or antidepressants.

 

 

Steve Bennett
Steveland

Monday, October 20, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Captainn Atom #36

Today’s installment concerns yet another Captain Atom.  In a previous installment I revealed there had been a little know and lesser seen Captain Atom back in the 50′s who had appeared in a short-lived series of comics in a less than the standard format.  Well there was an even lesser known (in America anyway) one from Australia written and drawn by Arthur Mather for Atlas Publications in the late 40′s.  My experience with Australian comics is less than I would likebut I have noticed they seem to like their costumed adventurers to be of the regular guy two-fisted variety.  But Captain Atom is a proper superhero with actual atom powers.  And the art is, well, distinctive.  Me, I like it, but you don’t often see an artist who’s clearly inspired by both Dick Sprang and Milton Caniff.

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Steve Bennett
Steveland

Monday, October 13, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Little Miss Sunbeam #4

There I was, wasting time on Tumblr when I came across this inexplicable image.  It took a while, but I finally figured out I was looking at the cover of Sir Clacky Wack and Miss Sunbeam in “The Zany Scientist”, a 1957 one shot from Magazine Enterprises.  Being a decent American I knew of Little Miss Sunbeam, the mascot of Sunbeam bread and was even vaguely aware she had her own comic book series.  And with a minimum amount of research (my favorite kind) I discovered the character was created by illustrator Ellen Segner for the Quality Bakers of America in 1941.  But ”Sir Clacky Wack”?  Apparently in public appearances Miss Sunshine had a “sidekick and chaperone” in the form of a clown played by actor Ed Alberian who also stood in for the clowns Clarabell and Bozo.  I have no idea why he got top billing in this comic.

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Or why he’s entirely absent from the later Little Miss Sunshine comics.  Sadly  Sir Clacky Wack and Miss Sunbeam in “The Zany Scientist” is currently unavailable online.  But all four issues of the later series are and in these Miss Sunshine is just regular little kid with a mom and dad and some standard kid tropes friends.  As well as humorous backups featuring such bread related characters as Toothy Snyder the Delivery Boy and Gus the Grocer.  She had pretty standard little kid adventures and although it seemed with every issue there was more adventure oriented material.  And in her final one she fought, sort of, both Wild West bad men and pirates.  As far as the Grand Comic Book Database knows these stories were written and drawn by ? but as far as I’m concerned they did a bang-up job on a particularly inspiring property.

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Steve Bennett
Steveland

Monday, October 6, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Hotspur Book 1949

I don’t have time for a proper installment of this thing so instead of making an effort and being entirely absent I’ll just amuse myself by posting a prose story featuring my favorite robot adventurer/educator The Iron Teacher.

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Steve Bennett
Steveland

Monday, September 22, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Dick Cole #1

Having always been a fat kid I probably shouldn’t have any tolerance for wholesome super student athletes along the lines of dime novel hero Frank Merriwell.  But that having been said I must confess I have a grudging tolerance for Dick Cole, perhaps because he started life as a “Wonder Boy”, one of those “raised by a scientist to achieve the peak of human development” types. But he then upended all expectations by instead of fighting crime in a homemade costume he became a military cadet.  He started out battling mad scientists and punching dinosaurs but was quickly shorn of his super strength and dealt with the usual assortment of jealous rivals, crooked gamblers and spy rings.  He has a fairly long run in Target Comics and appeared in three issues of his own title.

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One of the interesting to the verge of oddball thing about Novelty Press were the little “messages” they frequently but at the bottom of their pages that didn’t seem to be directed so much as the kid reader as the adult buying the comic.  As I’ve said before, Novelty Press titles seemed to be carefully designed to not offend Grandparents and and Great Aunts.

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First up is a Dick Cole adventure drawn by Jim Wilcox in the awkward, blocky style the series was known for.

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I’ve on the record for liking the adventures of street level supernatural crimefighter Sergeant Spook but honestly, the art was usually so-so at best.  But not here; Al McWilliams delivers some really handsome, well laid out pages, though I do have to wonder how exactly orphan boy Jerry (no last name) got invited to go on an Egyptian archeological dig.  For the record in the series the afterworld was known as “Ghost Town” and in his early adventures the Sarge would regularly visit to get help from the various spirits.  He did it less frequently after his psychic sidekick Jerry was introduced but the concept is referenced in this outing.

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Edison Bell was originally a classic comic book boy inventor, meaning he creating robots, vehicles and the like, but that clearly was too much for the Grandmas so he became a “real world” boy inventor.  Meaning he did little science projects and/or experiments to get out of scrapes and the stories would end with tutorials for the kids on how they could do the same at home.  But in this “adventure” he doesn’t even do that; here he heroically puts on a Halloween costume.

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Steve Bennett
Steveland

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.

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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.

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Steve Bennett
Steveland

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.

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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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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.

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Steve Bennett
Steveland

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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Steve Bennett
Steveland

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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Steve Bennett
Steveland

Monday, August 11, 2014

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Henry Brewster #6

I wish I could explain how my brain works because frankly it’s inner workings are a mystery to even me.  Perhaps it’s just a symptom of my ADHD driven obsessive-compulsive nature but I tend to get “over fascinated” (which is probably the most polite thing you could call it) with certain things.  For example, Henry Brewster, a short-lived teen comic from 1966 drawn (and presumably written) by Golden Age artist Bob Powell, a.k.a. Stanley Robert Pawlowski.   Powell is know for his work on Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Mr. Mystic and the Mars Attack cards and while those credits clearly show he was an incredibly versatile artist seeing him do teen comics is still a little strange, not to mention a bit unsettling.  These comics are are drawn in a distinctive loose, scratchy style, which would make these comics oddball enough but  Henry (no relation to Punky) Brewster is plenty peculiar in a lot of other ways.

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First off there’s the format; a 25 cent, bimonthly comic of entirely original material (which they should have made much more of; for once a cover banner reading No Reprints wouldn’t have been out of place) just seems kind of ambitious for a neophyte publisher like Myron Frass’s M.F. Enterprises   Especially seeing as how it’s only other title was much maligned (for good reason) even shorter-lived version of Captain Marvel  – the android version who could dissect himself  by yelling “Split!” .  

Then there’s the fact Henry Brewster wasn’t yet another pressing from the well worn Archie Comics template.  The cast consisted of standard All-American boy Henry, the super strong and literally soft spoken (his dialogue was always lettered at roughly half the size of everyone else’s) Animal, professional weirdo Weenie and “the girls”, who were sadly mostly easily defined by their hair color, prematurely silver haired rich girl Melody and dark haired girl next door Debbie,  Though Melody did develop some depth over the course of the series; in #1 she coldly rejects  the hapless, love struck Weenie so often”Go away!” threatens to become her catch phrase,  but by #6 she actually appears to be going out with him (or at least willing to be seen holding his, ew, hand). Which is odd seeing as how along with being a hardcore goofball who sometimes seems like he’s stolen an middle schoolers clothes as drawn Weenie is grotesque he could easily be a background character in a Gilbert Herandez Love & Rockets story.

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While the adults in Archie Comics were frequently spectacularly exasperated to the point of hair pulling by the Riverdale Gangs innocent antics grown ups in Henry Brewster instinctively get that Henry and company were basically good kids who just wanted to be helpful.  But after more or less ignoring anything specifically 1960′s (except for a story in #1 where the gang gets into a Beatles analog band called “The Baldies” which leads them, including some of the girls, to shave their heads, placing them several decades ahead of their time) this issue gets hip deep into super secret agents and supervillains.

Admittedly this was what got me over fascinated in Henry Brewster – that and it’s cover.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is that thing standing behind Henry supposed to be?  Some kind of African cat god?  An extraterrestrial bent on world domination? I had absolutely no clue and ached to know, though I knew in my heart that chances were I’d never get to read it.  But then I didn’t reckon with the internet; almost all things are possible with the internet.

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Before they get to the super spies and villains the gang has a positively Scooby Dooesque encounter in a haunted house.  But here the mysterious figure isn’t trying to scare them off because he’s searching for hidden treasure or running a counterfeiting ring out of it’s basement but just some poor schlub testing amusement for a spook house.  Though instead of wearing a creepy rubber mask for some reason he decides to dress like a minor league pre-1965 Marvel villain.

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And here the gang gets involved in 60′s style super spy stuff…

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And finally they face an actual supervillain, well, kind of a supervillain, a broad parody of a TV Batman villain anyway. One Tome B. Bukwurm.

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He’s…well, I don’t properly know exactly what he’s supposed to be.  Is he a mole man (one crossed with Professor Kelp from The Nutty Professor) or just a guy dressed up like a mole man?  Albeit a mole man dressed in a Transylvanian space outfit for a showing of The Rocky Horror Show.  And that goes double for his henches, who look like mole man members of The Rat Pack?  Are they a crime gang or do they represent an incursion by a race of subterranean creatures bent on world domination?  After all that anticipation I was frankly disappointed by Bukwurm’s unnecessarily exaggerated goofiness, making me wish even harder that the creature on the cover actually appeared in the comic.  Which is only when it finally occurred to me…

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Bukwurm is the creature on the cover!  As the saying goes, if it had been a snake it would have bit me.  But this raises even more questions.  Is it suppose to be one of those ‘symbolic’ covers or did Powell forget what the character was originally supposed to look like, or did he change his mind about his appearance after the cover was drawn?

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And finally, here’s a couple more stories without any fantastic elements that manage to be quite a bit of fun.

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Steve Bennett
Steveland

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