Saturday, October 31, 2009
Here’s a link to some off-kilter panel cartoons from Charles Addams’ very first collection way back in 1942. A number of Addams more macabre characters would, of course, turn up over and over and began to be referred to as “Addams’ Family.” As such, they made the transition to television and pop culture history many years later.
Jeez! I still think of Art Adams as “one of them new guys” but this smoothly drawn (with Terry Austin) adaptation of the classic horror film, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is from way back in 1996! Time, as they say, flies. Good stuff.
Intended as a throwaway gag for a day or three, the Great Pumpkin ended up becoming Charles Schulz’ big contribution to the American Halloween mythos.Some of the “non-appearances” of the character in PEANUTS are spotlighted today at THE BRONZE AGE OF BLOGS.
One last Halloween themed post to link to today is BRONZE AGE BABIES’ look at one of the great Rutland Vermont Halloween parade comic stories of the 1970′s. Fan Tom Fagen’s actual annual parade appeared as the background of several DC and Marvel stories of the period and usually included cameos by real-life comics creators. Discussed here is the 1974 AVENGERS appearance.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I haven’t looked at a recent Marvel superhero comic book in ages but from what I understand there’s something going on about tons of folks secretly being Skrulls or Norman Osborn mating with a Skrull or something. I do recall that in a boneheaded move some years back it was reveald that the Human Torch had unknowingly MARRIED a Skrull! Well, today SILVER AGE COMICS takes us back to a simpler time when things were easy to keep track of without a scorecard for the original Skrull visit to the Marvel Universe in 1961′s FANTASTIC FOUR # 2.
The other day, we linked to some Mike Ploog artwork. Today over at this site you can see (perhaps for the very first time like me!) Mr. Ploog’s graphic story debut from EERIE in 1971. According to the accompanying backstory, Wally Wood was one of the folks who encouraged him to enter the industry after assisting Will Eisner. I should have known that.
Marvel’s recent and at least partially successful attempts at straightening out all of the legal issues behind MIRACLEMAN/MARVELMAN have overshadowed one seemingly pertinent fact. SLAY, MONSTROBOT OF THE DEEP reminds us that they already HAD a character called MARVELMAN way back in 1979!
Finally, yet another seasonal outing as we find BUGS BUNNY and one name above the title SPOOKY THE SPOOK in a breezy tale from a 1955 Dell special entitled BUGS BUNNY’S HALLOWEEN TRICK ‘N’ TREAT FUN.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Edgar Allen Poe’s HOP FROG makes a seasonably timely reappearance from 1966′s CREEPY # 12 as adapted by the late, lamented Archie Goodwin and illustrated in loving detail in glorious black and white by the late, great Reed Crandall.
Here’s a whole bunch of 1950′s Harvey horror tales nicely drawn by the ever-stylish Bob Powell, late of Will Eisner’s SPIRIT SECTIONS, for a regular Powelloween Celebration!
From deep in the COMIC BOOK CATACOMBS comes this weird jungle story of PANU from a 1950 issue of DOROTHY LAMOUR that may or may not be by Sid Check in full Wally Wood mode.
Finally, SEQUENTIAL CRUSH presents an interview with Irene Vartanoff, probably the most famous female letterhack in comics history! There was a point in the Silver Age where just about every issue of every DC comic had a LOC (letter of comment) from Ms Irene (with whom I myself recently exchanged a couple nostalgic emails). Fun stuff!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Pappy reminds all of Craig’s relatively recent book BOODY (see elsewhere on this page) whilst reprinting a long and entertaining tale of Boody Rogers’ BABE, DARLING OF THE HILLS that was NOT found in said volume! Boody seems to be an acquired taste but I had no trouble acquiring it and if you like well-drawn and genuinely funny comics, I doubt that you will either.
Here’s a history and a reprint from Michael Fleischer and Jim Aparo’s legendarily violent and understandably short-lived SPECTRE series that ran in issues of DC’s venerable ADVENTURE COMICS in the late seventies. In spite of a history of good art, few would deny that Aparo OWNED this character’s look!
Originally an assistant to SPIRIT creator Will Eisner during his post-PS years, Mike Ploog debuted at Marvel in the early seventies and has been around the fringes of the industry ever since. Here’s a look at a couple of his vintage Marvel covers and the enhanced re-creations he produced more recently.
2008 NCS Reuben Award winner Al Jaffee is showcased in his 1961 comic strip TALL TALES over at the returning Ger Appeldorn’s blog. The black and white samples are from Monday but skip ahead to Tuesday for some color Sundays and the promise of more to come.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Most of the comics-oriented records I present here are about comics characters. Duh. What I mean is, generally the whole subject of the song is Batman, Flash Gordon, Pogo, Batman, or whomever. The character’s name is in the title and he or she is the star of the song.
Today’s little tune, by contrast, demonstrates just how much a part of the fabric of popular culture comic strip characters were, way back when.
Listen as the one and only Spike Jones performs “It Never Rains In Sunny California.” Just before the raindrops, he casually name drops two of the biggest stars of the funny pages, Li’l Abner and Dick Tracy. That’s it. They are never mentioned again in the song. This isn’t a song about Dick Tracy. It’s simply assumed that the listener is familiar with the adventures of Plainclothes Tracy, the greatest detective to ever wear a yellow raincoat. Likewise, music-lovers would be well acquainted with Daisy Mae’s attempts to marry that big lug Abner, no explanation necessary. Everybody read comics in the good old days!
Click the link to check it out:
Spike Jones – IT NEVER RAINS IN SUNNY CALIFORNIA
— DJ David B.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Two creepy Steve Ditko stories from Charlton’s GHOST MANOR are residing at Groove’s pad today including one in which the artist makes innovative use of musical notes to tell his tale of a warped pianist.
Sometime MAD (and later PLOP) artist Basil Wolverton drew some wacky and insane creatures and characters but none wackier or more insane than when he was trying to tell a straightforward tale. Here’s his now classic sci-fi story BRAIN BATS OF VENUS.
GOLD KEY COMICS, a newish blog devoted to…well…Gold Key Comics… offers a nice 1960′s TWILIGHT ZONE story drawn by the original JLA artist Mike Sekowsky. Try to overlook the blog author’s annoying and consistent misspelling of the artist’s name. He’s new.
An original tale of THE BLACK TERROR, the recently oft-revived public domain hero (with what appears almost to be a PVC costume) is on view from EXCITING COMICS today here:
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sorry I’m late. Been struggling through the seemingly endless freezes that Windows 7 brings to both Explorer and Firefox. At this moment–briefly at least–it’s all good so here we go with a few recommendations for today.
There’s not much better in comics than a good rousing UNCLE SCROOGE adventure by Carl Barks. Joakim Gunnarsson has uncovered a lost, never competed or published UNCLE SCROOGE adventure script from the beloved “Good duck artist!”
The recent death of favorite baby boomer TV comedian Soupy Sales has seen scores of online remembrances. Here’s a look at the one and only issue of SOUPY SALES COMICS from Archie in 1965!
There’s a lengthy reappraisal of the first issue of Marvel’s much-maligned 1972 series NIGHT NURSE over at THE VAULT. Often put down as a low point in comics but now considered a cult classic, this article suggests it might actually be “a hidden gem!”
JON’S RANDOM ACTS OF GEEKERY offers up WaffyJon’s customary selection of original comics art today highlighted by some nice pages from Marvel’s GODZILLA by Herb Trimpe. Also some Win Mortimer, John Buscema and Gil Kane.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
More POGO, Tom Sutton and John Severin! The Net gods are smiling on fans of great COMIC comic art today!
Been plugging DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND a lot here lately but hey, can I help it if they’re that good? Been plugging Tom Sutton a lot lately, too and today the Groovy Agent runs Sutton’s NOT BRAND ECCH take on FRANKENSTEIN SICKSTY-NINE, scripted by DC expatriate Arnold Drake.
PENCILINK offers up an illustrated personal Top 10 list of comics by the late penciller Marshall Rogers whose highly stylized version of BATMAN (along with Steve Englehart’s great stories) from both the seventies and the early 2000′s is considered a very high point in that character’s long run.
One last Sunday POGO comic strip from exactly 45 years ago shows up from Thom Buchanan today along with the announcement of a brand new blog devoted to Walt Kelly and all of his works coming in two weeks. Watch for it!
FOR MONSTERS ONLY was a bizarre hybrid of FAMOUS MONSTERS and MAD put out by the latter’s longtime rival CRACKED. It ran only a handful of issues published irregularly over several years. Here’s a link to John Severin’s art from issue 1.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Let’s revisit the forties, the sixties and the seventies today, shall we? (Don’t ask what happened to the fifties.)
People tend to forget that THE FLINTSTONES lasted as a successful newspaper comic strip long after ending its long original run as the first prime time animated TV series for adults. Here are some choice examples from the mid-sixties, credited to Hanna and Barbera but actually drawn by Dick Bickenbach.
Gardner Fox’s Golden Age HAWKMAN strip as drawn by Sheldon Moldoff (later known as Bob Kane’s number one ghost) is one of the better drawn strips of the 1940′s in spite of–or perhaps because of–its extensive and obvious use of photo reference. here’s a well chosen reprint that demonstrates this.
From MAIL IT TO TEAMUP, here’s a frenetic and creepy tale of Marvel’s WEREWOLF BY NIGHT from the early 1970′s drawn by the always underrated Tom Sutton and scripted by Gerry Conway.
GORILLA DAZE reminds us that DC Comics text pages of the 1960′s and ’70′s could be educational as in the example given here, THE ART OF KISSING which is exactly what it sounds like…marketed to teenage girls in a romance comic!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Sorry I missed yesterday but I was on day two of installing WINDOWS7. Some glitches but now it’s worki…
Sorry. Locked up a second there. Anyway, as I was sa…
OOPS! Had to reboot. My point is that this software is the beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeest…Sorry. Keyboard glitch. Sigh. Anyway, here’s today.
John Byrne’s first art for Marvel–sorta–can be found here although one would be hard-pressed to recognize it as such due to the overpowering inks of Rudy Nebres that give the overall piece a unique but decidely comprimised look.
Writer/Artist Frank Robbins is both celebrated and raked over the coals at the BRONZE AGE OF BLOGS. Robbins Caniff-styled art worked well in newspaper strips for decades but his arrival in comic books led to some controversially odd work.
Keeping in mind that Halloween is just ahead, here’s a comic adaptation of Hammer Films’ PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, adapted by Steve Moore (script) and Brian Bolland (inks)–the guys who went on to create LASAR ERASER AND PRESSBUTTON. Pencils by one Trvor Goring.
From WWII era THRILLING COMICS, here’s the fairly generic hero DOC STRANGE with some fairly generic evil Nazis in a fairly generic superhero tale for your enjoyment and amusement.