Super I.T.C.H » 2011 » January
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 January, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Radar The International Policeman

Be Advised: The scans in this week’s Comic Book Compulsive aren’t of the usual high quality I regularly post; both stories are a great deal darker than I would like but they’re the best scans currently available and should be readable once expanded to their full size.

It’s hard saying why some characters appeal to you but if I was going to be absolutely honest I’d have to say my initial interest in Radar the International Policeman sprang mostly from bewilderment.  My first exposure to him came while leafing through my copy of Steranko’s History of Comics. There he was on the cover of Master Comics, a guy in a suit and a killer cravat , palling around with Captain Marvel Sr. and Jr.  I had to wonder who that Dick Tracy looking guy was and why was he hanging out with superheroes.  Who was Radar and what, exactly was his deal?

Facts first;  Radar made his first appearance (in drag) in Captain Marvel Adventures #35 where Private Timothy “Pep” Pepper was literally introduced by comedian Bob Hope during a USO show.  Along with Captain Marvel the story featured guest appearances by Dorothy Lamour, Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Chang Kai-Shek.

His own series started in Master Comics #50 where he replaced Minute Man, one of Fawcett’s patriotic heroes who never quite made the big time*.  There he used his telepathy and ill-defined ‘radar sense’ (yes, he had it first) to fight for world peace until his last appearance in #88 when he was replaced by real-life cowboy Hopalong Cassidy.

Radar made his debut in 1944 and I always kind of assumed he ( like Nyoka the fully clothed jungle girl, the teenagers Ozzie and Babs and his ultimate replacement Hopalong Cassidy) was part  of the publisher’s attempt to come up with new kinds of characters what with the interest in superheroes reaching their zenith.

But the truth was a lot more interesting; Radar was, as they used to say back in the 40′s, strictly propaganda.

He was the creation of Fawcett editor Will Lieberson, the man credited with eliminating the character of Steamboat, Billy Batson’s toxic racist stereotype valet.  Lieberson spoke to a committee of the Office of War Information (which included intellectual Clifton Fadiman, creator of detective Nero Wolf Rex Stout and sports writer Paul Gallico, best remembered for the novel The Poseidon Adventure) and convinced them they could deliver the OWI’s anti-fascist messages to kids in comic book form.

Together they worked out outlines for a half dozen Radar stories, the bulk of which were written by Bernie Miller and drawn by Al Carreno. In a post-war world increasingly menaced by Communism Radar remained solidly on anti-fascist  message.  He arrested war criminals, made sure humanitarian aid arrived safely, thwarted right-wing profiteers, helped overthrow fascist dictatorships, supported democratic governments abroad and democratic ideals of tolerance and inclusion on the home front.

So, yeah, Radar the International Policeman was strictly propaganda, but it was well intentioned propaganda, propaganda for the kind of things America is supposed to stand for.  The kind of things which are apparently way too hot for either Marvel or DC to touch on these days for fear of offending someone. And I can see their point; bullies and bigots buy comics too.

Radar also starred in one of the first graphic novels, 1947′s Comics Novel #1: Anarcho Dictator of Death, a 52 page one shot written by Otto Binder and drawn by Al Carreno.  I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this was an attempt by the Fawcett to come up with new formats.  It was also the only issue of Comics Novel ever published so I’m also going to go ahead and also assume it wasn’t a success.

And while he never had his own comic…in America, a Swedish publisher named Allers published at least one issue of Radar.

And that was the brief career of Radar the International Policeman. Maybe it was due to the fact he chose the wrong post-war enemy, or as it has been suggested, his stories had too much politics and not enough action for it’s intended audience.  But regardless he was gone and mostly forgotten; I’d like to assume he inspired at least the name of the character of Radar O’Reilly from M*A*S*H but if so I couldn’t find any evidence of it online.

But maybe he was a short-lived character because Radar was decades ahead of his time.  I mean, the idea of the world’s only telepathic policeman, empowered by the United Nations to bring genocidal war criminals to The Hague.  One who receives his missions from a secret radio station that broadcasts directly into his head; that’s the stuff of a new cutting edge Vertigo series.

*Minute Man was Private Jack Weston, a regular guy who, without benefit of powers, dressed up in a very generic looking star-spangled outfit and beat the crap out of Nazi’s.  He was clearly Fawcett’s attempt at doing a Captain America type of character who never went big because, in my opinion, he was pretty dull.

Steve Bennett
Steveland

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Boxin’ X #360

Diversions of the Groovy Kind resurrects the 1970 NFL Pro piece by Stan the Man Lee and Big John Buscema comparing the Bengals and Browns with Marvel heroes with memories from guest commentator Mike Mikulovsky.

http://diversionsofthegroovykind.blogspot.com/2011/01/sports-sunday-groovy-guest-post-by-mike.html

Pappy dips all the way back to the pre-Action Comics era known as the Platinum Age to share the first issue of Star Ranger from early 1937, the very first western comic book of all time!

http://pappysgoldenage.blogspot.com/2011/01/number-887-star-ranger-1-dave-miller-to.html

Gorilla Daze takes a look at a fun and unusual issue of DC’s Sea Devils from 1963 in which multiple artists both draw and appear in stories with teh characters and then the fans are asked to vote on the best story.

http://www.thefifthbranch.com/gorilladaze/?p=1461

Finally today, here’s a look at some very early but already very polished  early fifties Gil Kane art on a story featuring the Desert Eagle from St John’s western title, The Hawk.

http://fourcolorshadows.blogspot.com/2011/01/desert-eagle-gil-kane-1953.html

Steven Thompson
booksteve

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Justice League of America–the House Ads


Steven Thompson
booksteve

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Huntin’ Snipes # 359

I met underground comix legend Justin Green in Cincinnati about 7 years back and for a man Crumb credits with influencing him I have never seen a humbler comics artist. Mr. Green has just started his own blog and you can find it here:

http://justingreencartoonart.blogspot.com/

Here’s the indelicately but aptly named site, Fuck Yeah, Kirby!, nothing but page after page of mind-numbing comics art from the man that many others credit as an influence–Jack King Kirby!

http://fuckyeahkirby.tumblr.com/

Here’s some cool early space opera with Kenton of the Star Patrol from 1951 as drawn by the then-team of Wallace Wood and Joe Orlando in an issue of Strange Worlds.

http://atomic-surgery.blogspot.com/2011/01/vampires-of-void-by-wally-wood-joe.html

Finally today, speaking of those guys, here’s Frank Frazetta (and friends) over at DC of all places fighting Spores From Space in a Gardner Fox tale from the first issue of Mystery in Space.

http://pappysgoldenage.blogspot.com/2011/01/number-885-spores-from-space-frank.html

Steven Thompson
booksteve

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lookin’ ‘Em Over, Nashville 1920s Theatre Owners; Local Vanity Cartoon Books, Part 3

Continuing our series on theatrical cartoons, we return to Lookin’ ‘Em Over — a 1920s vanity cartoon book, wherein local business & community leaders appeared in city-based cartoon books in which they paid to be caricatured. Illustrated by Donald H. Grant, and published in Nashville, we showed a few sample pages from this book last May.

A section of Lookin’ ‘Em Over was devoted to theatre owners & managers — silent film theatre owners. One re-recurring theme in this set of cartoons, is advertising how cool the theaters are. At this time, movie theaters were on the cutting edge of air-conditioning technology; before air-conditioning, theaters closed during the Summer, it being too hot for large crowds in a tight, enclosed space. Air-conditioning reversed that, attracting Summer audiences to film theaters.

Also recurring — and unfortunately not surprising in the 1920s — are racist references and images. Most particularly involving those who proudly advertised their moral values. Below right, Ernest C. Cantrell, manager of Nashville’s Knickerbocker Theatre, in addition to providing cartoonist Grant with a racist anecdote to illustrate, sang and danced in blackface, and attends the Allen Fort Memorial Bible Class every Sunday.

Click on the above & below pictures, to open larger versions.

Harry Sudekum below right (brother of Tony, at top??) is depicted wielding a wooden board labeled “Clean Vaudeville” — with protruding nail — as he chases Gloom (Vaudeville), “Out of Existance”. Compare this with the cartoon for Earle M. Fain, above left, who (in addition to racist elements) offers “above all CLEAN ENTERTAINMENT”. Implied is, not vaudeville. The sub-text running in these cartoons, is that Vaudeville is (was) “dirty”, and that silent film theaters are ending the existance of immoral vaudeville, replacing it with the clean, decent fare of (pre-Hays Code Hollywood) movies. That this moral crusade just happened to economically benefit the theater owners leading the crusade, must of course have been mere coincidence…

Doug Wheeler

TheatricalCartoons AsWeSeeEm

Doug
Doug

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pickin’ Grapes # 358

One of the great comics archivists has long been Russ Cochran whose work with EC made the legendary company accessible to new generations. Looks like Russ can use some help to stay in business.

http://troublewithcomics.com/post/2860260886/russ-cochran-needs-your-help

Take a trip back to a gentler time–in this case the Clinton era–for Larry Doyle’s Fantastic Foursome drawn by comics veteran Alan Kupperberg for Spy magazine in the early 1990′s.

http://booksteveslibrary.blogspot.com/2011/01/fantastic-foursome-1992-doylekupperberg.html

Silver Age Comics turns its critical eye toward the seminal superhero story–Spider-Man’s Amazing Fantasy debut by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko with, as always, a nicely illustrated overview.

http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2011/01/amazing-fantasy-15.html

Finally today, speaking of Ditko, let’s go out on one of his PD stories, the Juggernauts of Jupiter. And don’t forget to order Craig’s Ditko book, available on this very page!

http://ditko.blogspot.com/2011/01/unusual-tales-juggernauts-of-jupiter.html

Steven Thompson
booksteve

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: The Fantastic Four Minus One

I was originally going to spotlight Alvin and the Chipmunks today, but this BREAKING NEWS has pushed Ross Bagdasarian to the back burner for now.

The Fantastic Four is no more. Yep, the First Family of Marvel, stars of The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine, have lost one of their own. Since “The Fantastic Three” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, the remaining members are going out of business. The comic book that bears their name will cease publication after 50 years.

I won’t give away the details but if you’re curious you can read the whole sad story here.

Suffice it to say, it just won’t be the same without the FF. More importantly, I have a Fantastic Four song that I’ve been saving for just the right occasion — and this is it! 

Click the link below to hear The Fantastic Four Song. Who knew it would be their swan song?

The Fantastic Four Song – Ray Wall Band

David B
DJ David B.

Monday, January 24, 2011

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Captain Hobby #1

As I have previously established I (a) always love coming across comic books I never imagined existed and (b) don’t know a hell of a lot about Golden Age Canadian comic books.  I certainly had no previous knowledge of Export Publishing, a company which seemed to specialize in doing extremely short-runs of Canadian editions of American comics as well as a few (theoretically) original titles of their own.  Their originals had tantalizing titles such as World-Wide Adventure, Super Western Comics, Thrilling Danger Comics and my personal favorite Big Giant Comics.

Captain Hobby was a solid cover that establishes it’s unique contents with the slogan “Thrilling Adventures Fascinating Hobbies for Everyone”.  As you can see it features a pretty neat pirate battle prominently featuring a busty attractive native girl as well as encircled promises of “Model Building”, “Forest Craft” and “Trick Merlin” (more on him later).

The comic itself is a strange mix of rather wholesome adventure stories that have some kind of hobby angle and supposedly education material about activities the kids can do such as ”How To Start Your Own Stamp Collection”, “Make Your Own Tom Thumb Golf Course” and “A Pinhole Camera That You Can Build”.

The first story “Old Coins Tell Strange Tales” tells the story behind  the cover (though, sadly, it does not contain an appearance by the busty attractive native girl).  The Winter siblings Jack and Joy find a coin on the beach and go to Captain Hobby’s “Fix-It” Shop (though from the contents of the shop it’s hard to imagine just what, exactly, is Captain Hobby qualified to fix.  Hobby spins them a yarn about one of his coins that involves natives and pirates which ends with information on how to start a coin collection.

Then there’s this six page story featuring Ace Bradley and his Cloud Commanders (the title of which is a bit of a boast, as it makes it sound like Ace is running some kind of flying do-gooders kind of operation ala Blackhawk when in reality he has exactly one plane) story which promises “Adventures in the sky and easy instructions of building model planes”.

And finally as promised Trick Martin.  One of my favorite recent comic books has been Northern Guard from Moonstone  which is Ty Templeton’s revival of Golden Age superheroes (his version of Trick is the guy on the left with the goatee).

As I’ve admitted I don’t know all that much about Canadian Golden Age comics, but I instantly recognized the names of most of the characters he was bringing back (Freelance, Commander Steele and of course Johnny Canuck).  I’d even read some of their adventures.  But others were a complete mystery like Zor the Mighty, Blackwing and in particular Trick Merlin.  Who the hell was Trick Merlin?

So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that Trick Merlin was the final feature of this comic in apparently his first and only appearance.  Of course this version of the character (who dresses like Bing Crosby on opening day at the track and is just a stage magician) has nothing to do with Ty’s version (who has standard ill-defined comic book magic powers).  None of which should impair your enjoyment of this four pager (which has the Grand Comic Book Database tell us was drawn by Wes Chapman) where Trick helps his pal Archie Plunger (who seems to have escaped from a Damon Runyon story), deal with a crooked gambler and in the process teaches the kids a neat magic trick.

Steve Bennett
Steveland

Monday, January 24, 2011

Magnum Force # 357

The pre-Pussycats Josie we start with today always seemed like an Archie afterthought to me but she was a project near and dear to the heart of artist Dan DeCarlo as she was, in fact, inspired by his own wife.

http://www.bigblogcomics.com/2011/01/shes-josie-no-8-september-1964.html

As a teen, Robert Crumb’s work made me uncomfortable but it becomes obvious in retrospect that he wanted it to do just that. Here’s a cover gallery that includes mid-seventies work from Arcade, in my opinion his best phase.

http://comicrazys.com/2011/01/19/cover-gallery-arcade-the-comics-revue-and-more-robert-crumb/

In the wake of the new Green Hornet movie, critics keep referring to the character as a comic book hero in spite of his radio origins. He did, however, make some memorable comics appearances including this Jerry Robinson-drawn story.

http://pappysgoldenage.blogspot.com/2011/01/number-884-green-hornet-and-mummy.html

Finally today, Gorilla Daze offers an illustrated, in-depth review of 1972′s Supergirl # 1, the very first issue to have that title after the Maid of Might appeared for years in Action Comics and Adventure Comics.

http://www.thefifthbranch.com/gorilladaze/?p=1444

Steven Thompson
booksteve

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Cincinnati Enquirer on Richard Fenton Outcault-1977

Here we have an article from the Cincinnati Enquirer Sunday Magazine in 1977 extolling the virtues of Richard Fenton Outcault, and rightfully so, as the “Father of the Comic Strips.” He was certainly ONE father to the art form. The article was written by a local contributor and was no doubt sold due to the local tie-in fact that Outcault had, at one time, worked for the paper himself.




Steven Thompson
booksteve

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