I have previously written about the oddball, low rent comics of one Harry “A” Chelser Jr. who published his Dynamic Comics under the overwhelmingly inaccurate motto of “World’s Greatest Comics” (see “Comic Book Compulsive — Punch #15).
Chesler specialized in anthology titles with short, snappy titles (Punch, Kayo, Jest, etc.) that were a mishmash of oddball adventure features and some really ugly ‘humor’ strips frequently aimed towards a military audience. Here’s an example of the latter:
On the plus side in a field chock full of amateurs and imitators these features had a singular idiosyncratic style that was like nothing else. On the minus, they were all uniformly ugly and remarkably flatfooted when it comes to execution. Plus, they were just so weird; for years my own personal shibboleth has been “weird almost always gets you at least half way to good”. But that’s just not so with Dynamic Comics; I mean, check out the cover to Scoop Comics #1 supposedly by Charles Sultan. First, look at the comic grotesque soldiers, then, look at the dinky yet mostly realistically drawn alligator. I mean, seriously, what the hell?
For a long time I’ve been strangely over fascinated with Victor Fox’s almost certainly imaginary soft drink Kooba which he marketed in his comics yet never seems to have actually bottled.
But Scoop Comics #1 contains the first ad I’ve ever seen for King Kola. Given my experiences with Kooba I almost automatically assumed that Chesler, being a rival of Fox, decided to follow his example and use his comics to try and drum up interest in his own brand of so Which might have been the case. I can find no further evidence concerning King Kola but there was a “King-Cola” in the early part of the last century, but they seemed to have gone out of business by the early 1920′s.
I’ve also previously expressed my appreciation for The Master Key, standard issue playboy Ray Cardell the man with the x-ray eye (singular). In spite of his power and self-imposed callsign instead of a unitard he fought evil in a singularly stylish men’s suit — I’m telling you, that man had one hell of a tailor. As with most Chesler characters The Master Key didn’t live up to either his potential or beautiful covers like the one below. Maybe it’s just me (as it so often is) but The Master Key kind of reminds me of European artist Daniel Tores’ roguish space adventurer Rocco Vargas.
When guys like me talk about Golden Age female superheroes the name “Mother Hubbard” never seems to come up, which is weird seeing as how she qualifies on all counts (superpowers plus distinctive name and powers). It probably has a lot to do with the fact that she wasn’t someone pretending to be a witch to prey on superstitious criminals. No, she was a for real actual broom stick riding witch who for absolutely no reason given decided to fight crime under the name of a nursery rhyme character. Once again the execution didn’t live up to it’s potential, but it’s hard not to like a character that’s this weird.
And, finally, here’s a pretty nifty little SF feature that surprisingly isn’t all that much like Flash Gordon. The Public Domain Superhero Wiki says there was another Dan Hastings published by Dynamic who was ”an officer of the Interplanetary Police, headquartered on Earth” who looked nothing like this one.
— Steve Bennett