Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Comics: GREEN LAMA "Turn of the Scrooge"

How does a Buddhist clergyman celebrate Christmas?
Why not sit back with a cup of hot cocoa and find out?
This story from Green Lama #7 (1946) was scripted by Green Lama creator Kendell Foster Crossen and illustrated by Mac Raboy, using Craftint paper stock to create the line effects.
If the effect looks familiar, it's because a number of artists including Wally Wood, Al Williamson and Reed Crandall used it extensively on their work for EC Comics' Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, and Weird Science-Fantasy.

We're taking a week off from posting to repair the damage done by our image host Picasa when they changed their default setting for images to 512 pixels, reducing most of our illustrations from 750 pixels to 512.

Look for us in the New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reading Room: JET DREAM "Ting-a-Ling--Enemy Agent!"

While we sit here freezing, our fave femme fatales are on the beach...
...unfortunately, not in bikinis!
(Aren't those jumpsuits warm?)
It's too bad these stories were limited to 4 pages at a time, posing a real challenge for writer Dick Wood.
This story from Man from U.N.C.L.E. #10 would've benefited from another 2-4 pages of kick-assery in the inimitable penciling style of Mike Sekowsky, who, sadly, did only one more Jet Dream tale (Which we presented on our "sister" blog, True Love Comics Tales™).
Joe Certa illustrated most of the remaining stories, including the one-shot full-length comic, with Jack Sparling contributing our next Jet Dream tale, which we'll be presenting after the New Year.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Reading Room: PHANTOM LADY & SPIDER WIDOW Conclusion

Feature Comics #71
The Spider Widow and Phantom Lady, brought together to battle a menace threatening PL's father, US Senator Knight, have also developed a rivalry for the affections of The Raven.
Note: the order is changed this month as the Spider Widow tale comes first in story continuity.
Also, even though most sources list this as a Frank Borth job, it's not signed, as most of his work is, and the art style is a bit...off.
So while Borth probably wrote and penciled the story, he probably didn't ink it.
Now for the Phantom Lady installment...
Police Comics #22
The art here seems to be a combination of Frank Borth and Phantom Lady creator Arthur Peddy.
Both Spider Widow and Phantom Lady would make one more appearance in their respective series before being canceled.
While Phantom Lady was revived and revised at Fox Publishing, the Spider Widow hasn't appeared in a new story since.
We hope you enjoyed this look at the first version of Phantom Lady, and we'll be returning to the Fox Phantom Lady series in January, 2012...
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reading Room: NOT WHO YOU THINK: "Wonder Man" Conclusion

Aw, c'mon, he's leaping tall buildings at a single bound, for Chrissakes!
During a visit to Tibet, electronics expert Fred Carson is given a ring by an elderly monk which imbues him with superhuman strength, speed, limited flight, enhanced vision and audio abilities, and invulnerability.
Returning to the USA,  he is sent by his employer to the war-torn country of Tatonia to test his new long-range television transmitter, as well as chaperoning the boss' daughter who is serving as a Red Cross nurse.
When the Red Cross field hospital is attacked, Carson becomes Wonder Man and battles the enemy.
Meanwhile, the boss' daughter is captured...
Nope, there wasn't "another action filled Wonder Man adventure"!
When the second (and last) issue of Wonder Comics came out, Wonder Man was nowhere to be found.
DC Comics' lawyers had immediately leaped into action when Wonder Comics #1 hit the newsstands,  suing Fox Publications with a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Will Eisner, who wrote and drew the story at the behest of publisher Victor Fox claimed for years that he testified in court that Wonder Man was a deliberate imitation of Superman (which was the truth).
However, as shown in court transcripts HERE, Eisner committed perjury on the stand (as instructed by Fox), claiming that the then-neophyte writer/artist had conceived the Wonder Man strip months before Action Comics #1 had been published!
Despite that, the court ruled in favor of DC, and the first Wonder Man never reappeared.
There have been several Wonder Men since then, including a super-powered futuristic hero who also used advanced weaponry, more of a Captain Future than Superman (and who was called "WonderMan")...
...and the Marvel Comics character introduced in Avengers #V1 N9 (1964).
BTW, is it a coincidence that the costumes of The Incredibles follow the same design motif and color scheme as the original Wonder Man's?
 I think not! ;-)

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reading Room: NOT WHO YOU THINK: "Wonder Man" Part 1

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a lawsuit waiting to happen!
Wonder Man made only ONE appearance before the publishers of a certain mild-mannered reporter/superhero sued, claiming he was TOO similar to you-know-who!
A judge agreed, the character "retired", never to be seen again (until now) and Wonder Comics was retitled WonderWorld Comics!
Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion to the origin of Super...I mean Wonder Man.
Yeah, that's it!
Wonder Man!
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Reading Room: PHANTOM LADY & SPIDER WIDOW Part 2

Police Comics #21
To that, we would add that the two heroines and a hero saved the life of Phantom Lady's father, Senator Knight!
Amazing, these crooks are yards away from the dueling damsels, yet they recognize Phantom Lady as Sandra Knight!
Her boyfriend in the Fox issues, Don, is even dumber than I thought!
Then the story continued in Spider Widow's home, Feature Comics...
Feature Comics #70
Scripter/artist Frank Borth was one of the under-appreciated craftsmen of the era.
He produced almost 100 stories, but never hit the "big time" with a major character or title.
Even his work on Phantom Lady is overshadowed by Matt Baker's more cheesecakey art on the later Fox version!
Be here next week for the final two chapters and a couple of surprises!
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