Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adventure Comics - "Manhunter"!

Next up in my "A 'Slight' History of Golden Age Comic Books" look at the heroes of National (DC) Periodical's "Adventure Comics" is a lesser known character in the DC universe, but oddly enough, one that's been used more than you might think, "The Manhunter"!

The feature "Paul Kirk, Manhunter" began in Adventure #58 (1940), but he wasn't a costumed adventurer as we're spotlighting here, but rather an investigator who helped the police with tough cases. Running around in a suit and a tie stopping the bad-guys like so many in the early golden age.

In issue #72 however, he got a make-over courtesy of the great Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and a snazzy red and blue outfit with a very unusual full face mask, and became "The Manhunter"! Um...kind of... The character's name was now Rick Nelson and NOT Paul Kirk...until 2 issues later in #74 when they changed his name back, but kept the costume and new feats of heroic derring-do!

Simon and Kirby only stayed with the character until #80 and the character fell to other staffers. I don't have any of the Kirby stories from this era, but here's a couple of cool Kirby Adventure Comics covers I did latch on to!

And even one without the funky mask!

The feature only lasted until #92, when wartime paper shortages cut back the magazine from 64 pages to 52 and the character wasn't seen again until he was ret-conned by Kirby himself in the early 70's during the bronze Age of comics, and that's not what we're talking about here, now is it.

Here's the only golden age Manhunter story I have, done by an unknown artist and writer. Still good stuff though, and a rare glimpse into this little used character with a cool mask.


Meanwhile in the back room at "Ye Olde Drink Hole"...

Talk to you soon.

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Shermlock Shomes" - Bill Elder - Mad Mondays!

"Mad COMIC BOOK Mondays" rolls right along and issue #7 hit the stands in 1953 with this sexy and funny cover by Harvey Kurtzman...

Opening the issue was a spoof of Sherlock Holmes by Kurtzman and the fantabulous Bill/Will "Chicken Fat" Elder, hisself. Remember, anyone who reads an Elder story just once is cheating himself...the nooks and crannies are filled with all sorts of comic genius. Read on and enjoy!

Sheer brilliance.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Funnies

Get back under them covers with a cup o' hot joe! It's time for 4 color Sunday Funnies!

Al Capp's "Li'l Abner" from November 29, 1953. The gals o' Dogpatch vs. "The Wrecker"! No husband kin be trusted!!

Cliff Sterrett's "Polly and Her Pals" from January 17, 1926. Pa and hard cider, Pa and hard cider.

George Herriman's "Krazy Kat" from June 15, 1935. Offica Pup's "cents of yuma" is put to the test.

Milton Caniff's "Terry and the Pirates" from December 23, 1934. Pat Ryan and Terry take a dive!

And this is what it was like when the comics pages were filled by people who could write and draw. Jim Davis will smoke a turd in Hell for every installment of "Garfield" he inflicted upon us.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Moe Yoe Sirocco Comic Strip Figurines - Unca Jeffy's Toy Box

Happy Saturday and time for another dive into Unca Jeffy's Toy Box -

Here's some more of those nifty sirocco statuettes celebrating classic comic strip characters, sculpted by Craig Yoe Stodios, hand painted and numbered and distributed by Dark Horse Comics.

Here's Uncle Walt Wallet and orphaned Skeezix from Frank King's "Gasoline Alley"...

Chester Gould's iconic hard boiled detective, "Dick Tracy"...

Chic Young's "Blondie"...sigh...how'd Dagwood get so lucky?...

Lee Falk's "Mandrake the Magician", one of the forerunners of comic book super heroes (and as we'll see in the comig weeks and months in "A 'Slight' History of Golden Age Comic Book Super Heroes", direct inspiration for at least a score of said heroes)...

And Billy DeBeck's original little ne'er-do-well, "Barney Google"...

More of these to come. I really think they're 9 kinds of cool!

Talk to you soon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"H.K. Fleeber's 48 Teeth" and "Lifetime Pass to the Bijou Talkin' Picture Show"!

Happy OTR Friday and another visit to the small house half-way up on the next block with Paul Rhymer's Vic & Sade".

First up, from an unknown day in December 1940, Vic suffers writer's block as he's asked to write an article for "Kitchen-ware Dealer's Quarterly". Rhymer's signaure names come a-plenty in this episode and sucks you into his world, a world I'd love to live in...and I think I did as a child in Montana.

The subject of Vic's article is to be H.K Fleeber from Grovelman, South Carolina who works at Plant #18, and his personal accomplishment of having an artificial tooth in his head from every state in the union (that's 48 teeth and quite a mouthful). Editor's T.J. Giggs and G. Tillman Feeb asked Vic to write this article and the patriarch of our favorite family dreams of doing a good job in the hopes that he'll be asked to become a regular contributor like J. Richard Sickbrain who write poetry for the magazine. Eventually Sade and Rush decide to leave Vic alone in his frustration and go see the picture at The Bijou. Gloria Golden and Four-Fisted Frank Fuddleman starring in "I Shall Love Thee Evermore, Lieutenant Corporal Glush!".

Dang this is good stuff! Enjoy!

Next up is December 17, 1940. Sade's perplexed as to the whys and wherefors of the Miller Park Zoo squandering their money on a new baboon named Leser, while Rush has a scheme to draw $50 (1940 dollars, mind you) from his savings account to buy a lifetime pass to "The Bijou Talking Picture Theatre".

Full of Sadisms that make my mother's voice ring in my brain, she tells Rush he's "as transparent as a horse" in his intentions, that he's "full of axel grease and peach butter" in his pitching of the idea and that he'd squander his hard earned money as fast as "send his undershirt to Detroit, Michigan parcel post".

Ah, the flavors and smells you can get from words when a real writer is at work. Enjoy!

Our visual treat this week is more text than anything and a little lengthy, but very worthwhile for any fan of this series. From 1979 and "The Journal of Popular Culture" (something tells me I want every dang issue of this thing) Volume 12, part 2 - Fred Schroeder's very in-depth look back at the series.

Seriously...where do I find the entire library of this thing?


Talk to you soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adventure Comics - "The Shining Knight"!

Next up in my "A 'Slight' History of Golden Age Comic Book Super Heroes" look at the heroes of National (DC) Peridocals "Adventure Comics, is "The Shining Knight".

The Shining Knight made his debut in the September 1941 issue #66 of Adventure and was created by Crieg Flessel. A knight in King Arthur's court of Camelot and member of the legendary Knights of the Round Table, Sir Justin was battling an ice ogre, when he fell into a crevass and was frozen solid, only to be preserved until scientists in 1941 found him and thawed him out. In one little nap, he went from battling dragons and ogres in merry old England, to fighting the dreaded Hun and evil Niponese scurge of World War II!

Oh, I forgot to mention. During his tenure at Camelot, he was rewarded for his bravery and steadfastness by Merlin the Magician and endowed with magic bullet-proof chain mail, an enchanted sword which could cut through any material and his horse Victory was given wings.

Hitler never had a chance.

Here's Sir Justin in a 1945 exploit from Adventure Comics #101. It has a little flash back to his origin, and shows some nice insight into Sir Justin's private life, working as a shlub in a museum to hide his gallant true self, and being taught the ways of the 20th century by a kindly old curator.

It really is a fun little story. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, in case you were concerned, Jeffy's Angels have lent the back-room of "Ye Olde Drink Hole out to a little Super-Hero-Elixir-aholic support group. Let's wish Roger Ramjet, Underdog, Hourman and Super Chicken all the best.

Talk to you soon.

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