Monday, July 30, 2012

Captain Marvel Jr. #71 (March 1949, Warlords of Mars)

Note: Unfortunately my copy of Captain Marvel Jr #71 was significantly defaced many years ago. Store owners who carried comic books would cut the logos off the comic book cover (of unsold issues) and return them to the distributor for credit. Some of these "3/4 cover" comics escaped destruction and were given away or otherwise disposed of. On my comic the front cover and several pages of the first story were cut way. I am beginning the first story with page seven. Hopefully someone with a complete first issue will come along post it on the Digital Comics Museum web site.

The Warlords of the Moon

One of the interesting things about this tale is that a real observatory is the focal point of the narrative, Mount Palomar. This certainly provides an educational aspect to the story (the observatory's 200 inch telescope). CapJr's intelligence is emphasized in this story. A caption says, "But Captain Marvel Jr's keen brain rapidly calculating the origin of the bomb which hit Earth!" He can also no only fly through space unaided but he can talk it's vacuum also. Script by Otto Binder (GDB) and art by Bud Thompson. This issue has three Thompson stories where the artist is hitting his stride on the Captain Marvel Jr strip. [We are showing only the last several pages of this story].

Monday, July 23, 2012

Master Comics #115 (May 1950, Freshman freddy & Tom Mix)

Freshman Freddy "The Old Apple Tree"

This simple four page campus tale is so much better then the previous story. Freshman Freddy is likable and even when he is outfoxed by Ace he ends up on top at the end of the story--gaining the reward money and the girl. The most interesting thing here is seeing the journeyman art of Frank Bolle. Bolle would go on in the 1960s to draw such features as Dr Solar for Gold Key, various strips for Boy's Life magazine and the syndicated strip the Heart of Juliet Jones.

Tom Mix "Terror at the Gold Mine!"

For a seven-pager this story deftly combines two plot lines--one the gold mine discovery and the other about Laird Rigney searching for his father's murderer. It is interesting that while Tom Mix is the hero at the end of the story he has to be rescued by Laird Rigney. Perhaps the lack of a secret identity helped Tom Mix in this instance. The artwork (by  Carl Pfuefer and John Jordan) is made up of mostly medium shots. Perhaps the only obvious artistic misstep happens on page 3, panel 3 where the artist hasTom Mix exiting the panel to the left. If the penciler had flopped the panel Mix would then lead the reader's eye to the next panel instead of the previous page.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Master Comics #115 (May 1950, Nyoka & Ozzie & Babs)

Nyoka "The Invisible Menace"

This story is fairly typical formula plot with a gimmick (the invisibility serum) used in the wrong way to cause trouble. It is interesting that when Nyoka takes the serum she and her clothes not only become invisible but her rifle does also. The writer and editor of the story probably felt most readers wouldn't notice and trying to come up with an explanation would unnecessarily complicate matters. This story owes its basis to the various Invisible Man movies and the Invisible Scarlet O'Neil comic strip.

Ozzie & Babs "Dawn, Dusk and Date Time"

This has to be one of the dopiest teen humor stories produced during the last half of the 1940s. The young girls are presented as short-tempered bitches and the adolescent boys are stupid and ineffectual. These girls beat up on their male counterparts at the least provocation. Where is the Comics Code when you need it? (of course this is more than five years before the Code took effect). This story is unusually violent and mean-spirited for a teen humor comic. One is tempted to think the writer hated teenagers. This is an awful story.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Master Comics #115, May 1950 (The Human Dogs)

(Note: I had scheduled posting Captain Marvel Jr #20 but just noted that it has recently been posted on the Digital Comic Museum website. This is for the best as my copy was incomplete missing several pages from the second CMJ story.)

Convention Note: This week I will be at the San Diego Comic Con at the Christian Comic Arts Table in the Small Press section. If any of you are there please stop by and say hi. I'd be happy to meet you.

The Human Dogs

This is a fairly standard Sivana Jr story with the World's Wickedest Boy coming up with a gadget that causes Capjr  ten pages worth of trouble. The GCD credits the artwork to Bill Ward. I disagree and believe that Sheldon Moldoff contributed  the visuals to this yarn. Ward and Moldoff have somewhat similar styles during this  period.

Colonel Corn

Once again the unnamed bigfoot cartoonist  uses perspective to move the string of one line jokes along to the predictable slapstick conclusion. (We will finish this issue next week).