Wednesday, June 30, 2010
William Overgard was a fascinating man and an important cartoonist in the medium. This strip is from 1954, the same year he took over the art on the STEVE ROPER comic strip which he would handle for the next few decades. He would also be the writer on the final days of KERRY DRAKE and created the critical favorite cult strip of the early eighties, RUDY, about a talking show biz chimp. THE CRISCO KEED is a MAD-style parody of the then-popular CISCO KID television series and appeared somewhat incongruously as a back-up in one of St John's issues of THE THREE STOOGES.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
In spite of the box at the end of the story promising another adventure next month, this was, according to GCD, the sole appearance of LEATHERFACE. Obviously, the initial attraction here is the giggle one gets when one sees a superhero with the same name as the now-legendary TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE killer. Once past that, however, it's a pretty good Scarlet Pimpernel riff set in 16th Century France with okay art from an anonymous illustrator,
Monday, June 28, 2010
Unlike the many other companies of the mid to late fifties, the war comics put out by Atlas were often conscious imitations--visually at least--of Harvey Kurtzman's heavily-researched EC war classics. At times, this even included using Kurtzman's artists, in this case, the great John Severin. Note the Laurel and Hardy caricatures in a couple of the characters.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
INSPECTOR DENVER was one of several non-descript lawmen who populated the post-Plastic Man era POLICE COMICS from Quality. This particular 1952 story stands out from the dull, cookie cutter formula in that it offers a brief and more than a little chilling return to the costumed characters of not that long before...only with a deadly difference.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
The ketchup and mustard colored ATOMAN only ran through a couple of 1946 issues with good art by early BATMAN ghost/assistant Jerry Robinson (along with Mort Meskin and according to GCD, possibly George Roussos). His costume was a clear and obvious influence on Ditko's CAPTAIN ATOM which went on to influence Marvel's redo of CAPTAIN MARVEL circa 1970. Robinson, of course, went on to become a newspaper cartoonist, head of the National Cartoonists Society, a prominent author and comics historian and, as recently as 2007, was back at DC as a "Creative Consultant."
Friday, June 25, 2010
One of my absolute all-time favorite western comics was PRIZE COMICS WESTERN featuring American Eagle by the great team of John Severin and Will Elder. Both artists would later make names for themselves separately at MAD and then go on to long an distinguished careers in comics and elsewhere. In fact, just within the past year and a half or so, Mr. Severin was still drawing westerns when he did a BAT LASH mini-series for DC. No idea who the writer on the AMERICAN EAGLE stories was but the art is great fun if you can get past a little political incorrectness.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Although clearly "inspired" by radio's OUR MISS BROOKS, St. John, in the early fifties, produced two sparkling issues of MEET MISS PEPPER...or rather had them produced by the Joe Kubert/Norman Maurer shop. Norman and Joe were a major sign of quality during their brief time together and this humor title is no exception. The cover art is credited to Bob and Joe. Bob would be Bob Bean who presumably also did the bulk of the insides (although Kubert's distinctive style is obvious). Many years later, Mr. Bean would reunite with his old chum and become a teacher at the Kubert school!