Saturday, July 31, 2010

More covers by L.B. Cole

In case the post before last piqued your interest.

Click through for Carly

As mentioned before Meg and Carly are currently doing their best to buy the major statewide elections in California and their damned ads keep showing up on my site. If you see those ads, click and click often.


Friday, July 30, 2010

The Other Cole

We can argue about the ranking, but if Jack Cole is not on your short list of important comic book artists, you need another list. Whether you're scoring on innovation, influence or quality, Jack Cole is one of the first names that comes to mind.

But when you talk great Golden artists named Cole, you need to be more specific. You certainly don't want to leave out L.B.

According to Toonopedia:
L.B. Cole was one of the most highly-acclaimed cover designers in the history of American comic books. Working with the philosophy that the cover is essentially an advertising poster, and its only purpose is to draw the shopper's attention and make him want to buy the comic, he created dozens if not hundreds of the most striking covers of the 1940s and early '50s, usually for small, off-brand publishers that had little going for them other than the work of Cole himself. But his work on inside pages is relatively unknown.
Except in Mippyville.

Look at the way Cole works with the medium in the story below, his composition, his use of effects like transparency, the way he plays with the panels, changing their shape and letting characters break through the border.

And (assuming that L.B. wrote the story), check out the unexpected direction he takes the deformed German villain.

From Super-Mystery v3 #5

Most bloggers would resort to a cheap "don't ask, don't tell" joke here

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Umping Bugglies"

As mentioned in the previous post, the characters of 9 Chickweed Lane have exceptionally healthy sex lives for comic strip characters. In this ongoing storyline about a Forties romantic triangle, Brooke McEldowney shows some new sides of the strip's matriarch.

And back in the present day...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Frank Cho is not a leg man

For years, the title of best good girl art -- funny pages division was shared by two extraordinary strips: Brooke McEldowney's 9 Chickweed Lane; and Frank Cho's Liberty Meadows. Cho's characters showed more skin; McEldowney's had more sex. McEldowney's women had the supple, leggy beauty of ballet dancers. Cho's women also had dancers' bodies, but not that kind of dancer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bad comic book tie-ins and the second worst casting ever for the Crypt Keeper

Comic book publishers have a long history of repurposing an established character in another genre (see Patsy Walker). The results usually leave something to be desired.

The Stan Lee Files -- worst casting ever for the role of Crypt Keeper

Other than than the strange superhero tie-in, this is a good example of the many EC knock-offs Stan Lee put out in the Fifties.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

From the justly-forgotten corner -- Dell's TV and movie comics

Back in the age of the spinner rack, before every town had a comic book store and even your local library found room for a graphic novel section, pickings were often limited to a few grocery store and drug store displays. What was even worse, many of these displays would only carry 'wholesome' comics -- Harvey, Gold Key, Dell.

For comic book historians, Dell will undoubtedly be remembered for publishing three of the unquestioned giants of the medium (Walt Kelly, Carl Barks and John Stanley) but for a kid holding a week's allowance with one hand and turning a picked-over spinner rack with the other, Dell often meant settling for a cheesy TV or movie adaptation.

These shows generally made for boring comics, particularly given the realistic but crude house style of the line. Not only would the characters in the comics not look much like the actors they portrayed, they would differ from the actor in different ways from panel to panel (check out Patrick McGoohan and Tim Conway).

Here, for the sake of completeness, is a

And just in case you thought the classics of American cinema were safe...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If you see a Meg Whitman ad below, please click on it

Don't get me wrong. I think she'd be a terrible governor. She'd push though discredited economic policies and leave one of the world's great university systems dependent on new revenue that will never appear.

That being said, if she's going to buy the election (in small part with ads on my site), I'd like to get my share.

Sorry about the political digression. I'll go back to the fun stuff now.

Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk

Comment would be superfluous.

Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk from Target Comics volume 1, number 11