Friday, April 29, 2011

Wouldn't a swamp monster dry out in New Mexico?

As mentioned before, the Heap was the first of the comic book swamp monsters. As Don Markstein puts it:
The Heap was comics' very first shambling muck monster, tho he was undoubtedly inspired by Theodore Sturgeon's 1940 short story, "It", the template for all shambling muck monsters to come. "It" told of a man who died in a swamp, fermented in a broth of rotting vegetation, and eventually rose again, half man, half fetid vegetable matter, to wreak vengeance upon his foes. Another prominent "It"-inspired comic book character of the 1940s was DC's Solomon Grundy, who bedeviled Green Lantern starting in 1944.

In The Heap's case, the man in the muck was Baron von Emmelmann, who had everything to live for — wealth, social position, loving wife, baby he hadn't yet seen, etc. — when, on October 12, 1918, his plane was shot down over Poland's Wausau Swamp. Lying lifeless as his body slowly merged with the morass, he had nothing left but his will to live, to rise, to return to the world of humans.
I have no idea how our shambling hero made it to the American Southwest, but if questions like that bother you then you shouldn't be reading comic book in the first place.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Don't you hate that feeling of almost remembering?

I am absolutely certain this is the work of an artist I ought to know but I can't quite place it.

From Unseen #6

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mippyville thought for the day -- taste

There's a difference between having good taste and being a slave to it. If you can't enjoy the pleasures of the bad effects in a cheap sci-fi film or the greasy goodness of a basket of chilli-cheese fries or the sublime goofiness of a Silver Age comic, then your cultivated palate has left you poorer, not richer.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Help Sarah Palin support Mippyville

Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. Perhaps even more importantly, every time you click on the ad of a politician you dislike or merchant you disapprove of, an impoverished blogger gets a small amount of money from the politician or merchant.

Not that I would recommend such a thing, of course.

Be prize wise guys -- read Basil Wolverton's Culture Corner

Cowboys and Aliens -- Basil Wolverton Style

More BingBang Buster from Black Diamond Western.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Will Eisner's PS Magazine

Will Eisner was the most influential comics creator... period. With all due respect to remarkably talented men like Kirby, Cole, Siegel and Shuster, Lee, Barks and all the rest.

Eisner saw not only the artistic potential of comics but the commercial and instructional potential as well. With that in mind he created American Visuals Corporation and PS Magazine (featuring the beloved Connie Rodd).

Now the good people at Digital Comics Museum have downloaded a whole truckload. You can see that Eisner had put a lot of thought into the problem of teaching through sequential art. You'll also notice he has pretty much solved the problem of holding soldiers' attention while instructing them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pre-code Horror from Mort Meskin

Mort Meskin was a legend in the Golden Age of comics and a huge, acknowledged influence on a young Steve Ditko (I could easily imagine Ditko drawing the panel below).
From Out of the Shadows, 1954...

Friday, April 1, 2011

More Basil Wolverton -- Bingbang Buster

Though Powerhouse Pepper is best remembered today (partial because of who published him), Basil Wolverton produced a number similar strips for various publishers in the Golden Age.

Here, from 1950, is a Western variation on the theme:

And now a word from our sponsors

The following is brought to you by the good people at Ultrasonic Remote.