Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Culture Corner with Basil Wolverton

Monday, May 23, 2011

Early Eisner

In 1939, Will Eisner was 22 years old. He had already established himself as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in a booming new medium. More importantly, he was pushing that medium, both through his own art and through the artists working for him. His art was always a notch above the rest and from the beginning he was creating new techniques in what we now call sequential storytelling.

Yarko is nearly forgotten now (he only made one American appearance -- Wonder World Comics #8), but it stands up better than many of his longer lived competitors.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk -- the first appearance

From Toonopedia:
Wolverton both wrote and drew Spacehawk, who started in the fifth issue (June, 1940) of Target Comics. The character wasn't one of Target's most prominent features, appearing only once (August, 1940) on the cover (which was usually given to The Target, who thoughtfully provided villains with something to shoot at by putting a target on his chest). Nonetheless, the series drew a lot of mail. Wolverton's talent for creating disturbing images, which truly blossomed in the late 1940s, was already manifesting itself in some of the most repulsive aliens yet seen in comics, and parents of frightened youngsters were writing in to complain.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hospitalization for only three cents a day

This ad from a 1950 issue of Airboy shows how much things have changed and how much they haven't.

More Covers from the other Cole

Star might not have been able to compete with EC in terms of what was actually in the comics, but when it came to covers, Star had L.B. Cole, and no one ever drew a cover like Cole.

Friday, May 13, 2011

No wonder the empire fell

An odd ad that appeared in a 1952 British reprint of Simon and Kirby's Black Magic.

From Wikipedia:

Joan the Wad is a mythological character in Cornish folklore. Specifically, she is Queen of the pixies (or piskeys), a race of tiny creatures usually associated with the area of Cornwall and Devon. Wad is a dialect word for torch.

Not much has been written on Joan, as the folklore of Cornwall relied on oral tradition for hundreds of years. She has been associated with Jack o' the Lantern, a will-o'-the-wisp type character who leads travellers astray on lonely moors, hence the rhyme:

Jack o' the lantern! Joan the wad,
Who tickled the maid and made her mad
Light me home, the weather's bad.

However, Joan is also thought to be lucky, and another rhyme runs:

Good fortune will nod, if you carry upon you Joan the Wad

Even today people will carry small figures of her for good luck, a small collection of which are housed at the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Talking about people's welfare is how Hitler started

It also seems to have had something about the fall of the Roman Empire.

An anti-union screed from 1950 (art credited to comic strip legend, Dan Barry). Possibly passed out to employees of National Association of Manufacturers members:

Here's some background on NAM from Wikipedia:

In 1903, David MacLean Parry delivered a speech at the annual convention of the National Association of Manufacturers that was focused on organized labor. He argued that unions' goals would result in "despotism, tyranny, and slavery." Parry advocated the establishment of a great national anti-union federation under the control of the NAM, and the NAM responded by initiating such an effort. The NAM encouraged the creation and propagation of a network of local anti-union organizations, many of which took the name Citizens' Alliance. The national Citizens' Alliance entity came to be called the Citizens' Industrial Alliance.

According to Adam Curtis's documentary "The Century of the Self", NAM used Edward Bernays in the 1930s to combat the policies of President Roosevelt. NAM made efforts to undermine organized labor in the United States before the New Deal.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Once again, it's "Sunday Afternoon Culture Corner with Basil Wolverton"

The Art of Looking Lurid

Romance comics always promised more scandal than they delivered, particularly after the Comics Code went into effect.

Intimate, published by Charlton, 1957: