Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Fun TRAGG AND THE SKY GODS "Death-Duel" Part 1 seen in this never-reprinted, book-length tale from Gold Key's Tragg and the Sky Gods #6 (1976)!

I guess culture shock is about to hit Dazz and his tribe!
Meanwhile, the interstellar soap opera expands the cast as smitten crewman Ferenk defies his commander, Zorek, who lusts for Keera, who only has eyes for Tragg, who despises her!
The now-free Keera will try to deal with her perceived rival for Tragg's love, Lorn... we will see, TOMORROW..but not here!
You'll have to go to our "sister" RetroBlog, Heroines, to see the kool konclusion!

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Reading Room NORGE BENSON "Voyage of the Bilge Queen"

On Pluto there are thug penguins, magician penguins, and pirate penguins!
So the writer thought...let's add "whaler penguins" to the mix!
Just when you think this series can't get any weirder, it brings in references to Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick"!
Considering today's average high-schooler hasn't read it (nor probably heard of it), it says a lot for the literacy level of kids back in the 1940s!
Artist Al Walker apprenticed at the Walt Disney Studios in California, but returned to NYC due to personal matters.
His animated cartoon-influenced style was unique enough that Fiction House hired him to do humor-oriented strips like Norge, Greasemonkey Griffin (in Wings Comics), Simba (in Jungle Comics), and Private Elmer Pippin and the Colonel's Daughter (in Rangers Comics).
WWII put Walker in uniform...and serving in the Army's publications division as well as designing unit insignia, he smoothly transitioned back to working at Fiction House as soon as he was discharged.
But...Al had fallen in love, married, and discovered that his Fiction House work didn't pay enough to cover expenses!
He was already at his productivity limit due to his detailed style, and wasn't comfortable "watering it down" and a page rate raise was unlikely, so Walker, like many others during thie period, left the comic book industry.
Al ended up taking a better-paying job as graphic designer/illustrator for the publications department of a regional banking chain, where he spent the rest of his professional career.
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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Reading Room NORGE BENSON "Ghoulish Gooleys"

Norge Benson was "meta" long before the phrase was even coined!
Note the references to Planet Comics or the fact they're in a comic on the second page!
More Norge Benson nuttiness TOMORROW!
Yeah, Norge definitely wasn't the typical square-jawed, all-American space hero, as this tale from Fiction House's Planet Stories #17 (1942) proves!
Artist Al Walker was one of the few creatives to spend his entire comic book career at only one company, Fiction House!
We'll go into his other artistic endeavors tomorrow!
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Planet Comics
Volume 4

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Return of Norge Benson and the Penguins of Pluto!

Yep, you read that right...
Pluto's inhabited by intelligent, talking penguins.
Lots of them!
Some are "hoodlums" who wear sweatshirts and newsboy caps and talk with thick Brooklyn accents, and some are "pirates" with eyepatches and peg-legs!
Didn't know that, did you?
The Cosmo Corrigan strip proved to be less than a smash hit, so the editors retooled the concept, adding even more juvenile humor (plus a talking polar bear and penguins), dropping the sexual innuendo and frat-boy antics, while renaming the lead "Norge Benson" and having him crash-land on Pluto, rather than simply being assigned there to get him out of his superiors' hair!
The new character was still what we politely call a "doofus", but Norge proved to be far more popular than Cosmo, lasting for almost two dozen appearances!
We've already run five of his never-reprinted tales HERE, and, inspired by the cold wave currently sweeping the US, we'll be presenting two more tomorrow and well as a couple more next week!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "Mummers from Mercury"

Over 6 decades ago, the world almost ended on New Year's Day...
...but it was saved by the participants of the annual Mummers Parade!
This never-reprinted story from Charlton's Space Adventures #1 (1953) was illustrated by Albert Tyler and Dick Giordano.
The writer (who was probably from Philadelphia) is unknown.

The Mummers Parade is held every New Years Day in Philadelphia.
Mummers tradition dates back to 400 BC and the Roman Festival of Saturnalias where Latin laborers marched in masks throughout the day of satire and gift exchange.
This included Celtic variations of “trick-or-treat” and Druidic noise-making to drive away demons for the new year.

Reports of rowdy groups “parading” on New Years day in Philadelphia date back before the revolution.
Prizes were offered by merchants in the late 1800s.
January 1, 1901 was the first “official” parade offered about $1,725 in prize money from the city.
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