Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crimefighters # 1-Gene Colan

I read this cool crime comic titled Crimefighters # 1 from 1948 and published by Marvel Comics. The crime comics of the 1940s and 1950s are very interesting and fun comics to read. Some comic book artists did very well in the genre. People like George Tuska,Jack Kirby,Harry Anderson,Bob Powell,John Buscema,Joe Maneely,Fred Guardineer,Rudy Palais,Vernon Henkel,Alex Toth,and John Severn are just a few of the folks who did fantastic crime stories. This issue starts with "A Clint For The Hangman!" that looks like Syd Shores and Al Avison but I see on Gene Colan's website that he did this story. Gene Colan would speak highly of Syd Shores the few times I talked to him at shows. Shores was one of the top artists at Marvel at the time and makes sense that the younger artists would look up to him or work in his style. Looking at the story carefully to find hints of Gene's later style and its there.Its a bit crude but the way he composes a panel is there and it is the standout of the issue. Great hanging panel on the first page.

The next story is "One Was Guilty!" and I can't tell who did the art. It ok but nothing great. Story of two guys who look alike and the wrong guy gets caught. The last story is "Killer At Large!" and the art is better in this story but can't figure out who it is. Looks familiar in the way the figures stand and the faces are drawn. Great prison break story with a bland ending but these stories get better with the coming years until the comics code takes over. Atlas Comics and Orbit Comics are favorites of mine and hope to have some Wanted issues up on this blog.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Little Lulu # 247-Irv Tripp and Taxes

I got a chance to read some more of the final issues of Little Lulu. I started to do this to get a look at Irv Tripp's artwork without John Stanley scripts. Little Lulu # 247 from 1978 seems to be a better than average issue. Tripp's artwork is rock steady through most of the run. Irv Tripp does all the art in this issue. Arnold Drake did the Little Lulu stories and Fred Fredericks wrote the Witch Hazel and the Little Scarecrow Boy story. Drake starts off the issue with "A Taxing Day" and its an odd story for kids but funny because of it. Snobbly the Butler is not himself and reveals that he has tax problems. Wilbur's Uncle Thaddeus decides to do battle with the IRS. So Thaddeus and Mr. Smith from the IRS do battle over the phone over a bill for $3.27!!!! Its a pretty cool story and shows how this government agent (who has a Hitler mustache) is wasting tax dollars on this and building a toy model at work!!! A little dig at the IRS?? The next IRS agent takes over and wants to deport Snobbly... The story has a nice end to it but I wonder how many kids thought it was funny or how many kids today would think its funny. I do think some adults would see the humor in it.

The next Lulu story is "Friends To The End" and its got a Peanuts feel to it. Its all about friendships and how Annie's actions teach her fellow classmates and even the adults what friendship is all about. A bit corny but if you're in the mood its well done.

The Witch Hazel and Little Scarecrow Boy story is titled "Wail Of A Sale" and not much to say about this bland story. Its nice just for the Tripp art. It seems Fredericks had a hard time coming up with different stories for these characters over time. It must have been restricting due to the formula of Little Itch always hating Little Scarecrow Boy. The worlds of the witches and Little Scarecrow Boy never really blend well together. There are exceptions here and there. Also,its great to see Tripp's art on characters outside of Little Lulu.
The last story is with Lulu and its titled "Charmed Lives" and its okay but if John Stanley had this in his head it would have really been funny and more depth to it.
As is its got a very weak ending. This issue has credit boxes for all stories. I wonder if this was done on many of the Gold Key/Whitman issues during this period.