Monday, July 26, 2021

Captain Marvel Olympics

Holy Moley!  When Billy says Shazam!, some of the gods he gets his powers from are Greek.  It took some time, but Captain Marvel was involved in "The Olympic Game Of The Gods!" in a story by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger, under a cover by C.C. Beck in Whiz Comics #125 (September, 1950).


Friday, July 23, 2021

Wonder Woman Olympics

 

Wonder Woman had Greek beginnings, but it took a trip to the future, where Diana helped President Virtura of the female kingdom of Noman against the male forces Prowd, the director of Elam in Olympic games, in a story by William Marston and H. G. Peter in Sensation Comics #83 (November, 1948) in "The Sinister Olympics".


Sunday, July 18, 2021

National Ice Cream Day With Betty And Veronica 2021

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day, but while Veronica Lodge is looking for ice cream, Archie Andrews is getting his two scoops with Betty Cooper, in this cover by Dan DeCarlo to Archie's Girls Betty And Veronica #247 (July, 1976).


Monday, July 12, 2021

Kamandi's World

"Something had happened in the dim past---!  A natural disaster....The people in the bunkers lived out their lives and died dreaming of a day of return".

This was the world of Earth A.D. (After Disaster), and the world Kamandi, the Last Boy On Earth, set out to explore. 


Sadly, he didn't have a map with which to explore it!

Kamandi's world was introduced in Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth #1 (October-November, 1972) by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.  This featured the start of the adventures of Kamandi, a young boy who had lived in bunker of Command D with his grandfather, until some scavenging Rat-men killed the old man, forcing Kamandi out into the great unknown world.  In this world, he started to find things were not the same as in the old books his grandfather had shown him.  

Here, he encountered Great Caesar and his tiger-men cavalry, who were battling the leopard men.  Kamandi was captured, and taken to the human slave pits (the mutated men thinking Kamandi just a dumb animal, which all humans had fallen to).  There, he met the talking bulldog scientist Doctor Canus, who took an interest in the boy, and introduced him to Ben Boxer, a radioactive android who looked like a normal human...





The map was a part of Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth #32 (August, 1975), by Jack Kirby and D. Bruce Berry, and that issue also reprinted issue #1.

The issue had a new story as well, entitled "Me!", with with Kamandi, Dr. Canus, Ben Boxer and Prince Tuftan (the son of Great Caesar) fighting gorilla commandos and meeting a new alien, which would come to figure in the future of Kamandi!

The issue also contained a lengthy article on the penciling talent of Jack Kirby, written by Steve Sherman.

Jack would soon leave the title after this story, but with this and other works, DC writers would start to flesh out the world after the Great Disaster (more on that here!), and though they took it in some unexpected directions, Kirby had laid out the map! 

Oddly enough, #32 (less the Kirby article) was reprinted in The Kamandi Challenge Special #1 (March, 2017), along with the stories that were intended for Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth #60 and #61, which had only previously been a part of of the Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2 (Fall, 1978), and even then, those (and what was reprinted here), was an uncolored and unfinished version of the issues that would have seen print, and included other titles that fell victim to the Great Disaster of the mass cancellation of the 1970s at DC, including Steel the Indestructible Man #6, Secret Society of Super-Villains #16 and #17 and more!



Monday, July 5, 2021

National Bikini Day 2021 With Betty And Veronica


Another year, another National Bikini Day, and this time, just watching Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge.. 

...as are Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle and the boys from Riverdale, as on this cover to Archie's Girls Betty And Veronica #226 (October, 1974) from Dan DeCarlo.

Yes, technically a bikini is a two-piece, so these are swimsuits, but just enjoy the cover and the day....


Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy 4th Of July With Captain America

Celebrate the Fourth of July with Captain America and Jack Kirby, as they did in 1976, with the Marvel Treasury Special Featuring Captain America's Bicentennial Battles #1 (September, 1976).


One of the things this special Marvel Treasury did was celebrate the 200th Birthday of the United States, which was celebrated heavily on July 4th, 1976.


Due to events in the story, Jack Kirby had a few pin up pages, where he explored the idea of Captain America, that, Cap was an institution, supporting America from colonial days, well into space and the future!


Best of all, in line with July being Western Comics Month, Cap even was ready to be part of the drive to expand the USA, heading out west to spread our country across North America!


These Captain America redesigns a wonderful "What If?" to the Captain America legend....




 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Wild West UFO Invasion

It seems an odd cover for a western, with a UFO landing, this Neal Adams cover to DC Special #6 (January-March, 1970), and it was indeed....as odd as the reprints with this issue, and, much more importantly, the new, framing story by Len Wein, Gil Kane and Vince Colletta.

The framing story, "Behold The Wild Frontier", deals with a grandpa trying to get some logging done, yet his two wild grandsons are more interested in getting in the way.  So, to calm them down, he sits them down and starts to tell him stories of men going out to tame the Western frontier.


These stories include tales of Daniel Boone (from The Legends of Daniel Boone #1 from October-November 1955), Davy Crockett and Kit Carson (both from Frontier Fighters #4 from March-April 1955), 

Buffalo Bill (from Frontier Fighters #6 from July-August 1956 - cover not pictured), 



Tomahawk (from World's Finest Comics #69 of March-April 1954) and Pow-Wow Smith (from Detective Comics #178 from December, 1951), with the last two not being featured on the covers, and a little Tomahawk history is here, as Pow-Wow Smith's is here!



As the group was heading out with their lumber, they were set upon by arrows, and found a young brave attacking their group, yet that boy's father arrived to tell him how his people were taken to the sky, and knew that the men they left behind would follow, but the logger grandfather wanted to extend his hand in peace (as readers see the slow pullback to find they were logging on an asteroid in space, extending the Wild West into the Final Frontier, with a UFO in the background!).



  


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Aquaman And Mera's Wedding

According to the old DC Comics Calendar, June 27th is the date Aquaman and Mera got married, as shown by the Nick Cardy cover of Aquaman #18 (November-December, 1964), with the JLA and Teen Titans in attendance!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Remembering Artist Alex Toth

 

Remembering one of comics' greatest artists, Alex Toth (June 25, 1928 - May 27, 2006), on his birthday.  One of the most influential pieces of work he did was on the Limited Collectors' Edition #C-41 (December-January, 1975/1976), where he did the cover, and art for a special bridging story in this treasury sized book that focused on the popular animated series of the time, the Super Friends.

The story that allowed them to use two previous issues of the Justice League of America was having junior Super Friends Marvin White, Wendy Harris and the Wonder Dog are given a tour of JLA headquarters (the Hall Of Justice), as well a little history of the team as well.


Really, its just an opportunity for Toth to draw the Justice League and all its members at the time, as well as a few of the people who helped the team (which include Hawkgirl and Zatanna, as they weren't members at this time...

...likely this and a DC Super-Stars which reprinted some wonderful Zatanna tales are likely the reason she became a member of the JLA).


The treasury also had features on Super Friends animation (which Alex Toth worked on, providing model sheets for the characters.....highlighting the basics needed, which worked well for animation...).


....as well as an article on how involved animation was, which, of course, having worked there, he knew a little about!   Incredible work by an incredible talent, not unlike his work a few years before on the Black Canary series in Adventure Comics!



All this and two classic issues of Justice League of America as well (#61 and #36  from March, 1968 and June, 1965 by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky), which #61 was covered under the mystery villain of the piece, and the other needs covering in the future!  


A book collection, and artist, that had a lifelong effect on this old comic reader! 

 



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Happy Father's Day Superboy

Be happy this Father's Day, if you had a father like Superboy did with his Pa Kent in Smallville...

...here, on the cover of Superboy #69 (December, 1958) by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye, highlighting a tale from the past, when an earthbound Pa Kent taught the Boy of Steel how to fly!

 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Happy Flag Day 2021

Saluting the American flag with Mary Marvel (the Shazam Girl, according to the cover) with this Golden Age cover by Jack Binder from Wow Comics #53 (July, 1943) on Flag Day!


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Happy Birthday George Perez

A little happy birthday to artist George Perez...


...and, here are a few DC Digests that have his art on the cover!



Best of DC 17 (October, 1981)

A cover of Supergirl by George Perez and Dick Giordano, with issues inside reprinting Supergirl stories from Action Comics #256, #285, #318, Adventure Comics #424, Supergirl #1 and Superman Family #165!



Great tales summarizing the career of Superman's cousin, Kara Zor-El, aka Linda Lee aka Linda Danvers!





Best of DC 21 (February, 1982)

The Justice Society of America are rebuilding on this cover, all by George Perez himself, with stories in this issue including DC Special #29, All-Star Comics #35 and Brave and the Bold #62!


These tales include the original of the JLA, the first appearance of Per Degaton and a Starman/Black Canary team up!





DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest 19 (March, 1982)

The original Doom Patrol are on view on this little cover by George Perez and Frank Giacoia, with stories inside including My Greatest Adventure #80, Doom Patrol #86, #91 and #90!

These tales include the first appearance of the Doom Patrol, the Brotherhood of Evil, Mento and battle royale!

Didn't forget about the New Teen Titans Digest, but that one is so special, it will get its own coverage!




Monday, June 7, 2021

Remembering Dean Martin

Remembering singer, comedian and roast master Dean Martin (June 7, 1917 - December 25, 1995) on his birthday, with a look at a few of the covers The King of Cool shared with his partner, Jerry Lewis, of The Adventures Of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, which ran 40 issues from July-August, 1952 to October, 1957.


10 and 12 by Owen Fitzgerald



19 and 24 by Bob Oksner



30 and 33 by Owen Fitzgerald





When Martin and Lewis split, the title continued with just Jerry, and more information on that is here!

But, why didn't Martin get his own title?

 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Happy Doughnut Day 2021

Enjoy National Doughnut Day with Jughead Jones, as he works hard on the cover of Jughead #222 (November, 1973) by Dan DeCarlo and Rudy Lapick.


Wonder what the eating machine that is Jughead did with those donut holes?


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Happy Birthday Pat Boone

Hoping singer, actor, songwriter and author Pat Boone has himself a super birthday today....and, back in the day he was being vexed by Superman, in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #9 (May, 1959), under this cover by Curt Swan.


In "Superman's Mystery Song" by Robert Bernstein, Dick Sprang and John Forte, Superman had to prevent Pat and Lois from singing a song about Superman that Clark had co-wrote!  


Clark had accidentally put a little too much information into the song....and, if heard by the public, his identity could be deduced. 



This issue also was to get the comic reading audience ready for Pat Boone's own comic book title, which had photo covers, and lasted for five issues, from September-October, 1959 to May-June, 1960.



.





Monday, May 31, 2021

For Memorial Day

Saluting our fallen military heroes this Memorial Day, with this Joe Kubert cover of Unknown Soldier....

...here, in Unknown Soldier #216 (June, 1978), a soldier who had an old bugle ended up using it to save the day, before his life was taken, saving his friends....

...and that is the type of sacrifice we honor today.


Friday, May 28, 2021

National Hamburger Day 2021 With Jughead

Jughead Jones is thinking about his true love as he sings for the Archies....and, that is a hamburger!  

How appropriate for today is National Hamburger Day.  

Enjoy this cover by Dan DeCarlo and Rudy Lapick from Jughead #192 (May, 1971) and maybe a burger yourself!


Monday, May 24, 2021

Remembering Artist Carmine Infantino

Remembering artist Carmine Infantino (May 24, 1925 - April 4, 2013) with something special....DC Special #1 (October-December, 1968), featuring the artist at work on some of DC most famous (and a few less so), but all characters that he had a connection to in this "All-Infantino" issue!


Carmine Infantino had a long career in comics, working on the Golden Age Flash and co-creating Black Canary, as well as others back in the day, then getting to bring back the Flash to start the Silver Age, co-creating Elongated Man, having the two Flashes meet...


...becoming DC's editorial director, then publisher...


...before moving over to Marvel to work on Spider-Woman, Nova and Star Wars (and others), before coming back to the Flash when Barry Allen got ready to face the Crisis.




Detective Comics #327

In "the Mystery Of The Menacing Mask" (May, 1964), written by John Broome and inked by Joe Giella...


....the first of the "new look" Batman (including the yellow oval), Batman and Robin faced a mystery menace with a red X on their foreheads...that allows crook Frank Fenton to paralyze them and escape.   



The Elongated Man story (also by Infantino) was reprinted elsewhere.



 

Flash #148

Here, in the story NOT featured on the cover, "The Doorway To The Unknown" (November, 1964), written by John Broome and inked by Joe Giella, the Flash (Barry Allen) gets involved in a slightly supernatural tale...


...where he comes home to find a Fred Dallman in his apartment....a bank vice president who tells Barry that another man will go to prison for a crime Fred committed.  Barry works to clear the man, but also discovers Fred died in a car crash....before Barry met him in his apartment!


Infantino also co-created Captain Boomerang!


Adventures Of Rex The Wonder Dog #29

Though the cover is by Gil Kane/Bernard Sachs, it is the Detective Chimp story from the issue (written by John Broome for September-October of 1956) of "The Scientific Crook Catcher"...


...where Bobo has to disguise himself as a human scientist to catch crook Larry the Lynx at a scientific convention!


Bobo, the Detective Chimp really had little involvement with the rest of the DC Universe until he showed up in Gorilla City during the Crisis On Infinite Earths (having long life as he and Rex found the fountain of youth in a DC Comics Presents back up years before).


Mystery In Space #57

An early Adam Strange adventure where Gil Kane and Joe Giella did the cover, Gardner Fox provided the story and Murphy Anderson the inks for the "Mystery Of The Giant Footprints"...


...where Adam and Alanna faced giant aliens called the Rhollians who were affected by a material called Orichalkum, that made them grow to giant size.  The aliens try to sink the island, and the island eventually does go underwater after Adam and Alanna gave them chase to let the island sink naturally.


Adam Strange and his adventures on the far away planet of Rann were still only a small part of Mystery In Space at this point, with two other stories in this issue.


Brave and the Bold #45

Last, but not least, a cover by Carmine, inked by Murphy Anderson, which is also the story by Gardner Fox and inked by Joe Giella from December-January, 1962...

...wherein a series of Strange Sports Stories ran in B&B...with the "Challenge Of The Headless Baseball Team" was the first story, where uniforms were playing the game without their players!

The DC Special also had a summary of Carmine's career up to that point!


 



Saturday, May 22, 2021

One Special Sherlock Holmes

You'd think DC Comics would have multiple issues of a Sherlock Holmes series, but....sadly you'd be wrong.


DC only published one issue of Sherlock Holmes, dated September-October, 1975, with Denny O'Neil adapting two works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (May 22, 1859 - July 7, 1930), with interior art by E.R. Cruz and Walt Simonson providing the cover.

The issue adapted "The Final Problem", intended to be the end of Holmes and his foe, James Moriarty, and "The Adventure Of The Empty House", where Doyle bowed to popular demand, and had Holmes and Dr. John Watson return (with Holmes having faked his death to draw out Moriarty's minions).


A true mystery as to why there were never more, or where they would have gone from here....