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Saturday, September 9, 2017

PEP COMICS #159
(On Newsstands in August 1962)



Two months after the release of Amazing Fantasy #15, featuring the origin and first appearance of Spider-man, we have here another example of the art telling the story, as 'Steady Study' shows us.
So... just like the story, I'll say no more and let the art do the talking for me!
(from Pep Comics #159 - August 1962, artwork by Bob White?)













Friday, September 1, 2017

ARCHIE ANNUAL #13
(On Newsstands in June 1961)



The Archie Annual from June of 1961, featuring a classic Harry Lucey cover - this cover actually tells us something about the story inside (something that wasn't normally a part of the way Archie Comics were put together) - an equally classic story that we're going to revisit in it's entirety!
(from Archie Annual #13 - June 1961, artwork by Harry Lucey)



Featuring just two words - "Archie' and 'Veronica' - Harry Lucey is going to show us, more than tell us, almost everything we need to know about the Archie Universe! Starting with Archie and Veronica's googly eyed crush for each other - Veronica's insecurity....
(from Archie Annual #13 - June 1961, artwork by Harry Lucey)



...an insecurity that, let's face it, is justified by - Archie's wandering eye... and then we see Veronica's temper... Veronica's wealth....
(from Archie Annual #13 - June 1961, artwork by Harry Lucey)



...Archie's moping over Veronica... Jughead's indifference... Betty's opportunistic and hopefully eager approach to HER crush on Archie...
(from Archie Annual #13 - June 1961, artwork by Harry Lucey)



...Reggie's sneaky and opportunistic approach to Veronica... the short term acceptance of both Archie and Veronica in seeing someone else...
(from Archie Annual #13 - June 1961, artwork by Harry Lucey)




...and of course, Archie and Veronica's OWN opportunistic and timely ability to get back together.... as Betty and Reggie crash from their perspective pie-in-the-sky hopefulness!
As classic as it gets!
(from Archie Annual #13 - June 1961, artwork by Harry Lucey)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

PEP COMICS #99
(On Newsstands in July 1953)


Let us bask in the glow of another George Frese cover, as we only had so many to love... one of these days I hope to get the full story on his untimely death...but for now...
(from Pep Comics #99 - July 1953, artwork by George Frese)




Whenever anyone talks about Archie Comics and how Dan DeCarlo brought modern fashion into it, I always awkwardly correct them... I mean, what do you consider modern? Archie was on the young people's fashion look WAY before DeCarlo became a regular fixture on the books and here, even Bill Vigoda was in on it in 1953!
(from Pep Comics #99 - July 1953, artwork by (pretty sure it's) Bill Vigoda)



I mean, sure, Dan DeCarlo really jumped into it, with 60's fashion, but filling in the gap between the 50's and the 60's young teen look was Harry Lucey doing some AMAZING fashion for the Riverdale teens. It always made sense that Archie would continue this trend, as they did in the 80's, the 90's and even now.
Not trying to downplay what DeCarlo did.... just saying it wasn't as offbeat as some would think.... it was in line with what the book always did. The CLOTHES were sometimes offbeat, but... uh... dang, they sure do go out of their way to make Betty and Veronica look good in those picador pants!!!
(from Pep Comics #99 - July 1953, artwork by (pretty sure it's) Bill Vigoda)



No that's not Veronica! Joe Edwards would do some unheralded Archie work throughout the years, but here he gives us his best George Frese homage of Linda Moore from Wilbur. 
(from Pep Comics #99 - July 1953, artwork by Joe Edwards)



I know the whole Suzy schtick is her hot body, but... man, some of these artists would make Amy Yip blush! 
(from Pep Comics #99 - July 1953, artwork by more Joe Edwards?)




I mean seriously! Someone's going to get an eye poked out with those things! WAIT! Someone already did! Look at Ferdie!
(from Pep Comics #99 - July 1953, artwork by more Joe Edwards?)












Friday, April 7, 2017

SHIELD-WIZARD #2
(On Newsstands in December 1940)

MLJ favored artist of the moment Al Camy gets to do this issue of the cover for Shield-Wizard... and he delivers!
(from Shield-Wizard #2 - December 1940, artwork by Al Camy)


Tommy the original SUPER-BOY of history and his story from 1812...
(from Shield-Wizard #2 - December 1940, artwork by Edd Ashe)


And just like that Irv Novick gives us the best cover of the month... THIS is what comic book covers are all about!
(from Pep Comics #12 - December 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)


The Shield's nemesis 'Dr. Wang' lays down the warning....
(from Pep Comics #12 - December 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)


Hey! Another new hero... the Fireball!
(from Pep Comics #12 - December 1940, artwork by Harry Lucey?)


Mr. Justice never became the huge hit that MLJ hoped... but he sure did look cool...
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #10 - December 1940, artwork by Sam Cooper)


And she of Sam Cooper's layouts were fun...
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #10 - December 1940, artwork by Sam Cooper)


Some Barbarians are more attractive than others! From Doc Strong and the Isle of Wright!
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #10 - December 1940, artwork by George Mandel)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ZIP COMICS #11
(On Newsstands in December 1940)


1940 was coming to a close... and Steel Sterling was there to finish off the year... notice how MLJ had suddenly pulled back on the war themed covers?
(from Zip Comics #11 - December 1940, artwork by Charles Biro)


Sue Warren gets all tied up in Nevada Jones...
(from Zip Comics #11 - December 1940, artwork by Frank Volp)


'Adventurous Ex-Show-girl?' From Captain Valor....
(from Zip Comics #11 - December 1940, artwork by Mort Meskin)


Steve Ditko had to be in awe of this page....more from Captain Valor...
(from Zip Comics #11 - December 1940, artwork by Mort Meskin)


It was cold in there!
(from Zip Comics #11 - December 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)



An interesting perspective from Zambini the Miracle Man...
(from Zip Comics #11 - December 1940, artwork by Lin Streeter)


The Wizard was lagging behind in more ways than just this cover...
(from Top Notch Comics #12 - December 1940, artwork by Al Camy)

Al Camy's homage style to Batman continues....
(from Top Notch Comics #12 - December 1940, artwork by Al Camy)


It wouldn't be the last time we heard a comic book bad guy say this! From the Firefly...
(from Top Notch Comics #12 - December 1940, artwork by Bob Wood)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

BETTY & VERONICA #5
(On Newsstands in January 1952)

Let's continue the process of getting caught up with Betty and Veronica!

We'd get four issues of Betty & Veronica in 1952, and I can only guess because they couldn't find enough artists to draw the book... saturating the market didn't seem to be the problem! More! More!
(from Betty & Veronica #5 - January 1952, artwork by Bill Vigoda)


I Love Lucy had been on television for over a year, and the idea of a female (or females) in some madcap adventures, especially physical comedy, was perfect for Betty and Veronica...
(from Betty & Veronica #5 - January 1952, artwork by George Frese)


Though sitting around being pretty worked as well!
(from Betty & Veronica #5 - January 1952, artwork by Dan DeCarlo)


Moral watchdogs were out, and though Archie Comics was considered 'clean' by the standards of the day... occasionally some things were included that might raise a few eyebrows...
(from Betty & Veronica #5 - January 1952, artwork by Dan DeCarlo)


BETTY & VERONICA #6
(On Newsstands in July 1952)

Man, do I have a beat up copy of this!
(from Betty & Veronica #6 - July 1952, artwork by Bill Vigoda)


It's interesting to see some of this early work by Dan DeCarlo as his style and the Archie house style squirmed to fit each other. 
(from Betty & Veronica #6 - July 1952, artwork by Dan DeCarlo)


It clearly benefitted him to have an actual script writer, as opposed to the more editorial approach he had with Stan Lee at Atlas (which read more like a 10 cent joke book spread out over each panel), and you can see the effect it had on his approach.... 
(from Betty & Veronica #6 - July 1952, artwork by Dan DeCarlo)


Though ultimately his style would shine through just fine!
(from Betty & Veronica #6 - July 1952, artwork by Dan DeCarlo)

Monday, April 3, 2017

ARCHIE COMICS #61
(On Newsstands in January 1953)

'The Mirth of a Nation' they'd proclaimed since issue #1 and 'America's Typical Teenager' since #13, but 'America's Largest Selling Teen-Age Magazine' was now over 4 years (since #34), and Archie popularity was at it's peak!
(from Archie Comics #61 - January 1953, artwork by Bill Vigoda)

Wow... speaking of success, what a great ad showcasing all that's going on at Archie Comics! And notice the unintentional foreshadowing of 'good clean fun', as the Wertham Senate hearings were just over a year away...
(from Archie Comics #61 - January 1953, artwork by Bob Montana)


Timed for winter...
(from Archie Comics #61 - January 1953, artwork by Samm Schwartz)


Jughead's sweet nothings might not be as sweet as we think!
(from Archie Comics #61 - January 1953, artwork by Samm Scwartz)

Yep... good clean fun... Veronica in her riding outfit and Archie around animals. He makes humans nervous enough as it is!
(from Archie Comics #61 - January 1953, artwork by Samm Scwartz)


How she puts up with him sometimes...
(from Archie Comics #61 - January 1953, artwork by Bill Vigoda)