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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)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

BLUE RIBBON COMICS #9
(On Newsstands in November 1940)

Superheroes were everywhere and MLJ continued to climb on board, DC's the Spectre had been out for about a year, and the Spirit had hit newspapers back in the summer...
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #9 - on newsstands November 1940, artwork by Sam Cooper)


Sam Cooper really got a chance to shine on this lead feature, sending Rang-A-Tang to second tier status!
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #9 - on newsstands November 1940, artwork by Sam Cooper)


Before Eisner's Spirit was getting creative with layouts, other artists were experimenting with design as well...
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #9 - on newsstands November 1940, artwork by Irwin Hansen)


PEP COMICS #11
(On Newsstands in November 1940)

Not only did we get a new feature superhero in Blue Ribbon this month, but... the Shield got a new sidekick! Dusty the Boy Detective. Man, who could the influence be for that?
(from Pep Comics #11 - November 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)


What could make a kid give up his simple life of fun and playing to go and want to hunt criminals...ohhh...
(from Pep Comics #11 - November 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)

As simple as that!
(from Pep Comics #11 - November 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)


More cool Sam Cooper layouts from Bentley of Scotland Yard... this is why he got chosen to do Mr. Justice!
(from Pep Comics #11 - November 1940, artwork by Sam Cooper)


TOP NOTCH COMICS #11
(On Newsstands in November 1940)

The Wizard and HIS boy wonder make the cover with the Black Hood, showing off MLJ's growing stable of super heroes!
(from Top Notch Comics #11 - on newsstands November 1940, artwork by Al Camy)

The Skull would go to any lengths to get what he wants!
(from Top Notch Comics #11 - on newsstands November 1940, artwork by Al Camy)


And his plans were always diabolical...
(from Top Notch Comics #11 - on newsstands November 1940, artwork by Al Camy)

ZIP COMICS #10
(On Newsstands in November 1940)

Cover of the month has to go to Biro's Zip Comics #10. He had to be proud of that, even if MLJ was more excited about Dicky in the Magic Forest!
(from Zip Comics #10 - November 1940, artwork by Charles Biro)

And yes, we're occasionally reminded of the times...
(from Zip Comics #10 - November 1940, artwork by Charles Biro)

Inez gets in a bind in the Scarlet Avenger!
(from Zip Comics #10 - November 1940, artwork by Mort Meskin)




Thursday, March 30, 2017

PEP COMICS #10
(On Newsstands in October 1940)

Man, if only some of the interior art could be as good as some of these covers...
(from Pep Comics #10 - October 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)


The Shield had to 'shield' his eyes on occasion to get to a bad guy!
(from Pep Comics #10 - October 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)


Mort Meskin continued to im'press' with his Press Guardian strip... square jawed heroes, creepy bad guys and sexy dames in distress!
(from Pep Comics #10 - October 1940, artwork by Mort Meskin)

Joe Blair and Sam Cooper's Bentley of Scotland Yard deserves some credit... for being the last feature in the book they came up with some really off beat bad guys!
(from Pep Comics #10 - October 1940, artwork by Sam Cooper)


TOP NOTCH COMICS #10
(On Newsstands in October 1940)

Al Camy's cover puts Black Hood and the Skull right up in our faces... this had to be quite a sight on the stands back in October of 1940!
(from Top Notch Comics #10 - on newsstands October 1940, artwork by Al Camy)

He did a great job of keeping it good and moody on the inside to... to keep readers hanging around!
(from Top Notch Comics #10 - on newsstands October 1940, artwork by Al Camy)


BLUE RIBBON COMICS #8
(On Newsstands in October 1940)

I don't think they ever had Rang-A-Tang ever face off against any aliens, but it made for a great cover!
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #8 - on newsstands October 1940, artwork by Ed Smalle)


Mort Meskin brought his sensibilities to Hercules as well!
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #8 - on newsstands October 1940, artwork by Mort Meskin)