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Thursday, December 24, 2015

(On Newsstands in January 1940)

The cover of Pep Comics #2 featured another exciting Irv Novick cover, and the popularity of the character would continue to help the success of the comic. The Shield was essentially Superman, somewhat underplayed as an everyday man superhero. But he could (as he does in this issue, repel bullets, swim fearlessly with sharks, and even take a flame thrower head on!)
He showed up, kicked butt and left!
(from Pep Comics #2 - January 1940, artwork by Irv Novick)

Again, of much more interest to me was Jack Cole’s ‘The Comet’, not only because it seemed like a much more interesting character, but also for Cole’s layout and design.
(from Pep Comics #2 - January 1940, artwork by Jack Cole)

Noted Pulp writer Manly Wade Wellman continued his Rocket and the Queen of Diamonds feature (Buck Rogers takeoff), but with some interesting twists! He also continued his Fu Chang (‘The Tiger-Devil Cult) and Bentley of Scotland Yard (The Terror of Rocky Pool)
(from Pep Comics #2 - January 1940, artwork by Lin Streeter)

2013 Will Eisner Hall of Fame Inductee Mort Meskin says he was influenced by the film ‘Citizen Kane’(1941), but here we can see he had an eye for visual flair even before that movie came out!
(from Pep Comics #2 - January 1940, artwork by Mort Meskin)

(On Newsstands in January 1940)

Another great Corporal Collins cover by the amazing Charles Biro! Charlie, obviously had a future in gritty realistic comics!
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #4 - on newsstands January 1940, artwork by Charles Biro)

Ed Smalle would take over the artwork for Rang-A-Tang with issue #4 and stay on it for over a year… a top notch sequential story teller, he’d later go on to do the long running Congo Bill back up in Action Comics!
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #4 - on newsstands January 1940, AND from Action Comics #191 on newsstands April 1954, artwork by Ed Smalle)

Blue Ribbon Comics #4 featured a greater emphasis on action-adventure and the start of a number of new strips, including Hercules (fighting modern day gangsters!), the Doc Savage-like Doc Strong (set 100 years in the future!), and the medieval adventurer Green Falcon drawn by female artist Ramone Patenaude.
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #4 - on newsstands January 1940, Hercules artwork by
 Elmer Weller, Doc Strong artwork by Sam Cooper, Green Falcon artwork by Edd Ashe, Green Falcon art by Ramone Patenaude)

Also introduced in this issue was… the Fox! Who had his own interesting bad guys to deal with!
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #4 - on newsstands January 1940, story by Joe Blair, artwork by Irwin Hasen)

And of course, there was Ty-Gor, Son of the Jungle - featuring an Undercover Archie moment!
(from Blue Ribbon Comics #4 - on newsstands January 1940, artwork by Mort Meskin)

Books published by MLJ Publishing (Archie Comics) and on the stands in January of 1940
Part 2 coming up!

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