alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher




In 1949, the relatively unknown cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman, coming off a run of his one-page gag strip Hey, Look! for Timely, shopped his work around and received his first EC assignment. No, it wasn't on one of their horror titles; those wouldn't be launched until the following year. Nor were they publishing war or satire comics yet. Rather, Kurtzman's EC debut was as illustrator of Lucky Fights It Through, a giveaway 16-page educational comic about syphilis...with a two-fisted cowboy setting, since western comics were in then.

'That ignorant, ignorant cowboy' )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher




"Most superheroic pseudonyms are intended to be understood metaphorically. Iron Man isn't really a man made of iron. Green Lantern isn't a piece of verdant camping equipment, and, by and large, the Beast is in fact a lovely fellow. When it comes to superheroes whose names can be taken literally, or, better yet, at--ahem--face value, there's no more outstanding example than the Eye."

--Jon Morris, The League of Regrettable Superheroes, 46.

Eye don't know how the writer-artist came up with this )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



In this issue, Boy King and Giant--now assisted by the king's long-lost twin Richard aka "Muggsy" and his gang--return to what they do best: fighting Nazis!

'Precious records kept on the backs of living men!!' )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



In the previous issue, Hitler ordered the construction of a mechanical T. rex to stop the Giant and wreak havoc on New York, and dispatched the Crane to pilot it. It seems Giant has met his match. Or...has he?

'Well--taste THIS chicken's wing!' )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



The votes are in, and while Nightmare and Sleepy put in a good showing, the Boy King and the Giant are, by one vote, whom you'd most like to see. So, from Clue #2 (February 1943), here's the continuing story of our brave Swisslakian refugees.

'If Nostradamus buried the giant, why it means he was buried for thousands of years!' Uhh... )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



At last we come to the final story in the public-domain Clue Comics #1 (Hillman, Jan. 1943), starring a monkey-costumed superhero and his sometimes-sapient, sometimes-not parrot sidekick. No relation to sparkly vampires of any sort.

'I'm a little leery about takin' orders from a crackpot in a monkey suit...' )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



Moving on from intentionally silly yarns about super-oafs with Venetian blinds for capes... we return to more ostensibly serious fare with the origin story of Micro Face, a hero who dons a mask equipped with a microphone and X-ray specs to stop the most sinister sweepstakes ever.

Seriously, if you thought Powerball was unfair... )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



Many Golden Age superhero, adventure and/or crime comics included a short humour feature every issue for a change of pace. This might be a "funny animal," "mischievous little kid(s)," or "generic goofball" story. Today's offering from Clue Comics #1 (Hillman, Jan. 1943) is the latter, but it's also a parody of the superhero genre, much like the Bugs Bunny short Super-Rabbit released a few months later.

'Now looka here youse fellas!' )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



The other night, I was looking through the first issue of Clue Comics (Hillman Periodicals, Jan. 1943) for a particular story, when I found that all the stories caught my fancy to some extent or another. So because it's in the public domain, I'm gonna post the whole thing! (Minus the text story, ad pages, etc.) Over the next few days, wonder at the exploits of costumed crimefighters Nightmare and Sleepy, the bumbling but patriotic Stupid Manny, the high-tech (for the 40s) masked avengers Micro-Face and Zippo, the plucky Boy Rangers, and the proto-furry superhero Twilight!

But that's not all! Because all of the above features lasted five issues (and a few lasted longer), when I'm done with Issue #1, you get to vote on which feature you'd like to see more posts of. Ain't that swell? Yes.

So let's get started with the lead story... )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher
"The injury to the eye motif is an outstanding example of the brutal attitude cultivated in comic books — the threat or actual infliction of injury to the eyes of a victim, male or female. This detail, occurring in uncounted instances, shows perhaps the true color of crime comics better than anything else. It has no counterpart in any other literature of the world, for children or for adults."

--Fredric Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent, 111

Mother Hubbard's final appearance. Warning for child abuse and other disturbing imagery.

'Save me the drumstick' )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



"[Mother Hubbard] could also count on her creaking bone and curling hair to alert her to imminent wrong-doing, although for most folks such bothersome symptoms just mean it's going to rain."
--Jon Morris, The League of Regrettable Superheroes, 89

'I want to wake up...I don't like this dream' )
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher



A superhero in the form of a witch who looks like a stereotypical fairy-tale crone, but who uses her powers for good? And starts off by fighting Nazis? Why not; it was the Golden Age.

'Now, my crystal I unseal, to ferret out the crime I feel!' )

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