Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pappy’s Favorites Number 1: “Inspiration for Carl Barks...?”

While I wait to resume Pappy's on a regular schedule, I thought I'd throw in an occasional “Pappy’s Favorites” post.* These will be posts from my archives I particularly enjoyed writing and presenting.

“Inspiration for Carl Barks...?” came about when I found three consecutive 1943 issues of Target Comics, and recognized in it one of my all-time favorite 10-page Donald Duck Stories by Carl Barks.

I tried to soft pedal it a bit, because I did not want Carl Barks fans to think I was accusing the master of stealing an idea. You can read the original 2012 post in Pappy’s Number 1236.

In the post I give a couple of ideas of what might have happened between the original 3-part story in Target, and the Donald Duck story from 1957.

I thought there would be more made of it. This is one of those stories that I expected to get a reaction, and except for a couple of comments I think the rest of fandom either didn't see it or didn’t care. In those days I sometimes had expectations of a reaction, and invariably it never happened as I imagined. After a while I learned to just trust my instincts on what to post, and not fret about what my imagination conjured up as a reader response.

It struck me when re-reading the original post that I might have been a johnny-come-lately. Perhaps the subject of the similarities between the stories had been published somewhere before, and I only thought I was the first to bring it up. If you know, tell me.

*To paraphrase the old question, "How can you miss me if I won’t go away?"

Friday, December 29, 2017

Number 2148: Ray Bradbury, Albert Feldstein and Wallace Wood...Comics is Heaven!

“Mars is Heaven” by Ray Bradbury was originally published in the Fall, 1948 issue of Planet Stories. It was adapted by Al Feldstein for the EC version, published in Weird Science #18 (1953). Wallace Wood did the artwork.

These are scans of the original artwork, and once again, a big thank you to Heritage Auctions for posting this on their website. While his drawing is top notch, I think Wood got a bit fancy with technique. It is a minor complaint, though. He was going for visual interest in his panels. You will see where there are pasteovers; some of them were drawn on coquille board, which is pebbled, and useful for making shading effects with dots by using a pencil or Conté Crayon. Another technique, used in a couple of panels (including the last panel on page 8), is done on scratchboard, which the artist does in black ink, then uses a knife or similar tool to scratch away ink.

The story is more fantasy than science fiction, but the trip to Mars gave Wood the opportunity to draw his incredible spaceship interiors. Once on Mars the astronauts find their own nostalgic pasts. One reviewer said the original story was too much a nostalgia piece from Bradbury’s upbringing in the 1920s, but that is his opinion. In the Weird Science adaptation Wood did a fine job setting the time and place.

In those days no one expected anyone to be putting comic art on their walls or in galleries, Wood could paste-up all he wanted. Later in his career Wood was more careful about keeping a clean page.


This will be the last Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine posting for an indefinite period. I will be taking at least a couple of months, and maybe more, away from this blog. I will be working on some other projects unrelated to Pappy’s.

I have stuck to a regular schedule for this blog for over a decade, and that makes me proud. But there comes a time when fatigue takes over mind and body. It’s time to do something else. While preparing the blog posts has been work, it was always a labor of love. It had to be love because I never asked for money. Even during times of frustration and struggles with recalcitrant computer equipment, if I had not enjoyed it I would not have been able to do it that long.

Naturally, I will leave my archives available for anyone to access.

I very much appreciate the support I have received over the past 11 1/2 years. Best wishes to you all. Until we meet again, I remain your friend, Pappy

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Number 2147: A Flash of purple lightning

We find out a couple of things in this tale of the original Flash from 1942: the Flash can travel at almost the speed of light (that’s fast!), and he can sew a parachute and save a transcontinental flight full of people before it crashes (that's fast and talented!)

Fast and talented Flash (secretly Jay Garrick) goes up against yet another comic book “scientist,” who uses his genius for bad. In this case, tossing around purple lightning bolts that look just like cartoon lightning bolts (a la Captain Marvel). It is written by Gardner Fox and drawn by E. (for Everett) E. Hibbard, with inks provided by Hal Sharp (per the Grand Comics Database).

The Flash was another of DC’s characters who was popular enough to appear in more than one comic book, and whose career was cut short by the end of the 1940s from sagging sales. He was revived in 1956, and the rest is history.

From Flash Comics #29 (1942).

The Flash had imitators. Here are three tales of speedsters, including Johnny Quick, Quicksilver, and the Flash himself in a 1940s story unpublished until 1972. Just click on the thumbnail.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Number 2146: Walt Kelly’s Christmas Critters

 Happy Christmas to you to you and yours. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

For our Christmas posting we have two of Walt Kelly’s beautifully illustrated stories for children, featuring woodland creatures. From Christmas with Mother Goose, Dell Four Color Comic #201 (1948).