Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Heath went on to become one of the top artists for Marvel/Atlas doing war, horror, science fiction, satire...and then he went to DC and did his amazing Silver Age work. Heath also branched out, doing excellent work for Harvey Kurtzman on “Little Annie Fanny” at Playboy, then worked for National Lampoon and Jim Warren’s magazine group. As I write this Russ Heath is still with us at age 90, and I hope he is doing well now that he’s no longer a “kid.”
In 2011 I presented another early Russ Heath Western featuring Kid Colt. Just click on the thumbnail.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Among the plot elements of this goofball tale, the bad guys have a make-up kit with which they disguise themselves as Blackhawk and Chuck (Telga as Chuck).
I assume that this lunar lunacy was “inspired” by the George Pal movie, Destination Moon, which was heavily hyped in early 1950 before its release in August of that year. Life magazine had an article about it in its April 24 issue.
Grand Comics Database is not sure of the artists, but they guess the pencils are by John Forte and the inks are by Chuck Cuidera.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
In the late 1940s Dell Comics, licensed to publish reprints of various newspaper comics, went to original material. For Dick Tracy Monthly, it happened with issue #19 (1949), which I am showing today.
It was a short run; the lifespan of Dell’s original Dick Tracy stories lasted five issues. With issue #25 (1950), Harvey Comics took up the license. I have never heard whether switching their comic book licensee was a decision made by Dell, or by the Chicago Tribune, which had the rights to Tracy, or even Chester Gould, who created Dick Tracy and with his assistants drew the daily and Sunday comic strip until his retirement. Gould’s name isn’t anywhere to be found in this issue, whereas he got a biography on the inside front cover of the first Harvey issue (which also began a reprint of the famous Flattop saga).
I don’t believe Gould had much to do with this story. There may have been assistants from his studio who worked on it, but frankly, the story seems more an imitation than genuine Gould.
The five issues of original material from Dell stayed with the main Dick Tracy themes, Tracy and his pal Sam chase down murderers, get into death traps, then find their way out, and ultimately the villain comes to a bad end. And not in a courtroom. They didn’t feature other characters like Junior or Tess, but the back of the book was devoted to the Plenty family, B.O., Gravel Gertie and their daughter, Sparkle Plenty.
P.S. The villain of the piece, Mumps, doesn’t look to me like a guy with mumps, but more like U.S. right-wing radio commentator, Rush Limbaugh. Just saying.