Lost Worlds, and Caspar Milquetoast

18 December 2008

Its name notwithstanding, Golden Age Comic Book Stories has been about a lot more than comic books (of any age). It has been simply awash in terrific illustration for pulp magazines and especially for fantasy work of the same genre. I encourage my readers to set aside a little time for a visit there.

Meanwhile, over at Hairy Green Eyeball, Mr Green posted some scans of the Timid Soul from The Best of H.T. Webster. I'd first encountered Caspar Milquetoast, the Timid Soul, back when, in high school, I discovered books on the history of the comic strip. In what I saw, Mr Milquetoast was cleverly presented as the most yielding of men. (Though I don't enjoy the cases where he is confronted by a genuine bully.)

I hadn't known or had forgot about The Best of H.T. Webster, first published in 1953 and reprinted at least twice. I was prompted by Mr Green's entry to look for a copy on AddAll.com. I found a first printing of the first edition, with the dust jacket in less-than-good condition, but the rest of the book in fine condition, at Lorrin Wong Books (his own site doesn't seem very functional, but he can be reached by way of Biblio and at AntiqBook.com) in Los Angeles for just $7 (plus $3.50 s&h). I ordered it early in the morning of 16 December, Mr Wong got it in the mails that same day, and it arrived on the next.

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