Posts Tagged ‘comic books’

Further Exploits

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Craig Yoe's book, Secret Identity, revealed that Joe Shuster, the original artist and co-creätor of Superman, had during a low point in his life provided illustrations for a sado-masochistic series, Nights of Horror, and for three one-shot sado-masochistic fantasies, Rod Rule, Hollywood Detective, and Continental. I am therefore surprised that no one seems to have reported on the artist for House of Tears, by Harold Kane.

[cover of House of Tears; man on all fours, before woman in dominatrix outfit]
[source image for cover of House of Tears; man on all fours, before woman in dominatrix outfit][image of legs of woman in high-heeled boots in foreground, man on all fours in background]
[image of man kneeling before woman in dominatrix outfit with whip][image of hog-tied man]
[image of woman in dominatrix outfit with whip, straddling woman in heels and skirt on all fours, with buttock exposed][image of man gagged and bound in kneeling position]
[image of bound and ball-gagged standing woman in lingerie and heels][image of woman in maid's outfit, bound in kneeling position]
I found those illustrations on the WWWeb this morning. In some cases, they were creditted to Harold Kane; in others they were not creditted at all. A search of Google for pages containing both Harold Kane or House of Tears and Shuster or Schuster produced only false positives.

I don't know whether House of Tears had further illustrations. But, in any event, it seems that Shuster's underground oeuvre is larger than previously recognized.

Degenerate Matter

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

At Kingdom Kane (a 'blog focussed upon the art of Gil Kane), Mykal Banta has reproduced The Birth of the Atom. a story which contains what I have long regarded as an epitomal sequence of what I call comic-book science: Ray Palmer leaps over a wall in pursuit of a meteor seen in the distance, about to hit the Earth.Ray Palmer excavates a meteor composed of about 1000 cu cm of degenerate matter from a white dwarf star, buried about two feet in the earth. 'So heavy-- I can hardly lift it!'Palmer, holding the meteor, looks at in amazement. 'Puff!'Palmer carries the meteor back to his car. 'Puff!'

As I noted to Mykal, a white dwarf star has a density of about 1 million grams per cc, and the meteor appears to be about 1000 cc, so the whole thing should mass at about 1 million kilograms.

It's not apparent why 1 million kilograms should stay compressed into such a small volume. In the case of a dwarf star itself, the gravitational mass of the star as a whole creätes sufficient force, but this is just a fractional piece of such a star. It ought to fly apart as a terrible burst of radiation. But let's assume that this somehow doesn't happen, that the meteor just stays together in a nifty one-liter piece.

The meteor that creäted Meteor Crater in Arizona was under 30,000 kilograms. Ray wouldn't be excavating the meteor at all; he would have been killed by the shock waves from the impact. Those who later did excavate the meteor wouldn't find it buried just a couple of feet deep.

At the surface of the Earth (which itself masses about 5.97 × 1024 kilograms), this meteor would weigh about 11 hundred tons, but Ray picks it up! He subvocalizes a few puffs, but he manages to carry the thing back to his car! Now-a-days, they don't make cars that can carry 11 hundred tons. I don't think that any grad students can lift 11 hundred tons. And, really, Ray ought to be sinking into the ground, as even if he has big feet and has both feet on the ground he is applying over 7000 kPa of pressure to the soil.

It might be suggested that the meteor, while perhaps of material that were once compressed to a density of about 1 million grams per cc, were subsequently uncompressed, and that what Palmer recovered were only, say, 100 kilograms of material. But I don't know how, then, it would be recognizable as originating from a white dwarf star. For example, the core of the sun compresses matter to a greater density than 100 grams per cc.

Don Martin Dept.

Friday, 16 April 2010

By way of Thad Komorowski's 'blog, I learn that Barnes & Noble is selling copies of The Completely MAD Don Martin for $22.48 (list $150) and that it falls under a buy-two-get-one-free offer on bargain books. One gets free shipping on orders of $25 or more.

Up-Date (2010:04/20): I am informed by the Woman of Interest that the sale is at an end.

A Superstitious, Cowardly Lot

Saturday, 22 August 2009
[logo: The Doll Man by Wm. Erwin Maxwell]
[image of the tiny Doll Man punching a regular-sized villain]
['So! You're the Doll Man! Now I know why criminals quake at the mention of your name!']

I first encountered Darrel Dane, the Doll Man, in a copy of Feature Comics #114 (September 1947) given to me by a friend.[1]

You can encounter Doll Man — if you are ready for the thrills — at Golden Age Comics (search both for doll man and for Feature Comics), at Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine, and at Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

[1] WTF? In middle school, friends just gave golden-age comic books to me! Another friend gave a copy of Action Comics #125 (October 1948) to me.


Monday, 20 July 2009

I stopped actively collecting comic books in my very late teens. But I held onto my collection, and hope to keep it to the end of my life. And for many years it had a gap in it that greatly annoyed me; specifically, I needed Giant-Sized Conan #3, in mint condition, to plug a hole. Whenever I would go into comic book stores, and the couple of times that I went to San Diego Comic-Con, I would look for that specific issue, in that condition. A few weeks ago, I finally managed to obtain a copy.

At the end of April of last year, I announced

I have secured at least one complete exemplar of every variety of [working Mannheim slide-rule tie-clips] that was made for resale.

but retracted that claim about a week later. I am going to be so bold as to make the claim again. Actually, I obtained an exemplar of the missing sort some time ago, but its indicator wasn't in the best condition. The exemplar that arrived to-day was as-new, in its original box (whose exterior is a bit abraded) and with its original instructions (as-new).

I'm not sure how to count the sorts of clips in this collection, as there are minor variations, but I'd say that I have thirteen or fourteen sorts.

Outlaw Superheroes

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

By way of the Comic Book Catacombs, my attention is drawn to

The gist of the article is that a considerable amount of comic book material from the '30s and '40s seems never to have been legally registered for copyright, and registration of copyrights on other material not renewed. (Gorman cautions against taking his results as definitive.)

The Batman

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

In 1992, Tim Burton made a movie, Batman Returns, in which his alleged Batman sees a woman fall from a ledge on a building. The supposed Batman waddles to the edge, looks over, and watches her fall to her death.

If the actual Batman sees a woman tossed from a building ['Moon of the Wolf' pg3 panel 3] then he immediately jumps after her ['Moon of the Wolf' pg3 panel 4] pushes off something because she's been accelerating under gravity ['Moon of the Wolf' pg3 panels 5 and 6] and figures-out what he'll do on the way down ['Moon of the Wolf' pg3 panel 6] because he's the g_dd_mn'd Batman, when there's no hope…

…except him.

Moon of the Wolf, by Len Wein, Neal Adams, and Dick Giordano, from Batman #255 (April 1974), is reproduced at a Grantbridge Street entry for 18 May.

For he is the Man of the Hidden Face!!!

Monday, 20 April 2009

While I'm trying to get readers to visit the Pictorial Arts I'd like to point to a specific pair of entries, The Great Comic Book Heroes part 1 and part 2, from 9 February.

It was in Jules Feiffer's book, The Great Comic Book Heroes, that Buchanan and later I first encountered an untitled story by Will Eisner earlier published in the spring of 1941. Buchanan writes It showed me what comics could be. My reäction had been much the same. I'd seen some awfully good comic book art before I saw this story — Steranko's three issues of Captain America come immediately to-mind — but I'd just never seen anything like this. My sense of what a comic book could be was deeply changed.

(Later, I found more stories by Eisner, and discovered to my great dismay that Eisner had given the character of the Spirit a black side-kick who was depicted in a profoundly racist manner. I'm glad that that side-kick didn't appear in this story, so that my first exposure to work of such quality wasn't blighted.)

The Pictorial Arts

Monday, 20 April 2009

Last year, I posted a 'blog entry recommending that my readers visit Golden Age Comic Book Stories, where are found not just golden age comic book stories, but more generally a great many wonderful examples of the art of illustration.

By way of Golden Age Comic Book Stories, I've been led to another 'blog, the Pictorial Arts, to which I also want to give a strong recommendation. Like Golden Age Comic Book Stories, the Pictorial Arts features many examples of outstanding illustration. The Pictorial Arts differs in various respects. Most strikingly, its owner, Thomas Haller Buchanan, writes something of what the illustrations (and often the illustrators themselves) have meant to him, the rôle that they have played in his life.

Buchanan is himself a professional artist of superior ability; one gets to see some of his work

[portrait in chalk by THB]
image used with kind permission of artist
at another of his 'blogs, People Skills. At the Pictorial Arts he says little about that ability or about that work, but instead writes about work of other artists that he has found compelling, from the time that he was a small child up to the present. One may see not what he can produce, but that he could and can see as an illustrator would, and what he saw and sees that made him aspire to become an artist himself.

One of the things that I respect about Buchanan is that he posts about the work that he appreciates, regardless of its social standing. But what has me actually following his the Pictorial Arts is that I like so much of the work to which he directs attention. Some of it is by artists whom I have long admired; in some cases it is work that I too first encountered as a child and which made a strong impression on me. In other cases, I'd not seen it at all before I found it in his 'blog.


Sunday, 15 March 2009
[Page 0 of Coded Wisdom Comics, OKRAY]