Tuesday, July 26, 2016

TONY'S TIPS #167

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder: Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump by G.B. Trudeau; Ms. Marvel; and Planet Comics Volume Eight, reprinting Planet Comics #30-35 [May 1944 to March 1945]!

EUCLID PUBLIC LIBRARY (August 3)

Following this weekend’s Monsterfest Mania, my next appearance will be at the Euclid Public Library, 631 East 222nd Street in Euclid, Ohio on Wednesday, August 3, at 6:30 pm. I’ll be speaking to that library’s comic book club, talking about my life-long love of and 44-year career in comics, as well as answering questions on comics and related subjects.

Long-time readers of my writings, both here and in Comics Buyer’s Guide, know I’m a big fan of libraries and librarians. Such public institutions and the good people who work in them are often on the front lines when the backwards forces of repression try to restrict your access to and right to read what you deem fit for yourself and your children. Librarians are true heroes and libraries are their halls of justice!

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I continue to make good use of my local Medina library and the vast ClevNet organization of which it is a part. For those of you who’ve not yet heard me gush about this system, here’s out it works:

ClevNet is a organization of around a hundred area libraries. If I want a book or a movie, I can go to my online account, check if the item is available and, if it is available, request it. The item is then sent to my local library, which calls me to let me know it’s waiting for me and that I have a five days to come and get it. This easy system allows me to read and watch hundreds of books and DVDs every year. Many of the items I review here and elsewhere came from my local library.

Borrowing books and movies from the library saves me money, but it also costs me money...beyond supporting the library with my taxes. A few dozen times a year, after I’ve read a book or watched a DVD, I’ve decided to purchase a copy of same for my home library.

Among the most recent library items I’ve read have been a police procedural mystery, a non-fiction book about a nearly forgotten branch of mass market paperback publishing of the 1960s and the second volume of a very strange manga series.

Cue the reviews...
                                                                                 

Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo [Minotaur Books; $26.99] is the latest novel in her Kate Burkholder series. Burkholder, who was once a member of an Amish community in Ohio, is now Chief of Police of the Painters Mill township. Over the course of several books, she has been able to reestablish ties with members of her family and find love with State Agent John Tomasetti, a fellow cop. She’s happy in her life, but she’s always a cop. When her background makes her the perfect person for an undercover mission in New York, she accepts the assignment despite Tomasetti’s objection.

The death of a young Amish teenager and the mysterious nature of the very reclusive Amish community in which she lived concerns the sheriff’s department of a rural upstate New York area. Burkholder agrees to pose as an Amish widow who has relocated to the community after the death of her husband. Both her and her imaginary spouse were unhappy with the lax ways of their community in Ohio. She has come to this area looking for a new start and to return to the more stringent observance of her faith. She draws on her own background to make her cover story believable.

It doesn’t take long for Kate to become part of the community, to ask some inappropriate questions and to quickly learn the dangerous consequences of such questions. What follows is a mix of kindnesses and brutalities with surprises around every chapter. As the secrets of the community come to light, the novel leaps forward at a pace nothing short of breathtaking. It’s a book that will give you cause to think, even as it excites you and carries you to its satisfying conclusion.

If anyone else in my family had my interest in mystery and police novels set in Cleveland or other parts of Ohio, the Kate Burkholder series would be in my personal library. If you share my interest in thrillers like this, you should definitely check out the series via your local library. It’s terrific.

ISBN 978-1-250-06157-7

                                                                                
 
I’d read an earlier edition of Sin-a-Rama: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties [Feral House; $25.95] but this is an expanded edition. Edited by B. Astrid Daley and Adam Parfrey, this just-published new edition adds the former’s articles on "Occult Sleaze," "Swinging Sleaze," and the books of the 1970s, and additional cover designs to accompany those new profiles.

Having worked as a professional writer for 44 years, I’m fascinated by this branch of paperback publishing of which I was dimly aware at best. I knew many of these books were pseudonymously written by authors - Robert Silverberg and Donald E. Westlake, to name but two - who would distinguish themselves in other more recognized genres. I knew many of them boasted incredible covers by Gene Bilbrew, Bill Ward, Robert Bonfils and other unsung artists. But I didn’t know the publishers or the stories behind how these books were created and distributed. This 328-page exploration satisfied my curiosity while entertaining me. If you have a similar curiosity about these books, I think you’ll enjoy Sin-a-Rama as much as I did.

Sidebar. When I picked up the book at my library, I was surprised to see it wrapped in a plain white sheet of paper. I was amused as well because the cover, while certainly featuring women with ample bosoms that seemed likely to pop out of their dresses at a moment’s notice, didn’t seem appreciably more salacious than the covers of some movies I’ve borrowed from the library. This “cover up” struck me as humorously excessive, especially given that the book was on a shelf in the library’s “pick up” room, well away from the casual browser.

Sidebar the second. Part of my interest in the subject manner stems from my wanting to someday write a novel of this nature using the formula described by the esteemed Silverberg in his lively article on his work in the field. Said novel will almost certainly feature super-heroes and super-villains.

ISBN 978-1-62731-028-4                                                                          

I’m also reading, though I’m not 100% certain why, Richi Ueshiba’s Mysterious Girlfriend X, Volume 2 [Vertical Comics; $15.95]. This manga series is sort of hard to explain, so I’m going with the back  cover come-on from the first book:

Mikoto Urabe is a new transfer student in Akira Tsubaki’s high school class. One day, Akira happens to find Mikoto passed out asleep on her desk after classes have ended. He wakes her and tells her it’s time to go home, and discovers that she has drooled on her desk. He spontaneously reaches out to touch and taste it… and then things start getting really strange

Urabe’s drool has the power to convey emotions and even memories to Tsubaki. So, in every story, she sticks her finger in her month and then sticks her finger in her new boyfriend’s mouth. She does this with a girlfriend as well. I’m thinking this must be some kind of sexual fetish. But I’ve never researched this because I’m already creeped out by it. I don’t want to know if it’s a real thing.

Getting past the drool thing, the mysterious Urabe and the devoted Tsubaki are interesting characters. The stories are well told and likewise interesting. The art is first-rate and some pages are just plain beautiful. Which I guess is why I’m reading it.

Mysterious Girlfriend X has also been adapted into an anime series. A third volume of the manga series is due in September. If you’re a fan of such relationship series, you might want to give this one a look.

Mysterious Girlfriend X, Volume 1:

ISBN 978-1-942993-45-2

Mysterious Girlfriend X, Volume 2:
ISBN 978-1-942993-46-9

Mysterious Girlfriend X, Volume 3:

ISBN 978-1-942993-70-4

That’s all for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with a new installment of our high-riding “Rawhide Kid Wednesday.” See you then.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Monday, July 25, 2016

MONSTERFEST MANIA (July 29-30)

From the same fine folks who bring you the amazing Akron Comicon, Monsterfest Mania has its premiere outing on Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30, at the University of Akron’s Quaker Station. As with Akron Comicon, this will be a family-friendly show with that friendliness extending to the ticket prices: $10 on Friday, $15 on Saturday, $20 for both days. Children under the age of 13 are free. Parking is also free. The show hours are 5-10 pm on Friday and 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday. I’ll be there both days.

The headline guest is the great Basil Gogos, the acclaimed artist who created the most beloved Famous Monsters of Filmland covers of the past. Joining him will be Lisa Loring, who played Wednesday on The Addams Family television series, and Felix Silla, the actor and stuntman who played Cousin Itt on the show. The show’s other guests include artists, authors, historians, horror movie hosts, masters of props, special effects creators and more. Convention events include a costume/make-up contest, horror/sci-fi movie screenings, panel presentations and more.

I’m scheduled to appear on one panel on Saturday at noon:

Ghoulardi Tribute Panel

Presented by Michael Monahan and Mike Olzsewski

Ernie Anderson’s crazy beatnik alter ego, Ghoulardi, was more than a horror host. He was more than a local television celebrity. Ghoulardi was a social movement.

Hot on the heels of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the British Beatle Invasion, Ghoulardi exploded on the scene like a cultural boom-boom. Over 50 years later, Cleveland is still picking up the pieces.

Join a panel of expert Ghoul-ga-teers as they discuss Ghoulardi’s unprecedented appeal and his lasting influence in the most highly-anticipated event since The Parma International Piano Music Playing Contest.


I’m one of those experts, though, truth be told, I was just one of tens of thousands of Cleveland kids to whom Ghoulardi was like unto a god. I’ll be talking about the impact he had on me and how it has shaped my comics work and more.

The rest of the convention?

When I’m not checking out other panels, meeting the other guests, or visiting with old friends like Ted Sikora and Chris Yambar, I’ll be at table G8. No relation to the pulp magazine hero who, with his Battle Aces, flew the skies to fight America’s enemies wherever he found them.

While at my table, I’ll be answering questions, selling stuff and signing autographs. I’m still figuring exactly what I’m bringing to the convention, but it’ll certainly include Black Lightning Volume 1 (which collects my first Black Lightning series from the 1977), an assortment of other Isabella-written items, the double-sided Superman poster I helped design for 1988's International Superman Expo in Cleveland and some other stuff.

Though comics remain my first fan and professional love, my second is the B monster movies of the past and the present. I am excited about Monsterfest Mania and hope to see you there.

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Due to family and work responsibilities, I have had to cancel some of my 2016 appearances. Here’s the current schedule:

Wednesday, August 3: Euclid Library (Ohio)

Sunday, August 14: Neo Comic Con (Strongsville)

Saturday, October 1: Cleveland Comic Con 2016

Sunday, October 2: Cleveland Comic Con 2016

Friday, October 21: Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Saturday, October 22: Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Sunday, October 23: Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Saturday, November 5: Akron Comic Con

Sunday, November 6: Akron Comic Con

Unless those aforementioned work responsibilities take me to other events, I won’t be adding any other appearances to this schedule. I am open to discussing 2017 appearances.

If you’re a convention promoter who is interested in bringing me to your event, email me. If you’re a fan who would love to see me at a convention near you, contact the promoter of that convention and ask him or her to get in touch with me.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Thursday, July 21, 2016

SILLY THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY

These are the sort of notions that cascade around my brain when I don’t get enough sleep. They appear today because I am desperate to post something before I leave for my annual weekend of inhaling ancient magazine dust and fragments at PulpFest in Columbus, Ohio. Who needs narcotics when you have The Spider, Weird Tales, Zeppelin Stories and Hollywood Homicide Tales?

* There is a fortune to be made selling shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles, coasters, bumper stickers, wall hangings, headbands, booty shorts and lawn signs saying THIS IS A NO POLITICS ZONE. I give you this brilliant idea free of charge, but be a mensch and send me two  t-shirts (XXL) and the biggest lawn sign you make.

* Cosplay suggestion. Three women in sparkling evening gowns with Ghidrah heads sing songs from Japanese movies in the style of the Supremes and other Motown groups.

* To qualify for holding public office, elected officials should be required to spend a year working in a job that pays much less than $15 a hour. Also acceptable would be spending a year as a soldier in a combat zone.

* There’s something wrong about a world in which we have no ongoing CSI series. Especially since I have been working on a pitch for a new one. I’ve already picked out the Who song for the theme music: Fiddle About. Now I just need to decide on the city where the new series will take place. Possible choices include Cleveland, Ohio; Intercourse, Pennsylvania; Toad Suck, Arkansas; and Valley of Enchantment, California.

* I’m not having much luck playing Pokemon Go! But I have managed to catch Waldo, Carmen Sandiego and Jimmy Hoffa. Although, in all honesty, Hoffa wasn’t hard to catch.

* No offense to clowns intended, but, every time a politician or a pundit is caught in a lie, they should be forced to don an article of clown attire. If they get down to the big red shoes, then they should be removed from office and/or television.

* How much longer must we wait for a Star Trek/Star Wars crossover movie? Oh, be quiet. You know you would go see it.

*To assuage the tender feelings of those sensitive souls who hate the new Ghostbusters movie, Paul Feig will be rebooting Bridesmaids with male actors in the title roles.

* Open carry advocates should own as many guns as they want as long as they carry all of them on their persons at all times. Yes, I’m talking 24/7. While they sleep. While they brush their teeth. While they poop. While they shower. While they eat. While they watch Fox News. While they mow their lawns. All their guns. All of the time. Eventually, this will solve the problem.

*Disney Avengers. Captain America leads a new team of heroes in a movie you’d go see even faster than you’d go see the Star Trek and Star Wars crossover. Cap’s Silly Sextet: GizmoDuck from Duck Tales, Hercules, Merida from Brave, Wreck-It Ralph, Tinker Bell and Elsa from Frozen.  

*Launch a Kickstarter campaign to make enough money to finance my future Kickstarter campaigns. I’ll never have to produce anything except Kickstarter campaigns.

*Bill Clinton’s “First Lady” speech should be a word-for-word copy of Michael Douglas’ climatic speech from The American President: “You want a character debate, Don? You better stick with me, 'cause Hilary Rodham Clinton is way out of your league.”

* Weaponized Cheetos. I mean, besides Donald Trump.

The bloggy thing is taking a few days off while I attend PulpFest in Columbus, Ohio. I’ll be back on Monday with the word on my next convention appearance - Monsterfest Mania in Akron, Ohio - and my revised schedule for the rest of 2016. See you then.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

RAWHIDE KID WEDNESDAY 82

The Rawhide Kid is my favorite western comics character and one of my favorite comics characters period.  Something about the short of stature (but big on courage and fighting skills) Johnny Clay spoke to the short of stature (but big on comics-reading skills) teenage Tony Isabella.  After rereading the Kid’s earliest adventures when Marvel Comics reprinted them in a pair of Marvel Masterworks and an Essential Rawhide Kid volume, I wanted to reacquire every Rawhide Kid comic, reread them and write about them in this bloggy thing of mine. This is the 82nd installment in that series.

The Rawhide Kid #96 [February 1971] has a cover drawn by Gil Kane with Bill Everett inks. Inside the issue, Everett is also the inker of “The Kid from Missouri” by guest writer Gary Friedrich and guest artist Dick Ayers. The 14-page story would be reprinted in Rawhide Kid #148 [November 1978] with a new cover by Gene Colan and inker Joe Rubinstein.

I love this story. I love this story so much that I’m going light on the spoilers to encourage you to track down either this original appearance or the reprint. I think it’s the best Rawhide Kid story  not written by Stan Lee or Larry Lieber

MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
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The Rawhide Kid and horse Nightwind are riding along when they come across a prison break in progress. Even though he is a wanted man himself, the Kid knows he has to try to stop it.

Rawhide shoots one of the two outlaws attacking the prison coach, but the other kills both of the guards. The Kid knocks the gunman from his horse with a flying tackle, but the bigger man kicks him (implied) in the groin. The man is preparing to shoot Rawhide dead when a shot rings out and ends his life.

Rawhide’s life was just saved by an elderly prisoner once known as the Missouri Kid. Despite this timely rescue, our Kid plans to turn Old Kid over to the authorities. Just not before Old Kid tells him his story of a young man wronged by a ruthless railroad company and who sought vengeance on same without hurting innocent folks. More I will not say, but it’s a great yarn. I was rooting for Old Kid at this point.

What follows are various humorous actions and exchanges. A lawman who looks suspiciously like the Marvel version of Wyatt Earp - also drawn by Ayers back in the day - gets the drop on them. The lawman is only interested in the Rawhide Kid and, not knowing who Old Kid is, lets him go.

More stuff happens until we get to a very satisfying ending. Like I said, you need to track down this story in the original version or the reprinted version.

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Here’s the cover of the reprint:
                                                                            

Marvel went to the 1950s for the four-page reprints backing up the main story. “Gunhawk” by Stan Lee and Joe Maneely is from The Ringo Kid Western #15 (December 1956). “Hide-Out” has art by Human Torch creator Carl Burgos and originally appeared in The Outlaw Kid #19 (September 1957). The writer of the Burgos story has not yet been identified.

SPOILERS AHEAD
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“Gunhawk” is a gem. It’s set in the lawless frontier town of Nugget Notch. A terrified stranger rides into town shouting that Gunhawk, a lightning-fast gunslinger for the Texas Rangers, is after him for a shooting in another town.

Bull Jones, the outlaw who runs the town, doesn’t want the law in his town. The stranger tells Bull he will need all his men to beat Gunhawk, the fastest gun east of the Rockies, the man who out-drew Frank James and the Wabash Kid. Bull isn’t impressed. He says he’s the fastest gun in these parts with the exception of another outlaw named Sagebrush Harry. That’s when the stranger tells him Sagebrush was buried last week:

The Gunhawk outdrew him afore his hand could touch his colt!

Bull and his men don’t need to hear any more. They decide to move on to other parts, leaving the stranger standing in the street, begging for help. When they run into a grim man riding into town, they rat out the stranger:

We ain’t looking fer trouble, amigo! We’re just leavin’ town. The man yuh want is hidin’ in the hotel! Yuh can have him with out compliments!

The grim man walks into the hotel. The stranger recognizes him and calls him “Gunhawk.” And then, they talk:

GUNHAWK: Well, it worked again!

STRANGER: Yeah, if we keep chasin’ these owlhoots outa the towns we’re supposed to clean up, our gun-hands are gonna git rusty! We won’t be able to draw if we have to!

GUNHAWK: It’s funny that they’re never smart enuff to doubt your story about me! Oh, well, I guess if they were smarter, they wouldn’t be owlhoots!

STRANGER: That’s right, Tom...and remember, in the next town, it’s my turn to be Gunhawk!

If I were ever asked to edit a volume of the best of the pre-hero Stan Lee stories, this one would definitely be in it.

“Hide-Out” has a tough act to follow and, while it doesn’t rise to the challenge, it’s not a bad little tale. First-time robber Drew gets caught in the act by first-time bank guard Pat. They both fire and they both miss. The fleeing Drew vows vengeance. Pat promises to get him first.

Drew goes into the woods searching for a hide-out. He gets turned away from other outlaw hide-outs who fear the pursuing Pat. Drew’s further adventures in the woods terrify him. When he finally finds a secluded cabin, am equally weary Pat is there. The guard came to the cabin to escape Drew. The finish is fun:

The two enemies, each afraid of the other, swung fists, missed and collapsed...

PAT: Drew, I guess we just ain’t fighters! What d’yuh say we help each other stay alive and get back to civilization?

DREW: It’s the only way we can save our own skins, Pat! And I’ll be happy to go back and face the music!

DREW: Any place...even jail...is better than this hide-out! Alone...I don’t think...I could last it out!

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There’s no letters column in this issue, but we do get the return of the “Marvel Bullpen Bulletins. The lead item is about an article on Marvel in the August 1, 1971 issue of the Sunday supplement magazine Parade. That’s followed by an announcement of two new titles: Tomb of Dracula by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan, and Warlock by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane and Dan Adkins.

In other Bullpen news...John Romita, Marie Severin, Herb Trimpe and other Marvel folks took part in an art program for underprivileged kids at the Guggenheim Museum...Stan Lee shaved off his beard...Al Kurzrok, production worker and sometimes writer, went to Haiti for a weekend vacation...Barry Smith, now living in New York City, went back to England for a vacation.

“Stan’s Soapbox” discusses Marvel’s price increase to a quarter for a thicker book, then immediately down to a standard comic at twenty cents. No explanation beyond it being a decision made by the Marvel business people.

“The Mighty Marvel Checklist” lists a dozen new issues. Besides the aforementioned Tomb of Dracula and Warlock, there’s Fantastic Four #119 (the Human Torch and the Thing team up with the Black Panther in what I recall was a pretty good story), Spider-Man #105, Thor #196, Avengers #96 (with “the startling wide-up to the Kree-Skrull war”), Hulk #148, Captain America and the Falcon #146, Sub-Mariner #46, Daredevil #84, Astonishing Tales #10 (Ka-Zar) and Sgt. Fury #95 (reprinting one of that title’s earliest issues by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby).  

That’s all for this week’s edition of “Rawhide Kid Wednesday.” I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff. See you then.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

JULY 1963: ARCHIE’S PALS ‘N’ GALS #26

Today’s bloggy thing continues my 136-part series on the comics that hit the newsstands in the month of July 1963. That month was pivotal to my comic-book career because it was the month when Fantastic Four Annual #1 ignited my desire to write comics.

Archie’s Pals ‘N’ Gals was launched in 1952 and ran to September, 1991 for a total of 224 issues. The first 83 issues were at least 52 pages and were designated as “Archie Giant Series” on the cover. This should not be confused with the Archie Giant Series Magazine title that featured a variety of titles, such as Betty and Veronica Summer Fun and Archie’s Christmas Stocking.
 
Archie’s Pals ‘N’ Gales #26 [Fall, 1963] was a 68-page issue with a cover featuring the Thinker statue that appeared in the earliest episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis television show.  Makes me want to write an Archie/Dobie crossover.

The Grand Comics Database, which is the source for all of today’s writer and artist identifications, opines that Bob White might be the penciler of this issue’s cover. Their guess is probably better than mine when it comes to such things.

The inside front cover of the issue advertises a “Treasure Chest of Fun.” The fun comes from the variety of novelty items offered by Honor House Product Corporation. These items included a silent dog whistle ($1), See-Behind glasses (75 cents), a bank vault with an alarm ($1.49), and an atomic smoke bomb (20 cents).
                                                                               
 
Archie is possessive of Veronica and seemingly feared by the other boys in “Brute Farce” (6 pages). The fear is feigned on account of Veronica has made its clear she won’t date (secretly) any guy that doesn’t go along with this routine. If I had to guess the identity of the writer, I would go with Frank Doyle because the story builds so nicely to its punch panel. The GCD has Harry Lucey as penciler.

Next is a full-page subscription ad for Archie’s Pals ‘N’ Gals. In 1963, you could get five giant-sized issues for a dollar.

Jughead stars in “A Matter of Competition!” (6 pages). When all of the girls are smitten with the handsome new history teacher, Archie and the boys can’t get a date to save their lives. Jughead makes an off-handed remark that the only way to change that is to get this new teacher transferred. Archie’s father has a cousin on the school board and, in a shocking abuse of power, that cousin does get the teacher transferred. His replacement is even more handsome.

Jughead also stars in two half-page gags: “Female Fearful” and “No Hits..No Runs...Nothin!” The GCD opines that Bill Vigoda might have penciled these and the next story.
                                                                              

Next is Archie in “Mister Clean” (6 pages). The story starts with  Veronica looking Laura Petrie hot as she vacuums. Before the story  is finished, the bumbling Archie manages to prevent Veronica’s dad from being taken by a phony diamond merchant.

Archie loses whatever points he gained with Mr. Lodge in the three-page “Caddy-Baddy!” Mr. Lodge is playing against someone he wants to sign a million-dollar contract. Mr Lodge knows he has to lose if he wants to make that deal. He figures having Archie as his caddy makes that a sure thing. Yeah, that will work.

“Archie Club News” (2 pages) has three cash-winning club members. Cathy Webb (Roanoke, Virginia) won $5 for writing about her family vacation. Barbie Williams (Santa Barbara, California) won $3 with her descriptions of what goes on around her house. Linda Cole (Los Angeles, California) wins $2 for her jokes.

Li’l Jinx stars in “A Helping Hand,” a single-page gag strip by Joe Edwards, who wrote and drew all but one Li’l Jinx story or strip during the character’s long run.

Another house ad. For a quarter each, fans could order any of eight Archie Giant Series comics: Archie Annual #15, Archie Giant Series Magazine #22 (Archie’s Jokes), The Adventures of Little Archie #29, Archie Giant Series Magazine #24 (The World of Jughead), Archie Giant Series Magazine #20 (Archie’s Christmas Stocking), Archie Giant Series Magazine #21 (Betty and Veronica Spectacular), Archie Giant Series Magazine #23 (Betty and Veronica Summer Fun) and the issue I’m writing about today.

Archie stars in and wears “The Helmet” (5 pages). The helmet is a safari helmet that offers protection from the sun, can serve as a weapon and attracts lovely young ladies. Veronica takes issue with that last one. Lucey is the penciler.

Another one-page Jughead gag. The GCD tentatively identifies Vigoda as the artist of “Food for Thought.” The gags in this issue are disappointing, a contrast to its mostly excellent longer stories.

Jughead stars in “Blood Brothers” (3 pages). Researches are taking blood from the male students for a study. When they get to Jughead, the sample consists of hamburger gravy. The GCD tentatively lists Samm Schwartz for penciler.

Two half-page paid ads are next. Archie speaks for U.S. Royal Bike Tires on the top half of the page. Below, the Ed Sale Studio says it can teach you play guitar in seven days or it will refund your $2.98 payment.

Archie stars in “The Other Cheek” (6 pages) wherein Reggie tries to con both Archie and Principal Weatherbee. Guess who ends up with a week’s detention? Once again, the GCD tentatively lists Vigoda for the penciler of this story.

Two more half-page ads. The top half offers Kissing Dolls for half a buck. The only choice offered was a complete set of one girl and one boy. Yeah, I know. It was 1963.

The bottom half of the page offers “100 Little Dolls” for $1. They are made of “genuine Styrene plastic and hard synthetic rubber.” I think I might have dated a woman like that. Once.
                                                                               

Betty and Veronica star in “Splinter Group” (6 pages). Archie gets a splinter in his finger. Veronica takes him to the nurse’s office. The nurse is gorgeous and kisses Archie’s boo-boo. I’m guessing she then lost her job because, when Archie gets another splinter, the new nurse is somewhat less than gorgeous. The penciler for this one is Dan DeCarlo.

It’s followed by a Betty and Veronica pin-Up page drawn by DeCarlo, another Li’l Jinx gag page by Edwards and a paid ad for the “Magic Art Reproducer” discussed in a previous July 1963 entry.

Archie gets caught whispering in Miss Grundy’s class in “Sound Off” (6 pages). She and the principal try to punish him by not allowing him to speak. This backfires on Weatherbee. The GCD opines Vigoda for the penciler of this story.

A full-page ad drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger showcases Gilbert Auto-Rama”s “Fly-Over Chicane.” The boys racing their motorized vehicles have big smiles on their faces. Like when you and your pals found that copy of Playboy.

Archie stars in the three-page “Be Prepared!” He and Mr. Lodge do some bonding over Veronica’s being ill. It’s nice while it lasts.

House ad. If you ordered a 10-issue sub to Archie, Jughead, Laugh, Pep, Betty and Veronica, Life with Archie, Archie’s Joke Book or Archie’s Madhouse, you would have gotten the free gift of a lucky penny horseshoe. The ad claims it’s Archie’s favorite lucky pocket piece. That covered the first person who subscribed, but what about the others? How many lucky pocket pieces did Archie have? 

On the inside back cover, the National Youth Sales Club would have awarded you great prizes or big cash profits for selling Christmas and All-Occasion Greeting Cards. I wonder if they had a card that you could send to a kid who got taken in by this scam.

The back cover advertises Daisy B*B rifles and an indoor range to shoot at. What could possibly go wrong?

Gosh, hasn’t this trip back to the summer of 1963 been great fun? Wouldn’t you like to do it again soon? I know I would. Keep reading the bloggy thing for more fun from the past, from the present and from the future.  

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Monday, July 18, 2016

TONY'S TIPS #166

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder....The Batman Adventures Volume 4 by Paul Dini, Brice Timm, Kelley Puckett, Mike Parobeck and others; Buffy: The High School Years – Freaks & Geeks by Faith Erin Hicks with artist Yishan Li; and Shigeru Mizuki’s The Birth of Kitaro: