Friday, February 24, 2012
STRANGEST TALES OF FEAR AND TERROR
assorted villains amidst a backdrop of Hollywood splendor. But you
won’t find her in Black Cat #33 [Harvey; February, 1952], another
of the comics that hit the newsstands in December, 1951, the month
of my birth. What you will find are a quartet of pre-Comics Code
The chilling contents:
“Corpses from the Sea” (8 pages, written and drawn by Bob Powell
with inks by Howard Nostrand);
“Army of Scorpions” (4 pages, possible drawn by Rudy Palais);
“Grave on the Green” (7 pages, art by Vic Donahue); and
“Man Made Monster” (4 pages, art by Palais).
The Powell tale was “reprinted” in Eerie Publications’ Terror Tales
Volume 5, #3 [June, 1973], albeit redrawn by A. Reynoso as "Hidden
Horror.” Publisher Myron Fass and editor Carl Burgos stole quite a
few pre-Code horror stories from various sources, often redrawing
them to add additional blood and gore and sometimes, as seems to be
the case here, redrawing them entirely from the original stories.
I’ve wondered why Harvey Comics never sued Fass for such blatant
thievery. It would have been an afternoon’s work for Richie Rich’s
army of high-priced attorneys. Maybe the Rich family didn’t want
anyone to know they made a fortune off garish and gory horror comic
books in the 1950s.
I’m still under the weather today, so expect me to bounce all over
the place in today’s bloggy thing.
Sainted Wife Barb’s radio turns on at 5:30 am. I’m usually already
up by then, reading through the day’s bloggy thing before posting
it and promoting it on my message board, Facebook, and Twitter. On
most mornings, I crawl back into bed and, with Barb, listen to the
radio until about 6:30 am.
I don’t much like radio hosts...and not just the vile Rush Limbaugh
radio hosts. Judgmental asshat that I am, I think they are mostly
gasbags with microphones. All I really want from radio is music -
with artists and song titles identified, thank you - news, weather,
traffic conditions, and sports. If the hosts must go beyond that,
maybe a sociable comment about some game or movie or book is okay.
But they shouldn’t go beyond that because they are no more capable
of cogent commentary than turkeys are of flight.
This particularly morning, the hosts of “Cleveland’s New 102" - no
relation to DC’s “The New 52" - were properly disgusted that some
lowlife creep had snapped a photo of Whitney Houston in her coffin
and sold it to The National Enquirer. I shared their disgust until
they matched the photographer’s heinous act with a disgusting act
of their own. I literally got out of bed, walked across the hall
to my office, went to their website and sent them this:
You know what’s every bit as disgusting as someone taking a photo
of a celebrity in a coffin? A radio host speculating on who did it
without anything resembling factual evidence! This is why I often
leave the room when my wife’s radio goes off in the morning. Inane
chatter from talking heads. You know what I’d like from radio?
Music, news, weather, traffic conditions, etc. without the crass
commentary that lowers your own conversation to the level of the
Enquirer. Try to raise the level of your discourse. It’s possible
to entertain and inform without being jerks.
After sending that, I went back to the bedroom and read it to Barb.
She then turned off the radio because she feared my e-mail would be
read on the air. I’d bet against that.
But it was nice to get back under the warm covers and not have to
listen to those radio people.
Diamond Comic Distributors has canceled orders on Atlas Unified #2-
5 from Atlas Comics. However, I have received comp copies of the
second issue of the series as well as the fifth issues of Phoenix
and Wulf. It is my sincere hope Diamond doesn’t delay distributing
these comic books as the company did with my Grim Ghost #6, having
canceled orders on that issue at a time when it was already in the
Atlas fans might not be as numerous as those of DC or Marvel, but
they are just as avid as those of the Big Two. Diamond shouldn’t
be responsible for any lateness from publishers, but, once issues
are published, especially since the publishers take responsibility
for any returns of the late issues, the distributor should not delay
shipping the issues to their retail customers.
In addition to catching up on Marvel this year, I’m trying to stay
current on DC’s “New 52" by reading the titles in batches of two to
four issues. Of course, that only holds true for the titles still
being purchased by the generous friend who lets me borrow his comic
books. The others will have to wait until they are collected into
trade editions and if my library system purchases them. In either
case, I won’t have much to say about these DC titles unless they’re
really good or really bad.
Green Lantern isn’t really good, but it’s good and definitely worth
reading. Writer Geoff Johns has me interested in the truly tangled
inner workings of the minds of both Hal Jordan and Sinestro. I’m
especially delighted SPOILER WARNING that Johns seems to be coming
around to my own long-held position that the Guardians are one evil
bunch of Smurfs. SPOILER ENDS.
Beyond the writing, the rest of the book is solidly crafted. Good
storytelling and dramatic drawing by penciler Doug Mahnke. Inking
by Christian Alamy and Keith Champagne that fits the pencils well.
David Baron’s coloring enhances without overpowering the art while
Sal Cipriano’s lettering is always easy on the eyes. Whatever the
editors - Brian Cunningham and assistant Darren Shan - are doing on
Green Lantern, they’re doing it right.
Speaking of DC Comics...
TV Guide for February 20-March 4 reports that Black Lightning will
be one of the “second-tier characters” appearing in shorts during
the DC Nation programming block on Cartoon Network. The item also
says the shorts will have a humorous tone. How nice.
Around two dozen online friends have asked me how I feel about this
and the only answer I can give is a standard one:
How I feel about it depends entirely on whether or not my creation
is treated with respect and whether or not DC pays me for this use
of my creation. The ball is entirely in DC’s court, though, sadly,
the company does have a history of committing flagrant fouls when
it comes to both Black Lightning and myself.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella