Sunday, June 10, 2012
JOE PALOOKA’S FAMOUS PAL
were published by Harvey Comics in my birth month of December 1951.
It’s also the next-to-last issue of the title, though Harvey would
continue to publish Joe Palooka Comics through March 1961.
To the best of my recollection, I’ve never actually read an entire
Joe Palooka comic-strip story or comic book. From comics history
studies, I know he was the heavyweight boxing champion and that he
served in the armed forces during World War II. Hal Fisher created
Joe Palooka, but many other people did the writing and drawing over
the strip’s long existence. Al Capp was one of them and it wasn’t
a happy relationship. Do a little web-surfing and you’ll find that
exceedingly weird story.
Most and maybe all of the Joe Palooka comic books were reprints of
the comic strip. Whether or not that held true for this Humphrey
series is unknown to me. The Grand Comics Database has at present
only partially indexed the first issue and that one has reprints of
the comic strip.
The Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999 does list creators
who worked on Humphrey Comics. Al Avison is said to have penciled
from 1948-1954, which indicates that Humphrey might have starred in
back-up features in other titles. Warren Kremer is credited with
pencils and inks, but no years are listed. The legendary Joe Simon
likely penciled and inked some covers of the title.
The only other thing I know about Humphrey Pennyworth (no relation
to Alfred) is that he was a blacksmith. If someone versed in Joe
Palooka lore would like to enlighten me on this character and his
friendship with the boxer, I’d love to hear from them.
If you do grace this bloggy thing with your comments, it might be
a day or two before they get approved. As you read today’s bloggy
thing, I’m in Columbus for my son Eddie’s graduation from The Ohio
State University. That’s also why I’m writing shorter than usual
bloggy things for a few days.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a third Joe Palooka comic book from the
month of my birth.
© 2012 Tony Isabella