Thursday, September 6, 2012


Here’s the cover of Little Iodine #10 [Dell; February-March 1952],
which would have shown up on newsstands in December 1951, the month
of my birth.  When I looked at this cover, I realized that, while
I knew of the title character, I had never read any Little Iodine
story or newspaper strip.

What makes this incredible is that Little Iodine was around for a
long time.  Wikipedia says:

First seen during the 1930s in a supporting role in [Jimmy] Hatlo's
popular gag panel, They'll Do It Every Time, Little Iodine was the
daughter of Henry Tremblechin and his wife, Cora. Her purpose was
to serve as a pesky nuisance to the strip's star, Henry, and her
behavior caused endless misery for her. 

Iodine became so popular she had her own Sunday strip from 1943 to
1985.  There was a Little Iodine film in 1946, though no copies are
believed to exist at this time. 

After a couple issues in Dell’s Four-Color series, Little Iodine’s
own comic ran 56 issues from March-May 1950 to April-June 1962.  I
don’t think I’ve ever so much as seen an issue.

I’m guessing the Little Iodine comic books reprinted the newspaper
strips, but that guess may not be 100% correct.  As always, if any
bloggy readers know more about this comic than I do - and, clearly,
that won’t be difficult - I’d love to hear from you.

Keep reading this bloggy thing for more vintage comic-book covers
from the month of my birth.


My two favorite Marvel titles are Avengers Academy and Daredevil.
The former, though brilliant, is drawing to a close because of the
Avengers Vs. X-Men event.  Thankfully, Daredevil, written by Mark
Waid, will be continuing.

Daredevil won Eisner Awards for Best Writer, Best Single Issue and
Best Continuing Series, so I don’t have to tell you that a lot of
folks like it as much as I do.  Waid took a character who had been
beaten to a pulp by a succession of sadistic writers and editors
and brought him back to life.  That he did it without walking away
from what his predecessors had done is nothing short of miraculous.
Indeed, the events of those dismal pre-Waid stories still exercise
a pull on Matt Murdock’s life and adventures.  The deterioration of
his relationship with best friend Foggy Nelson is but one example.

I read Daredevil #15-17 [$2.99 each] in one sitting.  Three issues
weren’t enough.  I wanted more.  Waid’s writing and the remarkable
art of Chris Samnee and guest artist Michael Allred bowled me over.

The desperate plight of Daredevil in Doctor Doom’s Latveria was one
new to the hero.  Think about that.  New to a character who’s been
around since 1964.  Now that’s writing.

DD’s courage and determination in this situation was breathtaking.
The roles played by Iron Man and other Avengers made perfect sense
without diminishing the title hero.  The frightening discovery made
by Foggy kept the tension high, even as the Allred issue examined
the Murdock/Nelson friendship and partnership.  I want to hack into
Waid’s computer and read the next issues.

Read Daredevil.  It’ll remind you how good super-hero comics can be
in the right hands.


I wanted to love Marvel’s new Captain Marvel title.  Unfortunately,
two issues was all in took to dash that hope. 

From a distance, the new title’s covers looked terrific.  The bold
logo and colors, the heroic poses, what’s not to love?  Then I got
closer.  Silly-looking hairdo and a doll’s face that doesn’t look
like it belongs to either Carol Danvers or an adult woman.

Opening the first issue, I was struck by the over-rendered and just
plain ugly artwork.  The familiar characters (Captains America and
Marvel) didn’t look like themselves.  They did, however, look like
they were brother and sister. 

Carol Danvers has a convoluted back story and, in recent years, has
been written as unlikeable/unpleasant.  The writing in these first
two issues did nothing to change that.  Just added more back story
to the character in a failed attempt to humanize her.  On the other
hand, points for this line: “I think I know your problem, Absorbing
Man.  You’re bitter than your name sounds like a brand of toilet

After reading these two issues, I’m more convinced than ever that
the Marvel and DC universes needed to be most sincerely and utterly
blown to pieces.  A new Captain Marvel, preferably female because
there’s still a shortage of well-realized heroines, would be a good
thing.  But it’s not gonna happen with Carol Danvers.


I hadn’t looked at anything Teenage Mutant Ninja Mutant Turtles
since my children were kids.  But, when I saw Barbara Randall Kesel
was writing IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Microseries #7 [IDW;
$3.99], I got a copy of that issue.  Barbara was one of my better
editors in comics, a fine writer herself, and a friend.  Not that
any of those things gets her a pass when it comes to my reviewing
something she wrote.

This issue focuses on April O’Neil, friend to the Turtles and, in
this version, a lab assistant to insane scientist Baxter Stockman.
I knew her as a TV reporter, but Wikipedia tells me this version is
how April was shown in the original TMNT comics.  Did I mention how
many TMNT cartoons I watched with my kids?

This story is tied into some larger story, but Kesel provides just
enough information on other components of the story to keep me in
the loop.  That’s the mark of good writing and good editing.  Wish
the industry had more of both.

April comes off as genuine and real.  She’s brave, but she’s not an
action hero.  Her fighting skills are rudimentary, but she manages
to keep her wits about her as she sets about disrupting Stockman’s
various sinister projects.  That’s the key to her success in this
story and as a character.  She doesn’t do anything we couldn’t do.
She does what many of us would be afraid to do.  She’s someone we
can relate to and admire.

The Marley Zarcone art is pretty good.  It has some movement, goes
big when necessary, and does a decent job telling the story.  It’s
solid professional work.

The story isn’t as satisfying as I would like, but that’s because
it’s just part of the puzzle.  If IDW’s other Turtles comics are as
good as this issue, I could see requesting their collections from my
local library system. 

More Kesel writing would be a good thing.  I hope savvy publishers
figure that out.


It’s garage sale time again!  My next-to-last full garage sale of
the summer will be Friday and Saturday, September 7-8, from 10 am
to 3 pm, at 840 Damon Drive, Medina, Ohio.

The restocking from the previous show has been largely completed as
I write this bloggy thing.  There will be thousands of comic books,
magazines, and mass market paperbacks at a quarter each.  There’ll
be hundreds of trade paperbacks and hardcovers at $2 and $5 each.
A limited number of the extremely rare 2-sided Superman/Clark Kent
poster from Cleveland’s 1988 International Superman Exposition will
be on sale at $20 each.  There will also be some Isabella-written
material on sale and, as always, whether you buy it at the sale or
not, I’m happy to sign anything I’ve written.

Insanely low prices on comics and books...and yours truly answering
your questions about this and that.  It’s like the smallest comics
convention you ever attended.  I hope to see you there.  
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. I remember Little Iodine in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner comics pages. I hadn't seen that strip since the 1960s (or 1970s).

  2. My grandmother saved the Examiner funny pages. We would trade the Los Angeles Times Sunday crossword to her for them.

    Just thinking about those strips plays up how things have changed since then. Every other week Iodine did something that got her father fired. When was the last time you saw that in Dennis the Menace?

  3. I remember the Iodine strip being in one or two of the Sunday papers my parents subscribed to. We got two during the week and a third (Boston Herald-American) on Sundays, so my dad could keep up on the latest Red Sox news.

    I don't recall finding the strip especially funny, but rather mean spirited. I also think it was a strip where the child was often seen being spanked for some prank. One of the reasons it stood out was that even in the '50s & '60s when I was reading the strip Iodine was wearing bloomers, which you never saw being worn by any girls I ever knew.

    Unlike you, my friend, I'm a long time fan/reader of the TMNTs from the original Mirage days, through the Archie titles and beyond. IDW, along with co-creator Kevin Eastman, are doing a great job of bringing together elements from the various incarnations of the Turtles and making them exciting for a new audience. There is also enough there for us long-time fans. I highly recommend the book, even as I find myself dropping more and more of the Big Two titles.