Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Betty Bates, Lady at Law

Staring in Hit Comics #4, Betty Bates finds danger everywhere she turns. Sometimes she jumps into trouble, sometimes it grabs her and runs. Either way "Betty Bates, Lady at Law" was one of the better back-up in Hit Comics, outlasting it's cover stars: Neon the Unknown, The Red Bee, Kid Eternity, and Hercules.

Betty Bates, Lady at Law (later called Attorney at Law, then just Betty Bates) has no side kick or repeating cast for most of her run. As Hit Comics began to cut some of its length, only becoming five or six stories and issue, Betty picks up Larry. Larry is a Police reporter who clearly has a crush on Betty, the new District Attorney.

Larry is often used as comic relief, but never falls to being the consent funny man or the annoying side kick. He backs Betty up in her out of office adventures, but he never has to save her. The strip is not degraded by the additions of a side kick like many other strips have been.

Betty was created by the name she is usually credited to, "Stanley Charlot." Stanley Charlot, a pen named used only on Hit Comics, is credited to Bob Powell by The Grand Comics Database (Hit Comics) and Lambiek Comiclopedia (Comic creator: Bob Powell). Some Hit Comic readers give credit to Al Bryant, who later did all the art for the strip. Artists Nick Cardy also worked on the title before Al Bryant came in, but is never credited with writing it. Alice Kirkpatrick is credited with the art on some of the last issues.

Betty Bates sometimes has alight, funny story, and sometimes a darker of crime. Below you will find a light one.

From Hit Comics #12 "One Hamburger with Trouble!" Art by Al Bryant

Click here to read and be sure to come back for more Betty Bates!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Klaus Nordling and Lt. Drake of the U.S. Naval Intelligence

Writer and artist Klaus Nordling, famous for his work on Lady Luck, started his career in 1939. His first work is Baron Munchausen, a Sunday strip comic. Soon he was working with Fox Comics on "Spark Stevens" and "Lt. Drake of the U.S. Naval Intelligence."

F. Klaus, who singed the first panel of the comic below, is really Nordling. He did do the pencil work here, if not the writing. The writer is is marked as unknown by the Grand Comics Database, but Nordling did the writing on a number of strips.Now to see some early work! Here is Mystery Men #12 (July 1940)"The Stuffed Fish Smugglers"

More more infomation on Klaus Nordling:

Klaus Nordling (Artist Profile)

Nordling, Klaus (Who's Who Bio; A few of his pen names, and a list of known works)

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Mouthpiece

"A newly elected district attorney, Young Bill Perkins, draws the ridicule of older officials because of his alert action methods. When out after first-hand evidence, Bill wears a mask and to the evasive figures beyond the law he brings terror and grim respect--to them he is...The Mouthpiece!"

The above is from Mouthpiece's first story, and it is the only introduction creator Fred Guardineer ever gives. Mouthpiece is yet another 1940s, blue suited lawyer tired of the red tape. He stands out from look a likes The Sprit and Midnight because he is played complete straight. His comics are darker, more violent, and generally not as good.

Mouthpeice only lasted until Police Comics #13. In modern times, he has shown up as part of the DC Universe in Dr. Mid-Nite #1. Not as a crime fighter, but as a law advisor to Dr. Mid-Nite who lost his family to AIDS.

From Police Comics #1 (August 1941), here is his first story.
Page 1//page 2//page 3//page 4//page 5//page 6

For more infomation...
Mouthpiece (Wikipedia)

Check the Tags for more Mouthpiece!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blaze Barton and The World of the Future

In 50017 A.D. the Earth is spiraling towards the sun. Professor Solis and his daughter Betty (Avis by #3) create a great, heat-proof city for the best and brightest. The rest of the humans dies, and in their place the creatures from the center of the Earth have crawled out to live.

Blaze Barton (dropping "and The World of the Future" after issues #1) ran for 13 issues of Hit Comics. Information of the creator is unknown, but artist for the first story was Henry Kiefer. Blaze goes though a lot of artist and a lot of gal pals.

You're set to read Blaze Barton now. That's all you really need know.

Hit Comics #1 "Doomsday and Afterwards" Writer Unknown; Pencils Henry Kiefer

Page 01//Page 02//Page 03//Page 04//Page 05//

More Information...

Unused Quality Comics Characters

Earth X Timeline

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stories By Famous Authors Illustrated

Stories By Famous Authors illustrated was a 1950s, 13 issues series of adaptations from literature. Stories were usually 32 pages with two or three text stories at the end of the issue. Issues #1 through #5 were reprints of Fast Fiction with different covers, put out a year earlier. Stories By Famous Authors has some great history (and covers) on it's front page,

"This series was first produced by Seaboard Publishing as Fast Fiction and provided competition for the more well known series, Classics Illustrated. The series used some of the same artists as that series, including the well known and very well regarded Henry Carl Keifer. Clearly Albert Kanter, the Father of the Classics Illustrated series wasn’t impressed to have another publisher muscling in on his idea and was also angered that Keifer was also churning out some of the Seaboard stories - Hamlet and She refer - and so Kanter bought the upstart in 1951...In fact, if you own The Red Badge of Courage, number 98 in the Classics Illustrated series, then you have what was planned to be number 14 in the series from Stories by Famous Authors and was purchased by Gilberton at the same time as the purchase of the publishing rights for the 13 issued. That is why The Red Badge is only 32 pages long..."

Famous Authors Illustrated #1 The Scarlet Pimpernel

Famous Authors Illustrated #2 Captain Blood

Famous Authors Illustrated #3 She, art by Vincent Napoli

Famous Authors Illustrated #4 The 39 Steps

Famous Authors Illustrated #5 Beau Geste adaptation by Dick Davis; art by Henry C. Kiefer.

Famous Authors Illustrated #6 Macbeth, adapted by Danna E. Dutch; art by Henry C. Kiefer

Famous Authors Illustrated #7 The Window (text story: The Boy Who Cried Wolf)

Famous Authors Illustrated #8 Hamlet, adapted by Danna E. Dutch; art by Henry C. Kiefer (see it here) (Text stories: The Christophers, The Skeets calls for Skill, and Everyday expressions)

Famous Authors Illustrated #9 Nicholas Nickleby

Famous Authors Illustrated #10 Romeo and Juliet, adapted by Danna E. Dutch; art by Henry C. Kiefer

Famous Authors Illustrated #11 Ben Hur (text stories: The Word of Law, Te Cheating of Hadschi, Escape from War Prison)

Famous Authors Illustrated #12 la Svengali (text stories: William Tell, The First Commandos, The Rajah Takes A Census)

Famous Authors Illustrated #13 Scaramouche

For more info...

Stories By Famous Authors Illustrated (GCBDB)

If you know of any other links, please leave it in the comments!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Patty O'Day and English Eddie

Here is a quick spy story, featuring reoccurring character the suave "English Eddie" (or is it Lord Mike?).

From Wonderworld Comics #4 "The case of English Eddie" by Adolphe Barreaux

Page 01 // Page 02 // Page 03 // Page 04 // Page 05 // Page 06

Friday, April 11, 2008

Patty O'Day

Newsreel reporter Patty O'Day with her camera man/ever loyal bodyguard, Ham, investigates and adventures her way into her stories. Patty first showed up in Wonderworld #3, written and drawn by Adolphe Barreaux.

Patty is fairly athletic, and something of a of an actor. She has been know to dress up in disguise to get information.

(Image to the left from Wonderworld Comics #8 "Action in Switzerland," drawn by Clarie S. Moe.)

Read some Patty O'day here!
Wonderworld #30
page 01 // page 02 // page 03 // page 04 // page 05 // page 06 // page 07 // page 08

Find out more...
Comic creator: Adolphe Barreaux
Comic creator: Claire S. Moe - signing her work "Vic Todd" (See the story above) and Orville Wells.
See the tags for more Patty Comics!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Crack Comics #10 "Madam Fatal Meets The Jester."

Art and Story by Art Pinajian.

Page 53 // Page 54 // Page 55 // Page 56. // Page 57

This comic happens before Smash Comics #22, the first story of the Jester. If it isn't him, that means that there are three Jesters running around. One villain (who sticks to Madam Fatal stories) and two good Jesters (one of which never shows up again). If it is him, he found reason to change his name to Chuck Lane.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shock SuspenStories

Shock SuspenStories features a mixture of horror, crime, and war stories.

"We've tried to satisfy every one of you readers who have written us insisting that E.C. increase its output! Many of you wanted another science-fiction mag... you horror fans wanted another horror book... and you suspense readers wanted a companion mag to Crime SuspenStories! We decided, therefore, to make this new mag an "E.C. Sampler" ...and to include in it an S-F yard, a horror tale, a Crime SuspenStory, and... for you readers of Frontline Combat and Two-Fisted Tales... a war story! Although there was a wide variance in the types of mags requested, all of you fans seemed to agree on one thing: all of you wanted the stories to have the usual E.C. SHOCK endings! So what could be more natural than to call the magazine SHOCK SUSPENSTORIES?" -- Shock SuspenStories

The war stories don't make it past issue one, but some stories are social issue-based. In fact the comic often tries to teach moral lessons with it's twist endings.

The magazine start in 1952 an ran till 1955, putting out 18 issues in all.

Shock SuspenStories has seen reprints. A black and white collection was put out in the early 1980s. Reprints of all 18 issues were reprinted in the early 1990s. They can still be found running around. Recently, the series has been collected in great full color sets. You'll find links to those below.

If you enjoy shows like Tales From the Crypt, this is a comic for you.

Now for a sneak peek from the individual 90s reprints...

From issues #2 "The Patriots!" by Jack Davis

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Page 01 / Page 2 / Page 03 / Page 04 / Page 05 /

Shock SuspenStories #1 "The Rug" by Graham Ingels - [Link Down]

Shock SuspenStories #1 "A Neat Job!" by Jack Kamen - Read it here!

Shock SuspenStories #1 "Yellow" - Read it here

Shock SuspenStories #9 "The October Game" by Jack Kamen - Enjoy it here

Shock SuspenStories #12 "The Monkey" by Joe Orlando -See it here

Shock SuspenStories #15 "Raw Deal" - See it here

Shock SuspenStories #15 "Well Trained" by George Evans. - Read it here

Shock SuspenStories #16 "The Hazing" by Joe Orlando - Read it here (Also see the famous "Are You a Red Dupe?" ad.)

More info....

GCD :: Series - Shock SuspenStories

Shock SuspenStories

The Regular artist/writers...

Comic creator: George Evans

Comic creator: Jack Kamen

Comic creator: Joe Orlando

Comic creator: Wallace Wood (Wally Wood)

Pick it up today!

Gemstone - Shock SuspenStories: Volume One

Shock Suspenstories Vol. 1 : Books from Overstock.com

Ebay is good to check too. Especially if you are only looking for one story, or just want to test them out.

Shock SuspenStories, unlike many EC tittles and comics on the blog, is not in public domain. If you like what you've seen here, be sure to pick it up.

Fight Comics #47 Highlight Reel

See Señorita Rio drawn by Lily Renee! (See more of her here!)

See Rip Carson, a creation of "Rollin Bell" (Later written Rollin W. Bell) and artist Jack Kamen, staring Fighting Comics #19. Rip was a parachute trooper during WWII, later an ace fighter pilot in Korea. His run is Fight Comics #19 to 85, except #69 when they made the magazine shorter.

See Patty Pinup, a humor strip, by "Sista Swing."

See part of Kayo Kirby, originally a creation of Will Eisner, here by "Chuck Walker."

See Hateful Herman, a humor strip, by "Happy Larke."

See pirate captain "Captain Fight" who appeared in Fight Comics #44-69.

See Hooks Devlin, spy/detective.

See it all here!

711 and Destiny

Daniel Dyce was an up and coming lawyer. When life long friend and look a like Jacob Horn commits an unspeakable crime, Daniel takes the rap just long enough for his friend to see his son born. On the way to the hospital Jacob Horn is killed in an accident, the truth passing away with him.

Daniel Dyce  knows he will spend the rest of his life as prisoner #711.

Desperate, Daniel finds a means of escape. He spends all his time digging a tunnel past the jail walls. By the time he finshes his digging to his freedom, he no longer believes he can have a life beyond the jail walls, so he crawls back in. Daniel does deiced to use the tunnel. He snanks out at night to become a crime fighter.

Leaving the jail to investigate tips he hears in it's halls, and retuning to jail life during the day. He takes his prisoner number as his costumed name.

711 began running in Police Comics #1 (Aug 1947), written and drawn by George Brenner

Read the Origin of 711 and 711 stories from Police Comics #8 and #9.

But Wait--There is more!
[Spoliers for 711]

711 only ran until Police Comics #15 (January 1943). His final fight is with a man called Oscar Jones, an escaped prisoner from the same jail that holds Daniel. Police Comics #15 tells the story of Oscar's life to the moment he shoots 711 down.

At the end of the comic a man is silhouetted in a dark archway as Oscar runs away. This man is to be Destiny.

Destiny is never given a name, but when we meet him is completely broke, only having enough for his next meal or the price of admission to a show where a drawing for $500 is taking place.

He picks the show, where he meets a performing physic that explains to him that he is able to rule the future of others. Not believing, he leaves, only to decide to try what the physic said. When his finds himself transported to another place, he comes to believe that he is Destiny.

Drawn to the scenes of crimes by a sixth sense, Destiny has transported himself to the office of a plastic surgeon being held up by Oscar Jones, 711's killer. Convinced Destiny is not human when he is faced with the story of how he killed 711, Oscar Jones jumps out a window, escaping.

Destiny's vow to bring Jones to justice is enough for the ghost of 711, who is now able to move on. Destiny spends the next two issues doing just that.

Read right here in Police Comics #15-17
Find more info at...
711 (Quality Comics)
711 at internationalhero.co.uk
711 at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
Destiny at internationalhero.co.uk
The origin of 711 has been reprinted by DC in Police Comics # 1

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"It's Smart to be Dumb" by George Tracy

From Fight Comics #47...

Madam Fatal, first cross-dressing superhero

Madam Fatal began running in Crack Comics #1 (May 1940), a creation of Art Pinajian. Fatal debut six months before DC's cross-dressing Red Tornado in Scribbly. Madam's final appearance was in Crack Comics #22 (March 1942) . Pinajian drew the series until the end.

Madam Fatal was really retired actor Richard Stanton. When his daughter was kidnapped, he set about making a new life for himself as an old woman. His foes now underestimated his speed and strength, and he easily topped them. No one knew of his secret but his pet bird, a parrot named Hamlet.
Stanton does save his daughter, but continues fighting crime as an old woman. Though now, instead living only as her, he swishes between identities.

Fatal shows up once in the modern era as part of the DCU. At the funeral of Wes Dodds, Wildcat (Ted Grant) mentions Madam Fatal's funeral, where no one showed up but he traveling cast of La Cage aux Folles (JSA #1). Stanton is buried in Valhalla Cemetery.

Read the Origin from Crack Comics #1 here! [Link fixed 06/2012]

At someone point Golden Age Comic Book Stories had “The Secret of the Rex” from Crack Comics #8 on the site, but the link no longer works. I've linked to it in hopes it will come back someday.

Gold Nuggets: Madam Fatal...Drag Queen of Justice! looks at some panels from Crack Comics #11

Read her final story at Crack Comics #22. [Dead link - I'll post the story at a later date 06/2012]

For more info on Madam Fatal....
Toonopedia article on Madam Fatal
Madam Fatal Profile on International Hero
Gay League - Madame Fatal