Monday, November 30, 2009

And The Winner Is ...

Thanks to all 15 people who voted in my first Poll. It's nice to know there are that many people reading this blog.

For anyone who missed it or has no clue what the poll was all about, my question was "Should I post stories from Golden Age comics that I don't own?" The reason for the poll in the first place was that I didn't want to step on the toes of other bloggers who also post Golden Age comic book stories. So far, I've only posted stories from comics I own and have scanned for myself. I realized that at the new pace at which I was posting, I'ld run out of stories fairly quickly and my blog would have been dead in the water until I collected more books. That would have been kind of lame. So I turned to all you "MODMites" (which you can pronounce as either "MOD Mites" or "Modem Mites" ... which is how I say it in my head, but you pick whichever one you like) to get your thoughts.

Out of the "Fantastic Fifteen" voters, not one choose "if you don't own it, don't post it". Most of the rest voted for more Golden Age stories (two apparently didn't care one way or the other), and by gum, you're gonna get 'em!

So here's the plan: I'm not looking to post a whole bunch of horror stories, because "The Horror of It All" blog does such a nice job. I'm also not looking to have post-after-post featuring the Nedor Heroes, as the guy running the "Nedor-A-Day" blog has that company covered fairly well. So, what's left?

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a superhero fan, so most of my posts will feature superheroes where the stories have fallen into The Public Domain. As luck would have it, there are a lot of Golden Age comics that are Copyright-Free, so I have a lot of material and companies to choose from. What I decide to do in any given week is a mystery even to me at this point, although I do have some ideas to get the ball rolling.

Now, since I'll still be posting stories from books I actually own, and I only have so much storage space for images linked to this blog, I've given it some thought and came to this decision: Only stories from books I own will stay here "forever". The rest (stories taken from various places around the 'net) will have a "limited shelf-life". When I need the room to post more stories, I'll have to delete some posts, starting with the oldest first but allowing the more recent posts to stick around for a decent amount of time. To give you an idea of how fast I've been chewing through my allotted storage space, the 25 posts with stories that I've posted so far are taking-up 4% of my 1000+ megabytes, so it'll be a long, long while before storage space even becomes an issue.

And there you have it. YOU voiced your opinion. YOU decided to be heard. YOU said "I have a chance to vote in a poll, and gosh darn it, that's exactly what I'm going to do!" To all 15 voters, Thank You for voting. To the people who didn't vote ... there's another poll right over there! Go ahead, don't be shy. Nobody's gonna laugh at ya if you vote for The Green Ghoul.

The Steel Fist

From Blue Circle Comics # 4 (February 1945) comes The Steel Fist! This less-than-spectacular hero appeared in "Blue Circle Comics" 1-5, published by Rural Home. The Steel Fist, who appeared on the first two covers of Blue Circle Comics, may have also appeared in Green Publishing's "Roly Poly Comics" issues 6 and 15, published in 1945-46. That little tidbit of information comes from (most likely) the Overstreet Price Guide (which I never fully trust as being accurate to begin with, especially with an obscure title like "Roly Poly"), as well as The Standard Guide to Golden Age Comics.

According to, artwork on The Steel Fist was provided by Henry Kiefer, who also is credited for working on Hydroman. As luck would have it, I have this Steel Fist story, as well as the Hydroman story from Heroic Comics # 28, and yeah, it looks like it was done by the same guy, although neither story is signed and I'm not an expert on Golden Age artists.

As I'm sure you've noticed by now, I tend to use phrases like "according to", "so-and-so is credited to have done such-and-such" & "I read this-and-that somewhere" an awful lot. As annoying as it may be to read such statements, it's just as annoying to type them. Thing is, I don't like talking out my butt when it comes to information I'm unable confirm on my own, PLUS I like being able to say "this is where I'm getting my information from" so that if you doubt what I say, you can go double-check my sources and see for yourself if other people know what they're talking about OR I simply don't know how to read. I will never self-proclaim myself to be an "expert" on much of anything. Sure, I may know more about "whatever" than some people, but there's someone out there that knows more than me about whatever it is I think I know a lot about. It's like driving down the highway ... someone's always driving faster than you.

The "citing of sources" has become an issue with me recently. It's nice to read a well-written article about, for example, the history of a Golden Age comic book publisher, but why don't people say where that information is coming from? Did they have access to actual documents from the company? Did they read an interview with the owners or editors of the books? Were they talking to an old man who worked for the company 70 years ago, whose memory may never have been any good to begin with, and whose only reason for working on comics was to make a buck so he didn't really care about what he was doing at the time? Did they simply read a book that mentioned something without citing their source of information and now they're running with it?

What I end-up seeing a lot are things like "Bumble-Bee-Bob was drawn by P. Knuckle Jr and appeared in Wacky-Daffy Features, published by Uh-Oh Press", but when I go anywhere on the internet or page through any of the books on the history of comics that I own to verify those kinds of statements, I can't find anything to back it up. I could sit here and write about the history of Batman without ever opening a book or a comic, and I could , with some effort, make it seem real and legit and get people who didn't know better to think I know what I'm talking about. More than likely, half of what I'ld type would be wrong, but you get my point, right?. Is it really that hard to let people know where information is coming from? No, it isn't, and yet, I guess it's easier to be lazy than thorough ... but that's just My Opinion.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Hodge-Podge of Golden Age Stories

Following hot on the heels of my post featuring The Iron Skull comes this hodge-podge of Golden Age features.

Krisko & Jasper was a long-running feature of "Blue Bolt Comics", while Flip Falcon was found in the pages of "Fantastic Comics". The Little Wise Guys were mostly seen in "Daredevil Comics", although this text story is from "Boy Illustories # 90". "4 Most Comics" would often feature "How to Build ..." pages, in this case, readers get the eye-removing "Dart Game". And just for the heck of it, I'm posting some other stuff from other places and letting you guess where it's from (ok, I'm just being lazy and don't feel like typing that much right now).

The Iron Skull

The Iron Skull first appeared in "Amazing-Man Comics # 5". Created by Carl Burgos (also the creator of the popular White Streak and some character called The Human Torch), The Iron Skull ran from Amazing-Man Comics 5-22 (September 1939-May 1941), skipping issues 12, 13 & 21. He also appeared in Stars and Stripes Comics 2-6 (May-December 1941). Although Iron Skull was one of "Centaur Comics" longer running characters, he rarely ever made an appearance on the cover of the company's books, with issue 2 of Stars and Stripes Comics being his only cover appearance that I'm aware of.

Today, I'm presenting the adventure of Iron Skull from issue 10 of Amazing Man Comics (March 1940).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mighty Man from Amazing-Man Comics # 10

Mighty Man was drawn by Martin Filchock. Filchock also worked on plenty of other characters for the publisher popularly referred to as "Centaur Comics", such as Fire-Man, Electric Ray (NOT "Electro Bolt" as it has been incorrectly stated on more than a few websites who should be better than me & my blog at getting their facts straight), The Owl and The Ermine, to name a few. Filchock's simple artistic style served him well over the years, as he went on to work for "Highlights for Children" magazine, providing the famed "Check…and Double Check" feature. He would also continue to work for Joseph J. Hardie & Raymond Kelly after the duo shut-down their comic line in 1942, producing covers for crossword puzzle magazines.

Mighty Man would appear in Amazing-Man Comics from issues 5 through 25 (Septembber 1939-December 1941), and in Stars and Stripes Comics from issues 2 through 6 (May-December 1941). The character would be revived and redesigned by Malibu Comics in 1992 for their "Protectors" series.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Black Cat: The Phony Crusade!

I'm tired today, so I won't ramble-on too much.

Today's story is from Black Cat # 22 (April 1950) drawn by Lee Elias (according to the Grand Comic-Book Database).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Diana The Huntress!

It's not often the I see something from a real comic book that makes me say "I can draw better than that", but Diana The Huntress from "Yellowjacket Comics # 9" is, in my opinion, a poorly drawn feature. The artist in question on Diana is Burton Geller.

I have seen some of Geller's other comic book work. His artistic style works well for humor strips and I have nothing bad to say about any of that. Geller also drew the Bee Stings feature from "YJ # 9", which I'm also posting today. It's not bad for what it is and I wouldn't knock the artwork on Bee Stings because I have different expectations when it comes to humor features. As long as I can tell what's going-on, the artistic style is virtually unimportant to me as long as the humor of the strip comes across clearly. On the other hand, when it comes to superheroes or action & adventure, the artwork becomes more important to me. If I don't like what I'm seeing, then I have no interest in reading it. Sorry, but that's just the way it is with me. But hey, maybe you aren't like me and you read comics regardless of the level of artwork. Maybe you feel the story is more important than the art, and if that's the case, maybe you'll enjoy this story more than I did. Remember: "My Opinion Doesn't Matter", or at least it shouldn't when it comes to comic stories YOU like.

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