Monday, September 30, 2013

Cover Cavalcade

It's been years since I've worked in the medical profession (I was a lab tech in the Navy), but I can testify that this sort of thing actually did happen all the time. It did. Really.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday's Favorite OTR

Cavalcade of America: "Steamboat Builders" 6/24/36

Steamboats are cool, so this dramatized history lesson about the development of the steam-powered boat can't help but be fun.

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's the only thing he ever wrote!

As far as anyone knows for sure, the short story "Waiting for Rusty" is the only thing William Cole every wrote. The story--accurately referred to by one critic as "a masterpiece of concision"--is only 1400 words long. But it so effectively sets up its main character that the tragic denouement has as much emotional impact as many full-length novels. It was published in the October 1939 issue of Black Mask magazine, which was the birthplace of hard-boiled detective fiction. And it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best that magazine had to offer. (Which including Hammett, Chandler, Cornell Woolrich and the other greats of the genre.)

Of course, it's possible William Cole was a pen name. The introduction to this story in Hard-Boiled: An
Anthology of American Crime Stories presents the theories that it was written by an editor working at Black Mask when an upcoming issue fell a few pages short; or that Cole is a pen name for a pulp writer who usually worked under another name. We will apparently never know for sure.

The story begins when Dotty, the moll of a well-known and wanted gangster named Rusty, enters a remote roadhouse along with a couple of shotgun-toting confederates. The cops are hot on their trail, but Dotty is supposed to meet Rusty here. She's determined to stay until he arrives, regardless of how anxious her partners get and regardless of what the news reports on the radio are saying about Rusty's probable location.

And I really can't say more about it without spoiling it. "Waiting for Rusty" is simply one of the best hard-boiled stories ever written and it would do you all good to dig up a copy and read it.

Waiting for Rusty via Google Books

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Riding a Dinosaur

Last week, I was struggling to remember if the Conan comic I reviewed was my introduction to Conan--as I started reading the Lancer paperback reprints of the original REH tales at about the same time.

Well, Turok, Son of Stone #79 (June, 1972) was perhaps my introduction to the greatest dinosaur hunter ever. Though, once again, I don't remember for sure. It may have been another issue.

Darn it, I'm making it hard for my future biographers, aren't I?

Anyway, this is a typically fun story. Turok and Andar see a kid trying to ride a styracosaurus. They save the kid's life and learn two things. First, riding a dinosaur is a rite of manhood for the boy's tribe. Second, there's a narrow passage through the cliffs that might just lead out of the Lost Valley. But that passage is guarded by a big carnosaur.

The two Indians try to navigate the passage, taking out the T-Rex sentry with their poison arrows. This leads to the necessity of avoiding a herd of triceratops that charge into the passage, then avoid it a second time when they charge back out after tussling with the T-Rex pack that resides at the other end of the passage. So they need to figure out a way to get through the passage without being either trampled or eaten.

The cool thing about the original Turok stories is that the resolutions didn't depend on the
protagonists simply picking off dinosaurs with poison arrows to come out on top. The best tales depended on Turok using his brains as well as his fighting skill. This time around, it involves coming up with a plan to get to the end of the passage alive and discovering if it provides an escape from the valley. It's a good plan, but not without risk. In fact, it results in Turok and Andar being forced to themselves ride a dinosaur.

If this was my first encounter with Turok, then its no wonder I became a fan. This is a well-constructed, straightforward adventure yarn with some great imagery. Who doesn't want to see a herd
of triceratops rumbling with a pack of tyrannosaurs? Who doesn't want to see two Indians taking a wild ride atop dinosaurs? I'll go there every time.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I bought a new microphone and now you all have to SUFFER!

My YouTube channel has largely become a repository for movie clips to be embedded here when I talk about a particular film. But I've also done a half-dozen videos in a series called "Pulp Era Video Reviews"--I'll never win a prize for my narration skills, but I have fun doing them.

Well, I just bought an external microphone for my laptop, relieving me of the necessity of recording the videos during my lunch time at work. To test the mike out, I recorded some commentary for a scene from 1950's Tarzan and the Slave Girl, then recorded some comments about various adventure cartoons made during the 1960s & 1970s. 

Usually, I write out my comments before I record narration.This time around, I didn't bother. I just did the narration stream-of-consciousness, so I tended to ramble on a bit and I'm not sure I'm always making a particular point as clearly as I should.  But these videos were made simply to test the new microphone, which turns out to works just fine.

But that leaves me with two videos that I did, after all, go to the trouble of making. So what do I do with them? I really don't want to just delete them--I had too much fun simply geeking out when I made them. Obviously, then, I must force the loyal readers of my blog to endure them. It's the only solution:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cover Cavalcade

Yes, the Gold Key adaptation of Star Trek was poorly done for the most part--but dang if they didn't produce some bizarrely entertaining covers.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Encyclopedia Awesomeness

If you click on THIS LINK, you go to my brand new Contributor page at the Encyclopedia Britannica.

From there, you can link to the articles I've written for them about Doc Savage and the Green Hornet. Before long, there should also be articles on DC Comics, Marvel Comics, The Shadow (with separate entries for the pulp character and the radio character), and a general entry on pulp magazines.

Yes, I am awesome.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday's Favorite OTR

The Six Shooter "Hiram's Goldstrike" 1/10/54

This particularly entertaining episode involves an eccentric prospector (enthusiastically played by Howard McNeer) who seems to have finally found a rich strike after 45 years of searching. The story segues smoothly from comedy to drama and back to comedy, with a superb sequence in which Britt and an outlaw confront each other in a pitch-black room. There’s a great twist near the end, leading up to a hilarious gag at the conclusion.

Click HERE to listen or download

Thursday, September 19, 2013

From Mars to Earth to Venus

Read/Watch 'em in Order #39

Gee whiz, Prince Zinlo of Olba (a kingdom located on ancient Venus) has led an interesting life. That's mostly because he wasn't originally Zinlo.

He began life as Rorgen Takkor on ancient Mars, then swapped bodies through a time/space thought transference process to become Harry Throne on modern Earth. But he was still feeling restless, so Dr. Morgan transfers him to the body of Zinlo on Venus. This sets up the plot for Prince of Peril, first anthologized in Argosy magazine in 1930.

As with the previous books in this series, this was done with the original Zinlo's permission. And we can understand why Zinlo was willing to move to Earth--he was being stalked by assassins on his home planet.

Well, the new Zinlo is pretty good with a sword, so he manages to promptly do away with a pair of assassins within moments of arriving in his new body. But a later assassination attempt forces him to flee. This leads to his being present when the same guy who wants him dead kidnaps the beautiful Princess Loralie.

And thus begins a quest that takes Zinlo across much of Venus, either chasing after Loralie to rescue her or trying to escort her home. The situation reminds me a bit of the Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar novels Back to the Stone Age and Land of Terror, in which the hero is forced to travel across an unexplored land and encounters one unique danger after another.

Prince of Peril pulls this off successfully, because Otis Adelbert Kline really does present us with unique and fun situations. (Or rather, he recounts Zinlo's fascinating true history--Kline explains in his forward that he's not making any of this stuff up and who are we to doubt him?)

Aside from the various large and hungry fauna that wanders around the Venusian jungles, there's a swarm of giant blood-sucking leeches. There's also a tribe of 11-foot-tall intelligent cave apes who have a taste for human flesh. The apes are enemies at first, but Zinlo manages to defeat their king in single combat and thus make them friends and allies for a time.

Then there's my favorite part of the novel--a remote kingdom in which the king, his beautiful sister and about a thousand followers have used the thought transference process to place themselves in mechanical (but human looking & feeling) bodies, thus gaining functional immortality. They plan on using Zinlo and Loralie to reintroduce physical love into their culture, which doesn't go over well with our heroes. But though the mechanical bodies can be "killed" with some effort, the consciousness in each simply transfers to a back-up body. The king has at least a half-dozen back-ups handy, which means his inevitable duel with Zinlo is rather unusual.

Anyway, Zinlo and Loralie get back to civilization, but the original bad guy has by then usurped the throne. To save himself, his woman and his kingdom, Zinlo must very quickly organize and launch a revolution.

This leaves just one more novel to go, in which we'll return to the other side of Venus to see how Robert Grandon and his wife Vernia (the protagonists from Planet of Peril) are doing. We'll also learn a bit about how Venusian pirates operate, so stay tuned. That's the sort of information that might some day just save your life. Remember, Kline assures us this is all true!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Conan vs Crocodile

cover by Gil Kane

The first Conan the Barbarian comic book I ever read was Marvel's Conan the Barbarian #39, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by the late, great John Buscema. It may have been the very first Conan story in any medium that I ever read. I (or perhaps my older brother) got hold of some of the Lancer paperbacks being printed at the time. The first of those I read was Conan the Conqueror, which was the title Lancer gave to Robert E. Howard's only novel-length Conan story, Hour of the Dragon. This would be one of the best stories to introduce one to the character, but if I read the Marvel Comic story first, that would have been fine. It's a pretty awesome tale in its own right.

During the 100+ initial issues of the comic, Roy Thomas did a wonderful job of telling Conan's adventures in a chronologically manner, starting from when he first came south to encounter Hyborian civilization. He created a lot of original stories, weaving them in with Howard's pulp-era tales, adapting some of Howard's other stories to Conan, and eventually using the de Camp/Carter pastiches as well.  He was essentially giving us Conan's ongoing biography in comic book form.

The 39th issue--"The Dragon from the Inland Sea," is what Thomas later described as a "filler story--an on-the-road, getting from here to there story, with overtones of Andromeda being sacrificed to the sea serpent in myth..." (quoted from the afterward in The Chronicles of Conan volume 6). Conan had been serving in the Turanian army (Turan being one of several countries analogous to the ancient Middle East) but had recently deserted. He's on his way to the City of Thieves in Zamora, but soon encounters a quartet of bandits.

The last thing the bandits ever learn was that trying to rob Conan never ends well. But the Cimmerian's horse is killed in the fight. On foot in the desert, he nearly dies before being taken in by a kindly man.

This quickly leads to another adventure. The man's beautiful niece is going to be sacrificed to a sea-going dragon by the insane ruler of a nearby village. Conan is soon a prisoner himself, but tying the barbarian to a stake is yet another thing that doesn't ever end well.

This leads to a magnificient fight scene--Conan (with some help from the desperate villagers) versus a giant crocodile. Roy Thomas recalls that he visualized the dragon as a giant croc and sent John Buscema a 1937 Prince Valiant strip to give the artist an idea of what he had in mind. Starting with this, Buscema "choreographed a battle, raging through the narrow streets of the seaside village, that took up five pages..."

In the past, I have cited Carl Barks, Russ Heath and Jack Kirby as my favorite comic book artists, but John Buscema often nudges up to stand equal to them in my mind's eye. This fight scene is an example of why--and probably the main reason I began to include Conan in my meager comic book budget whenever I could. Buscema's realistic anatomy and sublime composition highlights his ability to choreograph an exciting and logical battle sequence. The fight isn't stunning just because it looks cool, but also because it flows along in a manner that we can understand. Conan frees the girl from the sacrificial rock--he wounds the dragon and swims ashore--the villagers try to stop it at the gates but it crashes through. They drop a big net on it--it rips free of this but a desperate charge distracts it long enough to Conan to find a makeshift weapon that just might stop it. Everything that happens makes sense and we always understand the tactical situation. Buscema understood that individually great-looking panels of art by themselves aren't enough. They all need to flow together into a coherent story.

I just can't remember if this was my very first introduction to Conan, but it if was, it's understandable that I quickly became a life-long fan of the big barbarian.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday's Favorite OTR

The Six Shooter: "Rink Larkin" 10/18/53

An 11-year-old boy refuses to believe his father was a bank robber—or that the sheriff who killed his dad isn’t a murderer. Ponset had befriended the boy before learning the full situation, so that leaves him with the responsibility trying to stop an angry and independent child from trying to kill a man.

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Seeking Both a Killer and Parental Approval

Read/Watch 'em In Order #38

1945's The Thin Man Goes Home is sort of the odd-man out in the series. Unlike the others, it's not set in a big city, but in the small town of Sycamore Springs. This gives it more of a cozy mystery feel without the usual hints of hard-boiled or noir elements present in the other films.

Not that that's a bad thing, because Goes Home is one of the best of the series. Nick and Nora are in Sycamore Springs to visit Nick's parents. Nick's father, Dr. Bertram Charles, has never approved of Nick's decision to become a detective--nor does he have any real respect for what Nick does. Nick's visit is at least in part because he hopes of finally gaining his dad's approval.

This aspect of the film is handled skillfully. William Powell, Myrna Loy and Harry Davenport (as the dad) underplay this--keeping it from becoming overly melodramatic and giving the entire film an unusual level of sincere sweetness.

But none of that interferes with the other two elements that usually make up a great Thin Man film--the comedy and the mystery.

The comedy is often hilarious. Loy had been out of acting for a few years while she helped with the war effort as a Red Cross worker, but she had lost none of her edge as a comedic actor. Nor had her perfect chemistry with William Powell dried up in the least. Several scenes--a trip on an overcrowded train and Nora's struggles to unfold a lawn chair--provide some great slapstick, while the banter between the characters is as sharp as ever.

And the mystery is a particularly good one. A man is gunned down right in front of Nick, despite there having been no sound of a shot. Nick professes his usual disinterest in helping investigate, but the opportunity to show off for his father soon has him in the thick of things. An eccentric local known as Crazy Mary soon becomes involved (at one point conking Nick unconscious) and--for some reason--a painting of a local landscape seems to be a part of it as well. A second murder seems to confuse the situation even further.

But Nick eventually sorts out the various clues and myriad suspects, bringing everyone together for his usual summation and to ID the killer. His dad is there at the pay-off, allowing Nick to finally show off what he does with his life.

It's a sharp, funny movie, with an excellent supporting cast. Davenport and Lucile Watson are perfect as Nick's parents. Ann Revere (a direct descendant of Paul Revere, by the way) does a wonderful job with the part of Crazy Mary. Leon Ames plays a sleazy guy for the umpteenth time in his career--but he always did sleezy really well. Another of my favorite character actors--Lloyd Corrigan--is a childhood friend of Nick's who ends up playing a key role in the investigation.

There's one interesting side note in the film: Nick and Nora bring Asta the dog with them to Sycamore Springs, but leave their son behind. The stated reason is they didn't want to pull him out of school. I suspect the real reason was the writers realized it was largely a mistake to give the Charles' a kid, so they came up with a convenient excuse to write him out. In-universe, though, it's interesting to note that the elder Charles' didn't mind not seeing their only grandchild--a very un-grandparent-like reaction. Gee whiz, just how much of a brat did Nick Jr. turn out to be.

Well, we'll get a chance to see Nick, Jr. one more time when we visit the last film in the series.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Superman's Girl Friend

I'm afraid poor Lois didn't have half the fun Jimmy Olsen did during the Silver Age of Comics. She had her own comic as well. After a try-out in Showcase #9 (August 1957), the first issue of Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane was cover dated March-April 1958. But too many of the stories involved her trying to convince Superman to marry her or cat-fighting with Lana Lang over who the Man of Steel liked better. (Lana, by the way, had moved to Metropolis to work in television broadcasting.) Or she'd be trying to prove that Clark Kent was really Superman. There was a cute series involving Lois' dreams of what life would be like if she married Superman and had kids.

Some of these stories were individually clever, but it didn't do much for showing
Lois off as a capable and professional woman. Actually, I respect and admire real-life women who choose to give up careers to be full-time moms (as Lois did in the imaginary Mrs. Superman stories), but Lois in "real life" was shamelessly throwing herself at a guy who just wasn't into her.

To be fair, mixed in with all that were occasional stories in which she's shown doing investigative reporting and helping to catch bad guys. But Lois' main saving grace throughout the Weisinger-era was her not-infrequent demonstration of ethics and downright nobility.

In fact, there's a great example of this in Showcase #9, her try-out issue. An Otto Binder-penned story titled "The New Lois Lane" involves Superman trying to let Lois discover his secret identity!

Well, not really. A crook named "Con" Conners stumbles over a clue that Clark Kent is Superman. So he's following Clark around with a movie camera, hoping to get proof.

Superman's plan is to adapt a fake secret identity, then let Lois discover it and thus take the heat off Clark. So he "accidentally" leaves various clues, only to have Lois eradicate those clues to help the Man of Steel preserve his secrets. Superman ends up thanking her for her loyalty while pretty much gritting his teeth in aggravation.

Superman finally manages to make the plan work--"Con" discovers his fake identity and he simply announces he'll give that one up and become someone else, thus foiling "Con's" plans to... um... well, actually the story never does explain exactly what "Con" was planning on doing with his information. Blackmail doesn't seem practical. And you can't endanger his co-workers any more than they are already endangered by being publicly known as Superman's best friends.

Oh, well, "Con" would have thought of something, I'm sure. The main point is that Lois gets to be noble AND Otto Binder was able to mine some nifty humor out of the whole thing. Of course, this is spoiled a little by Lois' motivation to be noble--it was her new strategy to get Superman to fall in love with her.

But there are other stories in which she's noble just because it's the right thing to do, so we'll cut her a break. In the end, though, Jimmy got to be pretty darn cool, while Lois often came across looking foolish. And when you look more foolish than a guy who's been turned into a Giant Turtle Man, you really should rethink your life.

That's it for our systematic look at the Weisinger-era Superman stories. Of course, we'll return to it from time to time when I review individual random stories from the Silver Age, but I think we've covered all the specific topics I wanted to touch upon. I'll end by saying that Superman during this time built up a mythology that would be my choice for the richest (in terms of story telling potential) than any other comic book mythology every managed. That's arguable, of course. But it's my opinion and... well... it's my blog. So there!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cover Cavalcade

I only occasionally feature a photo cover, because I usually don't care for them. But as this may be actor Paul Newman's only comic book cover appearance, I figured I run with it. I wonder if the adaptation of this movie was written by prolific comic book writer Paul S. Newman? THAT Newman did quite a bit of work for Western Publishing, which was the company responsible for creating the comics distributed by Dell (and later Gold Key). So it's possible this issue features a Newman/Newman team-up of sorts.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday's Favorite OTR

This is Your FBI: "The Fugitive Pirate" 3/14/47

A thief uses lies and then a gun to get the help of a sponge fisherman and his wife. He needs a diver to recover stolen jewels from a sunken boat.

But a subtle clue noticed by an FBI agent just might be the key to rescuing the couple.

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Not everyone loves Lucy--someone wants to strangle the poor girl!

Before Lucille Ball had a chance to really demonstrate her brilliance as a comedic actress on the small screen, she did land a few dramatic roles on the big screen.

One of her finest parts is in a nifty and slightly-noirish whodunit called Lured (1947). Lucy plays an American girl working as a taxi dancer in London. When a friend disappears--apparently the victim of a serial killer--she agrees to help Scotland Yard lay a trap for the killer. She begins to answer personal ads (that's how the killer has met his victims), hoping to smoke out the bad guy.

Lucy plays a tough, smart gal who's quick with wisecracks and who can think on her feet. And she does an admirable job.  And 66 years later, when she's now cemented in the public consciousness as a screwball comedienne, it's a tribute to her performance that we can set that aside for the length of the movie and accept her in as an ad hoc police woman.

The film works as a whodunit, with no real clues pointing to the killer for most of the film. In fact, the premise is designed to allow any number of red herrings to be tossed to us. As Sandra (Lucy's character) meets various people through the personals, we can't know at first which of them might be a psychotic murderer. Boris Karloff has a wonderful cameo as a somewhat daft dress designer and there's a whole subplot built around Sandra stumbling across a criminal enterprise completely separate from the serial killer.

A host of great character actors give backbone to the story. George Sanders, Cedric Hardwicke, Alan Napier (Alfred from the old Batman TV series, ironically playing a cop named Gordon) and others all bring life to their roles. George Zucco is particularly notable as the cop assigned to watch over Sandra while she's meeting people. Zucco and Lucy build up a really nice rapport in their scenes together.

And it's actually interesting that there's someone out there plotting to kill Lucy and it turns out NOT to be Desi because of one of her whacky schemes to get a part in his show.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Superman's Pal

The mind boggles when you think about what the Human Resources manager at the Daily Planet must have to deal with. If you're turned into a werewolf while on the job, does this come under Workman's Comp? How about if your top girl reporter gets knocked on the head, turns evil and blackmails Superman into marrying her? Does time off for that count as Vacation time or Personal time? Does it constitute harassment? And why the heck does Clark Kent spend so much time ducking into that janitor's closet? That's not in his job description, is it? If you are turned into a baby, is the Planet suddenly in danger of violating Child Labor laws? If an employee turns into a giant turtle man and destroys most of the U.S. Navy's Atlantic fleet, is the Daily Planet liable in any way?

I think the most heroic people in the DC Universe probably work in H.R. Just look at what those poor people had to deal with.

But Mort Weisinger and his writers never worried about that. They simply tossed the Daily Planet workers into one bizarre danger after another--and consequences be darned!

Jimmy Olsen started out as a nameless copy boy back in the 1940s, but was soon given a name and became a regular part of the cast as a cub reporter. In 1954, he got his own book--Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. Here we discover that young Jim has become quite a skilled investigative reporter and a disguise artist. That set the stage for stories pitting Jimmy against gangsters and con artists, which was fine by itself.

But Jimmy lived in a universe ruled by Mort Weisinger, so before long he was also confronting aliens, traveling through time and frequently getting transformed into strange creatures such a werewolf, a porcupine boy, and a boy with six arms. He occasionally drank a formula that turned gave him stretching powers and fought crime as Elastic Lad. He became a member of the Legion of Super Heroes. He fought crime in the bottle city of Kandor as Flamebird. He had a watch that could emit a hyper-sonic signal that only Superman could hear. Jimmy had an awesome career as a newsman--and all before he was old enough to vote.

The Jimmy Olsen stories couldn't have been sillier and often made no sense even in the context of a comic book universe, but they were told in a straightforward manner that still allowed them to fit easily into Superman's reality. Normally, fantasy and SF stories are strengthened by having a solid internal logic. In the case of the Jimmy Olsen stories, the silliness and lack of consistent logic worked to their advantage. It wasn't a case of "turning your brain off" in order to enjoy them. Instead, the best of Jimmy's yarns become tall tales in which their absurdities are simply a part of what is supposed to happen. Jimmy is essential the Paul Bunyan or Johnny Appleseed of the DC Universe.

There's so many examples of bizarre yet entertaining Jimmy Olsen stories, it's hard to pick a typical example. I think we'll just go to the most famous example--"The Giant Turtle Man."

Written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by Curt Swan, this story appeared in Jimmy Olsen #53 (June 1961). Jimmy is on a vacation cruise in the Caribbean when he finds an enlarging ray in a chest washed up on an island beach. This turns out to be the first part of a trap laid by a criminal merman from Atlantis named Goxo.

Jimmy accidentally sets off the ray, which passes through a turtle before hitting him. He grows to several hundred feet in height and mutates into a giant turtle boy. Goxo then takes telepathic control of him, forcing him to destroy bridges and Navy ships, then dumping the metal scrap this creates into an island volcano.

You see, Goxo was being exiled to the surface world for his crimes. He had discovered a cache of pirate gold on the island. Wanting to save this for his exile, he had to prevent geologists studying the volcano from stumbling across it. So he came up with the Giant Turtle Boy plan to clog the volcano with molten metal and prevent it from erupting. Because no geologist would be interested in studying an artificially clogged volcano.

Superman is on a mission in space during the initial part of Giant Turtle
Boy's rampage, but he soon returns to put a stop to it. Mermaid Lori Lemaris explains Goxo's evil plan and everything is now apparently all right. Well, the Navy has lost several hundred million dollars worth of warships, but no one mentions that. Maybe that pirate gold was used to pay for them? Maybe the Daily Planet just has really good insurance?

Well, Goxo's plan is just a tad bit absurd. (Its main failing is depending on whomever finding the ray being
clumsy enough to use it on himself.) But that's okay, because Goxo is a crook and we can assume he's just nuts.

As for the story's other inconsistencies in logic--well, like many of the Jimmy Olsen stories, the story is told in such an unpretentious and convivial manner, that it's impossible to complain. You find yourself simply accepting everything that happens at face value and enjoying the tall tale for what it is. If an insane merman criminal wants to leave an enlarging ray on the beach as part of his plan to recover pirate gold, then that's just fine by me. The world can never have enough of that sort of thing.

I was going to review a Lois Lane story in this post as well, but I've droned on about Jimmy far too long. So we will end our systematic look at the Weisinger-era Superman universe next week when Lois really gets on the Man of Steel's nerves by... being ethical?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cover Cavalcade

Here's the UK edition of a Western pulp, which explains the 1 Shilling price tag rather than the usual 10 cents.

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