Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday's Favorite OTR

Suspense: "The Whole Town's Sleeping" 6/14/55

An adaptation of one of Ray Bradbury's creepiest short stories, with a tour-de-force performance by Jeanette Nolan.

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Heart of Superman

As much as I love black-and-white photography, I would normally agree that color works better for superhero-oriented TV shows and movies. After all, the superhero business is literally one of primary colors.

But there's always exceptions to this. The Adventures of Superman ran for six seasons from 1952 to 1956. The first two seasons were filmed in black-and-white--it's these two seasons (most especially the first season) that are the best. And this is in no small part because of the black-and-white photography.

In part because of the legacy of the radio show and in part because of special effects limitations, Superman didn't fight supervillains and only occasionally ran into super-scientific threats. His opponents were gangsters and spies. The plots were constructed as mysteries--this meant there was stuff for Clark Kent to investigate and figure out before Superman could swoop in and punch everyone silly.

These early episodes were often gritty and dark, with a very high likelihood of a few corpses turning up before the end credits rolled. They were photographed and lighted in a very Film Noir-ish style that fit these types of stories perfectly. Consequently, The Adventures of Superman looked better and worked more effectively in black-and-white than it did in color. The Film Noir influence is particularly apparent in three of the best Season One episodes: "The Haunted Lighthouse," "A Night of Terror," and "The Evil Three."

What balanced out the grittiness and kept the show fun was its cast. George Reeves brought a personable confidence to both Clark and the Man of Steel. Lois Lane, whether played by Phyllis Coates or Noel Neill, was brass and brave. John Hamilton was magnificently crouchy as Perry White.

But I think it was Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen that really brought heart to the show. Jimmy was often over-eager and naive, but Larson's performance combined these traits with an inherent courage and a determination to stand by his friends. In later seasons, Jimmy was reduced more and more to being comic relief and nothing more. But in the first season--well, take a look at the clip I'm including. It's a scene from "A Night of Terror." Jimmy, Lois and one other character are about to be shot to death by gangsters. Notice that Jimmy is standing protectively in front of the two women. He's obviously terrified and helpless to do anything really effective. But by golly, he'll take a bullet before he allows either of the women to be hurt! Take note of this, modern-comic-book-writers-who-have-no-idea-how-to-deal-with-Superman's-traditional-supporting-cast. That's the way to write Jimmy Olsen!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"A webslinger and a man of steel walk into a news convention..."

It took about 4 decades for DC and Marvel to get around to it, but during the 1970s, they finally agreed to let their characters team up. The first of these (not counting a collaborative adaptation of The Wizard of Oz) was Superman vs the Amazing Spider Man, cover-dated 1976.  And, though later crossovers were often good, this is still one of the best.

It was published as one of those oversized "Treasury Editions" that both companies were putting out during the 1970s. Because of that, my opinion of this story might be colored a little by nostalgia. I loved those Treasury Editions. It was within the covers of those that I first came across the original Galactus battle, Thor's epic battle with Hercules, and Superman's first adventure from Action Comics #1. It was through the Treasury Editions (as well as reprinted stories in the backs of annuals and Giant-Sized comics) that I was introduced to the rich histories of both the Marvel and DC universes.

Besides, the over-sized format really allowed Ross Andru to go to town with the art in Supes vs. Spidey. The story looks magnificent, with a generous helping of large panels and splash pages that took full advantage of the large size.

The writer was Gerry Conway, who had a lot of experience working with both characters. And he took an interesting approach in bringing Clark and Peter together. Later crossovers often used inter-dimensional travel to shove Marvel and DC characters together. That's fine by itself and can make for a great story. But this initial team-up simply tossed the protagonists into the same world without further explanation, allowing Conway to move on with the story without a lot of lengthy exposition. He once wrote:"Purists may complain that we never explained how Superman and Spider-Man ended up in the same 'universe'...; to our minds, how they got there was beside the point." The presumption is that this story takes place in a universe in which DC and Marvel coexist and know about one another. They just don't run into each other very often.

The tale is nicely structured as well. We get a short but effective Superman short story in which he confronts Lex Luthor, who is using a giant robot to steal a satellite component from S.T.A.R. Labs. The Man of Steel catches his arch-enemy, but Lex manages to stash the component awayto be recovered later. Meanwhile, in New York, Spidey takes down Dr. Octopus.

The two are taken to the same prison, where we are reminded that in every comic book universe, prison wardens are idiots. The two brilliant but evil scientists are locked up in the same cell block, because there's no way that can possibly end badly, is there?  It takes them maybe five minutes to escape together.

They decide to team up, with the twin goals of destroying their arch enemies and black-mailing the world out of ten billion dollars.

Soon after, Clark, Lois Lane and several other Metropolis newshounds are in New York for a convention. But it really is impossible to take Lois anywhere. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to take Mary Jane Watson anywhere. Both are kidnapped and teleported away in a manner that makes Spider Man think Superman is responsible.

But what can the webslinger do about that? As cool a superhero as he is (and he is indeed cool), he can't stand up to Superman in a straight fight. Or can he? Lex and Ock secretly zap Spidey with a red sun ray, giving him power equivalent to Superman for a few minutes. So Peter and Clark tussle on equal terms for a few pages, until the red sun radiation wears off and we get what might very well be the funniest few panels in the history of comic books.

By the time the two heroes realize they've been had and start to follow up clues, Lex and Ock are already aboard an old Injustice League satellite, where Lex uses the component he stole earlier to
take over a NASA satellite and use its laser probe to generate a hurricane powerful enough to wipe out mankind. This, obviously, is were the ten billion dollar blackmail scheme kicks in.

So it's up to Superman to stop a giant tidal wave whipped up by the storm while Spidey fights the villains aboard the satellite. Fortunately, Spider Man finds an unlikely ally when Dr. Octopus realized Lex is insane enough to actually destroy the Earth for holding "my genius in contempt!" (Lex is even more nuts than he is in DC's regular universe. But that's okay with me--it simply means that the Lex in the mixed DC/Marvel universe has driven a little farther into Crazy Town than the Earth-1 Lex.)

I already mentioned Conway's skillful story construction, using the introductory short stories to set up plot elements that would pay off later in the tale. Ross Andru's art is always great, but whether it was the large page format or simply the fun story material,  he really shines here. The brief but epic fight between the two heroes is superbly choreographed and very exciting. I also like the designs of the various robots, vehicles and satellites that appear throughout the book--each of them looks awesome and unashamedly comic booky without seeming at all silly.

There was a Batman/Hulk team-up soon after this one, which was also fun. Later crossover events run the gamut in quality. The 2003 JLA/Avengers mini-series was actually quite good and gave us some magnificent George Perez art. But I'll always consider Superman vs. The Amazing Spider Man to be the best. Yes, that opinion is filtered through boyhood nostalgia, but I can re-read it as a grown-up and still have enormous fun with it, so there you go.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday's Favorite OTR

Suspense: "Log of the Marne" 10/22/51

Set during the civil war in China, this is an excellent and exciting story of a British gunboat trapped in a river and under siege by the Communists.

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Never Help a Drunk

If you're an amateur detective, you usually depend on just happening to be nearby when a murder is committed. For people like Jessica Fletcher, this works fine. It doesn't work for me--no matter what, everyone I know absolutely refuses to get murdered so that I can use brilliant deductive reasoning to solve the crime.

If you're a pro, though, you shouldn't have to depend on chance. A private eye such as Frederick Nebel's "Tough Dick" Donovan can reasonably expect clients to come to him.

But coincidence still rears its head from time to time. In the short story "Red Pavement," (published in the December 1932 issue of Black Mask) Donovan stops to help a drunk. They share a cab and when the drunk finds out Donovan is a P.I., he hires him to meet a girl at Penn Station while he (the drunk) sobers up. Then someone drives past the cab and shoots the drunk dead.

Donovan still feels he should meet the girl and break the news to her. But that leads to the girl coming into possession of a bag containing $14,000. Then the girl (and the money) disappears and the police are looking askance at Donovan because the dead guy was involved in a robbery a few years before and the money was never recovered.

So Donovan has to find the girl and the money--hopefully while the girl is still alive. Otherwise, he might end up in the slammer simply because he stopped to help a drunk. This all leads to a nice twist at the end.

I really enjoy Nebel's Donovan stories. Hard-boiled to the extreme, but (like Hammett and Chandler) always rooted in humanity, these fast-moving yarns among the best in the genre. "Red Pavement" drops Donovan into a case in an unexpected manner then forces him to play a dangerous long shot find the girl and drag himself out of the frying pan he's put himself in. And it provides a valuable lesson: don't help a drunk unless you're prepared to also solve a murder.

Hey, maybe that's what I'm doing wrong. I'm not helping enough drunks! By golly, I'll get to solve a murder yet!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Dirty Dozen for Children

The Dirty Dozen (1967) is one of my favorite action movies--with a great cast, a strong plot and a wonderfully choreographed action sequence at its climax. But its not a movie for kids. The psychotic actions of one character and the brutality of the violence means this is not a kid flick. The brutality is there for a reason--though the movie is largely an escapist action film, it is supposed to make you think about how nasty war is and how morally uncertain the decisions of even the good guys can often become. So it's all good--you just don't want to let your kids watch it.

Which is why it was an odd choice for Dell to produce a comic book adaptation at a time when comic books were still largely read by kids. Though, admittedly, Marvel Comics had been building up an older fan base for the medium during the 1960s. And Dell didn't necessarily shy away from violence in their stories.

All the same, remember that this is a film about 12 men who are guilty of violent crimes--including murder and rape. One of them (Maggot- played by Telly Savalas) is a fanatic who kills women because women are inherently evil temptresses. He also considers the rest of the Dozen to be sinners who deserve to be killed. 

The mission the men are assigned is essentially a mass assassination of high-ranking Wehrmacht generals. As it turns out, in order to accomplish this mission, the Americans have to blow up a bunch of women along with the generals. 

Gee whiz, that's hardly kiddie fare. So its interesting to examine how the uncredited writer and artist Jack Sparling went about it.

By the way, this post will obviously contain spoilers regarding the movie. But, if you are a grown-up and you haven't seen The Dirty Dozen, then its your own fault anyways and I simply don't have time to bother with you.

Interestingly, the violence is left largely intact. When the team is on their mission, they are casually taking out Germans with silenced pistols and knives while getting into position for the main attack. When the German officers hide out in a bomb shelter, the Americans still use grenades and gasoline dumped down air vents to turn the whole chateau into a fire bomb; and the ongoing fight with German soldiers still has an element of brutality to it. Jack Sparling, by the way, does an excellent job with the art.

What is changed (other than changes made to fit the story into 32 pages) is dropping the elements involving brutality towards women. This involves making Maggot more generically insane, rather
than giving him a definable (though psychotic) motivation for betraying the team. Interestingly, when the German generals run for the bomb shelter, we see their women going with them, so the Dozen still implicitly blow up innocents in the comic. We simply get no panels showing us the Germans inside the shelter, so this isn't emphasized.

Obviously, a scene in which prostitutes are brought to the Dozen before they go on the mission is simply skipped over.

A comparison between the movie and the comic book can actually form an interesting discussion about what is appropriate for a child to watch or read and what isn't. I personally think that a level of violence in children's stories is perfectly fine--violence can be a legitimate part of drama in stories for all ages. But that in turn can lead to discussions involving how much violence can be desensitizing or otherwise make violence appear fun or harmless. These are both legitimate concerns that are often readily dismissed today without sufficient consideration. If you're interested, I do talk about this a little more in my ebook 99 films Your Children Must See Before Growing Up; or They'll Turn Out to Be Axe Murderers. In the end, of course, parents are best qualified to each make these decisions for their own kids. Parents simply need to be aware that they should be giving thought to the issue. (The Dirty Dozen, by the way, is NOT included as an essential film in my 99 Films ebook. Your kid can skip it and he won't turn out to be an ax murderer. Oh, and yes, I do realize this was a pretty shameless plug for one of my books.)

In terms of storytelling, a fan of the movie can be a little annoyed that so many cool bits have been
left out and condensing the story does leave it feeling a little choppy. The comic book picks up with the Dozen already in their training camp, with the officious Colonel Breed (Robert Ryan's role in the film) working to get the project shut down. The Dozen are still shown cheating in a war game maneuver to prove they can be an effective commando unit, then its off to the real mission. The need to condense means the action isn't anywhere near as well-choreographed as in the movie, but the writer and Jack Sparling do a fine job in the space they have.

It's probably the lack of time to show characterizations that hurt the comic book the most. We never really get to know any of the Dozen (other than realizing Maggot is just plain nuts), so the deaths of guys like Jefferson, Pinkley and Franco don't come with the same emotional impact.

There's also a few things that remind us the comic book guys were using the script rather than the final film to create the adaptation. In the movie, one of the Dozen dies off screen in a parachute accident at the start of the mission. This is because the actor was having differences with the filmmakers, who just tossed up their hands when it was time to film the battle and said "Let's just kill him off." In the comic book, this character sticks around for the actual fighting.

Also, there's a scene in which Sgt. Bowren (the M.P. in charge of the guards at the training camp) is found on the plane flying them to France--he stowed away to come on the mission himself. This is a scene edited out of the final film (or not filmed at all--I actually have no idea), so that Bowren is simply there on the mission without explanation.  So I suppose in this one point, the comic book improves a little on the story.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday's Favorite OTR

Inner Sanctum: "The Judas Clock" 5/17/45

A particular clock will only run properly if its pendulums are weighted with the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas Iscariot. Gee, there's no way that particular time piece could bring ill luck to any one, is there?

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sea Monsters on Pluto

Read/Watch 'em In Order #49

The nefarious Doctor Zarro has an unusual scheme for taking over the Solar System--convince the populace that a "Dark Star" approaching the system will destroy everyone and that only he--Doctor Zarro--knows how to save us all. This will create a panic reaction and mass protests that will sweep him into power.

And something is approaching the Solar System, though scientists cannot detect any significant mass to it despite its large visible size. But then scientists begin vanishing. Doctor Zarro announces that they are fleeing the Solar System because they know it is doomed. Only Zarro can save us!

This is the set up for "Calling Captain Future," the story that appeared in the second issue (Spring 1940) of his magazine. It's another fun entry in the series--like other Space Opera stories I've talked about in recent weeks it creates a fictional version of our Solar System that's so cool, it leaves you perpetually disappointed with real life space.

Captain Future, along with his odd companions (a disembodied brain; a shape-changing android; and a robot) investigate, hoping to find the truth before the frightened human race makes Zarro a dictator.

Of course, Zarro is kidnapping the scientists. Future manages to rescue one of them, along with Planetary Police agent Joan Randall. He then sets a trap, but this backfires and he is himself captured by Zarro's Legion of Doom.

From here, there's a mini-adventure in space when Future, Joan and the rescued scientist end up stranded in a Sargasso Sea of wrecked space ships, battling blood-sucking and multi-tentacled aliens. I find that interesting, because it recycles an idea Hamilton had used in the story "The Sargasso of Space," published in Astounding Stories in 1931.  (Though that story had space pirates rather than aliens as the antagonists.) Apparently, Hamilton like the general idea of a Sargasso Sea in space. And why not? An area in space where wrecked or stranded ships from centuries of space travel eventually drift together? That's a cool enough idea to use over again.

Eventually, various clues bring the Futuremen to Pluto. They need to find Zarro's base, which seems to be on one of Pluto's three moons. This leads to another series of action set pieces--escaping rapidly moving glaciers and fighting a sea monster on Pluto; escaping a prison riot on one of the moons; fighting a six-legged grizzly bear-like monster on another moon. While all this is going on, Simon Wright--the brain-in-the-box--is kidnapped. Eventually, Captain Future finds Zarro's base, but he and his men are all paralyzed by a gas that freezes your metabolism but leaves you fully aware of your surrounding environment. Well, except for Simon Wright, who doesn't breath. Zarro then simply sets him in a corner and unplugs his speech device. Oh, and Grag the robot doesn't breath either, does he? So his control circuit is severed.  The point is that the villain incapacitates all the good guys in such a way that there is no hope of escape. Doctor Zarro is not a nice person.

All seems doomed. But perhaps there is hope in the form of Grag the Robot's frightened metal-eating
pet. Eek the Moon-Pup might be the key to saving the Solar System.

The first Captain Future story was set primarily on Jupiter and was a lot of fun. This time, the action is set mostly on or near Pluto and its moons and the result is, I think, even more fun. The story is fast-paced, constructed around a series of action set-pieces, but also logically laying out the clues that the heroes must follow to find Doctor Zarro and deduce his real identity. Few writers did Space Opera better than Edmond Hamilton.

I mentioned Eek the Moon-Pup. This is the new addition to the cast and its easy to see where the idea comes from. Grag the Robot and Otho the Android are modeled after Doc Savage's companions Monk and Ham, who were always bickering with each other. Eventually, the two each got an unusual pet (a pig and an ape respectively), which they constantly used to further annoy each other.

Eek is Grag's pet and its metal-eating habits constantly annoy Otho, so the additional parallel to Doc is obvious. But there is a difference. As much as I love the Doc Savage stories, I will admit I always hoped those stupid useless pets would just eat each other and be done with it. But Eek is unusual enough to be interesting and Hamilton actually uses him a a key plot device. That's definitely a step up.

And, gee whiz, I love the idea of Pluto and its moons being habitable and populated by furry natives, sea monsters and six-legged grizzlies. Why isn't the real Solar System more like that? Stupid physics!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A-Whale Huntin' We Will Go!

Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy was the first adventure-themed comic strip. Written and drawn by Roy Crane, it actually began life in 1924 as a humor strip. But Crane was soon bored with coming up with gags every day and he gradually morphed his creation into an adventure story, albeit one that never lost its initial sense of humor. The main character--Washington Tubbs III--was soon joined by rough-and-tumble soldier-of-fortune Captain Easy. Together, the two bummed around the world, getting into one scrap after another.

In fact, even when they weren't looking for trouble, trouble would find them. In a 1933 story arc, the two are drugged and shanghaied aboard a whaling ship. Easy raises an objection to this, but the brutal first mate Mr. Slugg forces him to sign the articles.

So Wash and Easy become sailors. Their ship is not a happy one, though. The elderly captain is sick, allowing the sadistic mate Slugg to run things his way. His way isn't very nice.

Eventually, the ship does encounter whales, allowing our heroes to learn just how dangerous their new profession can be.

Things continue to get worse. Slugg eventually murders the captain. Wash is a witness to this, so Slugg takes the little guy ashore on a remote island and tosses him in a well. Easy rescues Wash and the two of them decide it's a good time for a mutiny.

By now there's a pretty girl involved in the adventure--because in the world of Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy it is quite impossible to go ashore on a remote island without practically tripping over a pretty girl. So after a pitched battle or two and some captures, escapes and recaptures, Wash, Easy and the girl find themselves tied up in a cabin while the ship burns around them. Fortunately Easy has good teeth, allowing him to engineer their escape and have a final showdown with Mr. Slugg.

Wash Tubbs was  a fantastic strip on so many levels. Crane was a great artist--his style on Wash Tubbs never lost an element of cartoony-ness left over from its humor-oriented beginnings, but that proved to be a strength once he began to tell adventure stories. Crane's tales were violent and often full of death and brutality. But the art style, though it was realistic enough to
generate a real sense of danger, also kept it from becoming unpleasantly graphic. No matter what, the yarns Crane spun were always full of pure fun.

And then there's his skill at composition--designing each individual panel so that every detail looked just right. He was a pioneer in the use of onomatopoeia sound effects. He used blacks and gray tones effectively to heighten drama. He choreographed action scenes as skillfully as did later artists such as Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko.

The whale hunting story arc is one of my favorites, not just because it's a typically well-told adventure story, but because it shows off Crane's skill as a visual storyteller. The whale hunting sequences, for instance, are particularly awesome. Watch the video below--one of a 5-part series I made for the library at which I work--for a better sense of just how skilled an artist Roy Crane was.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cover Cavalcade

I'd also back away from Zorro in this situation, so I don't feel critical of the soldier at all.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday's Favorite OTR

Voyage of the Scarlet Queen: "Fang Rubies and the Black Siamese"  1/14/48

While loading cargo in an Australian port, Captain Carney witnesses a murder. Solving that crime turns out to involve a black Siamese cat.

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bowling for Your Life

Last week, I wrote about an old Amazing Stories tale that (in my mind) failed to completely suspend disbelief on at least one of its plot points. This week, we're looking at a story that's even more bizarre and unlikely than "Galaxy Raiders" and overall probably isn't quite as well-constructed in terms of story structure. But all the same, I have no problem at all accepting every thing in it as real.

"Castle of Terror,' By E.J. Liston, appeared in the November 1948 issue of Amazing Stories. It starts out as a tough-guy crime story, with a cop named Jenkins taking a crook named Griffin to prison. Griffith tries to make a break for it; the two are locked in a life-or-death struggle; and then the two of them are suddenly... somewhere else.

Jenkins, for one, is somewhat confused. He's suddenly in a medieval fantasy setting, where he encounters some dwarfs and gets into a fight with some giants. Then he's arrested by guards led by Lucretia Borgia, who takes him to her castle. Griffin is there, along with a lot of other thuggish men.

Despite the weirdness of it all, Jenkins is still determined to take in his prisoner. This gets him tossed into the dungeon.

More weird stuff happens. It turns out that Jenkins can help overthrow the despotic rule of Lucretia. But to do so, he has act as champion for the dwarfs and win a contest against Griffin. It's not the first time the dwarfs had tried this--a few centuries earlier, they recruited a guy named Rip Van Winkle. The contest Jenkins has to win is a bowling match.

Gee whiz, this story is silly. But I believe it. I believe every word of it. The prose is never tongue-in-cheek, but tells the story in a straightforward and serious manner. Everything that happens in it makes sense in its own bizarre context. Well, except for a few things that aren't explained at all, but what the heck. I believe it all, by golly.

Last week, I believed in the planet Jupiter with a habitable surface, but had a little trouble with alien invaders from another galaxy. This week, I completely and without reservation believe two guys being teleported into a pocket universe to bowl against each other. Suspension of Disbelief is a precarious and unpredictable thing.

You can read "Castle of Terror" online HERE.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Monster Society of Evil--Parts 11-15

When we last left Captain Marvel, he was a captive of the crocodile people on the planet Punkus, while Mr. Mind and several Axis scientists were preparing to open fire on Russia and America with a giant cannon capable of destroying continents with a single shell.

Fortunately, the villains are just as bad at keeping Billy Batson properly gagged as he is at not saying "Shazam!" at inopportune moments. Billy gets loose, transforms into Captain Marvel and--using a
crocodile-head disguise-soon learns where the ammo warehouse for the cannon is located. He blows this up.

But two shells have already been sent to the cannon. Captain Marvel is too late to stop one of these shells from being fired at Russia, but he manages to destroy the cannon before it can launch the last one at the U.S.

Capturing Mr. Mind and stuffing the little worm in his belt, Captain Marvel flies after the shell. But the evil Mr. Mind has his most evil plan ever ready to go--HE BEGINS TICKLING CAPTAIN MARVEL, distracting the World's Mightiest Mortal sufficiently so that he can't completely stop the shell from landing.

Gee whiz, I love this stuff. I love every silly plot twist this story is taking. I love the matter-of-fact casualness that writer Otto Binder and artist C.C. Beck treat every absurd thing that happens. I love the extremes to which Comic Book Logic is stretched without ever breaking. I love it so much that I'm only mildly disappointed on how this particular sub-adventure in the serial is resolved. The shell lands in Russia, but just happens to be a dud. But at least Captain Marvel managed to see that it landed in an open field rather than a city, so he still helped out a little.

That takes us through Captain Marvel Adventures #33 and 34. Mr. Mind has managed to squirm away (making getaways isn't that hard when you're only an inch long) and by issue #35, he's got a new evil plan already started. This time, he's using a ship disguised as a big floating island to sneak an German invasion force into Scotland.

Captain Marvel investigates, but for the 8000th time in a row, he turns back into Billy Batson at an unwise moment and gets captured. But in issue #36, he escapes. Mr. Mind unfreezes a prehistoric mammoth that was trapped in the ice atop the island, intending for the beast to destroy his arch-enemy. But Captain Marvel whips the mammoth into submission, then uses it to help wipe out the invading Nazis.

 Once again, I simply love all this. Captain Marvel is riding a prehistoric mammoth while helping to fight off a Nazi invasion of Scotland--and it all makes sense in context.

Captain Marvel Adventures #36 has our hero searching the United Kingdom for Mr. Mind. He finds him in an old castle, where the worm and a hideous rat-man henchman are planning to drill down into the Earth's core and form a volcano that will destroy England. Despite getting captured again while in Billy's form, Marvel chases the bad guys away, but to stop the volcano, he caps off the lava by sitting on it. Will he have to stay there forever to save England? We'll find out in a month or so when I cover parts 16-20. In the meantime, remember you can access the entire 25-chapter epic HERE.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Belarski and Blakeslee

I just finished making another video for the Ringling College of Art Library's YouTube channel.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cover Cavalcade

Does anyone else think this looks like the Phantom is punching out Fidal Castro?
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