Monday, 19 November 2018

Number 2261: Through the looking glass with Dr Wertham

What a curious story this is from Adventures Into the Unknown. A dad suffers a radiation accident and fathers twin prodigies, “talking like adults at one year!” The boys’ mother is shown fleetingly, in one panel, then vanishes from the story. The twins take to the Lewis Carroll poem, “Jabberwocky,” and work to decipher it. Bruce, the dad, consults a psychiatrist about the twins’ obsession with the poem. The psychiatrist he consults, Dr Bancroft, is the image of Dr Fredric Wertham, famous critic of the comic book industry, and author of the anti-comics book, Seduction of the Innocent. It is an inside joke, but it makes the tale curiouser and curiouser.

Ogden Whitney did the artwork for this atypical ACG entry, from Adventures Into the Unknown #13 (1950). Whitney would go on to draw dozens of stories for ACG over the years, culminating in his time on the brilliant oddball humor of Herbie, where likenesses of famous people appeared often. As far as I know, I believe this is the only time he drew Dr Wertham.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Review: Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 7: Batmen Eternal trade paperback (DC Comics)


When I think back over my long life, there are two things that occur to me:  the first is just how quickly it's passed, and the second is how much I associate certain things with specific places and times in my life.  Taking GERRY ANDERSON TV shows as an example, SUPERCAR and FIREBALL XL5 I associate with one house, STINGRAY with the house after that, and THUNDERBIRDS, CAPTAIN SCARLET, and JOE 90 with yet another.  I only have to look at a Supercar or Stingray toy (or picture) and I'm once more in whatever house I lived in at the time I first experienced them.

Is there anything that you particularly associate with places you've lived in as a kid, or does your childhood seem set in some dimly-remembered, geographically non-specific magical fantasy land, not in the actual places or homes you grew up in?   

Saturday, 17 November 2018


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I bought this four-issue limited series of BALDER The BRAVE back in 1985/'86 (wow - 32/33 years), but it's only in the last 15 minutes that I finally got around to completely removing the price sticker residue that blighted their appearance since I first got 'em.  (Well, since I peeled the stickers off after getting the mags home more than three decades ago that is.)  Read them at the time, but can't recall a thing about them, except that artist SAL BUSCEMA was emulating the drawing style of WALTER SIMONSON, who wrote the four-ish tale.  (Walt drew the covers.)

Anyway, nothing profound (or even remotely interesting) to say, so I'll let you get on with appreciating the four covers on display here.  Feel free to share your thoughts and observations with the rest of us, if you have any.  You know where the comments section is. 

Friday, 16 November 2018

कार्टून :- Catch them young


Images copyright DC COMICS

CASSANDRA PETERSON is her real name, but viewers back in 1981 knew her under the name by which she hosted a TV show called ELVIRA'S MOVIE MACABRE, in which she introduced horror films.  In 1985, DC COMICS revived their HOUSE Of MYSTERY mag with Elvira's name attached to it.  It lasted for 11 issues and one Special - and I have them all, hence this latest entry in the Crivens Cover Gallery series.

Anyway, before we get to that, here's a story in which Elvira plays a small part - if such a description covers such an impressive 'chassis'.  In the mid-'80s, I used to have a big glossy Elvira poster (which I've still got rolled up somewhere) on my wall, and one night a friend and myself were recording a 'cassette-a-letter' for another friend in Japan.  I titled these tapes 'GROAN With GORDIE' and they consisted of music and audio clips, interspersed with either a solitary monologue from myself, or conversation with any mutual pal who happened to be visiting at the time.

As we conversed, our eyes drifted towards the Elvira poster, and we extolled her charms in a fairly non-gratuitous, non-lecherous way.  It was a brief digression, but imagine my surprise when my pal in Japan said in his reply tape that his feminist girlfriend objected to our 'sexist' comments about Elvira in her bathing suit.  I'd never met his girlfriend, and the tape had been produced for him, not her, so she could object all she liked, because, as far as I was concerned, she didn't have a say in the matter.  I told him so, and suggested that perhaps he might exercise a little common sense and listen to future tapes on headphones or when she wasn't around.

In the end, it didn't matter, as she eventually told him she was going on holiday with a girlfriend for a week or two and simply never came back, leaving him in Japan by himself.  Not a very nice thing to do, if you ask me, because they'd gone to Japan as a couple, so let that be a lesson to you - never go to the Orient with a feminist.  (Sounds like a catchphrase to live by if you ask me.)

Anyway, that's enough of my self-indulgent nonsense - on with the show.  Remember though, you're ogling what could be described as 'good girl art', so if your wife or girlfriend is a feminist, perhaps you'd be better waiting 'til she's not around.  You wouldn't want her suddenly going on holiday with a pal, would you?  (Or who knows - maybe you would?)

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