Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reading Room: PURPLE ZOMBIE "A Zombie is Born!"

It's Halloween, so instead of The Purple Claw battling zombies, here's...
Yes, he's a zombie, and, yes, he's purple!
You can catch a zombie...but can you hold him?
Despite having a name that sounds like a potent retro cocktail, writer/artist Tarpe Mills' never-reprinted series was actually rather unique, even for the Golden Age, where a giant flaming eyeball could get it's own comic book!
Running through the first dozen issues of Eastern Color's Reg'lar Fellers Heroic Comics, the feature crammed the title zombie, mad scientists, Nazis, death rays, armies of robot skeletons, and a time machine into four-page segments in the comic equivalent of a movie serial, with every chapter ending in a cliffhanger!
We'll be presenting the entire Purple Zombie saga here, so watch for it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reading Room: PURPLE CLAW "Kingdom of the Dead"

Before Dr Strange, but after Dr Fate, Earth was protected by...The Purple Claw!
(BTW, you can read the origin of The Purple Claw HERE!)
(BTW, you can read the origin of The Purple Claw HERE!)
This story from Purple Claw #1 (1952) was penciled by Bob Brown and inked by David Gantz.
Note: William Robert Brown used both "Bob Brown" and "Bill Brown" on his early work, so some think he's two different artists. "Bob" and "Bill" are the same man.
The Purple Claw title only ran three issues, but the stories were reprinted numerous times, giving the impression the character lasted a lot longer than he actually did.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reading Room: PRIZE COMICS "Frankenstein in the Adventures of BlooperMan"

You thought the Silver Age version was the first Frankenstein Monster superhero?
During the post-war "humorous monster" period of Frankenstein's run, writer/artist Dick Briefer decided to satirize the superhero genre...
As you can see, he's not the grim 'n gritty version (also by Dick Briefer) who wandered the earth during World War II, as shown HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
This story from Prize Comics #49 (1945) was at the beginning of his transition from "serious" to "wacky".
This guy could've been inspiration for Frankenstein Jr or Herman Munster!
The Monster even gained a Munster-like supporting cast of humorous monsters who lived with him in an abandoned hotel (though they were friends, not relatives)!
The new "fun" version was popular enough to gain his own title in 1945, but he lost it in 1949.
In the 1950s, during the height of the horror comics fad, Dick Briefer would return to the dark roots of the character to produce some of the best tales ever told about Mary Shelley's creation.
You'll see those stories next week thru Halloween, beginning with his revival at our "brother" blog Seduction of the Innocent™, while we re-present a couple of his wilder humorous eps here before Halloween.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reading Room: DOC SAVAGE & THE SHADOW "Case of the Shrieking Skeletons" Conclusion

Art by Stan Manoukian and Dave Stevens
The plot's a bit convoluted, but you can re-read it from the beginning with Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, and Part 3 HERE.
Right now, all you need to know is that Doc Savage and The Shadow have been taken prisoner by an alliance of Nazis and gangsters who are using genetically-modified humans turned into giant monsters who then deteriorate into shambling skeletal zombie-like creatures.
But holding the Man of Bronze and the Master of Darkness is another matter...
Writer Steve Vance tossed in a kool Easter Egg...Professor Reinstein himself, and the "secret government project"!
If you're a fan of a certain Star-Spangled Avenger, you'll recognize the scientist's name!
Professor Reinstein did receive a position at a government facility where he perfected his formula...
 But Professor Reinstein's legacy lives on...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Reading Room: DOC SAVAGE & THE SHADOW "Case of the Shrieking Skeletons" Part 1A

It's the team-up tale too big for just one blog to host...
..combining the two greatest heroes of the 1930s in a horror-themed story just right for the Halloween season!
And who would know more about shadows...than Lamont Cranston?
The tale continues tomorrow, at our "brother" blog Crime & Punishment™!
This never-reprinted tale from Dark Horse's The Shadow & Doc Savage #1 (1995) came out just as the ill-fated Shadow movie starring Alec Baldwin hit movie theaters.
Written by Steve Vance, penciled by Stan Manoukian, and inked by Vince Roucher, it's actually a pretty good combo of the two series' characters and storytelling styles.