A Month in the Life of the Comics
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# 144

 

Mighty Mouse 31 - Bought from Doug Sulipa

 

1322230-MightyMouse31s.jpg

 

Content:

Inside front and back covers - The Exterminator 2 pgs text

Mighty Mouse in Mail Robbery by ? 8 pgs

Gandy Goose in The Last Straw by ? 2 pgs

Paul Terry's Terry Bears in A Sleepless Night by ? 1 pg

Little Roquefort in The Model Cat by ? 5 pgs

Mighty Mouse in The Perils of Pearl Pureheart by ? 8 pgs

Little Roquefort in Mousing Problem by ? 1 pg

Paul Terry's Farmer Gray in A Day in June by ? 1 pg

Mighty Mouse in Caught in a Web by ? 6 pgs

 

Here's another comic where kids would not feel cheated as there is only a single ad page on the back cover of the book. The rest is pure 4-color entertainment.

 

I already presented the other Mighty Mouse title from the month: Adventures of Mighty Mouse " Storm Clouds of Mystery and other Stories," a long time ago but never recapped MM's career. With extensive help from the Toonopedia, we know that:

 

"It was story man Izzy Klein who originally had the idea of an insignificant animal with Superman-like powers, and he proposed "Super Fly" at a Terrytoons story conference early in 1942. But studio boss Paul Terry, who is said to have liked ideas best when he could take credit for them himself, nixed that one. Shortly thereafter, Terry came up with the same thing, except with a mouse instead of a fly, and "Super Mouse" was born. His first appearance was in The Mouse of Tomorrow, released Oct. 16 of that year. Before it even hit theaters, the second, Frankenstein's Cat, was in production, for release on November 27. By that time, the character was already being used to promote non-series Terrytoons releases, appearing with Gandy Goose on the poster for Ickle Meets Pickle.

 

Screen shot from The Mouse of Tomorrow, Mighty Mouse's first outing -

 

1322230-MightyMouseinMouseofTomorrow.jpg

 

Even before the Terrytoons character's initial release, however, another character named Supermouse was in the works. October, 1942 was also the cover date of the first issue of Coo Coo Comics, published by Nedor Publishing Co., but in the usual manner of comic books, it's likely to have gone on sale a couple of months earlier. That comic contained a completely different hero, one that Nedor and its successors, Standard Comics and Pines Comics, continued to publish regularly until 1958. Seeing no reason to promote another company's product, in 1943, Terry changed the name of his character to Mighty Mouse, the name by which he is known today. The 1942 and '43 releases were altered in rerelease to reflect the change.

 

Mighty Mouse went on to become the studio's most valuable property. In part, this was due to a decision to team him with an earlier Terrytoons character, Oil Can Harry, the villain in a brief and unjustly forgotten series of "Mellerdramas" the studio did in the late 1930s. What made these stand out was that they were done in opera style, with dialog sung rather than spoken. Mighty Mouse replaced the earlier hero, Strongheart, in Harry's revival, and Harry was re-designed as a cat. The first opera-style Mighty Mouse cartoon was Mighty Mouse & the Pirates, released January 12, 1945. Aside from Harry, Mighty Mouse's only ongoing supporting characters were Pearl Pureheart (no relation), who played the female lead in these latter-day Mellerdramas, and Mitzi, Mighty's rescue object before Pearl and Harry came on the scene.

 

Notice that Mighty Mouse stars Pearl on its cover (Blonde gal) while Adventures of MM stars Mitzi on its cover (Brunette gal) -

 

1322242-AdventuresofMightyMouse3s.jpg

 

And here's Oil Can Harry in action, dueling with MM, in a cartoon -

 

1322230-MightyMouseAgainstOilCanHarry.jpg

 

It was also in 1945 that he joined the cast of Terrytoons Comics, which at the time was published by the company that would eventually become Marvel. He remained a mainstay of that series through two changes of title and four changes of publisher, until it ended at Gold Key in 1963. He first appeared in his own comic in 1946, and was published steadily all through the 1950s and part of the '60s. The most recent Mighty Mouse comic book series, also from Marvel, appeared in 1990-91.

 

A third 1945 milestone for Mighty Mouse was his first and only Oscar nomination. Gypsy Life, directed by Connie Rasinski, was the third of four Terrytoons to achieve that distinction. (The first two, All Out for "V" (1942, directed by Mannie Davis) and My Boy Johnny (1944, directed by Eddie Donnelly) contained no continuing characters.)

 

Here's a MM style sheet by Connie Rasinski (For more on Rasinski, please see the Heckle and Jeckle entry) -

 

1322230-MightyMouseStyleSheet.jpg

 

In 1955, Paul Terry sold his studio to CBS, and Gene Deitch, late of UPA (the studio that was famous for Gerald McBoing-Boing and Mr. Magoo), was brought in to head it. Deitch scrapped Mighty Mouse along with Dinky Duck, The Terry Bears, and all the other old series, and started fresh with such characters as John Doormat and Sidney the Elephant. When Deitch left, in 1958, only Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle were brought back — but with the already thin Terrytoons budgets slashed to the bone, they were mere shadows of their former selves.

 

CBS packaged the old Mighty Mouse cartoons, along with non-series Terrytoons, as a Saturday morning half-hour, under the name Mighty Mouse Playhouse. It ran as a network show from 1955-67. Afterward, they dropped the "Terrytoons Classics" segments, added two new ones, "Luno" (about a time-traveling horse) and "The Mighty Heroes" (a superhero parody even broader than Mighty Mouse), and syndicated it.

 

Mighty Mouse was back with new animation in 1979, when CBS commissioned Filmation (Fat Albert, He-Man) to produce a new Saturday morning series. But even in the darkest days of his theatrical release, the late '50s, Mighty Mouse had never been animated as cheaply as Filmation did him. The show sank after only 16 episodes.

 

But in the late '80s, Ralph Bakshi, a former Terrytoons director who had gone on to produce such well-received animated features as Fritz the Cat and Wizards, came out with yet another Saturday morning Mighty Mouse show. This one fleshed out his personality, gave him a secret identity and a supporting cast, and let imagination and good writing compensate for low TV budgets. It was this series that was adapted into the most recent Marvel Comics version."

 

Electric Tiki came out last year with a cool MM maquette, now sold out -

 

1322230-MightyMouseElectricTikiMaquette.jpg

 

During MM's runs at St John, it's actually Art Bartsch (not Rasinski) who is most associated with the Mouse. Here's Bartsch's short bio from the NCS website -

 

1322230-MightyMouseBartschBio.jpg

 

Bartsch was Chief Background artist, along with Anderson Craig, for the MM cartoons. They continued to work in watercolor long after other studios had turned to acrylics and other media, and thus gave the Terrytoons an unusually attractive range of settings (that, despite primitive, if not poor, animation and design).

 

Later, Bartsch became a director and his 1958 "Sidney's Family Tree" was nominated for an Academy Award (the Award went to Knighty-Knight Bugs from Warner Bros, directed by Fritz Lang).

 

Mail Robbery Splash -

1322230-MightyMouse31Story1s.jpg

 

Mail Robbery Page -

1322230-MightyMouse31Story1Pages.jpg

 

The Perils of Pearl Pureheart Splash -

1322230-MightyMouse31Story2s.jpg

 

The Perils of Pearl Pureheart Page -

1322230-MightyMouse31Story2Pages.jpg

 

Caught in a Web Splash -

1322230-MightyMouse31Story3s.jpg

 

Caught in a Web Page -

1322230-MightyMouse31Story3Pages.jpg

 

Lastly, especially for Bob, here's a picture of the rare Mighty Mouse character glass -

 

1322230-MightyMouseGlass.jpg

1322230-AdventuresofMightyMouse3s.jpg.85afc80ffac46cea60d5731f9d749278.jpg

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YEAH! The return of my favorite feature!

 

 

# 143

 

Men's Adventures # 12 - Bought from Metro

...

 

Then with Issue # 21 it is Weird Men's Adventure for a few issues, only 3 whereafter the word Weird disappears from the cover on November 1953, the book still shows a lunatic dubbed The Torture Master no less with a raised axe and an off-camera intended victim but I guess there wasn't anything weird about that.

 

 

Hey, no conflict there. The title says that the Men (reading it) are Weird, not the adventures! Apparently Goodman and company decided that the readers were getting normal.

 

 

....

 

George Tuska's Page -

 

1320240-Men%5C%27sAdventures12Story3Pages.jpg

 

 

Wow! Some mighty strong propaganda there! I wonder whether Stan wrote it.

 

Especially next to this surprisingly sympathetic tale:

 

...

Paul Reinman's Page -

 

1320240-Men%5C%27sAdventures12Story4Pages.jpg

 

 

Thanks for all the scans and info, Scrooge!

 

Jack

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# 144

 

Mighty Mouse 31 - Bought from Doug Sulipa

...

Screen shot from The Mouse of Tomorrow, Mighty Mouse's first outing -

 

1322230-MightyMouseinMouseofTomorrow.jpg

 

Even before the Terrytoons character's initial release, however, another character named Supermouse was in the works. October, 1942 was also the cover date of the first issue of Coo Coo Comics, published by Nedor Publishing Co., but in the usual manner of comic books, it's likely to have gone on sale a couple of months earlier. That comic contained a completely different hero, one that Nedor and its successors, Standard Comics and Pines Comics, continued to publish regularly until 1958. Seeing no reason to promote another company's product, in 1943, Terry changed the name of his character to Mighty Mouse, the name by which he is known today. The 1942 and '43 releases were altered in rerelease to reflect the change.

 

 

From http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/m/mitymous.htm

(The Mouse of Tomorrow) The cats of the city are terrorising the mice who live there. After a narrow escape where he was nearly eaten, Mike Mouse (unnamed in this cartoon - see notes) hides out inside a large supermarket. Tired of living in fear, he sets out to remake himself, Charles Atlas style. Removing wares from the shelves, he washes using Super Soap, eats Super Soup, gnaws down Super Celery, then jumps head first into a piece of Super Cheese, to emerge transformed into Super Mouse. No longer will he run around on all fours; now he will stand tall on two legs, dressed in a cape and costume similar to Superman's. Using his new powers he gathers up all the cats and dumps them on the moon, before returning to a hero's welcome.

 

That cartoon confused me when I was a young sprat. As I remember it on TV in the 50s, the voiceover recited the names of all the Super groceries, then announced that he was transformed into ... MIGHTY MOUSE! Do I remember right? Was the cartoon edited for TV release?

 

...

Mighty Mouse went on to become the studio's most valuable property. In part, this was due to a decision to team him with an earlier Terrytoons character, Oil Can Harry, the villain in a brief and unjustly forgotten series of "Mellerdramas" the studio did in the late 1930s. What made these stand out was that they were done in opera style, with dialog sung rather than spoken. Mighty Mouse replaced the earlier hero, Strongheart, in Harry's revival, and Harry was re-designed as a cat. The first opera-style Mighty Mouse cartoon was Mighty Mouse & the Pirates, released January 12, 1945. Aside from Harry, Mighty Mouse's only ongoing supporting characters were Pearl Pureheart (no relation), who played the female lead in these latter-day Mellerdramas, and Mitzi, Mighty's rescue object before Pearl and Harry came on the scene.

 

 

I loved the opera cartoons -- such a unique style. They must be readily available on DVD, probably both fly-by-night and legal releases. I should seek them out.

 

 

Notice that Mighty Mouse stars Pearl on its cover (Blonde gal) while Adventures of MM stars Mitzi on its cover (Brunette gal) -

 

 

That Mighty Mouse got around...

 

Thanks for another fine write-up, Scrooge!

 

Jack

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# 145

 

Millie the Model # 33 - Bought from Jim Payette

 

1324358-MillieTheModel33s.jpg

 

Content:

Cover by Dan DeCarlo

9715 5pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Millie the Model

9494A 1pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Percy

9614 4pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Daisy and Iggy

9494B 1pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Daisy

9641 Helen the Helper 2pg text

9559 Millie's Fashion Page 1pg fashion [DeCarlo]

9494D 1pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Chili

9494E 1pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Millie

9746 4pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Millie the Model

9494C 1pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Iggy

9678 4pg Lee DeCarlo - Featuring: Chili

 

The book is an entire Lee - DeCarlo collaboration, a trait of the series that started with issue # 18 in June 1949. Before addressing the creative line-ups, let's recap (with the help of the Toonopedia and the crazy.gif Wikipedia) the history of the feature itself:

 

By the mid-1940s, the first wave of comic book superheroes were dying like flies and publishers were testing other genres. At the company that would evolve into Marvel Comics, one of the formulas being tried out was a young woman on the job — usually (like their newspaper strip predecessors, Tillie the Toiler and Somebody's Stenog) in a traditionally female role. Of a field that included Nellie the Nurse, Sherry the Showgirl and Tessie the Typist, the only one to achieve any notable success was Millie the Model.

 

Millie Collins debuted in her own comic book, rather a bold move for any character at the time, especially a female one (it was only three years since Sheena had become comic books' first female title character). Apparently, the publisher felt a little hesitant about doing it that way — the first issue didn't have a date, but bore a 1945 copyright; and the cover date of the second was October, 1946.

 

A prominent reference book on American comics lists her creator as Johnny Devlin, a former assistant to Rube Goldberg, but this is incorrect — Devlin actually created Molly the Model, who pre-dated Millie, running in the back pages of Quality Comics' Crack Comics, where The Black Condor, The Clock and Captain Triumph were the stars.

 

1324358-Millie1.jpg

 

The premiere issue was penciled and inked by Ruth Atkinson, one of the pioneering women cartoonists in comic books; some sources credit her with creating the character, while others say it was a co-creation with writer and Timely editor-in-chief Stan Lee.

 

It's been suggested that Millie the Model was a direct copy of Bill Woggon's Katy Keene, published by Archie Comics — or is it the other way around? In fact, it's kind of hard to figure out which came first, and for that matter, whether their creators were even aware of each other. Katy's first appearance was in the middle of 1945, as a back-up feature, and it was a couple of years before she was even mentioned on a cover.

 

In any event, Millie's sweet innocence, combined with the glamor of her occupation, made a hit with readers. Her comic was a steady seller for years, even as The Human Torch and Captain America were fading, at least temporarily, into oblivion. She was cover-featured in Comedy Comics during that title's entire run (1948-50). From the mid-1950s to the mid-'60s, she usually had a companion magazine or two running, with titles like A Date with Millie and Modeling with Millie; and she was featured in an annual during most of the '60s. In the late 1960s and early '70s, Millie's rival, Chili, had a book of her own. Millie's own comic remained in regular publication until 1973, and didn't completely sputter to a stop until '75. By that time, it had outlasted all its contemporaries, to become Marvel's oldest title extant.

 

What's interesting about the 207-issue run is that the title morphed overtime. Initially a humorous career-gal book about New York City model Millie Collins, it very quickly evolved into a broader, more slapsticky comedy — though for a time becoming a romantic adventure series with all the same characters (#113-153, March 1963 - Aug. 1967) before returning to humor.

 

Millie's boyfriend at the Hanover Agency was photographer Clicker (originally Flicker), her best friend was Toni Turner, and redheaded model Chili Storm her friendly nemesis. (Millie: "Sorry I'm late! I just got back from the beauty parlor!" Chili: "Too bad they didn't have time to take you!")

 

[scrooge Note: initially, Chili's last name was Chili Seven]

 

1324358-Millie9s.jpg

 

Early issues of Millie were drawn by Mike Sekowsky. The character's essential look, however, was the work of future Archie Comics great Dan DeCarlo, who would later create Josie and the Pussycats and other Archie icons. DeCarlo's remarkable 10-year run from #18-93 (June 1949 - Nov. 1959), was succeeded by the team of writer Stan Lee, Marvel's editor-in-chief, and artist Stan Goldberg, a.k.a. "Stan G.", the main Atlas/Marvel colorist at the time. Initially, Goldberg continued in the style DeCarlo had began. But that slowly began to change in favor of a slightly more realistic style. Goldberg later went on to work with DeCarlo at Archie, as did occasional Millie artist Henry Scarpelli. Al Hartley and Ogden Whitney provided an occasional cover.

 

At the time of this particular issue, as Tom Lammers states: "One thing worth mentioning is that I would bet that in the '50's, when DanDeCarlo was doing Millie, it was sold largely to young men as a "dumb blonde" comic. Consider that tag line -- "The Blonde Bombshell". Is that what you put on a cover meant to attract 8-12 year old girls or even teens? Invariably, these covers showed Millie strolling past, looking sexy as hell, with men drooling in her wake. So, clearly, Millie served a lot of different roles since her inception in 1945!"

 

I should remind everyone that Teen Humor was the bread-and-butter for Timely / Atlas as this is the genre the company produced the most issues in its different titles: ALL TEEN, CINDY COMICS, CINDY SMITH COMICS, COMEDY COMICS, A DATE WITH MILLIE, A DATE WITH PATSY, DELLA VISION, DOLLY DILL, FRANKIE COMICS, FRANKIE AND LANA COMICS, GAY COMICS, GEORGIE COMICS, GEORGIE AND JUDY COMICS, GIRLS' LIFE, HEDY DE VINE COMICS, HEDY OF HOLLYWOOD COMICS, HEDY WOLFE, HOMER HOOPER, JEANIE COMICS, JOKER COMICS, JUNIOR MISS, THE KELLYS, KRAZY KOMICS, LANA, MARGIE COMICS, MEET MISS BLISS, MILLIE THE MODEL, MISS AMERICA, MITZI COMICS, MITZI'S BOY FRIEND, MITZI'S ROMANCES, MY FRIEND IRMA, MY GIRL PEARL, NELLIE THE NURSE, OSCAR COMICS, PATSY AND HEDY, PATSY AND HER PALS, PATSY WALKER, PATTY POWERS, RUSTY COMICS, SHERRY THE SHOWGIRL, SHOWGIRLS, TEEN COMICS, TESSIE THE TYPIST, WENDY PARKER, WILLIE COMICS for an impressive total of 756 issues!

 

Story 1 Splash -

1324358-Millie33Story1s.jpg

 

Story 1 Final Page -

1324358-Millie33Story1Pages.jpg

 

Millie Fashion Page -

1324358-Millie33Fashions.jpg

 

Chili one-pager -

1324358-Millie33ChiliOnePagers.jpg

 

Chili Story Splash -

1324358-Millie33Story3s.jpg

 

As a bonus since we are discussing DeCarlo and Lee, here's the 4-page story from My Friend Irma # 41 (March 1953) in which Irma meets Stan and Dan -

 

1324358-Millie33IrmaDanandStan1.jpg

1324358-Millie33IrmaDanandStan2.jpg

1324358-Millie33IrmaDanandStan3.jpg

1324358-Millie33IrmaDanandStan4.jpg

 

A final DeCarlo illo before closing in a more straight style from 1946 -

1324358-Millie33DeCarloStraight.jpg

1324358-Millie33DeCarloStraight.jpg.591c5fda405d85acab92482ea3a890b5.jpg

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# 145

 

Millie the Model # 33 - Bought from Jim Payette

 

1324358-MillieTheModel33s.jpg

 

 

"And how!" must have been one of Stan's favorite expressions. How many times did Timely-Atlas-Marvel use that punch line on their girly humor covers? It seems like hundreds!

 

1324358-Millie1.jpg

 

 

No word balloons = NOT A COMIC BOOK!

The things I've learned in this forum...

 

 

It's been suggested that Millie the Model was a direct copy of Bill Woggon's Katy Keene, published by Archie Comics — or is it the other way around? In fact, it's kind of hard to figure out which came first, and for that matter, whether their creators were even aware of each other. Katy's first appearance was in the middle of 1945, as a back-up feature, and it was a couple of years before she was even mentioned on a cover.

 

 

With Tillie the Toiler dating back to 1921 with essentially the same shtick, sort of a pointless argument.

 

 

In any event, Millie's sweet innocence, combined with the glamor of her occupation, made a hit with readers. Her comic was a steady seller for years, even as The Human Torch and Captain America were fading, at least temporarily, into oblivion. She was cover-featured in Comedy Comics during that title's entire run (1948-50). From the mid-1950s to the mid-'60s, she usually had a companion magazine or two running, with titles like A Date with Millie and Modeling with Millie; and she was featured in an annual during most of the '60s. In the late 1960s and early '70s, Millie's rival, Chili, had a book of her own. Millie's own comic remained in regular publication until 1973, and didn't completely sputter to a stop until '75. By that time, it had outlasted all its contemporaries, to become Marvel's oldest title extant.

 

What's interesting about the 207-issue run is that the title morphed overtime. Initially a humorous career-gal book about New York City model Millie Collins, it very quickly evolved into a broader, more slapsticky comedy — though for a time becoming a romantic adventure series with all the same characters (#113-153, March 1963 - Aug. 1967) before returning to humor.

 

Millie's boyfriend at the Hanover Agency was photographer Clicker (originally Flicker), her best friend was Toni Turner, and redheaded model Chili Storm her friendly nemesis. (Millie: "Sorry I'm late! I just got back from the beauty parlor!" Chili: "Too bad they didn't have time to take you!")

 

 

Was Hanover Modeling Agency named after an existing, famous agency? I've seen mention of a similar name (Hanford? Something-over?) but forgot to make a note of it.

 

 

[scrooge Note: initially, Chili's last name was Chili Seven]

 

 

Does anyone know whether the name of Star Trek's "Seven of Nine" was a sort-of homage?

 

 

As a bonus since we are discussing DeCarlo and Lee, here's the 4-page story from My Friend Irma # 41 (March 1953) in which Irma meets Stan and Dan -

 

1324358-Millie33IrmaDanandStan1.jpg

 

 

Hah! It's a caricature of Fabulous Flo Steinberg:

 

1324544-flo.jpg

 

Funny little bit of cheesecake in the photo. If you've ever heard the Merry Marvel Marching Society record, you'll never forget her voice.

 

Great stuff, Scrooge. Looking forward to the next installment.

 

Jack

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Hah! It's a caricature of Fabulous Flo Steinberg:

 

Jack, that would be VERY prescient as Fabulous Flo started at Magazine Management in 1963 and that page is from 1953!

 

I was more interested to see if anyone would like to guess who the two guys in the background are. One might be Mike Sekowsky? and the other Dave Berg (with the pipe)?

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Hah! It's a caricature of Fabulous Flo Steinberg:

 

Jack, that would be VERY prescient as Fabulous Flo started at Magazine Management in 1963 and that page is from 1953!

 

 

D'OH! I thought that she started earlier, but from the picture I posted I should have been able to figure it out.

Uh, I read that Martin, Stan and the gang kept interviewing receptionists until they found one that matched the picture in Millie. That's the ticket.

I wonder whether the 1953 receptionist drawing is based on a real person.

 

I was more interested to see if anyone would like to guess who the two guys in the background are. One might be Mike Sekowsky? and the other Dave Berg (with the pipe)?

 

Those are likely prospects. Are you on the timely-atlas yahoo group? If you're not, I'll ask there. The gang there probably not only knows who they are, but also what DeCarlo had for breakfast the day he drew that story.

 

Jack

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I was more interested to see if anyone would like to guess who the two guys in the background are. One might be Mike Sekowsky? and the other Dave Berg (with the pipe)?

 

Those are likely prospects. Are you on the timely-atlas yahoo group? If you're not, I'll ask there. The gang there probably not only knows who they are, but also what DeCarlo had for breakfast the day he drew that story.

 

Yeah I am on the list but only as a reader there. Please go ahead and ask for us (me). flowerred.gif

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# 146

 

Mister Mystery # 4 - eBay purchase

 

1326034-MisterMystery4s.jpg

 

Content: [Credits from the GCD]

Cover by Ross Andru

Button, Button, Who’s got the button by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito 4 pgs

It can Happen to you by Pete Gattuso (?) 9 pgs

Burning Sands by Don Perlin 4 pgs

The Painting by Don Perlin (?) 5 pgs

The Faker by Ross Andru 5 pgs

 

Today, we will refer to both Tales Too Terrible to Tell (TTTT) and Alter Ego for our coverage. TTTT is still available. At $20 for the complete set, every GA collectors should own one - SET OF TALES TOO TERRIBLE TO TELL

 

TTTT mentions that “Mister Mystery’s indicia show Mister Publications and Media Publications for the first six issues and then Aragon Magazines for the remainder of the run.” This is not a surprise since Mister Mystery belongs with Weird Chills, Weird Mysteries and Weird Tales of the Future to the Gillmor stable with all its imprints, including also Key, Stanmor, S.P.M. and Medal. All these books were published by Stanley P. Morse with the aid of managing editor Raymond Gill.

 

The article also mentions that “the only company logo EVER to appear on a Pre-Code Gillmor comic is the Mr. Publications box which appears only on the 2nd and 3rd issues of Mister Mystery. […] This corporate name was used during the brief time that Gillmor also published a comic about a wrestling champion known as Mister Universe. Mister Universe only lasted five issues in 1951-1952 and the powers-that-be at Gillmor probably recognized the futility of identifying the company’s entire lineup with a couple of “Misters”, only one of which would be likely to survive for more than a few months!”

 

In-House Ad for the Misters line -

1326034-MisterMystery4InHouseAds.jpg

 

About Mister Mystery, TTTT states that “the first six issues […] were printed in Canada. Apparently as a result, they have inferior look and feel to them than later issues – that is particularly noticeable in the mediocre coloring. […] Those Canadian-printed issues are those published by Media Publications. While there is little doubt in my mind that this company was a predecessor to Aragon Magazines, and therefore part of the Gillmor “empire”, there is a different editorial “feel” to these comics. Consequently, I suspect that somewhere around Mister Mystery # 6 or # 7, a significant change in creative personnel took place in the Gillmor organization.”

 

1326034-MisterMysteryGallery.jpg

 

TTTT has great insights in the situation. The actual story behind these suppositions is revealed in Alter Ego # 53 by Mike Esposito.

 

“Stanley Morse, who published Stanmor, was my silent partner. Back in 1951, when we published our first book, Eddie Hass said, “I know a guy named Harry Kantor whose cousin works for Archie Comics. He knows distribution, and if you want to publish, he could be a silent partner.” We talked to Harry, and he said ‘I can get my cousin, Stanley Morse, to be the silent partner, and we’ll publish.” Eddie Haas said, “Wow, we’re gonna be publishers!”

 

[…] Harry Kantor and Stanley Morse […] said, “I’ll get you a distributor to do Mister Universe, but you’ve got to do two books, so we did Mister Universe and Mister Mystery, and we called ourselves “Mister Publications,” and also “Media Publications.”

 

[…] The original partnership was Eddie Haas, Ross Andru, Harry Kantor, and me, and Stanley Morse was involved with the contracts and distribution. Our distributor was Kabel News. Harry Kantor was writing some of the scripts. Ross and I were editors, but we didn’t have a formal editor; the four of us were a team.

 

The sales of Mister Universe were mediocre, but Mister Mystery took off. That was a selling point that kept Stanley Morse in business for two or three years.

 

One day we received some cover proofs from the distributor, and there was a proof for what looked like an Archie character in there that wasn’t ours [scrooge note: I believe that would be Junior Hopp Comics, published by Stanmor]. I said, “What’s going on here? We never did this.” I realized that something was going on. I called the distributor, and they tried to avoid the question, but it turned out it was Stanley Morse. He was publishing an Archie-like character because he worked for Archie: he was an accountant there. Archie didn’t know he was doing this character, and they thought we were only doing super-characters and Mister Mystery. It turned out that Stanley Morse was piggy-backing his own book onto our contract with the distributor.

 

Later, Ross and I were squeezed out of the company, and Morse took over everything, and published all of our books under his company’s name. We were told that our sales were so bad that we were going to have to sell the company, and he got a buyer. They bought the company for a dollar. A dollar! That was the legal advice: “You’d better sell it for a dollar or you’re going to accrue all these debts, and the company will go under.” It scared us. We didn’t know about this stuff; we were 22-year-old guys, so we got out. One day at a meeting, I saw Harry Kantor bouncing a rubber ball, looking very sad, and I thought, “There’s something going on.” I smelled a rat. It turned out that they had fixed it so the distributor sent us letters telling us that we were failing, to force us to sell out and go back to freelancing.”

 

Again, the glorious business of comic-book publishing! The squeezing-out of Andru and Esposito and the arrival of Walter Johnson and Tony Mortellaro for Mister Mystery # 7 was what TTTT perceived.

 

Finally, TTTT reviews the first story in Mister Mystery # 4 –

 

“The humorous style characteristic of a lot of Gillmor’s later output starts to appear in Mister Mystery # 4. Button, Button … Who’s Got the Button?, while only four pages long, is a true classic of the Gillmor genre of horror. This story deserves some detailed coverage – my analysis will probably contain more words than the dialogue in the story itself. But it’s an excellent demonstration of the point made earlier about how Gillmor’s writers, free of slavish addiction to the rules of logic (and good story composition), were completely unpredictable when laying out their stories.

 

1326034-MisterMystery4Story1s.jpg

 

Button, Button … starts out with Mister Mystery introducing to us Michael Carter, a “talented young axe murderer.” Apparently, Michael is a newlywed who has recently dispatched his bride with an axe and finds himself on death row awaiting execution in just two weeks. Noticing that escape is impossible, he plots to avoid the electric chair by feigning insanity. (This guy killed his new bride with a hatchet. He’s already got me halfway convinced that he might be nuts!) After a whole panel’s worth of irrational behavior – attacking guards, laughing hysterically and remaining unfazed by high-power water hoses – Michael succeeds in convincing the prison doctor that he is insane. The warden, less naïve and a bit more experienced with the wiles of criminals, decides to give Carter’s mental state the acid-test by putting him in solitary confinement. While in solitary, Carter starts having bad dreams involving his lovely bride and bloody axes. These dreams give him the creeps. Resolved not to lose his mind in actuality, he distracts himself by playing a game with a button off his shirt. He tosses it into the air and recovers it on the ground repeatedly. This goes on for hours. (Sounds like fun, eh?) However, at some point, he throws the button up and it fails to come down. He searches everywhere in the gloomy cell but is unable to find the object of his manic game. At this point, his hallucinations return and he suddenly has a vision of the button appearing on his dead bride’s neck – presumably near where he aimed the axe. This causes Carter to crack completely and he is led out of the cell muttering in the traditional style of the true horror comic lunatic. The warden finally concurs with the doctor’s opinion, concluding “Looks like you were right, Doc! Look at him! He’d be better off dead!” In the last story panel we see that the button had been caught in a spider web. Mister Mystery wraps up the tale with an EC-style punish moral: “What always goes up doesn’t always come DOWN!”

 

1326034-MisterMystery4Story1Pages.jpg

 

Yow, what a tale! Upon first reading, I presumed that it would conclude with Carter’s ruse being unveiled and his being led off to the electric chair. I reasoned his visions would be so terrifying that he would start pounding on the door, admitting that he was sane and demanding to be executed. Or that his poor victim would actually return from the grave and either execute him herself or drive him truly insane with fear, with or without benefit of a button. These would be classically logical EC-style shock endings. But logic and reason must be tossed to the wind! I never considered that Carter would actually be driven crazy by the loss of the object of his little game. The irony here is that Carter was probably always crazy anyway and the effort at simulating insanity is what actually drove him completely over the edge. Remember, while his motivation is never made clear to us, this guy did kill his new bride with an axe. That’s a fairly insane act no matter how you look at it. While trying not to beat this story to death, I must stress that, as horror stories go, this is quintessential Gillmor. If you like this kind of completely off-the-wall storytelling, coupled with somewhat crude but functional artwork, then you’ll enjoy the Gillmor line of Pre-Code Horror comics.”

 

I enjoyed It can Happen to you more that Button, Button ... personally. The story is really an above-average crime tale with a peppering of eerie mystery behind the scene. Quite an interesting twist.

 

It can Happen to you Splash -

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It can Happen to you penultimate page -

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It can Happen to you final page -

1326034-MisterMystery4Story2Page2s.jpg

 

The Painting Splash -

1326034-MisterMystery4Story3s.jpg

 

The Faker Splash -

1326034-MisterMystery4Story4s.jpg

 

The Faker final page -

1326034-MisterMystery4Story4Pages.jpg

1326034-MisterMysteryGallery.jpg.834cbfce0a3013d6a2bdeb595988e3d2.jpg

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# 147

 

Monte Hale # 70 - eBay purchase

 

1327711-MonteHale70s.jpg

 

Content:

Monte Hale in Vigilante Victim by ? 7 pgs

Gabby Hayes and The Singing Gunmen by ? 4 pgs

Monte Hale in The Marshal Takes a Gunning by ? 7 pgs

Moutain Hide-out 2 pgs text

Shifty and Swifty by ? 2 pgs

Monte Hale in The Ends of the Earth by ? 7 pgs

 

The Old Corral reveals itself once again an invaluable resource for Western star coverage -

 

1327711-MonteHale2.jpg

 

"[...] Studio publicity noted that Hale was born on June 8, 1921, in San Angelo, Texas. In reality, he was born in Ada, Oklahoma [ yay.gif] and his birth year is probably 1919. Regardless, his accent was certainly right for westerns. But Hale had no idea of becoming a star, and has confessed to feeling awkward in front of a camera. Adrian Booth, the lovely leading lady in his first seven pictures, has said it was during personal appearances when Monte could meet people face to face that his real winning personality would emerge.

 

Hale's pictures also benefitted greatly with the addition of character actor Paul Hurst as his sidekick in picture number six, UNDER COLORADO SKIES, and in all the rest except one. Unlike Eddy Waller, who always played 'Nugget Clark' in the Allan 'Rocky' Lane pictures, or Andy Devine who was always 'Cookie Bullfincher' in the Roy Rogers flicks, or Slim Pickens who was Slim Pickens in most of Rex Allen's outings, Hurst played a different character each time and some of the names (like 'Waldorf Worthington', a character who liked nothing better than food) were hilarious. Hurst had a career dating back to silent pictures, including appearances in blockbusters such as GONE WITH THE WIND. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1953.

 

1327711-MonteHalePic1.jpg

 

Monte took his first unknowing steps toward stardom during World War II as a star-struck youngster himself, seeking autographs from Chill Wills and more than two dozen other actors who were making a tour to sell war bonds. They recruited Monte to accompany Lee 'Lasses' White, comic sidekick in Monogram's early Jimmy Wakely films, on the guitar for a couple weeks. That led to a letter of recommendation from the group to Republic President Herbert Yates, who offered a screen test. Thanks to a $500 gift from a Houston entrepreneur who knew Monte, he was able to fund the trip from Texas to Los Angeles. And he landed a seven-year contract at Republic.

 

His first appearance came in THE BIG BONANZA (1944), starring Richard Arlen, as (appropriately) a guitar-player. Other bit parts in 1945 included THE TOPEKA TERROR (with Allan Lane), OREGON TRAIL (Sunset Carson), STEPPIN' IN SOCIETY, and COLORADO PIONEERS (a Bill Elliott/Red Ryder movie), and a serial, THE PURPLE MONSTER STRIKES, in which he plays a lab technician who has his first encounter with Roy Barcroft (as the Martian monster in this early sci-fi chapter-play) and henchman Bud Geary, throwing a beaker at one of them to knock his gun away and give hero Dennis Moore a chance to fight them. Quickly knocked out before the ending in which the unconscious Moore is about to be boiled by a chemical drop, he comes around in the next chapter in time to pick up the dropped pistol and drive off the villains in time to save the hero. He appeared in another serial (THE PHANTOM RIDER) and two more Elliott/Ryders (CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH and SUN VALLEY CYCLONE) in 1946 before his own career took off.

 

But it was two more Sunset Carson pictures in 1945 in which he had more memorable roles. In BANDITS OF THE BADLANDS, he is Sunset's younger brother, Dr. Steve Carson, fresh out of medical school and heading west to join his Ranger brother. [...] An even more prominent role came in ROUGH RIDERS OF CHEYENNE, where Hale is the foreman of a ranch belonging to Sunset's father (a pre-Nugget Eddy Waller), and insists on joining Sunset in helping to find his father's killer (when Sunset says he wants no help, Monte asks if Sunset thinks he can run him out of the fight, punctuating the question by striking a match on the side of his face! Sunset agrees that doing so would be a man-size job). He strums and sings "The Old Chisholm Trail" around a campfire for Sunset and the other ranch hands, because "that was your Dad's favorite, Sunset". By the end of the picture, he has jumped in front of Sunset to take a fatal bullet meant for the picture's hero.

 

1327711-MonteHalePrinceofthePlains2.jpg

 

Hale's first picture, in Magnacolor (which would become Trucolor a few pictures later), was HOME ON THE RANGE. Besides Adrian Booth, it featured Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, a young Bobby Blake getting a break from his 'Little Beaver' roles in the Elliott and Lane 'Red Ryder' series, and Le Roy Mason, Roy Barcroft and Kenne Duncan to supply the villainy --- in this case, proving young Blake's pet bear innocent of cattle killings which are being done by a killer bear controlled by the baddies. The relationship between Monte and Adrian Booth's character, like many of the Roy and Dale pictures, has them initially as antagonists who eventually mellow out. In this picture and the next eight, Monte Hale would play himself. Then he would play some historical characters (Bat Masterson, Bill Cody and Pat Garrett) and finally various different roles, changing his name each time along with Paul Hurst.

 

MAN FROM RAINBOW VALLEY saw Hale as the artist of a comic strip featuring an actual wild horse, named Outlaw. Set in the contemporary west, it involved the theft and recovery of the stallion by Monte. OUT CALIFORNIA WAY is also set in contemporary times (in movie capital Los Angeles rather than the wild west) and also involves a horse, this one a chestnut stallion named Partner who belongs to young Bobby Blake. The boy and his sister (Adrian Booth) want to get the trick horse into movies at 'Globe Studios,' where Monte is also seeking a tryout. Monte makes such a hit with his riding, and singing with Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage (joining him here and in his next three pictures) that the studio's western star (played by John Dehner) and his stunt-double/sidekick (Fred Graham) get jealous. That part of the plot harks back to some of Republic's early Gene Autry movies, in which Gene's natural charm wins over a Hollywood studio. The rest involves Monte's effort to get Partner into pictures, despite Graham's character trying to sabotage it. In a sequence where Monte shows Adrian Booth's character around the studio, they chat with Don Barry, watch the filming of a scene with Allan Lane playing 'Red Ryder' (the only time the Ryder character would appear in color until Eagle-Lion brought out its quartet of Ryder movies with Jim Bannon), and hear Roy and Dale warble a tune.

 

The tradition from here on is that Monte Hale's movie horse is named Partner, although the horse is never named in any of the scripts. However, a comic book featuring Monte by Fawcett Publications (the home of Captain Marvel and Spy Smasher) did name his horse Partner. Fawcett, which also published comics featuring 'Rocky' Lane and 'Lash' LaRue, among others, also adapted some of their movies into comic-book format, such as Monte's PIONEER MARSHAL and THE VANISHING WESTERNER.

 

From this point on, all of the Monte Hale movies would be set in the late 1800s west rather than contemporary times. The first outing of 1947 was LAST FRONTIER UPRISING, which takes place before Texas joins the United States and involves competition on securing horses to sell to the government. ALONG THE OREGON TRAIL featured a pre-Lone Ranger Clayton Moore as a friend of Monte's who has gone bad, planning to establish his own empire in the west. He is also engaged to Adrian Booth's character, so we know he'll have to go eventually. The -script has Monte interacting with actual historic figures including Kit Carson, Jim Bridger and John Fremont.

 

1327711-MonteHaleUnderColoradoSkies.jpg

 

UNDER COLORADO SKIES introduced Paul Hurst as 'Lucky John Hawkins', a saloon owner and businessman who befriends Monte and the Riders of the Purple Sage. [...]

 

PRINCE OF THE PLAINS launched Monte's biggest year, seven movies made in 1949, with Monte as Bat Masterson and Hurst as the local sheriff who jails him when he is framed on a trumped-up charge but releases him periodically and arms him with a pair of pistols whenever trouble threatens (the double holsters were necessary this time to match Bill Elliott's in footage from an Elliott/ Red Ryder movie from six years earlier, OVERLAND MAIL ROBBERY, particularly the finale when the heavy launches himself at the hero at the edge of a cliff and the hero simply drops to the ground, with predictable results; now that Monte's pictures were in black and white, Republic could use a lot of its earlier footage, and would from now on).

 

1327711-MonteHalePrinceofthePlains.jpg

 

Monte had three movies to go in 1950 before his series ended, but their scripts were all above average. THE VANISHING WESTERNER recycled part of yet another Elliott/Ryder plot, from 1945's THE LONE TEXAS RANGER but adding a dual-identity mystery to the mix. THE OLD FRONTIER has Hale and Hurst solving a murder in which a young doctor is implicated. And the last one, THE MISSOURIANS, has a performance by Barcroft as a bandit leader from eastern Europe who forces his younger brother and mother to work for him (the mother, Sarah Padden, greets her long-lost son with a smack across the face followed by a backhand, which somehow seems appropriate for the mother of most of the roles Barcroft has played). He keeps his brother from testifying against him by dangling their mother's locket --- a reminder that she is being held hostage --- in front of him and evincing a menacing squint that only Barcroft could accomplish. Hurst, as a down-at-the-heels lawyer who works with Monte's town marshal character, has a good dramatic turn in talking down a would-be lynch mob out to hang Barcroft's innocent brother. And Howard J. Negley has a fine time as a Shakespearian actor who is the real brains behind Barcroft's gang. All in all, it was a good movie for Monte to ride out on.

 

[...] Just as Chill Wills had invited him to join the war bond tour group which led indirectly to his Republic series, it was his sitting in on Wills' chat with director George Stevens that led to Monte being tapped for the role of 'Bale Clinch' in GIANT (1956). Hale said Stevens seemed to be taken with the way Hale put on his hat when he left the room, plopping it on his head with one hand. His last appearance was an uncredited role as one of the Texas drunkards in THE CHASE (1966), commiserating with Martha Hyer about her husband having left her. 'I'll drink to that', he tells her, and those may have been his last words on the screen.

 

Monte's on-screen character always seemed a little bit bland compared to Republic contemporaries Roy Rogers, 'Rocky' Lane and Rex Allen, but his scripts seemed to get better as his budgets and production values were being cut. Although he always preferred personal contact to reaching an audience through the lens of a camera, he furnished us with a lot of good western entertainment."

 

Concerning Monte in the comics:

 

"Monte Hale's first comic appearance was in an unusual comic named Picture News, billed as the first news comic and published by an obscure company called the Lafayette Street Corporation or possibly the 299 Lafayette Street Corporation. Monte appeared along with eleven other true-life features in issue #8 dated September-October 1946.

 

Monte's own comic Monte Hale Western began publication with #29, dated October 1948. It was one of the stable of western titles published by Fawcett Publications and had a healthy run through issue #82 dated June 1953.

 

1327711-MOnteHalegallery.jpg

 

As with many of the other Fawcett titles, Monte's comic switched to the Charlton Comics Company beginning with #83 dated February 1955. The last issue was #88 dated January 1956. All of the Fawcett issues had photo covers. The Charlton issues had black and white photo back covers instead, although issue 83, at least, features a black and white medallion photo of Monte on the otherwise drawn cover. There were a number of other features in Monte's comic, including Gabby Hayes in issues 34 through 80 and 83 through 86. Slim Pickens was in issue #53.

 

On the cover of issue #1, the low-key laid-back Monte is pictured leaning against a fence next to Pardner, but in a horseshoe insert, he's described as 6'5" of solid muscle. This horseshoe and description were repeated on the cover of the first Charlton issue.

 

Besides the long run of his own comic, Monte also appeared in Fawcett's Real Western Hero along with Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy and others beginning with the first issue #70 dated September, 1948, one month before the start of Monte's own book. With issue 76, dated March 1949, the title changed to Western Hero but the contents remained pretty much the same. Monte appeared on photo covers in issues #88, 91, 93, 95, 98, 100, 104, 107 and 110. Issue 112, dated March 1952 was the final number. In this Western Hero phase the cowboys not featured on the cover appear in black and white rectangular block photos across the cover under the title.

 

As if all this wasn't enough, Monte was added to the cast of Fawcett's Six-Gun Heroes starting with issue #18, the only issue to feature him on the cover. However, he appeared in a black and white headshot along with the other non-featured stars in at least two other issues, #'s 20 and 22. Although I can't verify it, I believe he appeared in and on all the issues from 18 through 23, dated November 1953. With issue 24 Charlton once again took over (Fawcett stopped publishing comics at this time) and Monte was deleted from the title.

 

Aside from all these regular comics Monte Hale also appeared in Fawcett Movie Comics. Issue #4 published in 1950 but not dated is devoted to Monte's last 1949 release PIONEER MARSHAL. Paul Hurst is featured with Monte on the cover. Issue #9 is dated February 1950, but should say February 1951. This issue features THE OLD FRONTIER. Issue 10, dated April 1951 is devoted to the last of Monte's Republic series, THE MISSOURIANS.

 

The very first issue #101 of Fawcett's related series Motion Picture Comics published in 1950 featured Monte's fine film THE VANISHING WESTERNER. Finally in an oddity as strange as his initial appearance, a Monte Hale reprint showed up in Charlton/Capitol Stories Cowboy Western Comics #51, probably dated September/October 1954. The odd thing is that this time the hero's name had been changed to Rusty Hall! I've no idea why, although it must have been a copyright problem of some kind. Bob Overstreet's Comic Book Price Guide says that there may also be a Hale reprint in issue #55, but he's not certain.

 

Monte also appeared in Fawcett's Xmas Comics issues 4 through 7 dated December of each year from 1949 through 1952. These comics were giant 196 page comics selling for 50 cents each. They contained reprints of stories from many Fawcett titles of all kinds.

 

All the above represents a spectacular success in comics. In part, this is simply because Monte was still making movies through 1950, but that doesn't altogether explain a comics career which seems more substantial than his film career would seem to warrant."

 

Vigilante Victim Splash -

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Vigilante Victim Splash -

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Gabby Hayes and The Singing Gunmen Page -

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The Marshal Takes a Gunning Page -

1327711-MonteHale70Story3Pages.jpg

 

The Ends of the Earth Splash -

1327711-MonteHale70Story4s.jpg

 

The Ends of the Earth Page -

1327711-MonteHale70Story4Pages.jpg

 

Note that Monte at last count is the last of the comic cowboy to still be alive unless someone can point out another one?

1327711-MonteHale70Story4Pages.jpg.edc785525349429dc9e145c498fa9110.jpg

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Lastly, especially for Bob, here's a picture of the rare Mighty Mouse character glass -

 

1322230-MightyMouseGlass.jpg

 

Hey, COOL I still need that one 893scratchchin-thumb.gif

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# 148

 

Monty Hall of the U.S. Marines # 4 - Purchased from Terry's Comics

 

1333973-MontyHall4s.jpg

 

Content:

Cover by Mel Keefer (?)

Monty Hall in Show Business by Mel Keefer 8 pgs

Tex and the Jerk Patrol by Mel Keefer 6 pgs

From the Halls of Montezuma … to the Shores of Tripoli by ? 2 pgs

Monty Hall in The Puzzle of the Golden Idol by Mel Keefer 9 pgs

Hail, Canarsie, the conquering Hero 2 pg text

Pin-Up Pete by Jack Sparling 4 pgs

 

Here's another jingoistic entry from the limited Toby line. The artist of interest for this issue is Mel Keefer who provides 3 (signed) stories in this issue.

 

Here's the Comiclopedia information on Mel Keefer -

 

"Mel Keefer, born in the US in 1926, drew numerous episodes of the early 1950s war comic 'Monty Hall' in the comic books Monty Hall of the US Marines and With the Marines on the Battlefronts of the World. He also had a brief run on the 'Perry Mason' daily in 1950. In the 1960s, he drew the daily golf strip 'Mac Divot'. From 1978 to 1981, he drew the 'Rick O'Shay' strip, originally created by Stan Lynde. For Disney, he illustrated stories of 'Zorro' and 'The Swamp Fox'."

 

The write-up does summarize that this work is part of the limited comic-book output by Keefer who worked mainly for Toby in the early 1950s and later sporadically for Dell in the Summer - Fall of 1960.

 

This matches his strip work chronology -

 

art cs "Perry Mason" 1950 (?)

art cs "Dragnet" 1954

art cs "Gene Autry" 1952

art cs "Mac Divot" 1955-71

art cs "Thorne McBride" 1963

cs "Rick O'Shay" 1980

 

The Comiclopedia downplays his work on Mac Divot but it is Keefer's claim of fame to be the co-creator (with Jordan Lansky) of one of the few successful sports strip, along with Joe Palooka, Curly Kayoe, Gil Thorpe and Ozark Ike. Mac Divot ran from 1955 until the early 70s.

 

Newspaper Announcement for Mac Divot -

1333973-MontyHallMacDivotAnnouncement.jpg

 

First Daily Strip - 04/18/1955 - For more, check out Mac Divot -

1333973-MOntyHallMacDivotFirstDaily-4-18-1955.jpg

 

Aside from this work, Keefer examplifies the jack-of-all-trades necessary in that line of business. Keefer pops up here and there at odd and interesting places, such as:

 

1) While Alex Toth did some trade paper promotion art for the 1965 movie: 'This How to Murder Your Wife', the movie itself features artwork done in the necessary photo style by Mel Keefer. The movie premise is centered on Jack Lemmon, a professional and popular cartoonist. "Jack Lemmon is a happily unmarried man with all the creature comforts one could desire including a wonderful butler who takes care of all his material needs. At a bachelor party for a friend, Lemmon gets drunk and wakes up married to an Italian woman who speaks nearly no English. It totally alters his life. He even changes the cartoon he writes and shifts it from a secret agent to a household comedy. When he begins to have trouble with all of these changes he starts to plot that at least his secret agent cartoon will return to order and plans, in his daily comic strip, killing his wife. When she disappears, the cartoons are used as evidence at his trial." The movie is available on video. I remember enjoying it for what it is a couple of years ago.

 

2) Keefer also did some characters models / designs for cartoons, specifically 1979’s Spiderwoman and 1986 All New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo. The complete listing can be found at the IMDb entry for Keefer.

 

and 3) "BOB was a short-lived series starring Bob Newhart that ran from 1992 to 1993. During the first season, Newhart played a veteran comic book artist, Bob MaKay, returning to the industry to draw a revival of his character Mad Dog (the comic book angle and most of the supporting cast was dropped for the brief second season before the series was cancelled for good).

 

The 15th episode, broadcast on January 29, 1993, was titled “You Can’t Win” and had the cast attend a comic industry awards presentation, the fictional “Busters”, and featured several real world comic creators in cameo roles, including Jack Kirby (the others were Sergio Aragones, Bob Kane, Mel Keefer, Mell Lazarus, Jim Lee and Marc Silvestri).

 

In Kirby’s cameo, he’s introduced as the creator of Captain America by Lazarus and shown, wearing a tuxedo, rising from his seat (with Roz Kirby sitting next to him). Later he’s shown at the podium, with a sign showing his signature and Captain Victory behind him, announcing one of the fictional characters as the winner for best cover artist. The Kirbys are also placed so they can be seen in the background of several shots of the table of the show cast." - Information from the Kirby Museum.

 

Finally, the story of Keefer's second marriage is nothing short of the extra-ordinary in a sense:

 

"In 1988, shortly after Eisenberg’s death, a mutual friend at the John Wayne Cancer Institute introduced the widow to cartoonist Mel Keefer, creator of the golf gag strip "Mac Divot." Both lived within blocks of each other in Santa Monica. Keefer had recently lost his wife, Rosanne, to cancer.

 

It was at the Beau Rivage in Malibu that the couple, through the process of elimination, realized that they had not only grown up in the same part of town, but in the same residence — 2621 Buckingham Road — at different times — his parents had sold the house to her family, freshly arrived from Chicago.

 

"I thought to myself, I’ll have to see this guy again," said Eisenberg-Keefer with typical understatement.

 

The perfect timing which had eluded them during childhood did not slip by this time. The couple married in 1990."

 

To the best of my knowledge, Mel Keefer is still alive and enjoying life in California with his wife, Joyce.

 

Show Business Splash -

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Show Business Page -

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The Jerk Patrol Splash -

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From the Halls of Montezuma … -

1333973-MontyHall4Story3s.jpg

 

... to the Shores of Tripoli -

1333973-MontyHall4Story3Pages.jpg

 

The Puzzle of the Golden Idol Splash -

1333973-MontyHall4Story4s.jpg

 

The Puzzle of the Golden Idol Final Page -

1333973-MontyHall4Story4Pages.jpg

 

893scratchchin-thumb.gif Carnotite. Indeed, Carnotite, or Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Vanadate (K2(UO2)2(VO4)2- 1-3H2O, sorry for poor formatting) is an important ore of uranium and vanadium and as mineral specimens.

 

Carnotite is a relatively uncommon mineral, yet common enough to be an important ore of uranium and vanadium. Uranium and vanadium are two extremely strategic metals. Carnotite is closely related to tyuyamunite, Ca(UO2)2(VO4)2- 5-8H2O. The chemistries are very similar with potassium replacing calcium and a different percentage of water, however the structures are slightly different as tyuyamunite is orthorhombic and carnotite is monoclinic. The two minerals are often found together and are essentially indistiguishable by ordinary methods. Meteoric oxygenated waters dissolve the uranium from primary uranium minerals and the uranium is later deposited in reducing enviroments more favorable to the formation of carnotite. Since many deposits in sandstones are associated with petrified trees and other fossils, it is reasonable to assume that the decaying material helped produce the required reducing enviroment. Carnotite is an uncommon and interesting uranium mineral that can coat host rocks with an attractive yellow powder. Remember, this is also a radioactive mineral and should be stored away from other minerals that are affected by radioactivity and human exposure should always be limited.

 

1333973-MontyHallCarnotite.jpg

1333973-MontyHallCarnotite2.jpg

 

Pin-Up Pete by Jack Sparling -

 

Quickly, here's the info on Sparling from the Comiclopedia -

 

"Jack Sparling (1916 - 1997, USA)

 

John Edmond Sparling got his artistic education at the Arts and Crafts Club in New Orleans, and the Corcoran School of Art. After doing gag cartoons for the editorial page of the New Orleans Item-Tribune, he created the comic strip about the reporter 'Hap Hopper, Washington Correspondent' with writers Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen in 1939. He drew the strip until 1943, when he was succeeded by Al Plastino.

 

Sparling has several credits with the Parents' Magazine Press, including 'Real Heroes', 'Judy Wing', 'Betty Fairfield', 'Jack Armstrong' and 'Pug and Curly'. In the 1940s, he worked on comic books by Lev Gleason (romance) and Fawcett ('Nyoka'), and did various promotional comics, among others for the American Gas Association and the steel industry. He also did a new syndicated comic, called 'Claire Voyant' (1943-48).

 

In the 1950s, he worked for companies like Harvey, Toby Press, Charlton and Ziff Davis, doing western, horror and romance titles. He also did syndicated strips like 'Mister Rubbles' and 'Sam Hill'. For Gilberton's Classics Illustrated, Sparling drew 'Robin Hood' and Mark Twain's 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court'. In the late 1960s, Sparling was additionally present in Eerie with several horror stories. From 1960 to 1972, he did the daily 'Honor Eden' for the McClure Syndicate. Jack Sparling remained active until the late 1980s. In the final stages of his comic book career, he worked mainly on Western Publishing titles like 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Turok', but he also did contributions to DC and Marvel titles."

 

Some more Pin-Up Pete pages were posted during the coverage of Fighting Leathernecks, also by Sparling -

1333973-MontyHall4PP1s.jpg

1333973-MontyHall4PP2s.jpg

1333973-MontyHall4PP3s.jpg

1333973-MontyHall4PP4s.jpg

1333973-MontyHall4PP4s.jpg.608aba08664da59daab61fc25784bb47.jpg

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# 148

 

Monty Hall of the U.S. Marines # 4 - Purchased from Terry's Comics

 

 

What a great write-up!

 

 

The Jerk Patrol Splash -

1333973-MontyHall4Story2s.jpg

 

 

JERK PATROL?!?!

(I think some of the members hang around the CGC boards)

 

 

....

893scratchchin-thumb.gif Carnotite. Indeed, Carnotite, or Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Vanadate (K2(UO2)2(VO4)2- 1-3H2O, sorry for poor formatting) is an important ore of uranium and vanadium and as mineral specimens.

 

Carnotite is a relatively uncommon mineral, yet common enough to be an important ore of uranium and vanadium. Uranium and vanadium are two extremely strategic metals. Carnotite is closely related to tyuyamunite, Ca(UO2)2(VO4)2- 5-8H2O. The chemistries are very similar with potassium replacing calcium and a different percentage of water, however the structures are slightly different as tyuyamunite is orthorhombic and carnotite is monoclinic. The two minerals are often found together and are essentially indistiguishable by ordinary methods. Meteoric oxygenated waters dissolve the uranium from primary uranium minerals and the uranium is later deposited in reducing enviroments more favorable to the formation of carnotite. Since many deposits in sandstones are associated with petrified trees and other fossils, it is reasonable to assume that the decaying material helped produce the required reducing enviroment. Carnotite is an uncommon and interesting uranium mineral that can coat host rocks with an attractive yellow powder. Remember, this is also a radioactive mineral and should be stored away from other minerals that are affected by radioactivity and human exposure should always be limited.

 

 

WOW -- and it's not even my birthday. Thanks for the details about this story.

 

Y'know, that's exactly what's been missing in this group. Not enough discussions of crystallographic space groups.

 

 

Pin-Up Pete by Jack Sparling -

 

Quickly, here's the info on Sparling from the Comiclopedia -

 

"Jack Sparling (1916 - 1997, USA)

 

 

Sparling has to be one of the most frustrating, inconsistent of all comic-book artists.

When he was "on", he could be excellent. I think that some of his best work was actually the promo books like "Joe, the Genie of Steel". Later in his career, some of his work for DC, Dell and Gold Key (Neutro!) was hard to love.

Did the variation in quality have to do with page rates, his interest in a project, or something else? Did he hand lesser assignments off to ghosts?

 

 

1333973-MontyHall4PP1s.jpg

 

I suppose that lonely soldiers reading this book were supposed to wonder about her undies...

 

Thanks,

Jack

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What a great write-up!

 

Thanks Jack.

 

WOW -- and it's not even my birthday. Thanks for the details about this story.

 

Y'know, that's exactly what's been missing in this group. Not enough discussions of crystallographic space groups.

 

I shall try to provide that when I can fit it. I write for my audience (i.e, you). Plus, remember that I have a Master in Materials Science. I spent my early 20's baking YBaCuO and such with / for Bernard Raveau, you know. I spent hours studying crystal structure in my days.

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# 149

 

Mopsy # 17 - eBay Purchase

 

1334089-Mopsy17s.jpg

 

Content:

Various short stories and 1-pager by Gladys Parker.

 

We face again a strip reprint, this time reprinted by St. John. In his recently online article, Archer St. John & The Little Company That Could (recommended reading), Ken Quattro points out that "Mopsy was the most successful of the UFS features for St. John. She not only appeared in 19 issues of her own title, a long run by St. John standards, but also as a back-up page in some of their romance comics. Spunky and sexy, Mopsy was an independent single girl far ahead of her time. Parker's unique drawing style set Mopsy apart from the predominately male drawn cheesecake in other comics. She apparently began producing original stories for the comic books early in the title's run, including the paper doll pages that were included in most issues.

 

As an aside, Mopsy #12 (Sept. 1950) contained the first comic art of future Atlas/Marvel artist Joe Sinnott on Trudi, a 5 page backup story."

 

1334089-Mopsy1.jpg

 

Mopsy is the brain child of Gladys Parker - NCS Bio Sheet -

1334089-Mopsy17ParkerNCSBio.jpg

 

According to the Comiclopedia, "Gladys Parker was an American female comic artist of the 1920s and 1930s. She drew 'Gay and her Gang', a witty comic strip about the so-called "flappers": stylish, wise-cracking young women of the roaring twenties. She took over the one-panel cartoon 'Flapper Fanny' from Ethel Hays in 1932, and gave it a more cartoony style. At the same time, Ms. Parker drew a comic strip series for Lux soap.

 

1334089-Mopsy17SampleStrips.jpg

 

During the Second World War, Gladys Parker came up with 'Mopsy', a girl who made her own contribution to the war effort by appearing as a nurse, soldier or engineer. 'Mopsy' ran from 1939 until 1965. Gladys Parker also took over the war-strip 'Flyin' Jenny' from Russell Keaton in 1942, until 1944, when his assistant Marc Swayze took over."

 

1334089-Mopsy17AfterWWII.jpg

 

Trina Robbins in The Great Women Cartoonist, another recommended read, elaborates that "Hays had married in 1924 and soon after started a family. By the time she gave birth to her second daughter, the artist's workload had simply become too heavy. Rather than give up her lavishly illustrated Sunday color pages, Hays passed Flapper Fanny, her single-panel cartoon, on to Gladys Parker, who had previously drawn a sophisticated flapper strip called Gay and Her Gang. The dry wit of Gay and Her Gang often reminds the reader of another Parker, the famed writer and wit of the Algonquin Round Table, Dorothy Parker. When a character talks about her rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of flappiness," she seems to speak for all the strips of that decade which featured stylish, wise-cracking young women."

 

To recapitulate, Parker's career goes -

cs "Guy & Her Gang," 1928-29

cs "Flapper Fanny" 1930-35

panel & Sun. cs "Mopsy," 1937-66

asst cs "Flying Jenny" (p)1942-44

column - "Dear Gals & Guys," 1960

d. April 28,1966

 

1334089-Mopsy17FlyingJenny.jpg

 

As for the Mopsy feature itself, the Toonopedia states that "[C]omic strips about pretty girls and their adventures as social butterflies gained popularity as early as 1912, with Cliff Sterrett's Polly & Her Pals, and flourished through the 1920s. As the late '20s gave way to the '30s they tended to fall by the wayside (like Dumb Dora or Mazie the Model) or go domestic (like Fritzi Ritz or Boots & Her Buddies). But the genre wasn't dead. Mopsy, a single-panel feature by cartoonist Gladys Parker (whose first comic, Gay & Her Gang, was also one of them) didn't begin until 1939.

 

Mopsy, a petite brunette with short-cut curls, was modeled after the cartoonist herself — not just in looks but also in her propensity for uttering clever quips which, in the character's case, often referred to the men who inevitably hung around. But Parker was careful not to make Mopsy as smart as herself because she believed too intelligent a protagonist would be unattractive to readers, who are flattered by a comparison between the character's brains and their own.

 

In the tradition of Winnie Winkle and Tillie the Toiler, Mopsy was a working woman. When the United States got involved in World War II, she was frequently seen as a nurse, working in a munitions factory, or in some other role typical of the time. She continued working after the war, when money and her job situation became the focus of many gags. Throughout her existence, however, clothes and men occupied the bulk of her attention. It seemed to be a winning formula, because by the end of the '40s, she was reportedly appearing in about 300 papers.

 

A Sunday version was added in 1945, and with it, a series of paper dolls that became the primary focus of many later collectors. In '47, she made her comic book debut in Pageant of Comics #1. Two years later the same publisher, St. John Publishing Co. (licensor of United Feature properties such as Nancy, Famous Studios properties such as Casper and Terrytoons properties such as Little Roquefort), gave her a title of her own. Mopsy ran 19 issues, February 1949 through September 1953. In 1958, Berkeley Books (later involved in an ill-fated revival of Classics Illustrated) brought out a paperback collection of Mopsy cartoons.

 

1334089-Mopsy5.jpg

 

Gladys Parker retired in 1965, and Mopsy ended. The following year, Parker died, only 56 years of age, and Mopsy hasn't been seen since."

 

Another source online states that ""After graduation from High School in 1934, Barbara and her childhood friend Alice Rich (a.k.a. Allie) made their way to New York City where they attended the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts (Parsons). On graduation in 1937 Barbara was employed as a member of B. Alsman's Flying Squadron (no wings involved, it was a group being trained to become executives). Foolishly she left Altmans to take a job as Assistant Designer (a fancy title that meant working as a sample hand, salesgirl and/or modelling) at the custom-made at ready-to-wear prices Salon of Gladys Parker, a popular designer (also slightly nuts) and cartoonist (Flapper Fannie & Mopsy)."

 

This implies that at some point, Parker was herself involved in design and fashion.

 

Strip 1 - As someone stated, the cleverness of the strip rivals Henry and The Little King amongst low dialogue strips -

1334089-Mopsy17S1s.jpg

 

Strip 2 -

1334089-Mopsy17S2s.jpg

 

Strip 3 -

1334089-Mopsy17S3s.jpg

 

Fashion 1 -

1334089-Mopsy17M1s.jpg

 

Fashion 2 -

1334089-Mopsy17M2s.jpg

1334089-Mopsy17M2s.jpg.b10bdf7d769594a2cfc0edadb27cd25a.jpg

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What a great write-up!

 

Thanks Jack.

 

WOW -- and it's not even my birthday. Thanks for the details about this story.

 

Y'know, that's exactly what's been missing in this group. Not enough discussions of crystallographic space groups.

 

I shall try to provide that when I can fit it. I write for my audience (i.e, you).

 

don't forget those crickets in the background.

 

Plus, remember that I have a Master in Materials Science. I spent my early 20's baking YBaCuO and such with / for Bernard Raveau, you know.

 

Peachy-Caen! That's more than I knew.

 

I spent hours studying crystal structure in my days.

 

No wonder you have such exquisite taste in comic books.

 

Jack

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Plus, remember that I have a Master in Materials Science. I spent my early 20's baking YBaCuO and such with / for Bernard Raveau, you know. I spent hours studying crystal structure in my days.

 

I confess, when I hit latest post and was scrolling up to get the new stuff, I saw that and had to look to see who was posting!

 

Mopsy is very cool btw. And I loved that GI in the foxhole story.

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