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Saturday, December 10, 2011

***EXTRA: Bob Kane Swipe Spotted***

A reader caught this when I didn't. This panel from a Dec, 1938 RUSTY & HIS PALS story by Bob Kane was lifted nearly intact by Kane as a panel for the debut BAT-MAN story 6 months later in DETECTIVE! Since much of that story has been documented as Alex Raymond swipes, I'm wondering if this panel, too, might have originally come from FLASH GORDON! Thanks Silver Fox!

Adventure Comics # 34, January, 1939

 Not a major one but the first hint of real change of late in this title finds Fred Gaurdineer doing this month's cover. Certainly a competent artist and already a comics veteran,  Guardineer's work was, however, very stiff and his cover here shows that limitation. His style gave many of his stories an endearingly interesting, oddball flavor but his covers...particularly these supposed to look "adventurous," were a little trickier to love. Even the blood looks bland.
 Kind of a dull issue all around with not too much happening in most of the serious strips. There were, as almost every issue lately, a few more new humor strips. GRAN'PA, clearly filler since it doesn't even take up a full page, is by Fred Schwab who would end up as the cover artist on the infamous, unreleased MOTION PICTURE FUNNIES WEEKLY # 1 which would mark the first appearance of Timely/Marvel's SUB-MARINER by Bill Everett. That book would not come to light until the 1970's. Schwab similarly did the inside back cover dog strip, TINY.
JUST LIKE JUNIOR normally appeared in MORE FUN COMICS and may have ended up here to fill for someone ,missing their deadline . It's a very clean, nicely drawn strip which brings to mind the not-yet-created ARCHIE. GCD, in fact, indicates this may be by future Archie creator Bob Montana.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Adventure Comics # 33, December, 1938

Could be just me but this cover seems kind of dull compared to what we've been getting. Still Creig F doing the honors, though. The single most interesting thing about this issue, however, is the ad below. Looks like Siegel and Shuster were attempting to take advantage of their success at DC by starting a mail-order "school" out of Jerry's home address in Cleveland (designated a landmark in a 2009 ceremony as seen in the pic below). Odd to find the creators of such dramatic and fantastic strips as the ones listed here (as well as the oddly omitted DOCTOR OCCULT) selling their expertise on HUMOR!
 Maybe it's just me (again) but this issue seems more violent than the ones before, also, as evidenced by the following panels.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Adventure Comics # 32, November, 1938

Okay, this is it! No longer NEW or NEW ADVENTURE, the next nearly 40+ years and nearly 500 issues will be just plain ADVENTURE! Other than that, however, we're still a few issues away from the first big change. Note the ad below, though, highlighting the masked CRIMSON AVENGER, a pulp-inspired hero already appearing in DETECTIVE COMICS. This, of course, was a harbinger of things to come.

In this issue, the serious strips far outnumber the humorous ones. The former include:
BARRY O'NEILL, TOM BRENT, FEDERAL MEN, DALE DARING, CAPTAIN DESMO, TOD HUNTER, THE GOLDEN DRAGON, RUSTY & HIS PALS and ANCHORS AWEIGH, most taking up 3-4 pages. Many were still in two colors or black and white.

Long before the Comics Code, these stories would occasionally get quite violent!

 Even the humorous stories could be violent!

Masks, hoods and villains with colorful names were becoming the norm in the stories even though many of them were still the evil Orientals at this stage.

This was the one new strip this time around. Meanwhile, OL' OZ BOPP which has appeared for quite a run, finishes with this issue. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Adventure Comics # 31, October, 1938

Okay, here we are at the final issue in this second incarnation of our magazine. Not that you should expect any major transitions beyond the title just yet. Note that ACTION and DETECTIVE are being touted in the ad below but MORE FUN is no longer pictured.

 Yet another new humor strip, DOT AND DANNY has kind of an animated strip feel and is credited to "Romer." It's pretty but goes a long way for a gag that it telegraphs way too soon.

 Little by little, the strips are taking on more and more of that "comic book" feel as seen in the panels below. With ACTION all the way up to issue five already could it be the influence of SUPERMAN? FEDERAL MEN continues apace in this issue also but looks more and more like I'm seeing some Wayne Boring in the art so I'd say Shuster had set up his studio already.

 Apparently they were looking for new artists?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Adventure Comics # 30, September, 1938

Flessel shows once again that he really was pretty good at drawing water that actually looks wet. Sounds simple but a lot of comics artists always seemed to have trouble with that.
 Bob Kane's JEST A MINUTE continued the artist's pages of single panel cartoons as well as RUSTY AND HIS PALS.

 The above is NOT Batman. In fact, this is a Tom Hickey illustration of a prisoner kept masked in his cell. This would, however, be around the time that Bob Kane might have been starting to think about a new masked hero character for DETECTIVE COMICS.
Sheldon Moldoff had two pages of sports-realted cartoons in this issue, this one actually presenting batting tips.