Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FallCon is coming -- NY, too!

FallCon, the Twin Cities one day comic book convention is coming up in a few weeks. As usual, I'll be a guest. If you're attending, please stop by my table and say hello. There's a great guest list, including an astounding line up of local pro talent, as well as Silver Age Incredible Hulk artist, Herb Trimpe and DC superstar cover artist Adam Hughes! For more information on the show, check the official website.

I will also be attending, for the first time, the New York Comic Con. I will not have a table, but will be walking the floor, and may only be there one day (Friday or Saturday -- I'm not certain which yet - maybe both). If you're attending and would like to meet up, you'll have a good shot at finding me hanging around with the Adventures of Unemployed Man guys at the Hachette table, or lurking about the DC booth. Whatever the case, I'll be wearing some sort of loud shirt that'll make me easy to spot!

Monday, September 20, 2010

CRIME ON THE RUN! Name the mystery artists!

Today's vintage comics stories both come from St. John's Crime On the Run -- also known as Approved Comics #8 from 1954. I don't know about you, but I think the former is a catchier title than the latter!

I can find no credits for the artists involved here, and am not 100% certain I can ID them properly, so I'm calling on you blog readers to offer your informed opinions. Who painted the cover? Not a clue. Is A Tough Beat the work of Jim Mooney, as my fellow cartoonist George Freeman suggests? Looks like a good call to me. But do you think otherwise?

And who drew Kill-Crazy John Dillinger? Dan Spiegle? Gray Morrow? Lou Fine in Peter Scratch (his great, though short-lived private eye strip) mode? If you know for certain -- or even have a crazy guess -- please chime in and leave a comment.

I have to say that reading/skimming through all the old comics scans available on the web, has me wishing we had some genre (or multi-genre) short story comics anthologies being published these days. I'd love to pick up a monthly magazine and see a combo of new and vintage crime, western, horror and humor stories by the best of today's and yesterday's cartoonists. Come on, publishers, how about it....?

As usual, these scans have been cleaned up consderably for posting here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Influence Map Take Two!

There weren't enough spaces on my first try at this to show everything. So I did a second one. And I still have stuff that's missing....

"Formula for Death" by Rudy Palais

From Chamber of Chills #8 (Harvey, 1952) comes Formula for Death, drawn in astoundingly weird and gruesome style by Rudy Palais. It's only four pages -- but what pages! For more stories drawn by Palais, see this entry at the always entertaining Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two by Voight

While reading through a batch of public domain Golden Age comics scans on my new iPad (which I won in an internet contest -- no foolin'!), I stumbled across a couple of treats -- two more stories drawn by C. A. Voight. I have no idea who drew the cover for 1945's Meteor Comics #1 (shown below) -- and neither does the Grand Comics Database. In fact, the GCD misidentifies the Voight stories as being by George Marcoux, the artist of Supersnipe. I've reported the error, and I hope it's fixed soon.

Teeny McSweeny is a three-page military humor strip, complete with WWII-era racially insensitive portrayal of the Japanese. It's less caricatured than most from that period -- but still a reflection of the times.

Impossible Man is a seven-page story of a regular guy in a world of super-heroes -- long before Supertown, Astro City or the hero-filled world of Unemployed Man. It's also the second Voight story I've posted to feature a splash panel of the hero holding aloft a huge "dumbell" weight -- see Voight's He-Man.

I did some clean-up on the scans -- though some of the off register color was just too much to even attempt to fix.

If you enjoy these vintage comics posts, please leave a comment!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Influence Map

Seems all my artist friends over on facebook are doing these "influence maps." So why should I be the odd man out? Here's mine. Points if you recognize 'em all.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Forgotten cartoonists: Jimmy Thompson

From the first issue of the obscure teen humor comic, Club 16 (June 1948), here's a "Heavens to Betsy" story by the little known Jimmy Thompson. As usual, these scans have been cleaned up for better web presentation. If you want to know more about Thompson, or see some of his amazing Robotman stories (splash page preview posted below the Betsy story), check this Cartoon Snap blog entry.

If you'd like to see more Heavens to Betsy, let me know.

Here's a sample of Thompson's work on Robotman. Check out the Cartoon Snap blog for more!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Vali-Hi Drive-In Theater

Since our son came into our lives, Erika and I have discovered it is a complicated (and expensive -- babysitters aren't cheap these days!) process to get out to the movies together. Our rescue for the movie blues came in the form of the drive-in theater. Pop the youngster in the car seat, and most of the time he's asleep by the time the feature starts - though he stayed awake through Iron Man II, entranced by it all.

We're particularly fond of the Vali-Hi (in Lake Elmo, MN). They do a triple feature, though we never make it to movie #3. They also don't mind if you bring your own food -- a common sight is people firing up a mini-grill they've brought along! But the coolest thing is the snack bar -- which also features a game room and collections of vintage snack bar items, motorbikes and more. With September here, and cooler weather on the way, we'll be saying goodbye to the Vali-Hi for the season quite soon, but we look forward to next Spring and their re-opening.

I'm kicking myself for not getting a shot of the sign at the theater's entrance -- but here are some pics that will give you a sense of the coolness that is the Vali-Hi.

Plus, at the end, there's a pic of a mini plush Hulk from the crane machine, that may be the goofiest superhero toy ever.