Hallowe’en Countdown IV, Day 11

« Take our advice, at any price, a gorilla like Magilla is mighty nice. Gorilla, Magilla Gorilla for sale! »

Seems you just can’t unnerve a guy (let alone an ape) who takes fright fables so lightly. I mean, look at that blasé expression! Perhaps he needs some spookier tales.

This is Magilla Gorilla no. 9 (Oct. 1966, Gold Key). Cover artist unknown…certainly a ghost.
Unfortunately, the title story — and the rest of the issue — are nothing to get excited about. Nicely flowing, on-model animation-style artwork, but the stories…
Still, here’s the highlights reel. Strictly kid stuff… but did it truly need to be? A little subversion goes a long way.
In Yiddish, a megillah is a long tedious or embroidered account, from the Hebrew megillah, a story written in a scroll. One episode has Magilla saying, “Such a megillah over a gorilla. [ source ]

« We’ll try again next week. »

In other, loosely-related news, and in the spirit of the seemingly undying nature of pop culture icons (even minor ones)…

José Adílson Rodrigues dos Santos (born September 2, 1958), is a retired Brazilian heavyweight boxer. He scored 61 knockouts with 43 of those coming under 5 rounds. Rodrigues currently resides in São Paulo, São Paulo, where he is being treated for Alzheimer’s disease originating from dementia pugilistica. His nickname in Brazil, Maguila, comes from the cartoon Magilla Gorilla.

The gajo should have really sold the concept, and fought in a too-small bowler hat and green suspenders.

-RG

Tentacle Tuesday: Gold Key’s Octopian Plenitude

Today’s tentacle adventure brings us a bounty of Gold Key covers.

TheCloseShavesOfPaulinePeril#2
The Close Shaves of Pauline Peril no. 2 (September 1970). Cover by Jack Manning. I love the Pauline Peril series – it’s such loveable nonsense, with dynamic art and fusillade-style dialogue. However tempting it may be to jump to that conclusion, It’s not a comic-book adaptation of a TV cartoon. Read a whole issue (number four, to be more precise, the last one) at, appropriately, the Ominous Octopus Omnibus blog.

HannaBarbera- The Addams Family3
Hanna-Barbera The Addams Family no. 3 (April 1975). The adorable cover is by Bill Ziegler. Is there anything groovier than a froggy belt-buckle? I think not.

LooneyTunes11-GoldKey
Looney Tunes no. 11, 1976. Cover artist unknown. The boat has been filled beyond legal capacity, and no-one’s wearing their mandatory Mae West. The Safety Octopus is here to ensure that the offending parties are brought up to standards (or at least given a tentacle slap on the wrist).

And just to offset all the cartoony, cutesy stuff, here’s a cover featuring an epic struggle, a life-or-death situation, a decisive skirmish between Man and Beast. (I’ll let you guess which is which, though.)

BorisKarloff-TalesofMyster37
Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery no. 37 (October 1971), cover by George Wilson. Here we have a tentacled creature – “Sea-Beast” for friends – defending a village of innocent people against some sort of flaming monstrosity by shooting water from its tentacles (trunks?) at the flames. Hey, somebody should hire it as a firefighter!

~ ds

Return of the Tentacles

Once upon a time (or, more precisely, a handful of years ago), we started a little weekly celebration of tentacle glory in comics and called it Tentacle Tuesday. (My husband came up with that alliteration; I hope he’s willing to share the credit for this pithy little phrase with others, as I honestly don’t know whether he was first to dream it up. By now, #tentacletuesday is a hashtag and there’s a Facebook page with that title). Yet “real life” (read: “a sad existence tragically devoid of octopuses”) got in the way, and although we’ve often thought about Tentacle Tuesday, no offerings were made at the Octopoda altar. We’d spot some glorious tentacles while reading comics, and wistfully dream of sharing them with a like-minded audience, but the impulse would pass, leaving behind vague but lingering regrets.

Well, we are back. Let’s keep Tentacle Tuesday going strong, for after all, comics and tentacles are among the universe’s greatest achievements. Let the cephalopod fiesta begin – we welcome you to this blog’s first-ever installment of Tentacle Tuesday!

Our first offering features, quite naturally, a Welcome Mat leading to a trapped, angry octopus, who seems to be indignant about being stuck in a pit with a bunch of uncouth, plebeian imaginary monsters. Claws, pincers, and talons, razor-sharp teeth and dendritic horns? Ha, *he* has tentacles! And if the other denizens of this trap are purely monster-under-the-bed material and act as if they’re drunks at a party, Mr. Octopus here is a professional who takes his job of being terrifying seriously.

CainTentaclesA

This is a pin-up, if I may call it that, by the easily identifiable Sergio Aragonés, scanned from DC’s House of Mystery no. 189 (Nov./Dec. 1970). The giggling guy is Cain, the so-called host of the House of Mystery, and is every bit inclined to betray and double-cross as his Biblical namesake. Incidentally, number 189 is an excellent issue: Eyes of the Cat, with art by Jerry Grandenetti and Wally Wood, is both gorgeous and scary, with bonus points for prominently featuring a black cat (which Neal Adams made look like a rat on the cover – if you don’t believe me, try http://pencilink.blogspot.ca/2008/05/house-of-mystery-189-neal-adams-cover.html ) It is followed by The Deadly Game of G-H-O-S-T by Leonard Starr, and the issue wraps up elegantly with The Thing in the Chair with art by Tom Sutton.

In a slightly different vein, but equally lighthearted, is this cover of Abbott & Costello no. 16 (Aug. 1970, Charlton). I hope our readers shall be too polite to point out that Tony Tallarico, the artist, made tentacles look more like elephant trunks, or that this… creature… has but four of them, which would make him probably the only quadripartite octopus in existence (they’re supposed to have 8, for those of us who are a little hazy on the specifics). Now, if only Charlton paid by the tentacle rather than by the page…

AbbottCostello16A

This comics series was of course based on the American comedy duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, of early 40s and 50s fame. Fast-forward to 1967, and with Costello having long passed on (in 1959), the pair was miraculously given a new, two-dimensional lease on life (hey, you take what you can get… comedy’s a vicious game!) through the auspices of Hanna-Barbera Productions, and Charlton landed the comics licence and ran with it… for a healthy twenty-two issues. The first eight or nine of these, featuring the madcap talents of artist Henry Scarpelli and (especially) scripter Steve Skeates, are the ones to seek out. You have been warned!

~ ds