Well, Laurel could have fared far worse: her ‘Master’ is squarely in the then-fashionable Frank Langella / George Hamilton leading man mould. There was another alternative, of course:
Weird Worlds didn’t set this world afire, enduring but eight issues. Still, Scholastic would return to mine the teenage affinity for all things spooky and on that occasion (and further ones) strike gold and raise goosebumps.
« When comics came along in the 1930s there was a talent pool waiting. And one reason is so many areas were closed to Jews. Colleges, advertising agencies, many of the corporations – the doors that were closed led to the one that was open. » — Jerry Robinson
It’s New Year’s Day, which means it’s also the titanic Sherrill David ‘Jerry’ Robinson‘s birthday. Born on the first of January in 1922, he left us not so long ago, on December 7, 2011. He played at the very least a strong rôle in the creation of Batman’s sidekick Robin, his foes the Joker and Two-Face, his butler Alfred Pennyworth… and much more. Naturally, since we’re entering the murky world of Bob Kane, the whole process is mired in controversy, conflicting accounts and perhaps a little fibbing from certain parties.
Said poster features dapper Count Morbida (and friends, er, fiends), lovingly rendered by Arthur Friedman (hopefully no relation to evil crank Milton).
The cranky-but-adorable Count hosted his own Monthly Puzzle Pages in Dynamite, and even if the challenges were child’s play, they rarely failed to entertain on the verbal and visual level. Linda Williams Aber (aka Magic Wanda) ably juggled the bons mots.
Despite his unrepentantly evil ways, the crafty nobleman accrued sufficient popularity to glom cover-feature honours a few times, as well as a spinoff book or two. Case in point: Dynamite 12 (June, 1975).
Ah, that old Earth’s taken another whirl, and so today, the wonderful Stephen Bissette, that most erudite master of terror *and* one of the truest, most steadfast gentlemen the medium has known, observes another birthday. He first breached this plane of existence in the wilds of Vermont some sixty-odd years ago today, on March 14, 1955. Let’s wish him all the best, shall we?
The original art of this silk-spewing splash was reportedly acquired, by proxy, by erstwhile Calvin Klein Jeans model Brooke Shields. I like to envision it occupying a place of honour in the dining room of her favourite mansion. Or perhaps in the bedroom, right above the headboard?
This is from Saga of the Swamp Thing no. 19 (December, 1983, DC.) Quite respectably co-plotted and scripted by Martin Pasko (with Mr. Bissette), this predates epochal game-changer The Anatomy Lesson, but the Bissette/Totleben dream combo was already scorching eyeballs, en attendant Mr. Alan Moore’s accession.
*George Carlin may have said that, or something to that effect. Who knows, these days?
« Join the Group Gripe by sending in your own Bummer, and our Dynamite artist might pick your idea to illustrate. »
Bummers was a long-running feature (from the first to the final issue, in fact) in the pages of Scholastic’s Dynamite Magazine (165 issues, 1974-92), whose success was due, in no small part, to the winningly wobbly style of its illustrator, Jared Lee (b. 1943).
Here’s a selection of the finest Halloween-themed bummers from issues 4 (Oct. 1974) and 65 (Oct. 1979). Was any one of these yours?