More sublime panels from Jimmy Thompson, my favorite unheralded artist of the Golden Age.
From Sub-Mariner Comics #14, Fall 1944.
DC COMIC #18: More Fun #11
DATE: July 1936
PUBLISHER: More Fun Inc.
CONTENTS: Cover by Vin Sullivan; “One Big Happy Family!” (text article) by Vin Sullivan; “Sandra Of The Secret Service” by W.C. Brigham; “Spike Spalding” by Vin Sullivan; “Woozy Watts” by Russell Cole; “Jack Woods”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by W.C. Brigham; “Ivanhoe”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Raymond Perry; “Don Drake On The Planet Saro”, written by Ken Fitch, drawn by Clem Gretter; “Barry O’Neill And Fang Gow Of China” by Leo O’Mealia; “Chubby” by Hal Sherman; “Talk About Talkies” (text article) by Mary Patrick; “Firebug” (text story) by Guy Monroe; Spike Spalding story by Vin Sullivan; “Wing Brady” by Tom Hickey; “Along The Main Line” by Tom Cooper; “Sam” (Sam The Porter story) by Russell Cole; “Dr. Occult The Mystic Detective”, written by Jerry Siegel, drawn by Joe Shuster; “The Ole’ Swimmin’ Hole” by Creig Flessel; “Buckskin Jim” by Tom Cooper; “Pelion And Ossa” by Al Stahl; “Imagine That”, pencilled by Henry Kiefer, inked by A.D. Kiefer; “Brad Hardy” by A. Leslie Ross; “Midshipman Dewey” by Tom Cooper; “Fun Mail” (text article); “The Three Musketeers”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Sven Elven; “More Fun And Magic” (text article) by The Wizard Of Biff; “It’s A Fact!”, maybe by Paul Ferrer; “Little Linda” by Whitney Ellsworth; “2023 Super-Police”, written by Ken Fitch, drawn by Clem Gretter; “In The Wake Of The Wander” (Captain Grim story) by Tom Cooper; “Hubert”, written by J. Muselli, drawn by Bill Patrick; “Treasure Island”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Sven Elven; “Calling All Cars”, written by Jerry Siegel, drawn by Joe Shuster; “Bob Merritt And His Flying Pals”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Leo O’Mealia; “G. Wiz” by Hal Sherman. Editor: Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. Associate editor: Vin Sullivan. Associate editor: Whitney Ellsworth.
CANON: Partial canon (Doctor Occult story).
SERIES/CREATOR NOTES: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, still failing to convince anyone that Superman is a good idea, debut a new recurring feature called Calling All Cars. Tom Hickey makes his comic book debut as the new Wing Brady artist (also debuting in New Comics this month); he’ll go on to a long Golden Age career. Sven Elven’s Treasure Island adaptations come to an end, but he debuts a recurring Three Musketeers adaptation. Sam The Porter, a Russell Cole strip that appeared in New Comics, becomes a recurring feature here. Hal Sherman’s G. Wiz ends, as does A. Leslie Ross’s stint on Brad Hardy; both men still have features in New Comics. Imagine That will revert to its old name, Just Suppose, next issue. Magic Crystal Of History skips this issue, prompting riots.
It’s been a while since I’ve checked in, so I won’t remember where any of the serialized stories are at. Not that I would have anyway.
Sandra Of The Secret Service: Sandra explains to a count and his secret society that she’s impersonating a princess. Then some people attack. I’m not sure who here is a good guy or a bad guy.
Spike Spalding: An evil man with an evil moustache has captured Spike’s offensive black stereotype friend Pincus, who he ties up in a bag and throws overboard. Cliffhanger. I feel like that’s kinda scary for this book’s intended age range. I’d have had a dumb little nightmare.
Woozy Watts: Woozy’s stuck on an island, then finds a note from someone who needs to be rescued, then doesn’t act on it because he’s hungry. In the middle, he hits on a bird:
Jack Woods: Jack versus bandits on a cliff. The bandits seemingly win. Then Jack wakes up and punches a motherfucker.
Ivanhoe: There are monks and stuff, but you didn’t notice because you skipped it because you are a child reading a comic book in 1936 and your goal here is not to read Ivanhoe.
Don Drake On The Planet Saro: The Zetrurians put Don Drake on trial, but offer him freedom if he’ll protect them from the monster that just attacked off-panel who I guess we’ll see next issue. It’d better look cool.
Barry O’Neill And Fang Gow Of China: Barry and his French sidekick Le Grand have escaped from Fang Gow, only to discover a secret map showing Fang Gow’s plan to blow up Paris. Le Grand is like “sacre bleu!”.
Chubby: In this one-off, a fat guy named Chubby gets a call to hang out with a girl, and doesn’t know what to do with her, then gets in a fight with a guy who’s torturing a dog, and hopes his subsequent injuries will impress the girl. Is this supposed to be funny? It’s just sad.
Spike Sullivan: A sad single-panel page in which Spike has failed to grow a flower. There is nothing funny about this.
Wing Brady: Wing passes out in the desert and is rescued by some kindly Arabs who give him a horse and some ammo so he can go rescue a girl.
Along The Main Line: A couple of jerkoffs try to escape a mine.
Sam The Porter: Sam just names foods.
Dr. Occult: Our hero fights a werewolf, which he then brings back with him to the laboratory he apparently has. To be continued. First appearance of Doctor Occult’s butler, Jenkins. I’ll bet he isn’t even named Jenkins. People just call their butlers Jenkins.
The Ole’ Swimmin’ Hole: An illustration of a bunch of young boys, some of them seemingly naked, swimming, with a caption reading “where modesty ain’t no virtue”. I’m uncomfortable.
Buckskin Jim: Buckskin Jim fights a bunch of evil Indians. I don’t think he likes Indians.
Pelion And Ossa: Pelion and Ossa find a dog and wash it. Al Stahl didn’t have a better idea than this.
Imagine That: If different stuff had happened, stuff would be different. Starring George Washington.
Brad Hardy: Brad, Lorraine, and Prince Kardos are menaced by a giant spider. Brad murders the spider, but then Lorraine’s missing and there’s a fireball. It’s just all the things. All the things are happening all at once.
Midshipman Dewey: Dewey fights a pirate and rescues the ship’s captain. But more pirates are coming.
Three Musketeers: What are we, in school?
It’s A Fact!: Illustrated trivia. This was my favorite:
Little Linda: Linda’s been captured by bank robbers, but turns the tide with one of those kids-with-guns moments you’d never get away with now:
Also, I think a certain phrase meant something different back then:
2023 Super-Police: A hag queen is gonna kill one of the main good guys, but agrees to let him live if the other main good guy will marry her. Ends on the brink of a creepy-ass wedding.
In The Wake Of The Wander: Captain Grim is a prisoner of natives, and then I think teams up with them to fight some other guy. I’m a little lost.
Hubert: Hubert uses a scabbard as a makeshift fishing pole and catches a swordfish in it. That’s a little bit funny.
Treasure Island: Everybody’s on a boat. This is as far as the Treasure Island adaptation goes.
Calling All Cars: Siegel and Shuster’s new feature is a little bit nuts. First page: a couple of cops catch a woman speeding and punish her by giving her a spanking. This is presented as a normal thing to do.
Second page: the girl makes her dad bring the cop to his house so he can yell at him. And it’s hinted that she actually has a crush on him. Then crooks break in and kidnap the girl for someone called the Purple Tiger. But then the cops from before show up. Cliffhanger.
Bob Merritt And His Flying Pals: Everybody’s flying to Alaska to look for gold. Good guys. Bad guys. Whole buncha guys.
G. Wiz: Some stupid asshole goes hunting for rabbits but runs from a skunk.
just discovered this! amazing stuff! please post more!!
I will! I’m just taking forever because I don’t have a lot of free time these days.
Did somebody post a link to this site somewhere? Whole bunch of new followers all of a sudden.
House ad for Marvel Mystery Comics in the science fiction pulp magazine Marvel Stories #2, November 1940. Art by Carl Burgos.
DC COMIC #17: New Comics #5
DATE: June 1936
PUBLISHER: National Allied Newspaper Syndicate Inc.
CONTENTS: Cover by Whitney Ellsworth; “Bang!” (text article) by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson; “Captain Jim Of The Texas Rangers” by Homer Fleming; “Sir Loin Of Beef”, written by J. Muselli, drawn by Bill Patrick; “Castaway Island” by Tom Cooper; “Ol’ Oz Bopp” by Russell Cole; “Captain Quick” by Sven Elven; “Maginnis Of The Mounties”; “Sagebrush ‘N’ Cactus”, written by J. Muselli, drawn by Bill Patrick; “Sandor And The Lost Civilization” by Homer Fleming; “Sam The Porter” by Russell Cole; “Funny Man” (text story) by Paul Frederick; “King Arthur” by Rafael Astarita; “Rattlesnake Pete” by Boody Rogers; “17-20 On The Black” by Tom Cooper; “Pandora’s Box”, maybe by Henry Kiefer; “Myths Of Gods And Men: Prometheus”, maybe by Henry Kiefer; “Steve Conrad On Dolorosa Isle” by Creig Flessel; “Andy Handy” by Leo O’Mealia; “Stratosphere Special” by Serene Summerfield; “Needles” by Al Stahl; “Brain Teasers” (activity pages); “Rock-Age Roy” by Boody Rogers; “Bugville” by Dick Ryan; “Slim And Tex” by A. Leslie Ross; “Laughing At Life!” by Vin Sullivan; “The Book Shelf” (text article) by Marjorie Knight; “The Radio Dialer” (text article) by A.R. Lane; “Worth-While Films To Watch For” (text article) by I.W. Magovern; “Magic!” (text article) by Andrini The Great; “Famous Poems Illustrated” by Henry Kiefer; “Ray And Gail” by Clem Gretter; “The Vikings”, maybe written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Alex Anthony Blum; “Goofo The Great” by Russell Cole; “A Tale Of Two Cities” by Merna Gamble; “Capt. Spiniker” by Tom Cooper; “The Drew Mystery” (Dale Daring story) by Dick Ryan; “Rusty” by Hal Sherman; “Federal Men”, written by Jerry Siegel, drawn by Joe Shuster; “It’s A Dern Lie” by Bill Patrick. Editor: Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. Associate editor: Vin Sullivan. Associate editor: Whitney Ellsworth.
SERIES/CREATOR NOTES: Four new recurring features debut in this issue: “Steve Conrad On Dolorosa Isle” by Creig Flessel, “Famous Poems Illustrated” by Henry Kiefer, “Rusty” by Hal Sherman, and “Sandor And The Lost Civilization” by Homer Fleming, making his comic book debut. Fleming also takes over Captain Jim, while the very busy Bill Patrick takes over Sir Loin Of Beef, Sagebrush ‘N’ Cactus, and It’s A Dern Lie; a couple of those strips will change their names next month, probably because original creator Robert Leffingwell brought them over to his new publisher. “Stratosphere Special” and “Bugville” both appear for the second and final time; Dick Ryan will stick around, but Serene Summerfield is done with DC and will end up at the Eisner studio. Gordon “Boody” Rogers makes his comic book debut with a pair of one-offs; both features will return exactly once next year, and Rogers is now a cult favorite. A bunch of regulars also do one-offs, Whitney Ellsworth draws the cover instead of Vin Sullivan, and Chikko Chakko does not appear.
Captain Jim Of The Texas Rangers: Captain Jim and Bob chase bad guys in a canyon. Comic book heroes had such boring names before superheroes were invented. Why would I want to read about “Captain Jim” and “Bob”? Nobody’s even trying.
Sir Loin Of Beef: A kid fucks with two guys having an archery contest, and the story ends with them firing a bunch of arrows at him, meaning this lighthearted gag story is immediately followed by a grisly murder.
Castaway Island: Larry and Dougal try to rescue Sally from Blackface. I’m not sure who any of those people are, so you and I are in the same boat.
Ol’ Oz Bopp: Our hero buys meat and then falls asleep. Gag strips are uneventful.
Captain Quick: A bunch of English people chill on a ship and then a Spaniard shows up.
Maginnis Of The Mounties: Maginnis fights fur thieves, and his buddy gets shot.
Sagebrush ‘N’ Cactus: The duo heads into town to try to catch the killer of Pickax Pete. So, nothing happens. It’s like a deleted scene.
Sandor And The Lost Civilization: Sandor is a Tarzan copy, but located in the jungles of India, with the arch-enemy Rajah Marajah. In this debut installment, Sandor kills a tiger and is cornered by the Rajah and his minions. This is going to get so racist so quickly.
Sam The Porter: Speaking of racism, this one-off is about a comically black porter who keeps getting names wrong.
King Arthur: Knights being boring.
Rattlesnake Pete: A one-off about a guy in an Old West town running from bullets that turn out to just be horseflies.
17-20 On The Black: Jim Gale returns to take down the bad guys.
Pandora’s Box/Myths Of Gods And Men: Prometheus: Illustrated mythology.
Steve Conrad On Dolorosa Isle: Steve Conrad and a bunch of supporting characters sail to Dolorosa Isle to take a look around, not really for any reason.
Andy Handy: Homeboy gets rained on. That’s all.
Stratosphere Special: A sci-fi imagining of people landing on the moon in the year 2036. This is kinda fun.
Needles: Needles goes to a doctor who abuses him and leaves him worse off, when all Needles wanted to do was sell him a magazine.
Rock-Age Roy: Basically a prototypical Flintstones character, but dumber.
Bugville: A lot going on here. Lots of talking bugs. Kind of innovative, layout-wise. Sorry to see it go.
Slim And Tex: The pair shoot guns a bunch, and talk about shooting guns.
Laughing At Life!: Some asshole hates that his wife makes him play bridge.
Famous Poems Illustrated: Exactly what it sounds like, kicking off with Longfellow. No kid who bought this comic in 1936 actually read this. I am the first person ever to read it.
Ray And Gail: Sharks just start eating everybody.
The Vikings: Two Vikings fight over who gets to lead the other Vikings.
Goofo The Great: Goofo does magic tricks and then gets angry about carrots being everywhere?
A Tale Of Two Cities: If I were this magazine’s target audience, the literary adaptations would reinforce my impression that novels are boring.
Capt. Spiniker: The captain gets his peg leg stuck in a bottle. I think Captain Spiniker is my favorite New Comics character.
Dale Daring: The titular star is tied up and gets rescued, contributing little of value to her own story.
Rusty: Hal Sherman’s new recurring feature is the latest mischievous-kid comic. In this one, Rusty thinks a woman is calling for help, but it’s just a pirate.
Federal Men: More boat-fighting.
It’s A Dern Lie: Riding horses, shooting injuns.
For no real reason I can think of, I’m slowly finding this more tolerable. Maybe it’s just familiarity kicking in, making it feel slightly less like a hodge-podge of random bullshit. But I still wish I could skip ahead a couple of years.
DC COMIC #16: New Book Of Comics #1
PUBLISHER: unknown (National/DC)
Proto-DC’s second reprint book, following The Big Book Of Fun Comics. I can’t find a record of the exact contents. A second issue of this title will come out in a year or two.
DC COMIC #15: More Fun #10
DATE: May 1936
PUBLISHER: More Fun Inc.
CONTENTS: Cover by Vin Sullivan; “Are You Listening?” (text), illustrated by Vin Sullivan; “Sandra Of The Secret Service” by W.C. Brigham; “Spike Spalding” by Vin Sullivan; “Woozy Watts” by Russell Cole; “Jack Woods”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by W.C. Brigham; “Ivanhoe”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Raymond Perry; “Don Drake On The Planet Saro”, written by Ken Fitch, drawn by Creig Flessel; “Barry O’Neill And Fang Gow Of China” by Leo O’Mealia; “Mr. Divot”, maybe by Whitney Ellsworth; “Fun Mail” (text), illustrated by Peter Alvarado; “Buckskin Jim” by Tom Cooper; “Pelion And Ossa” by Al Stahl; “Imagine That”, pencilled by Henry Kiefer, inked by A.D. Kiefer; “2023 Super-Police”, written by Ken Fitch, drawn by Clem Gretter; “Midshipman Dewey” by Tom Cooper; “More Fun And Magic” (text) by The Wizard Of Biff; “Talk About Talkies” (text) by Mary Patrick; “Magic Crystal Of History”, drawn by Harlan David Haskins; “Fishy Frolics”, drawn by Creig Flessel; “Definition Of A Licking” (text) by Oliver Brault; “Books Books” (text) by Edith Brittin; “Do You Know?”, pencilled by Henry Kiefer, inked by A.D. Kiefer; “Doc Occult”, written by Jerry Siegel, drawn by Joe Shuster; “Along The Main Line” by Tom Cooper; “Slim Pickins” by Stan Randall; “Brad Hardy” by A. Leslie Ross; “It’s A Fact!”, maybe drawn by Paul Ferrer; “Chubby” by Hal Sherman; “Little Linda” by Whitney Ellsworth; “Henri Duval”, written by Jerry Siegel, drawn by Joe Shuster; “Treasure Island”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Sven Elven; “Ramblin’ Jim” by Stan Randall; “In The Wake Of The Wander” (Captain Grim story) by Tom Cooper; “Hubert”, written by J. Muselli, drawn by Bill Patrick; “Bob Merritt”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Leo O’Mealia; “G. Wiz” by Hal Sherman. Editor: Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. Associate editor: Vin Sullivan. Associate editor: Whitney Ellsworth.
CANON: Partial canon (Doctor Occult story).
SERIES/CREATOR NOTES: A couple of new recurring features: “Imagine That” by the Kiefers, and “It’s A Fact” by Paul Ferrer, whose only known credits are this feature’s few installments. A couple of recurring features end: Henri Duval and Chubby. All the creators have other gigs in this or New Comics. Slim Pickins and Ramblin’ Jim both end for now, but will each return once down the line; Stan Randall will move on to Comics Magazine Company and then Dell. Hal Sherman’s “G. Wiz”, which appeared once in New Comics, moves over here and will briefly recur. Harlan David Haskins draws his second and final “Magic Crystal Of History” before disappearing forever. Creig Flessel fills in for Clem Gretter on Don Drake. Wing Brady skips this issue. And a couple of regular creators throw in some one-offs.
Sandra Of The Secret Service: Sandra wanders by a swordfight and then gets abducted and ends up in a room full of men in hoods. I don’t know how I’m supposed to follow any of these recurring adventure strips in installments; I feel like I’d have to read a compilation to have any clue about what’s going on.
Spike Spalding: Pincus gets caught and imprisoned as a stowaway. No sign of Spike.
Woozy Watts: Homeboy has difficulty catching a butterfly.
Jack Woods: Jack tries to rescue Dolores and her father from Pancho Villa and his brigands, cliffhanging in a one-on-one confrontation between Jack and Villa on a mountain ledge.
Ivanhoe: Knights and monks.
Don Drake On The Planet Saro: Drake fights aliens who just look like Roman centurions or something. No fangs or tentacles or anything. Just boring-looking people-aliens.
Barry O’Neill And Fang Gow Of China: Everybody’s fighting on a boat and I’m not sure what’s going on. I’ll bet I write that sentence again before this issue’s over.
Mr. Divot: A silent one-off from Whitney Ellsworth about a golfer who misses so many times that he digs a hole to China.
Buckskin Jim: Some Indians are nice and some are mean.
Pelion And Ossa: The duo get an airplane in the mail, and fly it, and crash it. The airplane definitely looks bigger than the crate it came in.
Imagine That: A renaming of the Kiefers’ previous feature, this is once again illustrated historical speculation that works best if you imagine a drunk Orson Welles slurring it before passing out.
2023 Super-Police: Bad guys capture good guys and then there’s a queen? Something like that?
Midshipman Dewey: Dewey escapes from his boat and then goes back to try to rescue the captain.
Magic Crystal Of History: Kids in an ancient city. Didn’t hold my attention.
Fishy Frolics: An illustration of a bunch of weird mermen.
Do You Know?: Illustrated facts about animals.
Doc Occult: With his first story arc over, Doctor Occult takes down the Methuselah killer, a weirdo who thinks that killing people with long-lived relatives will make him live longer too. Early super-villains were pretty dumb. Because Doctor Occult is drawn by Joe Shuster and looks heroic, I keep thinking he looks like Superman:
Along The Main Line: Couple of yutzes get tied up in a mine and dynamite goes off.
Slim Pickins: Slim argues with Pippo the monkey, Pippo says “icky bogg foogy”, they fight, Slim runs away, the monkey kisses Slim, and Slim gets money. I guess I’m on board. You had me at “icky bogg foogy”. By the way, this is hereby the only result on Google for “icky bogg foogy”.
Brad Hardy: Brad fights ape-men. I’m missing the second page!
It’s A Fact: Illustrated trivia facts.
Chubby: Chubby hangs out in front of an embarrassing sign and everybody laughs at him.
Little Linda: Linda is a prisoner of two bank robbers, but slyly manages to turn them against each other. The final panel would never, ever be published today:
Henri Duval: Henri gets into a swordfight with a bunch of guys who then capture him and bring him to jail. And that’s the last we ever see of Henri Duval, who I guess is still serving his time.
Treasure Island: John Silver hangs out.
Ramblin’ Jim: Jim tells the sob story of his life to a guy interviewing him for a newspaper for some reason.
Captain Grim: The captain gets captured by natives, which seems to happen in at least one story in every issue.
Hubert: Our hero waits on a long line.
Bob Merritt: Bob confronts and fights the guy who’s been impersonating Prospector Jake.
G. Wiz: Dude looks for ink.
I’ve found the serialized stories to be the biggest failings of this and New Comics. They’re too convoluted for me to follow, at least when I see them a page or two at a time like this. I wonder if Superman will suffer from the same problem in a couple of years.
CHARACTER NOTES: Doctor Occult now has the most appearances of any DC Universe character so far, tied with no one. The five installments of his series are the only stories in DC continuity, and he’s the only character who’s been in all of them.
Stan Lee’s high school yearbook photo, 1939.
(Posted this a while back, but this is a cleaner reproduction.)
Could you leave links to the comic downloads in your entires, starting from New Fun #1?
No, sorry. That’s not what this blog is for. You should be able to find torrents pretty easily using Google.
HOW DO YOU GET ALL OF THESE EXTREMELY RARE COMICS? (also, could you please make digital copies of them available to read?)
Some of them have been reprinted, like in the Marvel Masterworks series. I’ve found the rest in torrents of scanned comics, which you can find pretty easily via Google.