COMIC #11: More Fun #8
DATE: February 1936
PUBLISHER: More Fun Magazine Inc.
CONTENTS: Cover by Vin Sullivan; “Sandra Of The Secret Service” by W.C. Brigham; “Along The Main Line” by Tom Cooper; “Spike Spalding” by Vin Sullivan; “In The Wake Of The Wander” (Captain Grim story) by Tom Cooper; “Charley Fish” by Vin Sullivan; “Henri Duval”, written by Jerry Siegel, drawn by Joe Shuster; “Little Linda” by Whitney Ellsworth; “Ivanhoe”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Raymond Perry; “Wheels Go Round” (text story), written and illustrated by Vin Sullivan; “Movies” (text article); “Puzzle Page” (activity page) by Matt Curzon; “Stamps And Coins” (text article); “Fun Mail” (text article); “Slim Pickins” by Stan Randall; “Skipper Hicks” by John Patterson; “Buckskin Jim” by Tom Cooper; “The Professor” by E.F. Koscik; “Thor’s Famous Flights” by Thor; “Barry O’Neill” by Leo O’Mealia; “Jack Woods” by W.C. Brigham; “A True Story Of How A Great Mother Lode Was Discovered”; “Rambler Jim” by Stan Randall; “More Fun And Magic” (text article); “Books Books” (text article); “Bob Merritt”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Leo O’Mealia; “Brad Hardy” by W.C. Brigham; “Join The Treasure Hunt Contest” (activity page); “The Monthly Cartoon Lesson” (activity page) by John Patterson; “The Happy Four Club” (text story) by Rosemary Volk; “Magic Crystal Of History” by Ray Wardel; “Don Drake On The Planet Saro” story, written by Ken Fitch, drawn by Clem Gretter; “Treasure Island”, written by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, drawn by Sven Elven; “Doctor Occult”, written by Jerry Siegel, drawn by Joe Shuster; “Wing Brady” by Henry Kiefer; “Little People” by Walt Kelly; “Midshipman Dewey” by Tom Cooper; “Pelion And Ossa” by Al Stahl; “2023 Super-Police”, written by Ken Fitch, drawn by Clem Gretter. Editor: Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. Managing editor: William H. Cook. Assistant editor: Vin Sullivan.
CANON: Partial canon (Doctor Occult story).
SERIES/CREATOR NOTES: After this issue, managing editor William Cook and business manager John Mahon split from National and form the Comics Magazine Company, a forerunner of Centaur. W.C. Brigham and Tom Cooper, already More Fun regulars, take over Sandra Of The Secret Service and Midshipman Dewey, respectively; Brigham also draws Brad Hardy just this once. Al Stahl, who draws Needles in New Fun, takes over Pelion And Ossa here. Charley Fish appears for the final time, but Vin Sullivan takes over as the first steady cover artist (and next month’s cover will be Charley Fish’s actual final appearance). Skipper Hicks ends, and John Patterson will leave National and follow Cook and Mahon to the Comics Magazine Company, reworking his comic as Skipper Ham Shanks. Walt Kelly, who does a one-off in this issue, will also briefly go to Comics Magazine Company before joining Disney as a storyboard artist, with over a decade to go before Pogo starts. Someone named Ray Wardel, with no other known credits, draws Magic Crystal Of History just this once. And Famous Flights ends, with the cartoonist known only as “Thor” heading back home to face Ragnarok.
Got all that? Then let’s go:
Sandra of the Secret Service watches a demonstration of a weird dungeon well trap. I can’t tell whether it’s meant to be used on her or on captured Americans, but… cliffhanger.
In Along The Main Line, a lady asks a conductor for milk, so he goes and milks a goat and gives her the milk. That’s all that happens. That’s the plot.
Spike Spalding hangs out on a boat with his racist-caricature black friend and a racist-caricature Chinese cook. Everybody has a good time.
Captain Grim is in a fire and tries to jump out of it.
Charley Fish loses his voice, and his racist-caricature black friend helps him get it back by stabbing him with a hairpin.
Henri Duval protects a castle from horsemen. Every time Joe Shuster draws a heroic protagonist, I get distracted by how much he looks like Superman.
Little Linda helps her hobo friend avoid jail by impressing the sheriff with how well he cooks trout.
The sheriff doesn’t even bother to learn the hobo’s name.
I feel silly recapping Ivanhoe when I haven’t read the novel and don’t know what happens beyond the single comic book page I’m looking at. Couple of dudes argue about whether one guy’s going to pay a bunch of silver or be tortured?
Slim Pickins chills with a monkey, who eventually force-feeds him pie:
Skipper Hicks and his friends Soupladle and Spongenose find a weird island with a weird king and queen who trade them diamonds for pop bottles. John Patterson’s art reminds me a LOT of Basil Wolverton:
Buckskin Jim travels along a desert mountain and runs into a mountain lion. Cliffhanger.
I don’t even know what’s going in the Professor story. The lettering is barely legible, and when it is, it’s literally just gibberish half the time. There’s an angry monkey in here and I don’t know why. Best comic ever, I guess.
Thor’s Famous Flights: fun-fact illustrated trivia about flights.
Barry O’Neill and his friend Le Grand fight some Chinese people on a boat. This juuuuuuust misses being racist.
Jack Woods rides around on a horse, fighting bandits and getting a girl to safety. Slightly racist.
"A True Story Of How A Great Mother Lode Was Discovered" is about a couple of prospectors and a horse found gold. Old-timey prospectors are automatically fun; otherwise, this is boring.
Rambler Jim revolves around a kid with a gun. A gangster has been caught by Old Scratch (old man) and Jim (little kid), and Old Scratch hands this kid the gangster’s gun so he can go catch the other bad guys.
Not a comic that could’ve been made in 2013.
Bob Merritt, recognizing how much fun old prospectors are, teams up with Prospector Jake to find a gold mine. Except I think Prospector Jake is a gangster in disguise? We’ll see.
Brad Hardy helps Lorraine and the magical Prince Kardos and escape from The Black Magacian. I feel like I missed a lot.
In Magic Crystal Of History, Bobby and Binky run into sentinels while trying to get into a city? I’m kind of lost.
Don Drake fights some kind of alien sea beast. Somebody brings a giant cannon out at the end. I can deal with this.
Treasure Island: just read the book.
Doctor Occult is what I wanted to get to: the third installment, but the first one I could find a copy of, which makes it the first canonical DC Universe story available. Apparently, the first two parts revolved around Doctor Occult and his equally unsubtle sidekick, Rose Psychic, protecting Sander Amster and his wife from the Vampire Master. In this installment, Mrs. Amster has been hypnotized into trying to kill her husband, and when everybody goes to investigate, the Vampire Master (who, with his green skin, looks more like an alien) catches them. Doesn’t stand out much more than a lot of the other stories, but feels like it has more potential than many of them.
Here’s some dumb trivia: since Rose isn’t in this one, Mrs. Amster was briefly the female DC character with the most appearances— three-for-three.
Wing Brady chases some Arabs. Nothing really happens.
The Little People is about a race of Irish little people— I guess basically leprechauns. It says “to be continued”, but it won’t be, as Walt Kelly will have better things to do.
In Midshipman Dewey, pirates conspire to take over a ship? I’m not sure who’s who.
In Al Stahl’s debut Pelion And Ossa, Ossa tries to fix the plumbing and makes a mistake that’s not really comical so much as it is normal. Something about Ossa is kind of creepy-looking— like he should be in a weird underground parody of strips like this.
I’m not sure what’s going on in 2023 Super-Police. Some guy doesn’t care if some other people die?
And that’s More Fun #8. If only because of Doctor Occult, I’m counting this as a baby step in the right direction.