Thursday, March 29, 2012

AUTHENTIC POLICE CASES "Human Cat Trapped by Death Gun"

A classic example of how Fredric Wertham cherry-picked comics for images...
...this tale from Authentic Police Cases #6 (1948) features one of the more notorious examples!
The image, as shown in the book Seduction of the Innocent, is cropped and the caption reads "An invitation to learning!"
When the story was retitled and re-presented in Fugitives from Justice #3 (1952) and a later issue of Authentic Police Cases, the girl was redrawn with a much more discreet nightgown...'s the rest of the tale...
Wertham has become notorious for doing this sort of thing, taking images out of context to make specific points without providing reference as to where the pix originally came from, and figuring that it would be too difficult for anyone to trace them.
Join us next week as we present another tale your grandparents didn't want your parents to see!
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

FANTASTIC "Deadly Doodles of Dandy"

One of the funkiest versions of the "Everything I write comes to life!" concept... this tormenting tale from Fantastic #9 (1952)!
While the writer is unknown, the art is by Edwin Goldfarb and Bob Baer...or is it?
Oddly, the duo of Goldfarb and Baer poped up all over the place, always working together.
Yet the quality of their art fluctuated wildly from barely competent to superb!
This story has a lot of the stylistic hallmarks of both Mike Sekowsky and Carmine Infantino, while the inking looks a helluva lot like Frank Giacoia.
Were "Goldfarb & Baer" pen-names?
We may never know!

Join us next week as we present another tale your grandparents didn't want your parents to see!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Invasion" Before and After the Comics Code!

What happens when a scary pre-Comics Code story is reprinted with Code changes?
Edited version
We'll present the toned-down reprint first, then the original, scarier story, along with annotations...
Original version
 Note in the original version, both the wife and singer on tv show a lot more cleavage!

Edited version
Original version
Again, more cleavage in the original version...

Edited version
Original version
Oddly enough, the wife's cleavage is unchanged, but the look of terror in the last panel is toned down!

Edited version
Original version
Panel four in the original version is much more gruesome than the edited version.
Note the dialogue balloon is unchanged, even though there's no actual weapons fire in the edited version!

Edited version
 This last page is radically-different! Prepare yourself!
Original version
The Comics Code-edited pages were from Race for the Moon #1 (1958)
The original story was from Witches' Tales #21 (1953)
As you can see, the Comics Code Authority insisted on some major redos, including most of the last page!

Whenever possible, we'll present examples of similar "reworking" of stories' pre and post-Comics Code versions!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

PHANTOM LADY "Stinging Whip"

At long last, from the issue Dr Wertham vilified in Seduction of the Innocent...
...that fine filly, Phantom Lady, spends a day at the races in this tale from Phantom Lady #17!
Though the GCD lists Jack Kamen as the artist, I suspect he did pencils only, as there's a lot of Matt Baker influence in this art, especially the rendering.
Here's Adam Hughes' take on the cover for this issue, Phantom Lady #17
from the HTF trade paperback Phantom Lady: Crime Never Pays!
Join us next week as we present another tale your grandparents didn't want your parents to see!
featuring goodies emblazoned with cover art that Fredric Wertham railed against in Seduction of the Innocent.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CREEPSHOW "Something to Tide You Over"

It's not often Stephen King writes a comic book!
But when he does...'d want someone the caliber of Berni Wrightson to illustrate it!
This little terror-tale was adapted from the 1982 anthology film CreepShow (scripted by Stephen King and directed by George Romero) for a graphic novel also written by King and illustrated by Berni Wrightson.
The movie version of this particular tale starred Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson & Gaylen Ross.
The flick is an homage to horror comics in general and EC Comics in particular, and features many lighting and optical effects mimicking comic book graphics (a common practice now, but ground-breaking in '82).
While the graphic novel adapts all the stories in the movie, it leaves out the framing sequences involving a little boy (played by King's son, Joe Hill), a copy of a CreepShow comic book, and the kid's disapproving father.
You can read the entire graphic novel, as well as see a 90-minute documentary about the making of CreepShow, HERE!
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