Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Wally Wood's MAD Comic Opera



Hanno's been on ( as Mark & Lard used to say ), with a request. Nefarious Neil Hansen would like to see Frank Jacob & Wally Wood's comic opera from the July 1960 issue of Mad.
Well, I need as little excuse to post stuff by Woody as you do to read it, so let's join Dick Tracy & Tarzan ( alongside just about every other newspaper strip character of the time ) in the Ape Man's search for love. You're gonna want to pore over every panel.







Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Mad Musicals



How about a singalong to wipe away the blues? If you somehow missed the Star Trek musical, the Star Wars musical and the Lord Of The Rings musical on Broadway, or didn't get the original cast recording album, now's your chance to catch up. All together now.




















Friday, 15 September 2017

Sub-Mariner vs The Thing: In The Rage Of Battle!



Here's a tale from Subby's solo series that's stuck with me since I first read it in this Treasury Edition:


For the previous few issues, Namor had been bugged by a Donald Trump wannabe named Destiny who with his ( hem hem ) Helmet Of Power had brainwashed the American people into voting him in as dictator for life, before ( in a last page turnaround that screams ' Whoops, we've only got one page left to wrap this up' ) falling to his death off a skyscraper roof.
As we pick up this issue, everybody wants said helmet and you'll never guess what, neither Benjy or Subby are prepared to discuss any kind of compromise.
Big John's art shows why it should always be printed treasury size, but it's not the fight that's interesting, it's the subplot, as continuity boy Roy Thomas re-introduces a long lost Golden Age character back into Namor's life.
That last panel will break your heart.





















Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Day Of The Eagle



Day Of The Eagle was classic Boy's Own adventure stuff from Battle. In it, cold as ice secret agent Mike Nelson is assigned The Most Important Job Of The War: To terminate Hitler, with extreme prejudice.
Nelson is like the energizer bunny, never going more than a few panels with killing somebody or jumping out of a 2nd floor window, and the pacing rarely lets up.
In fact, Eagle is an archetypal British comic strip, the brief consisting of: Get away with a little characterization and plot as you can in three pages, as long as you fit in all the action. It's that 'don't bore us, get to the chorus' mentality that comics like 2000AD and Action made an artform of.
Main artist Patrick Wright's photo-style artwork takes a little bit of getting used to, as his line is quite thin, and works much better in colour, but it definitely works for the piece, as it's as all business as Nelson himself, and like Eric Hebden's script, doesn't pause for breath.
In fact, Day Of The Eagle would've made a great '70's movie, with say, Michael York as Nelson and Robert Duvall as the Nazi general trying to catch him. BBC2 would be showing it this Sunday afternoon, after Columbo.
Here's the whole story.