Sunday, October 18, 2009

Arrgh! #3: "The Mummy Walks" (Carl Burgos art)

Download Arrgh! #3

Things That Make You Go ARRGH!
I loved Arrgh! during the "schizoid 70s" and, while I wasn't even alive during the "paranoid 50s," it struck me at the time that Marvel Comics was trying to cash in on the success that DC Comics was enjoying with Plop! That still didn't stop me from
picking up the comic book when I spotted it on the stands. But while Arrgh! wasn't as good as Plop!, I still laughed my ass off reading this as a kid and I picked up the remaining issues as they were published.

"The Mummy Walks" is the funniest story in this issue, in my opinion, and the art by Carl Burgos is second only to that of Will Elder.

While not a major artist, Carl Burgos created one of the major superheroes. It was late in 1939, while working for the Funnies, Inc. shop, that Burgos invented the first Human Torch. Introduced in the first issue of Marvel Comics, the torch became one of the three most popular characters publisher Martin Goodman had in the 1940s. The others were Sub-Mariner and Captain America. A primitive rather than a skilled draftsman, Burgos nevertheless had a forceful style and he was good at staging the scenes of conflict and chaos that the flaming activities of his protagonist required. Aware of his limitations, Buros was proud of the fact that he never swiped. "If they wanted Raymond or Caniff," he once said, "they could look at Raymond and Caniff. The miserable drawing was all mine, but I was having fun."

Burgos entered comics in 1938, after working in an engraving plant. He was first employed in the Harry "A" Chesler shop. Next he joined the Funnies, Inc., shop, drawing The Iron Skull for Amazing Man Comics, and The Human Torch for Marvel Mystery Comics. Burgos had a fondness for androids and all three of these characters were androids.

He went into the army in 1942. When he returned, although he again worked for Timely Comics, he never quite fit in with the new look that comics had acquired in his absence. In 1966 he created a dreadful Captain Marvel of his own, a fellow who could do things like detach his fist in order to sock somebody across the street. In his final years he worked for Harris Publications in New York City.


Script: Unknown
Pencils and inks: Carl Burgos
  • from Crazy (Marvel, 1953 series) #6 (May 1954). (Pictured inset).
  • in Arrgh! (Marvel, 1974 series) #3.

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