Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crypt of Shadows #15: "My Coffin is Crowded" (Bob Fujitani art)

Download Crypt of Shadows #15

It was while using the pen name Bob Fuje in the 1940s that Bob Fujitani did some of his best, as well as some of his most gruesome, drawing in comic books. His art credits for that period include Shock Gibson, Cat-Man, The Black Condor, Hack O'Hara, Sky Wolf, The Zebra, and Hangman. He'd first worked on the latter character when assisting the earlier artist Harry Lucey. Appearing in Pep Comics, Hamgman dealt with some of the nastiest and most bloodthirsty criminals of the era. Fujitani did them all justice, especially the ones who had a tendency to drool while at their work. He was also a regular contributor to Lev Gleason's Crime Does Not Pay and contributed to the pioneering but short-lived horror comic Eerie.

Later on, using a milder and more subdued style, he drew such things as Dr. Solar. He was the first artist on a comic strip titled Judge Wright in the middle 1940s and from the middle 1960s to the middle 1980s he ghosted the Flash Gordon strip.

Script: unknown.
Pencils and inks: Bob Fujitani.
  • from Suspense (Marvel, 1949 series) #16 (pictured inset).
  • in Crypt of Shadows (Marvel, 1973 series) #15 (January 1975).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Where Monsters Dwell #28: "Tough Guy"

Download Where Monsters Dwell #28

The Devil Made Me Do It! Here is a short funny which I first read at my cousin Jimmy "Skeeter" Beavers' home, whom used to astound me by seemingly purchasing every single horror anthology comic-book that was available on the newsstands at the time. Needless to say, "Little" Jimmy was my favorite cousin to hang out with when we were mere slip of boys. In stark contrast to the previous post, I thought that this comic story was absolutely hilarious at the time and, perhaps, might even be deemed "politically incorrect" using today's rod of measurement vis-à-vis the political arena. The story's lowdown is that Bart Nelson is too tough for the demons of hellnothing they do to him has any effect until they come up with a rather unique idea.

While I do not know who wrote "Tough Guy" as the author is not credited, the Grand Comics Database lists John Rosenberger as the illustrator of this very imaginative story.

  • from Journey Into Unknown Worlds (Marvel, 1950 Series) #17 (April 1953).
  • in Where Monsters Dwell (Marvel, 1970 series) #28 (May 1974).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ghost Rider #4: "Death Stalks the Demolition Derby"

Probably the only comic-book hero inspired by the once popular crooner Vaughn Monroe, the original Ghost Rider first galloped onto the scene as a backup feature in ME's Tim Holt #11 in 1949. In reality he was Rex Fury, a federal marshal in the Old West who dressed up in a luminous white outfit that included a glowing cape and Stetson. Eventually he added a skull mask to his ensemble, and the sight of him mounted on his glowing white stallion was sufficient to scare even hardened owl-hoots out of their wits.

Marvel proved that bikers were more popular than cowboys with their next version of Ghost Rider. In 1973 they introduced a contemporary Ghost Rider who rode a motorcycle. Johnny Blaze was a clean-cut, blond young cyclist who became the unwilling host of a spirit named Zarathos. When Zarathos was in ascendancy, the hapless Johnny turned into a demon biker with a blazing skull instead of a head. When in this mode, much like the Hulk, he didn't take any crap from anybody. More successful than any prior Ghost Rider, he survived for eighty-one issues until the spring of 1983.

Script: Gary Friedrich
Pencils: Jim Mooney
Inks: Vince Colletta

  • in Original Ghost Rider, The (Marvel, 1992 series) #12 (June 1993).
  • in ESSENTIAL GHOST RIDER (Marvel, 2005 series) Vol. 1 (September 2005).

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