Tuesday, February 15, 2011

January 1938: More Fun Comics #29

Cover by Vin Sullivan

'Doctor Occult' (by Siegel and Shuster) takes on the ghost of a murderer, who is going around strangling all of the people that witnessed his execution.  It starts very creepily, with a particularly striking depiction of the murderer (called Ed Murphy, believe it or not) being zapped in the electric chair.  But the ending is a fizzler, as Occult just whips out his magic talisman and banishes the ghost when it comes to get him.

There's a staggeringly long 8-page humour strip called 'Blister', in which a small boy tries to help people and gets in all kinds of trouble.  It's far too light-weight for the amount of space devoted to it, but on the other hand those eight pages just zipped right by.  It's a welcome relief from the denser strips and text pages.

It looks as though 'Barry O'Neill' (by Leo O'Mealia) is making the switch over to New Adventure Comics, but he doesn't appear there until issue #31, at least according to http://www.comics.org/.  That's a good 8 issues away, and I have enough trouble keeping up with the strips already.  'Barry O'Neill' is yet another fairly standard modern day adventure strip, which is made slightly more memorable by its villain, Fang Gow.  Admittedly, Fang Gow is a very thinly veiled Fu Manchu analogue, with all of the yellow peril connotations that brings with it.  But he's got some villainous flair, and he's been around since the strip started waaay back in New Fun #1 (or at least since I started reading it with issue #2).  The story here ends with Barry having rescued his lady-friend Jean LeGrand, but with a paralysed Fang Gow about to force a captive doctor to fix his spine.

'Pep Morgan' (by Creig Flessel) is moving as well, with its next appearance being in the upcoming Action Comics #1.  This is a sports strip, in which Pep is super-awesome and all-American and just spends all of his time beating other people at stuff.

'Woozy Watts' (by Russell Cole) makes its last appearance.  This is Cole's only serial, in which millionaire Woozy is trapped on a desert island.  And when we leave him, he's still there, as his lawyers debate what to do about his disappearance.  This is chapter 19, and there has been almost no plot progression at all.  Still, it had Cole's very enjoyable art.  He's probably the best humour artist in these comics right now.  And I kind of like that it ended with lawyers arguing, and no conclusion in sight.

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