Thursday, February 3, 2011

September 1937: New Adventure Comics #20

Cover by Creig Flessel
'Federal Men' (by Siegel and Shuster) has been completely taken over by the Junior Federal Men Club at this point.  This strip is about a bunch of kids helping to foil a bank robbery, in direct contradiction to the club edict that its members should never attempt to arrest a criminal.  What we're getting here is less a story, and more a piece of advertising, and it's really quite irritating.

'Steve Conrad' (by Creig Flessel) is once again quite fun. His girlfriend Myra has been captured by the Devachan, but the villain and his captive both get caught by the Alligator Men, who actually ride alligators.  Myra is wed to their king, but when Steve shows up to stop the wedding she orders him thrown in jail for some reason. It's a good cliffhanger.

Otherwise there's not much going on, but it's occurred to me that I should explain why I'm covering Detective Comics in more detail than New Adventure Comics and More Fun Comics.  The reason is the sheer volume of stories in the latter two titles.  Detective has maybe eight strips per issue, and they all come in at a decent length.  New Adventure Comics and More Fun Comics have a lot more, and many of them are just two pages per issue.  I'd go mad trying to find something to say about them all.  But I'm going to list all of the ones in this issue of New Adventure (not including those above) as a way of showing you the current status of the book.

'Captain Jim of the Texas Rangers' (by Homer Fleming): An old Texas ranger takes forever to capture rustlers.

'The Golden Dragon' (by Tom Hickey): Two Americans have adventures in Mongolia.

'Goofo the Great' (by Russell Cole): A regular humour strip about a stage magician, and probably my favourite of Cole's various creations.

'A Tale of Two Cities' (by Merna Gamble): Adapts the Charles Dickens novel, and is dreadfully dull as a comic strip.

'Vikings' (by Anthony Blum and possibly Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson): This is about a bunch of Vikings having adventures, and not nearly as fun as it sounds. Even when it's Vikings vs. Druids.

'Cal 'n' Alec' (by Ray Burley): A cowboy humour strip that was funnier when Bill Patrick was on it.

'Dale Daring' (by Will Ely): A strip about a female adventurer.  It's novel, you see, because she's a woman.

'Monastery of the Blue God' (by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson and Munson Paddock): An American soldier and his fiancee hunt for jewels in Mongolia, while other foreign spies try to stop them.

'Laughing at Life' (by Vin Sullivan): A regular collection of one panel gags that are occasionally funny and often inscrutable.

'Don Coyote' (by Ray Burley): A humour strip about a medieval knight that was also funnier when Bill Patrick was on it.

'She' (by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson and Sven Elven): A quite good adaptation of the H. Rider Haggard novel.

'Chikko Chakko' (by Ellis Edwards): A humour strip about a Mexican, full of the usual jokes about Mexicans.  It makes me laugh, but you'd never see anything like it around today, and rightly so.

'Detective Sergeant Carey of the Chinatown Squad' (by Joe Donohoe): A detective has adventures in Chinatown, and uses the word "chink" in every sentence.

'Ol' Oz Bopp' (by Russell Cole): A humour strip about an old man and his various observations.  Can be funny, can be indecipherable.  Much like old people in real life.

'Sandor' (by Homer Fleming): A jungle boy in India fights against the evil Rajah.  Seems like it's been going forever with no forward momentum.

'Captain  Quick' (by Sven Elven): An English sea captain fights against the Spanish.

'Nadir, Master of Magic' (by Will Ely): A magician fights crime in a suit and turban.

'Just for Fun' (by Russell Cole): A regular humour strip with no set cast or premise.  It's just Alger's usual comedy, which is either amusing or baffling.

That's twenty regular features per issue, so you can see why I don't cover them all.

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