"The desire to gain retribution is one of the strongest of human passions, actually capable of transcending the grave itself! As it did when Henri Marleau heard a murdered man play his ... Death Song!"
"Dr. Hormone, world's greatest scientist, goes to Washington to defend his country against imminent invasion by Nazia. With him are his his granddaughter, Jane, and his bodyguard - the Five Fleamen."
Just two samples of some of the timeless prose that we have to serve you today in the WFMU Comic Supplement! We will kick off with two short pre-comics-code horror tales from the early 1950s, and then hop in the WABAC machine to visit early 1941 and some very peculiar characters from the title Popular Comics.
Feast your eyes on some choice four-color madness, right after the jump!
Those mad fiddler types sure were common back then - we already have an assortment of 'em here in the Comic Supplement, and I expect there'll be a few more before we're done!
Now we'll move forward a bit to August 1953, still in the glorious pre-comics-code era, where comics could get as icky and hateful as they wanted to. This book was put out by Harvey Comics and the cover is (possibly) drawn by Warren Kremer, with lettering by Joe Rosen. We'll be looking at a little ditty called "Jazz!", as pictured by Lee Elias, with lettering again by Rosen. The editors are obviously following the successful EC Publications model in their book design and illustration. We'll be standing by with interlocking hands of firm support.
I've included a nice Uncle Bernie ad, above, from the back cover, since we did a whole post about him a while back, here.
Now we'll go back to January 1941, and the 59th issue of Popular Comics, from Dell. I originally examined this one to use the story with the character The Voice: the Invisible Detective, since it partly takes place in a radio studio, but I later got sucked into the mad adventures of Doctor Hormone! Yes, that's right, Doctor Hormone AND his five Flea Men. Even though the story contains no elements in line with what we usually showcase here in the Comic Supplement, it is such an insane and bizarre piece that we'll have a look at the Doctor's story in this issue, and his last adventure (in which his storyline is abruptly terminated) in issue #60 of Popular.
Cover art by E. C. Stoner, with the Voice story drawn by Jim Chambers, and Doctor Hormone's art by Ralph Carlson.
This story is odd from the start, and only gets weirder...
Wowsers! What a yarn! Well, after reading THAT thing I had to acquire the next issue to see what happens with Doctor Hormone and flea pals, even though sort of off-topic for this blog, this is still just too strange not to look at a bit more. As it happened, the next chapter of the good Doctor was his swan song. Somehow I'm not too surprised that HE didn't catch on with readers!
The contest page above ran on the inside back cover of this issue (#59), and I like how Ramon Butts (!) gives his number two favorite slot to Doctor Hormone, so somebody liked him!
Now we'll close out today with the Hormone story and some other bits from Popular Comics #60, with cover art by Maurice Kashuba, the Hormone tale illustrated again by Ralph Carlson, and a tiny half-page 'Heroes' spot by Roy Humphries.
"And the whole world rocks."
BELOW: Those with a casual knowledge of the German tongue may notice that the writer of this piece slipped in a rather naughty word! It sure caught my eye - I couldn't believe they did it; plenty of comic book readers in those days would have caught it. Amazing.
And the comic book train keeps a-rolling along here at the WFMU Comic Supplement. Thank you for your support and encouragement, and I expect to see you here again in two weeks for another dose of educational and entertaining comics!
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