COVER STORIES for 07/09/2006
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #61
Welcome to the 61st edition of "Cover Stories," in which I look at a number of comics covers with a common theme!
Last time around, we got all excited, scared, etc. with a quartet of Roller Coaster covers... well, this time around, as promised, it's a quartet of a calmer amusement park attraction... the Hall of Mirrors!
Now, I'm sure that there's one cover that most of you are thinking about right away when you read that would be the topic of this installment... Yeah, the Justice League of America one. But you know what? I'm saving that one for another time (yes, there are a LOT of covers for this theme, so it'll be revisited from time to time).
To start things off, here's More Fun Comics 107!
Now, I'm not that familiar with Dover and Clover. In fact, I don't believe I've ever read anything about them at all! Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, very few comics characters are so obscure that you can't find out something about them... and thanks to Don Markstein's Toonopedia (http://www.toonopedia.com), I was able to learn that, yes, they are identical twins, and that they were detectives, created by Henry Boltinoff. This was Boltinoff's only creation to ever get a cover spot, and debuted in More Fun #94, making their first cover appearance four issues later. Later, they also appeared in All Funny Comics. Their stint in More Fun lasted until the final issue, #127, and six months later, after All Funny was cancelled, they were without a regular spot, with some inventory being burned off in Star Spangled Comics and World's Finest Comics.
Naturally, Boltinoff did the cover of this issue. Inside was the final appearances of superheroes for this title, beginning with Green Arrow in "Million + Murder = Zero" by Joe Samachson and Maurice del Bourgo, then Dover and Clover in "A Menagerie of Misdoers" by Whitney Ellsworth and Boltinoff, Johnny Quick in "Vacation With Double Pay" by Don Cameron and Mort Meskin, the text story "High and Dry" by Whitney Ellsworth, Superboy in "Ordeal on Wheels" by Don Cameron and Joe Shuster, and finally, Aquaman in "Blackie, Come Home" by Samachson and Louis Cazeneuve.
Moving on... here's a different kind of mirror gag, courtesy of "A Date With Judy" #11!
Yep, it's the multiple-image gag (honestly, most of the Hall of Mirrors bits on comics covers are either the distorted image thing or the multiple image thing, so bear with me). Unfortunately, the Grand Comics Database has failed me on this title, so I can't tell you about the comic itself.
But the radio show it was based on? Well, courtesy of Wikipedia: "A Date with Judy was an American radio program during the 1940s. It was a teenage comedy that began as a summer replacement for Bob Hope's show, sponsored by Pepsodent and airing on NBC from June 24 to September 16, 1941, with 14-year-old Ann Gillis in the title role. Dellie Ellis portrayed Judy when the series returned the next summer (June 23-September 15, 1942). Louise Erickson took over the role the following summer (June 30-September 22, 1943) when the series, sponsored by Bristol Myers, replaced The Eddie Cantor Show."
If you want to learn more, feel free to do your own web search... several episodes of the radio show are available to be listened to online, and there was even a movie based on the program!
Speaking of teenagers and radio shows... did you know there was an Archie radio show for a while? Not that it has much to do with this cover, save to provide a segue-way... As you can see, we're back to the distorted image gag, and Betty and Veronica seem pretty happy about Archie's reaction to his reflection, eh?
Thanks to the GCD, I can tell you that Harry Sahle did the artwork for this cover. Inside the book, there was a Jughead pin-up, followed by a preview page, then Archie in "Double Date" written by Ed Goggin with art by Harry Sahle (who also did the Jughead pin-up and preview page). Then, it's Bumbie by Joe Edwards (yeah, I've never heard of Bumbie, either), and then Oscar in "Oscar Pulls a Boner" (yes, you read that right) by Goggin and Sahle (Oscar is another character I've never heard of). Then, it's Veronica and Betty in "Ration Trouble" by Goggin and Janice Valleau, Archie in "Archie's Victory Garden" (a text story) by Curley Cole, "Archie and Grandpa" by Sahle and Valleau, Cubby by Joe Edwards, Li'l Souphead (whom I believe is Jughead's little brother) in "Quiz Kid" by Sahle and Valleau, and finally, Archie in "Time Trouble" by Sahle and Valleau.
OK, time for a superhero cover, else you might think someone else has taken over writing this column... and here's Captain Marvel Adventures 45, with a neat twist on the trick mirror gag!
Yep, this is one way to put Billy Batson and the Big Red Cheese on the cover together, eh? The cover art was by none other than C.C. Beck. Inside, you would've been treated to a Frontispiece by Beck, followed by "The Blood Bank Robberies" with art by Pete Costanza, "Captain Marvel Gets Mothered" by Otto Binder and Beck, a Sergeant Sandy filler, the text feature "Hoya, the Fugitive" by Arthur Lane, and wrapping up the book, Chapter 24 of "The Monster Society of Evil," "The Undersea Monster Brigade" by Binder and Beck... and boy, do I wish DC would do us all a favor and produce a nice thick trade paperback of this complete serial! I've heard so much about that story, and it's a shame that it'll take roughly forever for them to get around to it in the Shazam! Archives!
Next week, it'll be a special, non-amusement park-themed column... and it ties into a special event in my own personal life!
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at http://waffyjon.blogspot.com for other musings and ramblings by me, or email me with comments about this column at !