Friday, August 31, 2012


A sci-fi heroine hidden in the back of an issue of Joe Palooka...
...with a rather unique graphic characteristic!
See if you can spot it!
Figure it out?
You probably did since my readers among the most intelligent (and best-looking) people on the 'Net.
But, for the record: The panels are composed so that they form the page numbers!
Kool, eh?
Regrettably, there's no sequel to this never-reprinted in color tale from Harvey's Joe Palooka Comics #15 (1947), written and drawn by noted good-girl (among many things) illustrator Bob Powell.
Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrrl power!

Friday, August 24, 2012

KITTY KELLY "Money-Mad Devils"

Here's a heroine who had only five three different publishers...
...she also had three different careers and two secret identities!
Kitty debuted in  Chesler's Punch Comics #1 (1941) as an airline stewardess drawn into international intrigue.
After two appearances there, she next turned up for three issues of Four Star's Captain Flight Comics as a spy code-named Yankee Girl who used being an airline stewardess as a cover!
Note: Chesler had introduced another character as a costumed Yankee Girl after Kitty's last appearance in Punch Comics.
Her final new appearance, from Chesler's Red Seal Comics #17 (1946), is presented here.
It's the only time she's in costume rather than civilian garb.
Curiously, she doesn't wear a mask and her insignia is "KK", as if she's advertising the fact she's Kitty Kelly!
Despite that, the criminals still think her costumed and civilian selves are two different people!
Story is probably by Ruth Roche, and is most likely illustrated by Gus Ricca according to several sources.
BTW, like Lady Satan I, she had one story reworked three times for different publishers.
We'll be presenting those stories in a multi-day post in the near future.
Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrrl power!

Friday, August 17, 2012

TIFFANY SINN "Espionage: Muscle Beach Style"

In the 1940s, it was Senorita Rio!
In the 1950s, it was UnderCover Girl!
Here's their 1960s counterpart in her final appearance from Charlton's Secret Agent #10 (1967)!
Written by Dave Kaler, who also wrote the Steve Ditko-illustrated Captain Atom series, and illustrated by Jim Aparo, who would become the primary Batman artist of the 1970s and 1980s, this was the last of only three stories about private eye-turned-secret agent Tiffany Sinn.
Interestingly, her first two appearances were in Career Girl Romances!
(Well, being a detective is a career...)
Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrrl power!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tell a Tale Three Times: Part 3 "Ghost of Castle Karloff"

This is becoming a just a tad repetitive...
...but it's the last version of this story, we promise!
You can find the first one HERE and the second one HERE!
This version is from St John's Strange Terrors #1 (1952), and it's the only time any iteration of this tale made the cover...
Most comic book publishers used outside studios who "packaged" their books, providing complete writing and art services.
One of the the biggest one was Harry Chester Studios, which started out as a "packager" for MLJ/Archie and Centaur providing complete editorial and art services, before setting up their own comic publishing operation, Chester/Dynamic!
When Chester/Dynamic folded at the end of the 1940s, the studio returned to supplying stories and art to others, particularly St John Publishing.
Chester was an extremely budget-conscious (some might say [ahem] cheap) guy who didn't hesitate to recycle existing material with minor modifications for different clients.
Most people think the Lady Satan story was only modified once!
In fact, the Grand Comics DataBase notes the re-use of this tale as "Phantom", but not as "Ghost"!

In another example, competitor Iger Studios reworked existing art for a 1940s Spitfire Saunders story involving Nazis from Elliot's Bomber Comics, which was re-edited into a 1950s Phantom Lady tale with the heroine battling Commies!

Support Small Business!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tell a Tale Three Times: Part 2 "Phantom of Marcos' Villa"

Last time, we presented a tale starring Lady Satan...
Now, here's that tale again (sort of), starring "Marietta" instead of Lady Satan, and featuring some rewritten plot elements and dialogue.
Published in St John's Authentic Police Cases #5 (1948), this version reworks the story with only minor changes to the art, including removing Lady Satan's mask to make her the maskless "Mairetta".
Curiously, Authentic Police Cases had already reprinted other Lady Satan tales, without making any alterations!
Tomorrow, yet another version of this tale, with another heroine, now named "Celeste" who is now the daughter of the dead man.
Plus, an explanation of why this re-use of the story occurred!
Support Small Business!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tell a Tale Three Times: LADY SATAN "Wild Night at Wild Acres"

This tale was published three times in less than ten years...
...each time with a different heroine and supporting characters!
Here's the first version of this story...
Lady Satan was a magic-powered sleuth who initially battled the Nazis who killed her fiance, and, after the war, fought supernatural threats.
Her strip appeared in several Chesler/Dynamic Publishing comics, usually as filler whenever a page count came up short.
This tale from Red Seal Comics #18 (1946), illustrated by Ralph Mayo, was near the end of her career.
However, the story itself would see publication again...but without Lady Satan!
How is that possible?
Be here tomorrow for the answer!
Support Small Business!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

JET DREAM "D-Day for the Generalissimo" Conclusion

The Stunt-Girl CounterSpies are sent to an unnamed Central American country to keep the democracy-loving Generalissimo Romero Sanchez alive as he returns from America and regains control of his country from the Commies as the land's democratically-elected president.
However CIPHER, the international organization of evil, wants the present government to remain in power and will do anything to prevent the president-elect from returning.
While attempting to secretly fly the politician home, the team's aircraft are ambushed.
Jet Dream and the Stunt-Girls repel the attack, but it's obvious someone in the Generalissimo's entourage is a traitor who tipped CIPHER off!
Jet suspects Sanchez's right-hand man Felipe, when she notices his glasses don't have prescription lenses, but he acts blind-as-a-bat without them!
Writer Dick Wood and illustrator Joe Certa finally had 30+ pages to play with in this never-reprinted one-shot comic, and took advantage of the extra length to expand action sequences (which were usually abbreviated in the 4-page stories), and give play to individual members of the team.
BTW, to see the complete Jet Dream series, click HERE!

We were going to bring you the one-shot Silver Age Tiger Girl.
Instead, we're going to present a story that was told three times...with three different women as the heroine!
It'll all make sense tomorrow!
(BTW, you'll still see Tiger Girl in a few weeks.)