Monday, February 20, 2017

Number 2013: Spirit of the drawing board

Very often the Spirit made his entrance late in his own weekly comic feature. In this Spirit Section, dated Sunday, July 27, 1941, he doesn’t show up until page 4. The story is about some children and a kidnapping by a mobster...and a newspaper cartoonist who does a crime comic strip.

Unlike Pink Perkins, the writer/artist of “Gumshoe Gus,” Eisner had to have a team to produce his Sunday-only Spirit story. This story feeds into the fantasy that successful comic strips were produced by a single individual. But any crew Pink might have had to assist him would have been superfluous to the plot, and after all, Will Eisner was the only one who signed his name to the Spirit.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pappy's Sunday Supplement #7 — The Face #2

The Face was a masked patriot. He pulled an ugly green mask over his face and went to war against America’s enemies. And anyone else who needed a pounding from a two-fisted radio reporter, Tony Trent, the face behind the Face.

I have complained before that the Face’s mask seems more silly than frightening. I have had it pointed out to me that Batman’s costume is designed for the same thing: to strike terror into the hearts of the bad guys. Well, there is the real world...and then there are comic books...and what works in one sometimes doesn’t work in another. Nuff said. The Face lasted through the war, then tossed the mask and became Tony Trent, where he finished out his run in Big Shot Comics, ending in 1949.

The Face #2 (1943), was mostly written, according to the GCD, by Gardner Fox, and it was drawn by Mart Bailey. Bailey, like his fellow Big Shot artist, Ogden Whitney (Skyman), had a very clean illustrative style with crisp inking. I have shown a couple of stories from The Face #2 in the early days of this blog, but these are much better scans. (P.S. Tony Trent may be a reporter, but he is not carrying a dictionary, or he would know that “skulldrudgery” is not a word (page 61, panel 2), but “skulduggery” is. Again, nuff said.)