Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Bob Oksner's Soozi

Here's a sweet little find I came across while browsing the net. It's a newspaper strip from 1967 by the wonderful Bob Oskner, drawing what he was patently born to draw: The misadventures of a dizzy blonde who seems to be dating Jerry Lewis' twin brother.
I found some b/w pieces too, but let's start with the colour segments.
Somebody put this stuff in a book now.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

The ' Lost ' Tales Of The Zombie

Here's a treat for fans of Marvel's Bronze Age shambling zombie, Simon Garth.
In the 9th issue of TOTZ, you would be mistaken for thinking the adventures of our putrefying pal were over. Garth had been granted one day back on earth, and then returned to the peace of the grave, never to rise again. Or to put it another way: Unleashed from hell for 24 hours!!!

But no, there was at least one more story to be told, scripted by Gerry Conway, and with art by Rico Rival, ' The Partial Resurrection Of Simon Garth ' was due to appear in the very next issue.
But when issue 10 rolled around, no Zombie was to be seen, only an admittedly very good Brother Voodoo piece courtesy of Doug Moench & Tony DeZuniga. It turns out that Rival's artwork somehow got lost somewhere in between Honolulu & Guam, leading to all kinds of rush repairs being done to fill a whole issue without it's title character.
The ' next issue ' blurb for TOTZ # 11 promises faithfully that the strip will appear:

But neither it, nor the next issue, ever did.
BUT some of those pages have finally appeared on the net! Here, after 30 odd years, finally, is the first 15 pages of this legendarily lost strip: Enjoy, and if anyone has any more pages, you know what to do.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The Poster Plague

Here's the strip that led directly to the creation of one of my all-time favourite Bronze Age books, DC's humour / horror hybrid Plop!
Steve Skeates had tried to sell The Poster Plague to Warren with no success, while over at DC Sergio Aragones was trying to convince Joe Orlando to put more humour strips in House Of Mystery. 
Joe liked Steve's script, and so Sergio finally got a chance to show what he could do, and the piece slipped in, unannounced, into HOM #202.
Readers went nuts ( or Mad or Crazy if you prefer ) and The Poster Plague won the Shazam! award for best short story of 1972.
No fools they, Orlando and Carmine Infantino started thinking about a whole book of this sort of thing, as explained by Sergio in an interview with Dewey Hassell in Back Issue:
' Joe Orlando and I were sitting in a restaurant talking with Carmine Infantino. They wanted a magazine that was different, something about black humour.
Carmine came up with the name. We were talking about it and he said, 'What will we call it?'
And I said, 'We can call it anything, because if the magazine is good, it will stay.'
And he said, 'No, we can't call it, for instance ... PLOP!' ( possibly recalling the sound effect of 'KLOP!' from 'The Poster Plague' )
And I said 'Yes, we can.'
So here's how Klop! got it's start.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Steve Ditko's 5 Page Shockers

Like everybody, I'm reading a lot of Ditko right now. So let's read four of Steve & Stan's all-time classics, from the 5 page shockers period.
I hope our American pals will forgive us, but I'm going for most of these in an Alan Class / British Marvel b/w style, as that's where we mostly read them.
Every one of these stories is ingrained on my brain, and scared the living heck out of me as a kid. And I'm not the only one.
So much so, that if you concentrate, you'll be able to hear every single British fan of a certain age gasping out loud: "It's THAT one!!!"