Thursday, January 19, 2017

KING KONG VS. TARZAN

Look at that amazing Joe DeVito cover! Is there any doubt why this new Will Murray novel is one of the books I wish I could reading right now? Soon, my precious, soon.

King Kong Vs. Tarzan [Altus Press; $24.95] is part of two ongoing series: “The Wild Adventures of King Kong” and “The Wild Adventures of Tarzan.” From the back cover:

BEAST-GOD VERSUS APE-MAN

The year was 1933. Filmmaker Carl Denham had captured the stupendous monster he had dubbed "King" Kong. But that was only the beginning. Denham was determined to get the dethroned ruler of Skull Mountain Island back to America, and cash in on the greatest wild animal capture in human history.

The saga of how Kong was taken in chains from his Indian Ocean kingdom to New York City has never been told. In order for the cargo freighter Wanderer to make the long transit to the Atlantic, she is forced to circumnavigate Africa—jungle home of the legendary Tarzan of the Apes!

Here is the long-anticipated clash between the Monarch of Skull Island and Lord of the Jungle. When the largest anthropoid who ever lived encounters the savage superman raised by the great apes, will they make peace—or war?


ISBN 9781618272812

I’m a huge fan of Murray’s fiction and non-fiction. He’s one of the best popular culture historians out there and one heck of a great guy to boot. Keep watching the bloggy thing, adventure-lovers! I’ll have more Murray books to tell you along the way.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DOC SAVAGE: EMPIRE OF DOOM

In the category of books I wish I could be reading right now:

Doc Savage: Empire of Doom by Will Murray and Lester Dent writing as Kenneth Robeson [Altus Press; $24.95]. This latest in “The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage” teams up two of the pulp era’s greatest heroes. From the back cover:

It began with the hijacking of a destroyer from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The stolen warship struck midtown Manhattan with its mighty guns, then vanished far out to sea.

Who were the strange raiders wearing the golden uniforms of no known power who pulled off the daring highjacking? And who was their mysterious leader, a being of seemingly supernatural abilities?

Doc Savage did not know. But The Shadow did! Combining forces, the Man of Bronze and the Dark Avenger follow the trail of a superfoe from The Shadow’s past.

But can they learn to trust one another? From fog-shrouded New York to a futuristic underground kingdom in the heart of Asia, the battle sprawls—with the world’s fate at stake!


ISBN 9781618272850

Keep watching the bloggy thing, adventure-lovers! I’ll have another Will Murray book to tell you about soon.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

RAWHIDE KID WEDNESDAY 98

The Rawhide Kid is my favorite western comics character and one of my favorite comics characters period.  Something about the short of stature (but big on courage and fighting skills) Johnny Clay spoke to the short of stature (but big on comics-reading skills) teenage Tony Isabella.  After rereading the Kid’s earliest adventures when Marvel Comics reprinted them in a pair of Marvel Masterworks and an Essential Rawhide Kid volume, I wanted to reacquire every Rawhide Kid comic, reread them and write about them in this bloggy thing of mine. This is the 98th installment in that series.

The Rawhide Kid #112 [June 1973] has a cover by Larry Lieber with inks by Herb Trimpe. Inside, the all-new “Frontier Fury” (14 pages) is written and penciled by Lieber with George Roussos inking, June Braverman lettering and Corey Adams coloring. The editor of record is Roy Thomas.

Before we get to the nuts and bolts of the story, let me answer a question from a regular reader of this blog. She asked if I’ve read these Rawhide Kid stories since their original publications. Nope. When I reread a tale like this one. I’m doing so for the first time in 44 years. Now, as I reread them, I may recall things I liked or didn’t like about them. However, for the most part, I’m rereading and rediscovering them anew.

SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD


The story opens Cole Jessup, “a gunhawk on the run,” ducking into a saloon to avoid the Fargo Boys. He killed one of their own when the man called him out, but he’s not fast enough to outshoot four gunslicks. But, once in the saloon, he recognizes the Rawhide Kid enjoying a bowl of stew.

Jessup joins the Rawhide at his table. The two hit it off. Which is when the Fargo Boys show up.

Cole points out he’s with the Rawhide Kid, making the Fargos think the two men are partners. The Kid has no choice but to back Jessup when the shooting starts. This does not go well for the Fargo Boys. The wounded owlhoots limp away from the saloon.

Fiery rancher Nora Evans storms into the saloon and slaps the face of Cragstone, another rancher. The man wants her land. She accuses him rustling her cattle and killing off her ranch-hands. He laughs and tells her to prove it.

Getting to slap Cragstone was a bonus. Nora came to the saloon to hire men who aren’t afraid of Cragstone or his guns. Only two men sign on: Cole Jessup and the Rawhide Kid. Both are smitten with the pretty young rancher.

Cragstone isn’t worried;

Two young firebrands and a shapely wench are a mighty interestin’ combination! Could be we won’t have to do anything but wait until the fur flies! 

Back at the ranch, the Kid and Cole are enjoying their new jobs and “havin’ a boss lady whose easy on the eyes.” Their romantic rivalry is friendly enough, but Cragstone still thinks they will fall out, leaving the ranch to be easy pickings for him and his goons.

Sure enough, when Cole gets too fresh with Nora, Rawhide steps in and a fistfight ensues. The Kid wins that, but then Cole challenges him to a gunfight. The Kid doesn’t have a choice, but, rather than hurt or kill Jessup, he shoots the gun out of the man’s hand. The angry Cole leaves, telling Rawhide that he can fight Cragstone all by himself.

Unfortunately for Jessup, the Fargo Boys spot him and ambush him. Leaving him for dead, they ride off to sign up with Cragstone. The old man is paying plenty for gun hands.

Cragstone is delighted Jessup is out of the picture. He tells the Fargo Boys they can write their own ticket if they can kill Rawhide as well.

Cragstone’s men cut one of Nora’s fences and make off with cattle. The Kid sends Nora back to the ranch and trails the rustlers. Right into an ambush. He’s outnumbered and pinned down behind some rocks.

Returning to her ranch, Nora sees the fallen Cole. He’s not dead. She hugs him. She does care about him.

Cole deduces Rawhide is heading into a trap. He rides to the rescue and arrives in time to take out a killer who was preparing to shoot the Kid in the back. Between the two of them, Cole and the Kid make short work of the bad guys. Cragstone pulls a hidden gun on his foes. It’s the last bad move he’ll ever make.

I love the last two panels of this story. Cole and Nora kiss. The Kid decides to push on.

COLE: Wal, honey...Cragstone and his boys are out of business! Our troubles are over!

RAWHIDE: From here it looks like your troubles are just beginnin’ ma’am! In any case, I wish you two lots of luck! With your tempers, you’ll need it! What you won’t need, is havin’ me around! So I’ll just push on!

NORA: Adios, kid!

Cole and Nora were fun supporting characters and I wish we had seen them again. Alas, there would only be three more new Rawhide Kid stories in the title’s run.

SPOILERS OVER
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This is one of those stories that deserves to be reprinted...and it was. With a new cover by Gil Kane, it was reprinted in issue #144 [March 1978].

This issue has one of those marketing things that annoyed the heck out of me as a reader and as a Marvel staffer. Across the bottoms of the story pages were these one-line plugs. Like:

Mighty as the Hulk! That’s the macabre Man-Thing...in every fright-filled issue of Fear!

I might have written some of these. I definitely wrote some of the even more absurd topper lines for the British weeklies that Marvel was producing around the same time, the result of our frequently clueless UK partners thinking we should make our weeklies look like every other British weekly. I should write a bloggy thing on this sort of disconnect between the Marvel offices and the folks across the ocean.

Marvel was still running pages of classified ads at this time and there were always ads from comics dealers. In this issue: Steve Keisman (Flushing NY), Comic Sales Company (Brooklyn NY); Passaic Book Center (Passaic NJ); Grand Book Inc (Brooklyn NY); David T. Alexander (Hollywood, CA); Howard Rogofsky (Flushing NY); J. Hunt (Kenmore NY); Robert Bell (Hauppauge NY); and Ken Mieno (Northfield IL). There was also an ad for GB Love’s ComiCollector fan magazine.

There were also lots of non-comics ads. The one that caught my eye this time around was: 
Wear the Badge of the Future in Conservation. Get FREE FACTS about exciting outdoor careers. You could send away for a “free conservation career kit”.
                                                                               

Also in this issue is “ A Man and His Gun!” (5 pages) by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers. It’s from Kid Colt Outlaw #95 [December 1960]. It’s one of the best of the non-series stories with amazing Kirby/Ayers art and top-notch writing from Lee.

SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD


Three masked riders threaten Ben at gunpoint. They ask “Where are yore irons?”

Ben doesn’t carry guns. The lead rider doesn’t believe him because  “everybody totes a gun in these parts!”

The men unmask. It’s the Collins brothers, Ben’s neighbors, come to play a prank on him. They didn’t believe Ben doesn’t believe in gun play. They wanted to see if he had a hidden gun and knew how to use it. Ben reiterates that he doesn’t believe in gun-fighting.

Red, one of the brothers, expresses his belief that Ben is “yella!”

Ben turns his back and goes inside his cabin.

RED: Well I’ll be switched! We sure got ourselves a chicken-livered neighbor, boys! He won’t fight for nothin’ nohow!

Inside, we meet Ben’s father, a man of the cloth. He realizes that the boys have been riding his son. Ben’s father opines “it’s mighty difficult being the son of a minster at times.”

BEN: Don’t say that, Dad! I’m proud to be your son! And some day I aim to be just like you!

The Collins brothers see smoke coming from their ranch and ride to the scene. Ben and his dad also see the smoke and ride after them.

The main barn is burning like tinder. Impulsive Red grabs a bucket of water and rushes into danger, thinking the barn can be saved. A wall crumbles and Red is trapped inside.

While the other Collins watch helplessly, Ben says they can’t just stand and do nothing. He rushes into the burning barn. Ben’s father and the Collins brothers fear the worst...until Ben comes running out of the fire with Red.

In the final panels, the Collins boys apologize to Ben. They know he has more courage than the three of them put together. He thanks them, but says he has to go. Asked where, he responds:

I’m off to Boyneville to study for the ministry...just like my dad! I’m gonna spread the word thruout the West that the day of the gun has ended! At long last the West has come of age

Sadly, in 2017, we know that the day of the gun is still with us.

SPOILERS OVER
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I love Kirby-drawn westerns, especially when they are accompanied by great writing and inking. I’d love to see Marvel collect some of the best of these stories. Combined with historical annotations of the people and events featured in them.

Next up is a full-page house ad for Dracula Lives! It’s “more than a comic book...a giant-size 76-page magazine masterpiece filled with story strips, features and a treasury of photos!”

The “Marvel Bullpen Bulletins” page has no “Stan’s Soapbox” because Marvel has so many “goodies” to be tossed at readers in the coming weeks. There are pitches for Dracula Lives and Monsters Unleashed. There are teasers for Tales of the Zombie and Vampire Tales.

The bulletins page plugs the current issue of Spider-Man, “one of the greatest, most important issues ever...spotlighting perhaps the most momentous turning point yet in the career of our wondrous wall-crawler!” Yeah, it’s the issue when Gwen Stacy was killed by the Green Goblin and a failure of creative imagination.

The half-page bulletins section ends with an item on The Haunt of Horror, the prose-fiction digest edited by Gerry Conway. Even with stories by Fritz Lieber, Harlan Ellison and R.A. Lafferty, HOH will only last two issues.

The rest of the page is an ad for FOOM (Friends of Old Marvel), the new Jim Steranko-produced fan club. For $2.50, a member would get a poster, a membership card, stick-ons, a full year’s subscription to the FOOM magazine and a special surprise envelope. Two or three issues later, Steranko would leave and I would end up as the next (but far from the last) editor of FOOM Magazine.

The “Riding the Trail with Rawhide” letters column also got cut to half-a-page of really tiny type. Denny Tolmund of Kansas City asks how old the Kid is. He was confused by the difference in how some artists draw him. The answer:

It’s been several years since the fateful gunfight that caused Johnny Clay to be falsely branded an outlaw. At the time of the gunfight, Johnny was approximately nineteen years old. We’d guess his “present” age is about twenty-three.

David Miller of Brooklyn, New York liked that Rawhide Kid #107 had a full-issue adventure, but wasn’t thrilled it was a reprint. He wants all-new, full-length adventures.

David M. Kalis of Clayton, Missouri didn’t like Rawhide Kid #107. He couldn’t buy the “human gorilla” angle.

The bottom half of the page was an ad for Monsters Unleashed, which instructed readers to...

Be on the look-out for:

*Awesome authors like Robert (Psycho) Bloch and Robert E. (Conan) Howard!

*Art and script by the Bullpen’s best!

*Fabulous features on far-out fright films!

*Plus: a treasury of terror-laden photos!


It was an exciting time to be a Marvel Comics reader and also to be a fan working in the Marvel Bullpen.

I'm taking a few days off, but I'll be back soon with more stuff!

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TONY'S TIPS #192




This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...My reviews of Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria and Iraq by Sarah Glidden; Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan, the first book in Shigeru Mizuki’s four-book series on his nation's history through 1989; and The Amazing "True" Story of a Teenage Single Mom by Katherine Arnoldi!

CITIZEN TONY WANTS TO PAY YOU FIVE DOLLARS

I’ll keep this brief.

In a few days, one of the worst people in the world will become the President of the United States. The country I love will be plunged into darkness. We will be in for some very bad years in which the bullies and thugs of the right and "alt-right" will hurt a great many people and enrich those who are already obscenely wealthy. Don’t bother trying to convince things will be okay. They won’t be okay. Maybe someday they will be okay again, but that will take a great deal of work from those of us who prefer the light.

I realized a few days ago that I will never be able to call this horrible man my president, our president or even the President. My throat would burn if I try to speak the name of the office together with his name. My finger bones would crack and break if I try to write the name of the office together with his name.

My dilemma is that, with the great responsibility that comes with being Citizen Tony, and with my commitment to commenting on important issues in our country, I might have to mention this stinking orange dung-heap in the course of my writings. Since I won’t speak or write the name of the office together with his name, I needed to find an alternative name for him. My Facebook friend L. Zane Pinnock came to my rescue without even knowing he was doing that.

Pinnock, in a comment he posted to a threat on my Facebook page, referred to this rancid peel of a human being as...

PeePee Cheeto.

I responded that name must be a Secret Service’s codename for this soon-to-be-blight on the highest office in our land. It will also be how I refer to the blight in my “Citizen Tony” columns from now until our country comes back into the light.

Here’s where you cartoonists reading this can make a little money and, when I say “little,” I ain’t lying.

I don’t want to run any more photos of this guy in my blog. What I want are cruel drawings of him. I don’t want violent or obscene or threatening or otherwise inappropriate drawings. I want you to use your art to mock and demean this clearly illegitimate president-elect poised to become the clearly illegitimate president.

E-mail them to me.

Whenever, wherever and every time I use one of your drawings in my blog or anywhere else, I will pay you five dollars. Which, by the way, is exactly five dollars more than I get paid for writing this blog or posting all the stuff I post on Facebook.

E-mail your drawings to me. Your cover e-mail should include your permission for me to use your drawings.

That’s the deal. You draw. I post them. You get paid.

Once again, my thanks to Pinnock for service above and beyond his duty to this bloggy thing.

I’m Citizen Tony and I approve this message.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Monday, January 16, 2017

BACK ISSUE #94

“Indie Superheroes!” is the theme of Back Issue #94 [January 2017; $8.95]. The Neal Adams cover of Ms. Mystic kicks off an examination of such fan favorites as the Justice Machine, Captain Paragon, the 1980s versions of the Mighty Crusaders and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Steven Grant’s Whisper, the super-heroes from Adams’ own Continuity Studios and much more. Among the creators interviewed for the issue were Adams, Grant, Bill Black, Norm Breyfogle, Rich Buckler, Mike Gustovich, Bill Reinhold, Jerry Ordway and even some writer by the name of Isabella. The 84-page magazine is filled with history and inside information, side by side with never-before-seen and rarely-seen artwork. It’s the Bronze Age and Beyond!

Keep watching this bloggy thing for more alerts to new TwoMorrows publication.

OLD COMICS: LASSIE #56

Welcome to “Old Comics” where I write about random comic books from my legendary Vast Accumulation of Stuff. For the most part, I’ll be talking about issues that predate my entry into the professional comics industry in late 1972. However, if I come across comics from the 1970s through the 1990s that I find interesting enough to write about, I’ll write about them.

Today’s old comic is Lassie #56 [Dell; January-March 1962]. It’s a standard ten-cent comic book of the period, 36 pages in length (if you count the covers and I do) with almost all of those pages going to editorial material. The indicia does not list an editor.

The photo cover shows Lassie and Timmy [Jon Provost] with the lad holding binoculars with which he is spying on the sexy cheerleader camp below. Just kidding. Come on, this was the 1960s and this was a press photo from a beloved and suitable for all ages TV series.

Lassie was created by Eric Knight in a short story that he expanded to the novel Lassie Come Home. The novel was filmed by MGM in 1943, which led to six additional movies. The TV series made its debut in 1954 and ran for 19 years.

Young Tony Isabella was not an avid Lassie viewer, though others in my family were. Since we only had one TV set, I’d watch whatever was on or go to my room to read. I didn’t seek out Lassie, but it didn’t drive me from the living room. The writing was good enough to keep my interest, the dog was cool, June Lockhart was lovely and Jon Provost’s Timmy seemed like a pretty nice kid.

I met Jon and his wife Laurie Jacobson at Roger Price’s Mid-Ohio-Con and the three of us hit it off famously. I love them madly and wish I saw them on a regular basis. As kind of a lark, I began to collect Lassie comics with Jon on their covers. In typical Isabella fashion, I have no idea how many of these issues I have or how many I still need. Someday I’ll be organized enough to complete my run of the title...and have Jon sign at least some of them.

The prolific Gaylord DeBois wrote the two Lassie comics stories in this issue. This confirmed by his own meticulously-kept records. He also wrote just about everything else in the issue. The two Lassie stories were drawn by Bob Fujitani and lettered by Ben Oda.

The plots of these stories aren’t complicated and they are squeaky-clean. That doesn’t mean they are dull. DeBois didn’t stint on the suspense and tension in writing these tales.

Since these stories have not been reprinted in the United States, I’m going to give you fairly detailed accounts of them. Which means I have to let you know there are...

SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD


“Enemy Country” (13 pages) is the first of the two Lassie stories. From the issue’s cover: Lassie and Timmy brave a bear’s slashing paws to rescue an unfriendly neighbor.

The longer version. Timmy is fishing when he meets Williston Tice, a clearly well-to-do youngster who has never gone fishing. Timmy lets him use his fishing pole and “Bill” catches a fish. Their fun is interrupted by Bill’s snobbish mom:

Williston! Williston Tice! Get away from that dog! You know you are allergic to animal fur!

Mrs. Tice calls Lassie a “wretched dog” and tells Timmy that he is trespassing. She bought all the land on that side of the river and will not allow strangers to engage in fishing, hunting or trespassing. She brandishes some sort of long thin walking stick at Timmy and Lassie.

Thinking Mrs. Tice means harm to Timmy, Lassie growls at her. She threatens to have Lassie shot if she ever sees the dog on her land again. Nice lady.

Timmy’s parents tell him that Mrs. Tice is within her rights when it comes to keeping people off her property. Timmy feels sorry for her son, who he thinks is a pretty good sport.

Later that week, Mrs. Tice takes her son fishing. To be accurate, she takes him to watch her fish. From across the river, Timmy and Lassie watch them. Timmy spots a bear behind them.

Mrs. Tice tells Bill to run for the house and tries to fend off the bear with her fishing pole. The bear gets tangled in the fish line. Lassie crosses the river to help them.

Timmy yells that the bear wants their fish and tells Mrs. Tice to drop her basket. But the bear keeps coming.

Mrs. Tice trips on a tree root. Timmy yells for the mother and son to play dead, which stops the bear long enough for Lassie to get to them. Timmy is on his way as well.

Lassie barks at and bites the bear. The collie trees the bear. Timmy and Bill help the injured Mrs. Tice to their home.

Mrs. Tice has mellowed considerably, but still doesn’t understand how things work around those there parts. She wants to give Timmy a cash reward. Timmy declines:

Neighbors don’t take money for helping one another...not in our part of the country! Don’t you see? Lassie or any one of us would take a risk to help someone in trouble without expecting any special thanks!

Mrs. Tice asks Timmy and Lassie to return tomorrow. If Bill doesn’t get an allergy from playing with Lassie, she will let her son have a dog. Lassie barks in approval.

SPOILERS OVER
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See what I mean about DuBois? This story has a human conflict and real danger. It resolves both in an exciting manner while offering a solid moral code to its young readers and allowing an unpleasant character to find redemption. I love this story.

Next up is “Blaze Makes a Goal” (4 pages). Written by Debois with art by Till Goodan, it’s a slight story about a college student and his horse. Ted plays polo, so, from the get-go, I have absolutely no affinity for him. He and his horse are recruited to search for a bank robber. It’s a yawner.

Dell (and Gold Key) included ongoing features like Blaze in order to qualify for second-class mailing privileges. Apparently, comic books need to have some feature unrelated to the title feature to  get this coveted designation. Sometimes we lucked out and got gems like Brothers of the Spear (in Tarzan). Other times we got Blaze.

The centerspread of this issue, coming smack dab in the middle of the Blaze story, was a house ad for the Dell Trading Post. One of the dumbest promotions ever.

Readers had to cut off the top strip of their Dell Comic covers and send them in - with some cash - to get “outstanding premium values” from the trading post. A regulation football would set you back $2 and five cover strips. For an “initialed slave bracelet” - I am not making this up - you sent three cover strips and fifty cents. Just thinking about it horrifies me!

Did comics fans really go for this promotion? Were countless comic books destroyed in the process? I’d really love to hear more about this. If you have information, please send it my way.

Before we reached the second Lassie story of the issue, we got “Not So Dumb” (1 page). Judging from the uncredited illustration on this uncredited prose tale, a dog digs up some roses with a hoe-wielding man and his friends some distance away. I didn’t read it. I never read these prose stories. I bought comic books for comics stories. If I wanted to read prose, I went to the library. Which I did with such regularity that librarians finally stopped questioning me when I checked out a half-dozen or more books at the time.

“The Prairie Wolf” (11.5 pages) is the second and final Lassie tale in this issue and it’s terrific.

SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD


When a college pal of Mr. Martin’s stops by for a visit, Timmy and Lassie take his son Randy on a hike. Randy admires Lassie’s skills at flushing out birds. On their Arizona ranch, his dad raises game birds and trains dogs for hunting them.

Lassie is alarmed when snowflakes start to fall. Before long, the boys are caught in a heavy snowfall. Knowing they can’t make it to his home, Timmy has Lassie lead them to “Old Lige Bailey’s cabin.” As they arrive, they see a coyote enter the cabin through a hole in the bottom logs. They also see that there’s no smoke coming from the stovepipe.

They enter to find the old man deliriously sick in bed. The coyote is by his bedside with her three young pups. There’s a dead but still warm bird on the bed. The coyote was trying to help the old man, who, apparently, raised her like a pet dog.

The boys start a fire and get the old man some water. Timmy writes a note calling for help, which Lassie will carry back to his folks. Meanwhile, the collie has made friends with the coyote.

Lassie takes off to deliver the note. The boys make some hot soup for the ailing Bailey. The old man knows he must go to a hospital, but is concerned that Spunky - the coyote - will think she didn’t take good care of him.

Bailey is also concerned that Spunky will be shot when she is out hunting for food for her pups. Not all the landowners around there are fans of coyotes.

The next day, the boys see Spunky being chased by hounds. They try to hide her in a barrel, but the hounds keep coming until Lassie and Mr. Martin chases them away. They secure Spunky and put her in a grain room. They will also bring her puppies there.

Lige Bailey has a long recovery before him. The question is: what to do with the coyotes until the old man can return home?

Randy’s dad has an idea. He thinks he can train the coyote pups to act as hunting dogs. He’ll take Spunky and her young to his ranch in Arizona...and bring Spunky back in the spring. It’s a solution that works for Old Man Bailey.

SPOILERS OVER
SPOILERS OVER
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This Lassie story has considerable menace for the boys and for the title character. There’s a subtle message about supposedly natural enemies making friends. It has a satisfying ending. Comics writers can learn from this and other DuBois comics.

What else is in this issue? The inside front cover has the black-and-white “Breeds of Dogs: Boxer” by DuBois and Fujitani. The five-panel comics page offers facts about boxers:

The boxer was named for his habit of using his forepaws to begin a fight...must as a human boxer uses his hands.

The inside back cover is “Breeds of Dogs: The Newfoundland,” also by DuBois and Fujitani.

The last page of “The Prairie Wolf” is only half-a-page. The rest of the page is an advertisement for “Tubble,” described as “the new fun bubble soap.” Its spokescreature is Tubby the Whale.

The back cover is a full-page advertisement for the Schwinn 5-Speed Corvette, “the most thrilling new bike you’ve ever seen!” The bike has a suggested price of $79.95. It also has a coupon you can clip and mail to get a free bike catalog. How many innocent comic books had to die for stuff like this?

I hope you enjoyed this look at a fun comic book from the distant reaches of time. I’ll have more of these flashbacks in the future. Come back tomorrow for something different.
 
© 2017 Tony Isabella