Saturday, July 31, 2010

Spectro the Mind Reader in "The Peril of the Professor" (Nedor;1944)

"Nedor-A-Weekend" continues with the next selected story from Wonder Comics #1 (May 1944), with art by Al Camy.

Robert Morgan was the descendant of a 17th century sorcerer who was burned at the stake after being accused of performing black magic. Morgan was a telepath with the ability to read the minds of anyone he could see. Morgan utilized this talent in his career as a stage magician billed as "Spectro the Mind Reader". When a man murders a woman during his act and then kills himself, Spectro is taunted by an audience member who challenges him to solve the crime. Spectro quickly learns that this person is an agent of his nemesis "The Professor", who had been sent to monitor the killer (who had actually been hypnotized to commit the murder).

Come back next Saturday for another adventure starring the Grim Reaper from the same issue. Enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The 2010 Top Comics Blog Awards

There is a new gadget located at the top, left hand side of this page. I am very honored to have received recognition as one of 2010's Top Comics Blogs from Madison Evans and the fine folks at Online Schools.

The award winners for this category were announced on July 26, 2010. Nominations for next year's 2011 award have already begun.

This award highlights the very best blogs to learn about comics on the Internet that were nominated by the Internet community, and is designed to thank the authors for their contribution toward the world wide web we all use & enjoy.

Awards candidates are found by one method: Anonymous nominations that are open to the Internet community.

This allows Online Schools to generate a candidate list that is based upon what the Internet determines as being good, original content. They apparently stay away from a voting system because the only information that typically gives is how well a site's readership can click a button.

After a list of candidates is compiled, they then filter the list to ensure that each site qualifies for the category and then give the list to be scored by a panel of 5 judges. Each judge rates each blog across 20 different attributes, including content, frequency of updates, amount of advertising, length of posts, and readability. This then provides each site with a ‘subjective’ score.

These ratings are combined into an aggregate total for the 5 judges. The amount of nominations are also converted into a score, and this score combined with the aggregate score gives the blog its final rating.

The ratings are then compared for each site within a category and awards are given out to blogs in the 99% percentile (meaning only the top 1% of blogs receive awards).

The Comic Book Catacombs is in very fine company this year, too. Among the other recipients are my fellow blogger's Diversions of the Groovy Kind, Gold Key Comics!, Silver Age Comics, Grantbridge Street and Other Misadventures, The Horrors Of It All, Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine, Apocolyte's World of Comics, Cole's Comics, The Ghost Who Blogs and The Bronze Age of Blogs (all are listed in my links section on the left side of this page).

Congratulations to each of you guys. I would also like to add a special "thank you" to everyone who nominated the Catacombs for this award. I appreciate your support more than you could know!

"Gal" Friday! Eve Myles

Eve Myles is a Welsh actress who is best known for playing lead characters in Belonging and as ex-police officer Gwen Cooper in the Doctor Who spin-off program, Torchwood on BBC Wales.

Eve also appeared in the first episode of Merlin, called "The Dragon's Call" where she played the dual roles of Lady Helen and Mary Collins, a witch who impersonated her, and in Little Dorrit (where she played Maggy).

It was announced in July 2010, that Myles has signed on to appear in a BBC TV Wales remake of The Fabulous Baker Boys, plus she will reprise her signature role of Gwen Cooper on the fourth season of Torchwood for 2011.

Eve Myles brings an extraordinary level of human empathy, warmth and a surprising degree of sexuality to "Gwen Cooper", indeed if you can watch episodes of the series and not fall in love with her character - well - you're made of stronger stuff than me. In fact, Torchwood integrates levels of adult sexuality across all genders and persuasions that might shock the uninitiated, but with excellent story lines that are tailored for more mature audiences, it may also be one of the best sci-fi series ever produced. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Golden Archer in "The Jaws of Death!" (Holyoke;1946)

I had intended to post one of my jungle comics stories today but snafu's do happen, so here is another tale from Cat-Man Comics #32 (Aug.1946); originally published during the golden age by Holyoke. Ken Fitch also wrote this adventure of Ned (aka "The Golden Archer") and the artwork is by Maurice Whitman. Just like Sunday's Molly o'Moore and Scoop Scanlon tale, this story marks the final appearance of the Golden Archer. There is another single page text piece as well!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Rayboy's Review: Time Masters:Vanishing Point #1

I don't have a bad review for DC Comics new Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1, but I can't actually praise it overmuch either and that's too bad.

Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1 (of 6) begins with Rip Hunter and Booster Gold joining forces with Superman and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) so that the four of them can participate in their portion of the developing "Return of Batman" event. Yeah, right!

You see Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund left Booster's monthly series behind a few months ago, and since they've opted to move on to greener pastures, one has to wonder why the scenery looks so familiar. Since the lead characters from an established monthly have also brought along Booster's robot pal, Skeets, it beggars the question: Why the hell was this mini-series necessary in the first place? The answer is very simple to grasp: "cash grab".

The whole point of the Booster Gold monthly was that Booster is the unheralded guardian of the time stream within the DCU, so why take the creative team and the cast away from what was a decently popular monthly series, only to create a mini-series that participates in another titles unfolding major event? No. I don't get it either and neither will you!

I was actually a fan of Booster Gold, and the announcement that Jurgens & Rapmund were bailing out left me cold on continuing with the monthly and admittedly I've picked this book up primarily to fill the void. Nothing against new & current Booster Gold creators, Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, but no thanks. Yuck-yuck!

Look if - like me - you were a fan of Booster's book, then you're probably going to like these issues, plus you get to see Superman, Green Lantern and Batman (and it's not like those top tier heroes are overexposed or anything). Still, why DC decided to spin this adventure off into its own little mini baffles the mind. I doubt that this book will tie in to the "Bat-Return" to a great extent, but it won't really offend any Booster loyalists, so I'm only guardedly recommending it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Molly O'More and Scoop Scanlon in "The Murder Rap" (Holyoke; 1946)

Molly O'More and Scoop Scanlon appear courtesy of Cat-Man Comics #32 (Aug.1946); originally published by Holyoke. Ken Fitch wrote this short filler piece and Nina Albright illustrated this tale; which was the last golden age appearance of these characters.

In keeping with today's detective-theme, a one page text story, "Killer's Swap" is included from the same issue - as a bonus.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tim Dawson, Soldier of Fortune in "The Adventure of Capt. Cragget" (Nedor;1944)

Friends, it has been six months since our blogging buddy, Kid Terror, has posted anything over at his "Nedor-A-Day" blog (in the links section). Long-time followers of the Catacombs know that yours truly is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the golden age company known variously as Better/Standard/Nedor/Pines, so I'm going to devote a little effort to filling that particular void. Starting today and continuing on subsequent Saturdays, expect some fun golden age stories that will allow me to scratch at the door of superhero stuff, although I'm skewing towards some jungle-flavored action today in order to ease into the groove.

My initial "Nedor-A-Weekend" post is from Wonder Comics #1 (May 1944). Sadly while artists Bob Oksner and Al Camy are credited on the other stories from this classic issue, nobody has been identified in the GCD for "The Adventure of Capt. Cragget", starring Jim Dawson, Soldier of Fortune. That doesn't mean that I'm not gonna post it, I'm just saying. The remaining stories from this issue will be forthcoming, but in no particular order.


Friday, July 23, 2010

"Gal" Friday! Jennifer Garner

We're experiencing a bit of an extended heat wave down south and while I'm not minding the steady change of pace that Mother Nature is fielding for those of us below the Mason-Dixon Line, it is currently pretty, damned HOT.

Sadly I'm not attending Comic-Con in San Diego this week, but that hasn't kept me from being busy. I have several reviews pending, I'm cursing as I await a couple of promised interviews and my daughter is due back from London on Sunday AND I am about to embark on an eight day work week, since two of my full-time workers are heading out for vacations.


Let me quickly cut to the chase and correct an old wrong. I simply can't believe that Jennifer Garner hasn't been inducted as one of my "Gal" Friday's until now, but there you go. Sometimes things just roll along all pell-mell and stuff just manages to elude you.

Mrs. Ben Affleck is of course known for her television role as CIA agent Sydney Bristow in the thriller drama series Alias, which aired on ABC from 2001 to 2006. She has also appeared on screen in Pearl Harbor, Daredevil, 13 Going on 30, Juno and The Invention of Lying. Jennifer may have floated a "foul ball" when she reprised her superhero role from Daredevil in 2005's Elektra, but she still looked pretty smoking hot while doing so.

The former Ms. Garner is also a tall Texan, so she gets extra credit for that. I mean - come on - look at that face!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jo-Jo Congo King in "Tahnee's Trail" (Fox;1948)

Although "Stan Ford" had erroneously been as identified as Matt Baker (who had previously been credited with providing the art chores on this tale), a Grand Comics Database update has identified the actual artist as Bob Webb, however the same listing also states that Webb had some help from other Fox Features Syndicate hands; so perhaps Baker helped after all. "Tahnee's Trail" is from Jo-Jo Congo King #22 (Dec.1948).

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purpose


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mastermind M'Ginty! (Holyoke;1946)

It has been a while since I ran a "non-jungle" strip, so enjoy this bonus!

This short subject is from Cat-Man Comics #32 (Aug.1946); originally published by Tem Enterprises/Holyoke and the GCD lists no credits for this humorous strip. The artwork is amusing, slightly different from the norm and I actually like it. Unless someone out there has better information, I'm going to take a stab and say that this is the work of writer/cartoonist Bert Whitman.

Let me know if I'm wrong?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

South Sea Girl in "Echoes of an A-Bomb!" (Leader Ent.;1947)

This comics story is credited to "Thorne Stevenson", but I believe that it's Matt Baker art all the way through, although I'm not sure if Mr. Baker gets the writing credits too (doubt it). Published by Leader Enterprises / Universal Phoenix Features in late 1947, "Echoes of an A-Bomb!" is taken from Seven Seas Comics #7 (the last issue of that series). Alani, the South Sea Girl, was created by Matt Baker; the popular African-American artist whose cheesecake artwork during the golden age of comics is always in high demand.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purpose.