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The World’s Most Tortured Pun – Blue Circle Comics #3, September 1944

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I’ve honestly put far more thought into this post than I should have. I’ve batted ideas around for days, weighing them to evaluate how I can present this comic book page to you. I’ve been flashing back on my high school freshman year when I used to put off a hated project until the last minute (plus ten) because I just plain didn’t want to do it. More

The Steel Fist – Blue Circle Comics #1, June 1944

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After I’ve read a Golden Age comic story I’ll occasionally have the nagging feeling that I missed something subtle, yet important, in the story and consequently I’ll go back to read it again. I had to read today’s tale more than twice to figure out why I had that nagging feeling.

Today’s tale comes to us from Enwil Associates, a small and somewhat fly-by-night collection of comic companies which released a handful of comics during the period 1944 through 1946. None of their titles went past the five issue mark by utilizing original content (although a couple of them reached a sixth issue consisting of republished material). There is a fair bit of evidence that Enwil didn’t have “in house” writers and artists but instead purchased their content from studios and other publishers. They did publish a fair amount of pretty interesting stories, though, of which a few have previously graced the virtual pages of this blog: Toreador, Gail Porter, Driftwood Davey, Maureen Marine, and one of my personal Golden Age favorites: The Green Turtle. More

Boy nemesis terrorizes gangdom – Cannonball Comics #1, February 1945

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Golden Age comics could keep a reader very busy for their cost of a dime. In their early years comics typically topped sixty pages and, although the size of comics gradually decreased as the Forties wore on, by the middle of the decade a dime comic still contained more than fifty pages of story. That amount of content takes a fair little bit of time to read; even today it often requires the best part of an hour for me to read a Golden Age comic (unless I’m speed reading/skimming it) and that’s if I skip the obligatory text two-pager.

When I was a kid in the 1960’s, a DC “80 Page Giant” would keep me occupied for a couple of hours. More

Sorry, kids, but your folks have to go

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I’m always hearing people saying these are tough times in which to be a child. Honestly, though, every generation says this same thing; people were saying it when I was a kid decades ago. It’s tough to be a kid, period, no matter what era you live in – I’m not disputing that. But I will propose the notion that the late 1930’s and early 1940’s were a tough time to be a parent, for one simple reason.

In order for a child to become a Golden Age comic hero, it was a requirement that his or her parents first had to die. More

A Depression-era parable – Blue Circle Comics #1, June 1944

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For the past year or so I’ve tried to keep politics and current events out of this blog as much as possible. It seems that nearly any conversation in modern day America has the potential to become highly politicized (and thus highly divisive) at the drop of a hat. I’ve previously blogged about my self-imposed rule to not draw parallels and analogies between the past and the present day when I worked as a historian for the Maryland Park Service, due mainly to the insane ramblings of a (then) popular TV “personality”; I learned early on that any “then and now” historical analogies on my part bore a high potential of igniting a supercharged dogfight between politically opposed museum visitors (one such “debate” between two parties of visitors became so heated that I almost had to call the park police). I’ve since come to consider that TV commentator a personal “life enemy” because of how difficult my job became due in large measure to his historical half-truths, distortions, and outright fabrications.

However, there are times when I just can’t sidestep the parallels. In today’s post I need to just bite the bullet, draw the analogies, and let the chips fall where they may. More