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Here, take a hit – of justice! – Exciting Comics #9, May 1941

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America seems always to have had this weird, convoluted, conflicted, love-hate relationship with drugs, which seems to be odder now than ever before; we tell our youth that drugs are “bad”, yet allow multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies to run advertising campaigns around the clock on television for drugs with happy-sounding made up names (which all seem to end with the letter “a”). It’s small wonder that people can become so confused when drugs are concerned. The whole situation seems like a batch of Effluvia to me. More

Paying attention to The Grim Reaper

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If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you already know that I’m a tremendous fan of Golden Age comic books, particularly “mystery men” books published from the late 1930’s into the war years. I often recommend them to my comic fan friends, who frequently dismiss them (without ever reading one) with comments like, “They were for kiddies!”, “The art is terrible”, or “They’re too simplistic.” It’s always suspect to make blanket comments such as those. While some war era comics definitely fall into one or more of those categories, one certainly can’t make those statements about all of them, not by a longshot. I’ve already popped holes in the first two of those balloons in previous posts (using the art of the “Pat Patriot” features and the rich, twisted, and very adult subtexts of Charles Biro’s work on “Daredevil” as examples). Today I’d like to tackle the “simplistic” criticism by citing The Grim Reaper’s second appearance, the cover feature from May 1944’s Wonder Comics #1 (published by Great Comics Publications, usually classified today as part of the Nedor “family” of comics). More

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