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  • Doc Savage

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    • Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
      Well, that is certainly interesting. Intriguing. But I still slap my forehead when the name "Moon Maid" is mentioned.

      Oh, how I hoped that Gould would come back to Earth.!!
      Was it the "space coupe" or what?? Tears still come to my eyes when I write about Gould going "off the tracks."
      I loved those Tracy villains...but I thought the journey to the moon and every thing related "too goofy".
      I loved Dick Tracy up untell then.
      I didn't even become aware of Dick Tracy until the old UPA cartoon The Dick Tracy Show (Joe Jitsu, Gogo Gomez, Officer Heap O'Callery, and "OK, Chief, I'll get on it right away.")
      The space coupe/Moon Maid era was my first exposure to the strip, as this was appearing around the same time. Having never read the old 1930s/40s Tracy, I never placed him in the category of "realistic" comic strip heroes, more in the category of characters like Popeye or Alley Oop, because the strip (to me, anyway) was drawn in a more 'cartoony' style than an 'illustrative' style. Plus I never had much interest in any 'hard-boiled' crime stories as a kid, but I was a science fiction fan from the time I began watching television.

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      • Gould's Dick Tracy!!

        Originally posted by pulphero View Post
        I didn't even become aware of Dick Tracy until the old UPA cartoon The Dick Tracy Show (Joe Jitsu, Gogo Gomez, Officer Heap O'Callery, and "OK, Chief, I'll get on it right away.")
        The space coupe/Moon Maid era was my first exposure to the strip, as this was appearing around the same time. Having never read the old 1930s/40s Tracy, I never placed him in the category of "realistic" comic strip heroes, more in the category of characters like Popeye or Alley Oop, because the strip (to me, anyway) was drawn in a more 'cartoony' style than an 'illustrative' style. Plus I never had much interest in any 'hard-boiled' crime stories as a kid, but I was a science fiction fan from the time I began watching television.

        I thought Dick Tracy one of the greatest strips ever. But I found him a bit earlier than you.
        I couldn't wait to get home from school to see how Dick was doing....in the mid-'50's .
        Gould's style was pretty great, to me....and he was the first comic strip character I ever tried to draw.
        It was finding a Dick Tracy comicbook on the comic spinner rack that lead me to Jack Kirby and comics in general. For that, I'll be forever indebted.

        I cut his daily adventures from the paper, pasted the strip to notebook paper, and turned them into comicbooks.

        I could only cringe at the TV show.

        I, later, moved to Illinois and still regret that I didn't drive down and try to meet Gould.

        Everybody's experience informs them.
        All of us are informed kind of differently because of our own different experience....and what appeals to us and what doesn't.

        (Rip Kirby may have had better art but Tracy had something special about it.)
        Last edited by magnoanddavey; 08-30-2013, 09:41 PM.

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        • Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
          It was finding a Dick Tracy comicbook on the comic spinner rack that lead me to Jack Kirby and comics in general. For that, I'll be forever indebted.
          Speaking of Kirby and Tracy, it occurred to me the other day that both Gould and Kirby had a sort of cartoonish playfulness when it came to naming characters. I know Kirby had said that the various kooky names like Scott Free, Granny Goodness and Virman Vundabar were inspired by Charles Dickens' Artful Dodger et. al., but it occurs to me that there isn't a huge leap between Gould's names like B.O. Plenty, Sam Catchem, and Odds Zonn, so I wonder if Kirby took a little inspiration there from Gould, if not artistically. Al Capp used similar 'colorful' wordplay names for his Li'l Abner characters.

          Then there are so many parallels between Batman and Dick Tracy, particularly beginning in the 1940s, with the development of both characters' rogues gallery of villains. It's almost as if the two characters were in competition to see who could come up with the more bizarre criminals. And particularly under Kane ghost Dick Sprang, Batman's art style began to resemble Gould's more closely. His hatchet-jawed profile of Batman could almost have been Dick Tracy wearing a cowl instead of a fedora. And, as I mentioned above, the sci-fi period of both strips seemed to run in parallel (although by this time Sprang had mostly been replaced by Shelly Moldoff). But regardless of the fact that both strips' sci-fi periods are regarded in retrospect as aberrant mis-steps in the direction of the characters, I retain a fondness for them, because they had a not-too serious, anything-goes experimentalism about them. In the case of Batman, that period contained stories of a future Batman (Brayne Taylor) that surely served as partial inspiration for the more modern take on the concept, Batman Beyond. I wouldn't mind seeing something like a Dick Tracy 'Beyond', either.

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          Last edited by pulphero; 08-31-2013, 04:10 AM.

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          • Wonderful observation!!

            Originally posted by pulphero View Post
            Speaking of Kirby and Tracy, it occurred to me the other day that both Gould and Kirby had a sort of cartoonish playfulness when it came to naming characters. I know Kirby had said that the various kooky names like Scott Free, Granny Goodness and Virman Vundabar were inspired by Charles Dickens' Artful Dodger et. al., but it occurs to me that there isn't a huge leap between Gould's names like B.O. Plenty, Sam Catchem, and Odds Zonn, so I wonder if Kirby took a little inspiration there from Gould, if not artistically. Al Capp used similar 'colorful' wordplay names for his Li'l Abner characters.

            Then there are so many parallels between Batman and Dick Tracy, particularly beginning in the 1940s, with the development of both characters' rogues gallery of villains. It's almost as if the two characters were in competition to see who could come up with the more bizarre criminals. And particularly under Kane ghost Dick Sprang, Batman's art style began to resemble Gould's more closely. His hatchet-jawed profile of Batman could almost have been Dick Tracy wearing a cowl instead of a fedora. And, as I mentioned above, the sci-fi period of both strips seemed to run in parallel (although by this time Sprang had mostly been replaced by Shelly Moldoff). But regardless of the fact that both strips' sci-fi periods are regarded in retrospect as aberrant mis-steps in the direction of the characters, I retain a fondness for them, because they had a not-too serious, anything-goes experimentalism about them. In the case of Batman, that period contained stories of a future Batman (Brayne Taylor) that surely served as partial inspiration for the more modern take on the concept, Batman Beyond. I wouldn't mind seeing something like a Dick Tracy 'Beyond', either.

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            Wonderful observation of Tracy and Batman. I enjoyed just reading your assessment.
            I loved both Sprang and Gould...and I think you could be right about finding villains.
            Wasn't there a "Haf-and Haf" in Tracy...
            and, of course, Two-Face in Batman??

            Both had such a wonderful rogues' Gallery.

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            • I didn't remember Haf-and-Haf, probably because he came pretty late in Gould's cycle of bizarre villains, debuting in 1966, which would seem to make him an obvious 'double' for Two-Face. A quick internet search turned up this page, which discusses the similarities between Haf-and-Haf and Two-Face, including comments from Max Allan Collins. Adding to the parallel between the two villains is the fact that they both at one point reformed after having plastic surgery. I'm sure you'll find this interesting.

              Although Two-Face debuted in 1942 (24 years before Haf-and-Haf), his origin was likely inspired by 2 (appropriately enough) sources.
              1. Check out the below image from the poster for MGM's 1941 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Spencer Tracy version (Hmmm... 'Tracy'... )
              2. The pulp hero The Black Bat was a District Attorney who was blinded when a criminal threw acid in his face in a courtroom. Writer Bill Finger, always a big pulp fan, admitted to having stolen the bat-shaped scallops on Batman's gauntlets from the Black Bat. Harvey Dent (originally, Harvey KENT) was a District Attorney whose face was scarred by a criminal who threw acid in his face in a courtroom.

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              Last edited by pulphero; 09-01-2013, 02:05 AM.

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              • Yes, verrrrry interesting.

                Kool. Yeah, I remember them both. (And Spencer Tracy's riff.)

                Fun...and interesting. Thanks...so much.

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                • Commando Cody?

                  G'day,

                  Anyone remember Commando Cody ? The the old film serial about the fellow with the flying suit? There were several movies around that flying suit and he ended up flying a rocket to the Moon. Its not really pulp but I think would fit in with what Dynamite is doing. I think the retro Sci Fi art and would have lots of appeal ,

                  ta

                  Ralph

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                  • Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
                    Anyone remember Commando Cody ? The the old film serial about the fellow with the flying suit? There were several movies around that flying suit and he ended up flying a rocket to the Moon. Its not really pulp but I think would fit in with what Dynamite is doing. I think the retro Sci Fi art and would have lots of appeal
                    Well, it would have a lot of appeal to me, but "retro" in general (with but a few notable exceptions) seems like a tough sell in today's comic book market. It even seems like Dynamite hasn't had huge success selling relatively well-known characters like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

                    Still, the idea is a really neat one. I don't think the Republic Pictures characters (at least the ones from the late 40s and later) are public domain, based on the fact that most of these serials remain unreleased by even the low-budget labels on DVD, which would seem like a no-brainer if there were no licensing fees.

                    Republic Pictures is a treasure trove of original comic- and pulp-inspired characters, however. In addition to the men who wore the rocket pack (Jeff King, Commando Cody, and Larry Martin - a story explaining the connections between these three characters would be a natural), Republic had its own contingent of heroes (Crash Corrigan, the Copperhead, the Masked Marvel, Tiger Woman) and villains (Dr. Satan, the Lightning, the Purple Monster, the Crimson Ghost). Love to see someone take a flyer and try a MASKS-type series involving a bunch of these characters.

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                    • I use d to have Tiger Woman, Masked Marvel & Copperhead. They were great. I think the Copperhead serial was originally written as a Batman serial but when they didn't get the rights they changed the name. I can see doing Tiger Woman as a golden age version of Cho's Jungle Girl. Copperhead & Masked Marvel may be a little to similar to each other and to Spider etc. but as a group it might work.
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                      Last edited by Ghornet2; 09-02-2013, 09:43 PM.
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                      • Originally posted by Ghornet2 View Post
                        I used to have Tiger Woman, Masked Marvel & Copperhead. They were great. I think the Copperhead serial was originally written as a Batman serial but when they didn't get the rights they changed the name.
                        It was Superman, actually. It would have worked out as something like a low-budget live action version of Paramount's Superman cartoon "The Mechanical Monsters", with the Republic robot substituting for the mechanical monsters. The deal fell through, they reworked the script as Mysterious Doctor Satan, and immediately pursued the rights to Fawcett's Captain Marvel. I have all of those you mentioned on the legitimately-released VHS tapes, but I'm going to have to break down and find decent-quality bootleg DVDs of them, since it's now apparent these are never going to get any kind of legit DVD release.

                        I love the first Columbia Batman serial (with Dr. Daka) on DVD; it's so gloriously and unapologetic-ally jingoistic. It really should have been a Captain America and Bucky serial. Since when has Batman ever been an agent of the U.S. Government?
                        Last edited by pulphero; 09-02-2013, 10:40 PM.

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                        • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                          Well, it would have a lot of appeal to me, but "retro" in general (with but a few notable exceptions) seems like a tough sell in today's comic book market. It even seems like Dynamite hasn't had huge success selling relatively well-known characters like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

                          Still, the idea is a really neat one. I don't think the Republic Pictures characters (at least the ones from the late 40s and later) are public domain, based on the fact that most of these serials remain unreleased by even the low-budget labels on DVD, which would seem like a no-brainer if there were no licensing fees.
                          Well, the Rocketeer was largely influenced on the Rocketman serials and that comic did reasonably well. There was even a movie. The retro stuff I like is the old Atomic Age technology and art work. Think of the science fiction magazine covers of the time. These were men who could build atomic rockets and navigate the solar system with slide rulers and sextants. No computers and internets for Rocketman! I think you would have a successful book if you had the 1950's Rocketman transported into the modern era. Team him up with a modern liberated female astronaut. Work on the contrasts, which I understand is what is happening in The Shadow Now series.

                          Anyway, I always did like that flying suit.

                          ta

                          Ralph

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                          • Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
                            Well, the Rocketeer was largely influenced on the Rocketman serials and that comic did reasonably well. There was even a movie. The retro stuff I like is the old Atomic Age technology and art work. Think of the science fiction magazine covers of the time. These were men who could build atomic rockets and navigate the solar system with slide rulers and sextants. No computers and internets for Rocketman! I think you would have a successful book if you had the 1950's Rocketman transported into the modern era. Team him up with a modern liberated female astronaut. Work on the contrasts, which I understand is what is happening in The Shadow Now series.

                            Anyway, I always did like that flying suit.

                            ta

                            Ralph
                            I know what you mean, Ralph. I absolutely love the Golden Age pulp sci-fi stuff, cliffhanger serials, old time radio shows like X Minus One, etc. Movies like The Rocketeer and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow are what I live for. Unfortunately, neither of those films did particularly well in box-office terms. They did a neat bit of contrast-y stuff in the few 'Captain Proton' episodes of Star Trek Voyager, a kind of loving homage to sci-fi serials in general, and Republic's in particular. Too bad we can't all have holodecks, and have to depend on comic books made by people who love the same stuff we do. But you and I are also at the mercy of the whims of our fellow consumers.

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                            • The Harvey Heroes

                              Back in the 1960s, Harvey Comics published a short-lived line of superhero comics. There were characters like Spyman, Jigsaw, the Pirana, Bee-Man, Jack Frost, the Golden Gladiator, and Magicmaster. If anyone could take them and give them a contemporary makeover, its Dynamite Entertainment. I'd like to see them obtain the licenses to those characters.

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                              • Originally posted by DamonO View Post
                                Back in the 1960s, Harvey Comics published a short-lived line of superhero comics. There were characters like Spyman, Jigsaw, the Pirana, Bee-Man, Jack Frost, the Golden Gladiator, and Magicmaster. If anyone could take them and give them a contemporary makeover, its Dynamite Entertainment. I'd like to see them obtain the licenses to those characters.
                                A few of those characters were designed by a young pre-Marvel Jim Steranko, so get him involved doing covers and character re-designs. And as long as DE will need to deal with the estate of Joe Simon to license these characters that he owns (I believe, since Joe Simon edited the line and was considered co-creator of those characters [except the ones created by Wally Wood]), they should get the rights to a couple of other characters the Simon estate owns from Joe's short stint at Archie Comics in the 1960s - The Fly and The Shield. Maybe they should get Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross back together with penciller Jack Herbert to do a Simon: Genesis limited series... (sort of half-kidding about that last one) Or let Steranko design it and Herbert pencil it.

                                Or don't get any big name creators involved and just turn out something that looks like that awful Atlas Comics revival of a year or two ago. This one could go either way.

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