Golden-Age Greats

    (Paragon, 1994-1998)
™ Americomics, ©1994 AC Comics

(From The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide)

These are eighty-to a hundred-page volumes of material from the Golden Age of comics (1939–1955), culled from a wide variety of smaller, less well-known publishers of the time. That’s not to say that these comics don’t have their share of good stories and art, though. Otto Binder and Gardner Fox, for example, produced hundreds of stories for Fawcett Comics and Magazine Enterprises respectively. There were plenty of good artists around, too, whether freelancers or members of one of the “shops” such as the Jerry Iger/Will Eisner or the Harry “A” Chesler studios. Bill Black, as editor, has been on a crusade for over twenty years to represent and preserve the best work from the period, and although in black and white, this is an excellent project that will provide something for anyone interested in the history of the medium.

There is some attempt to present the different styles in a complementary manner. Each issue has a theme and comes with historical articles and checklists. Issue #1 features the Green Lama (two stories by Mac Raboy), Catman (Bob Fujitani), Rocketman and Miss Victory. Issue #2 is dedicated solely to Matt Baker’s work on Phantom Lady while #3 contains work by the Iger/Eisner studio—The Flame (Lou Fine), Espionage: Black X (Eisner), and The Black Terror and Fighting Yank (both by Jerry Robinson and Mort Meskin). The Fawcett Heroes are featured in #4—Spy Smasher (Alex Blum), Minuteman (Phil Bard), Mr. Scarlet (Jack Binder), Bulletman (Fujitani), plus Ibis the Invincible by Mac Raboy. Issue #5 is a Crimebuster vs. Ironjaw story from Boy Comics 60–62, written by Charles Biro and drawn by William Overgard, Fred Kida, and Norman Maurer. Issues #6 and #8 are both fighting-females issues with examples of The Black Cat, Yankee Girl, Miss Masque, Phantom Lady, Blonde Phantom, Mysta of the Moon, Lorna, Jungle Queen, Miss Victory (different stories illustrated by Charles M Quinlan, Nina Albright and L.B. Cole), Rulah, Senorita Rio (Nick Cardy) and Lady Luck (Klaus Nordling). The splicing issue, #7, although called “Best of the West,” only features Western strips from Magazine Enterprises, including Trail Colt and Dan Brand and Tipi by Frank Frazetta; Durango Kid; Tim Holt; The Lemonade Kid (Bob Powell); Straight Arrow (Fred Meagher) and the Calico Kid; The (original) Ghost Rider and The Presto Kid, all by Dick Ayers.

Issue #9 offers a selection of Fiction House fighting females (Sheena, Mysta by Ruben Moreira, more Senorita Rio, Firehair and Camilla, both by Bob Lubbers; Tyger Girl, Sky Gal and Glory Forbes, all by Matt Baker; Kaanga by Maurice Whitman; and Futura by Walter Palais). Issue #10 collects stories that feature heroes fighting their arch-foes. There are several reappearances (Cat-Man, Crimebuster, and Ibis), but also new faces, including Captain Flash (lovely work by Mike Sekowsky), The Avenger (Bob Powell), Frankenstein (Dick Briefer), Don Winslow of the Navy (Carl Pfeiffer and John Jordan), Daredevil (Jack Cole) and, uh, Supermouse.
All in all, a rewarding series that will have to do in the absence of any systematic reprinting of these characters. ~NF

Recommended: #3, 8, 10

Jump to issue:
  NotesWriterArtist

#0

  1/1/1971
  $2.00
  $2.00
No copies available
 Bill Black, Tom FaganBill Black, Don Newton, Martin L. Greim, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Gil Kane, Arvell M. Jones, Mike Royer, Dan Adkins, Syd Shores

#0 (2nd printing)

 
  $2.00
  $2.00
No copies available
2nd Printing; ca. 1978Bill Black, Tom FaganBill Black, Don Newton, Martin L. Greim, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Gil Kane, Arvell M. Jones, Mike Royer, Dan Adkins, Syd Shores

Book #1

  12/1/1994
  $9.95
  $10.00
No copies available
Reprints Catman Comics #11, 29; Reprints Green Lama #2, 4; Reprints Punch Comics #10; Versus Doctor Macabre; Versus the Whip; Versus Falstaff; Winter 1994Bill Black, Richard FosterL.B. Cole, Mac Raboy, Bob Fujitani, Art Pinajian, Nina Albright

Book #2

 
  $9.95
  $10.00
No copies available
Reprints Golden Age stories; Phantom Lady; ca. 1994Matt BakerMatt Baker

Book #3

 
  $9.95
  $20.00
1 copy available for $19.99
Reprints Golden Age stories with The Flame, Black X, Black Terror, and the Fighting Yank; Reprints from Wonderworld #5 (Sep 1939) and #7 (Nov 1939), America’s Best Comics #24 (Dec 1947), Smash Comics #9 (Apr 1940), Black Terror #23 (Jun 1948), and Fighting Yank #25 (Jul 1948); Will Eisner writing as Basil Berold; Lou Fine drawing as Basil Berold; Lou Fine inking as Basil Berold; B&W; ca. 1995Bill Black, Basil Berold, Will EisnerJerry Robinson, Mort Meskin, Lou Fine, Will Eisner

Book #4

 
  $9.95
  $10.00
No copies available
Reprints Golden Age stories from Spy Smasher #10 (Jan 1943), Captain Midnight #10 (Jul 1943) and #22 (Jul 1944), Whiz Comics #45 (Aug 1943), Wow Comics #7 (Oct 1942), Master Comics #41 (Aug 1943) and #98 (Dec 1948); B&W; ca. 1995Bill BlackAlex A. Blum, Bob Fujitani, Phil Bard, Mac Raboy, Bill Ward, Emil Gershwin, Jack Binder

Book #5

 
  $11.95
  $10.00
No copies available
Reprints Golden Age stories; B&WCharles Biro, R.C. HarveyWilliam Overgard, Fred Kida, Norman Maurer

Book #6

 
  $9.95
  $10.00
No copies available
Reprints; Reprints from The Fighting Yank #22 (Nov 1947), Phantom Lady #19 (Aug 1948), America’s Best Comics #25 (Feb 1948), Blond Phantom Comics #12 (Winter 1946) and #14 (Summer 1947), Marvel Mystery Comics #84 (Oct 1947), Danger #16 (1964), Dynamic Comics #23 (Nov 1947), Lorna the Jungle Girl #26 (Aug 1957), and Planet Comics #48 (May 1947); B&W; ca. 1995Gregory Page, Ross Gallun, Bill BlackMatt Baker, Ralph Mayo, Fran Hopper, Joe Kubert, Syd Shores, Lee Elias, Alex Schomburg, Al Gabriele, Joe Doolin

Book #7

 
  $9.95
  $10.00
No copies available
Best of the WestBill BlackBob Powell, Charles M. Quinlan, Creig Flessel, Dick Ayers, Frank Bolle, Frank Frazetta, Fred Guardineer

Book #8

 
  $9.95
  $10.00
No copies available
Reprints; Reprints from Jumbo Comics #96 (Feb 1947), Captain Aero Comics vol. 2 #4 (Jan 1943), vol. 3 #11 (Jan 1944) and vol. 4 #2 (Aug 1944), Phantom Lady #15 (Dec 1947), Zoot Comics #13 (Apr 1948), Fight Comics #21 (Oct 1942), Exciting Comics #52 (Nov 1946), Black Cat #10 (Mar 1948), and The Spirit newspaper strip (8 Aug 1942); Fighting Females Strike Back!; B&W; ca. 1996Alberta Tews, Ruth Roche, Bill Black, Gregory Page, Alec Hope, Morgan HawkinsMatt Baker, Nina Albright, L.B. Cole, Charles M. Quinlan, Lee Elias, Nick Cardy, Mark Heike, Klaus Nordling, Joe Doolin, Ruben Moreira, Arthur Peddy

Book #9

 
  $9.95
  $9.50
No copies available
Reprints; Reprints from Sheena Queen of the Jungle #3 (Spring 1943), Planet Comics #44 (Sep 1946) and #51 (Nov 1947), Rangers Comics #38 (Dec 1947) and #42 (Aug 1948), Fight Comics #42 (Feb 1946) and #54 (Feb 1948), Jungle Comics #98 (Feb 1948) and #156 (Dec 1952), and Jumbo Comics #101 (Jul 1947); B&W; ca. 1996John Starr, Victor Ibsen, John Douglas, Bob HickokMatt Baker, Bob Lubbers, Robert Hayward Webb, Maurice Whitman, Ruben Moreira, Walter Palais, Mort Leav, Ann Brewster

Book #10

 
  $9.95
  $42.00
1 copy available for $14.99
Reprints Golden Age stories; Reprints from Cat-Man Comics #32 (Aug 1946); Captain Flash #1 (Nov 1954), The Avenger #4 (Aug-Sep 1955), Boy Comics #79 (Jul 1952), Whiz Comics #108 (Apr 1949), Prize Comics #13 (Aug 1941), Don Winslow of the Navy #51 (Nov 1947), Super Mouse Giant Summer #2 (Summer 1958), and Silver Streak Comics #10 (May 1941); B&W; ca. 1996Charles Biro, Dick BrieferMax Elkan, Mike Sekowsky, Robert Powell, Hi Mankin, Dick Briefer, Carl Pfeufer, Jack Cole, Bob Wood, Charles M. Quinlan

Book #11

 
  $11.95
  $10.50
1 copy available for $10.50
Western reprints; B&W; ca. 1997Bill BlackJohn Buscema, Russ Manning, Alex Toth, Doug Wildey, Dick Giordano, Steve Ditko, Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta

Book #12

 
  $9.95
  $9.00
No copies available
Reprints; B&W; ca. 1998 Matt Baker, George Evans, Reed Crandall, Wally Wood, Al Williamson, Jack Kirby, Bernie Krigstein, Steve Ditko

Book #13

 
  $9.95
  $10.00
No copies available
Reprints; Reorints from Exciting Comics 66 Fighting Yank 26 Golden Lad 2 Black Terror 25 Captain Flash 1 Daredevil Comics 47; B&W; ca. 1998 Jerry Robinson, Mort Meskin

Book #14

 
  $11.95
  $12.00
No copies available
Reprints; B&W; ca. 1999 Matt Baker, Edmond Good, Frank Frazetta, Ralph Mayo, Robert Hayward Webb, Maurice Whitman