The Ominous Octopus

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blonde Phantom

The Blonde Phantom was one of a number of blonde glamour girls who fought crime in the forties, at least in the comic books. Ordinarily she wears a sort of evening gown, but in this particular story she dons a sort of a female version of  Lee Falk's Phantom's costume.

This story is from BLONDE PHANTOM #21 and has art by Al Gabriele and Harry Sahle. The editorial consultant credit is the same one that Marvel had in their other comics in this period. It was meant to reassure readers that their comics are acceptable family fare in the wake of period criticism from people like Dr. Wertham.

Reblogged from http://pappysgoldenage.blogspot.com/














Broom Hilda

Broomhilda rides again, on her broom I suppose.









Saturday, June 29, 2013

Editorial Cartoon

It's time for another cartoon. I wish I could say it was all just for laughs. Only thing is that there really is a problem.




Friday, June 28, 2013

Toby Wing In Dick Tracy

Thirties blonde Toby Wing inspired a character in thirties Dick Tracy comics.

                                                                     Toby Wing

Toby Townley

Toby Townley first appeared in DICK TRACY in the Sunday strip for May 26th, 1935, as a cashier working for Mary Steele, who was the recently introduced mother of "Junior". Toby's boyfriend is a bank teller who "borrows" money from the bank to bet on horses without bothering to make the proper arrangements. When he gets in trouble, he shoots the bookie who'd taken his bets and is killed by the other gangsters in revenge, who then frame Toby for shooting a cop. She gets sent to prison*, but is finally freed because Dick Tracy learns the truth by giving the killer a lie detector test**. But right before she can be released there is a riot in the prison and she is blinded by tear gas.

Junior trains his dog to be a "seeing-eye dog" for Toby and for some time she is led about the strip

by the dog. Eventually she recovers her eyesight and no longer needs the dog. Toby Townley continued as a character for several years, even after Toby Wing had retired from the movies in 1938. But eventually Toby Townley was retired from the strip and Chester Gould went on to something else.

In 1982, the character was revived after a long absence by writer Max Allan Collins, who ignored the marriage the character originally had in the story to have her marry Dick Tracy's friend Pat Patton.




 The marriage of Toby Townlee and Pat Patton can be seen as related to developments in the original DICK TRACY, where the two characters were shown as going around together, leading Tracy to comment, "You know- you two look terribly suspicious to me, terribly suspicious." ( March 4, 1936 )

Toby Wing in real life was alleged to have been involved with Pat DiCicco's cousin Cubby Broccoli, who was alleged in turn to have underworld connections. But at least she didn't have to go to prison like the comic strip version.

* Writing in THE COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD'S DICK TRACY: 1935-1936, Max Allan Collins remarked that the prison sequence "recalls Barbara Stanwyck's 1932 Pre-Code feature, LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT."

**Max Allan Collins notes that this may have been the first use of a lie detector in fiction. William Moulton Marston, better known as the creator of Wonder Woman, was involved in the early development of the lie detector.

Dick Tracy Comicooky Baking Set ( Includes Toby Townley as a character ):

William Moulton Marston:

Toby Wing:




Toby Wing in Dick Tracy:



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Superman Meets Martler

"Black Magic On Mars" has Superman and Orson Welles battling a would-be Hitler on the planet Mars while the people of Earth think the whole thing is a sham like Orson Welles' previous "War Of The Worlds" broadcast. The story supposedly takes place during the filming of BLACK MAGIC, a real-life movie Orson Welles was in at the time. Art is by Wayne Boring, along with a great deal of the other Superman comics of that period, and similarly uncredited.














Wednesday, June 26, 2013


A little from lots of different versions of the famous story by H.G. Wells.

                                                                     H. G. Wells

H.G. Wells published THE WAR OF THE WORLDS in 1898. In this story, the Martians are strange squidlike creatures who invade the Earth by firing themselves across space in gigantic projectiles, where they attack mankind with gigantic tripod vehicles equipped with ray guns and poison gas.  
 The Martians have landed.

 Martian war machine attacks.

The Earthmen seem powerless to fight against the Martian's advanced scientific weapons and the Martians overrun large areas, but just when all seems lost, the Martians are defeated by the smallest of creatures, disease germs.
The original English book was followed by an American sequel, EDISON'S CONQUEST OF MARS, written by Garrett P. Serviss. This story had a group of Earthlings under the leadership of Thomas Edison traveling to Mars to fight the Martians.
Fighting the Martians at first in space, they later land on Mars, where they encounter fierce resistance and discover a group of Earth people who the Martians have taken as slaves.  In the end the Earthmen conquer Mars by blowing up the dams that control the water in their canals, which flood the Martian cities. 
            THE WAR OF THE WORLDS reprinted in an early issue of AMAZING STORIES.

In January of 1938, Popeye fought a Martian and thereby saved the world from a Martian invasion in the Sunday funnies. Popeye would fight the Martians again in an animated cartoon eight years later.

One of the most famous versions of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS was the 1938 radio version starring Orson Wells. This version was updated to the then present, and was set in the United States rather than England.

It has frequently been said that many people in the audience were frightened into believing that an actual invasion was taking place, but the reports of panic appear to have been exaggerated for publicity.


1938: American actor, director and producer Orson Welles (1915 - 1985) reads a booklet, which he holds with British author H G Wells (1866 - 1946) following Welles' radio dramatization of Wells' book, 'The War of the Worlds'.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/war-of-the-worlds-large-image#ixzz2XMfrCK9u

Because of the notoriety of the Orson Welles radio broadcast, the second Flash Gordon serial had him traveling to Mars to fight Martians, much the way Wells' original book had been followed by the Garett P. Serviss "Edisonade".

 The serial opens with a deadly ray from Mars inflicting terrifying destruction on the Earth. Flash Gordon blast off to investigate this new menace with his old friends Doctor Zarkoff and Dale Arden.
On Mars, Flash Gordon finds the ray is generated by a "Lamp" on Mars operated by the followers of Queen Azura, actually a character from the comic strip who was originally supposed to be on Mongo.
 Not surprisingly, Flash finds that Ming is at the bottom of it all.

But Ming tricks Azura's followers into attacking her while she's with Flash, resulting in her death.

 The Martians learn of Ming's perfidy and follow him no more.. They side instead with Flash against the terrible tyranny of Ming the Merciless.
 But Ming has barricaded himself in the control room, where he continues to operate the ray against the Earth. When Flash attempts to intervene, Ming orders him at gunpoint into the ray chamber.
 When the tables are turned and Ming is disarmed, Ming's henchman has had enough. He orders Ming into the ray chamber at gunpoint himself. Ming is finished, at least until the next time, and the Earth is saved.

Popeye fought a war of the worlds in the 1946 cartoon ROCKET TO MARS, although the story involved Popeye going to Mars

rather than the Martians coming to Earth ( they wanted to, but Popeye put a stop to it ). Bluto was depicted as the leader of the Martians and prior to blasting off to Earth he disintegrates Popeye in a scene reminiscent of Flash Gordon's becoming invisible in the original comic strip and the first serial.


Popeye is saved by his spinach, just like back on Earth, and beats up Bluto and his Martian followers, saving the Earth from invasion from Mars by converting their weapons of war to carnival rides for the newly peaceful people of Mars.

Also in 1946, Porky Pig had a "War Of The Worlds" related story in the cartoon KITTY KORNERED.
The story begins with Porky having trouble with his cats,
who he decides to put outside.
The cats then stage a Martian invasion hoax to get even.

The cats fool Porky into thinking there really is a Martian invasion going on,

And a lot of violent cartoonic mayhem ensues.
At the end, Porky Pig himself is shut out of the house,
after which he asks, "Does anybody want to buy a house?"

Captain America saved the world from two different versions of  THE WAR OF THE WORLDS in the comic book world of the 1940's.

Orson Welles had a cameo appearance in the first one.

But he didn't believe it all because he was drunk.
Besides which, Captain America beat all the Martians anyway.

A later version ( 1949 ) included Captain America's new sidekick, Golden Girl.
In this version, the Martians are able to invade the world after a scientist attracts Mars towards Earth,
but Captain America is able to outwit the Martians by reversing the device, sending Mars back to it's original position.


And with the machine are smashed the Martians' dreams of conquest.
Superman also fought Martler in 1949. And Orson Welles helped.
The Martian leader aspires to be another Hitler. 
 Orson Welles tries to warn the Earth, but no one will believe him after the last time.
It would have been a disaster if Superman hadn't shown up.
Superman traps the Martian space fleet and saves the Earth from invasion.

Then there's the famous 1953 movie.
This movie is actually based on the radio version and is similar, with the story set in the United States. The aliens land on Earth and attempts to greet them peacefully are met with violence.

 The hero and heroine in this story resemble Clark Kent and Lois Lane. It could be partly because this is back in the same period as the old Superman tv show.

 They encounter one of the Martians in the ruins of a farmhouse in which they had sought shelter.
This was one of the only scenes of a Martian in the movie, although their fighting machines can be seen throughout it.

Coventional weapons are no use against the Martians, so the decision is made to use the atomic bomb against them. But even the atomic bomb is no use against them.

Incidently, the old flying wing shown in this movie is very similar to the modern stealth bomber.

Nothing can stop the invaders, and they continue their attack against the Earth almost without opposition. Nobody knows what to do.

 The daily planet building is destroyed in this story. Or at least, there is a representation of the destruction of the building that was used as the Daily Planet building on the tv show.

Then after everything else has failed, the aliens are defeated by the smallest things on Earth, disease germs.
Although the aliens in this movie are monstrous, publicity photos exsist of pretty girl invaders that do not appear in the finished film.


And here is a behind the scenes picture of the Martian costume that was actually used in the movie.

                                                  Pocket books edition with movie cover.



BLACK MAGIC ON MARS ( Superman and Orson Welles On Mars ):

EDISON'S CONQUEST OF MARS ( W.O.T.W. sequel by Garett P. Servis ):

Read it online:

H.G. Wells:


Read it online:

WAR OF THE WORLDS  ( Radio drama ):

Listen to it online: