Monday, August 31, 2009

Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang, October 1921

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Here's an early issue of Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang, the magazine that launched the Fawcett empire. I was kind of bummed when I scanned it because of the complete lack of toons or illustration, but after reading it, I can safely say this is one of my favorite items I've scanned lately. "An Explosion of Pedigreed Bunk." Smokehouse reading? Maybe so, but this little publication is full of rich language and belly laughs. A very cool look at the slang and attitudes of the day, and Capt. Billy himself is quite entertaining. From this roughshod little publication, Fawcett would go into all sorts of different publishing areas. Fawcett's mags from the 30s are amazingly well done, and, of course, their comics are a great mix of fun and intelligent stories.

A bit bigger than a pocket magazine and a little smaller than a digest, I'm sure this one folded away quite nicely. Thanks to McCoy for another sweet edit.

A few links

The wiki for Fawcett. The page begins with some information on Capt. Billy and his Whiz Bang.

Here's the page for the recent reprint About Comics did of issue 30, just four months after this issue here.

Here's a nice, short sort of academic survey of what the magazine was about from William Coyle on a page of studies in American humor.

Some pages. Smokehouse Poetry? I love it. Sure beats the entertainment weekly that currently suits such purposes.

Get the full scan here.

Back next time with some more bullshit.

Oh, yeah! I leave you with an unrestored cover from my collection from a couple months later. Riffing on a theme? Are there more covers out there from around this time based on this gag?

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Indian Chief Geronimo on the Warpath (Avon 1951)

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Geronimo 002 (1951.Avon) (On the Warpath) (BigChiefer-DREGS).cbr

Up for your enjoyment this morning is issue two of the four issue Western series from Avon. You can get the scan

The comic includes cover and frontispiece from Everett Raymond Kinstler as well as two stories from John Forte. The main attraction for me, though, is the Kit West story that Jim Vadeboncoeur was kind enough to identify the art in as being from Jill Elgin (you can see the conversation on this artist over on my thread at here. If you haven't discovered this website yet, you are in for a treat, it is the heart and soul of comic preservation (all public domain), and nary a day passes where some gem is not posted free to the world. I try and concentrate on my magazine work on this blog (there are many places to get comic scans, but magazine and pulp scanning is still in its infancy and distribution of said scans is limited to just a few cubbyholes on the web), so you can find a lot of my comic scans on that site that won't make it here.


The frontispiece. These inside front covers from Avon are probably what attracts me most to their comics, love em!

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Elgin's splash for the Kit West story. Devilish!

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P.S. You can find the other three scans from this series here. The first issue is my scan, but issues three and four (issue 3 has another charming Elgin Kit West story where The Murders in the Rue Morgue meets the American Frontier) come from the comics newsgroups, so thanks to the scanner for these!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jim Jam Jems v20n06 (1931-02)

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An interesting late sample of Jim Jam Jems, "Official Magazine of the Bar Flies of America," of which the North Dakota Library says:

Written by the fictional "Jim Jam Junior," Jim Jam Jems was an editorial news magazine published monthly in Bismarck, North Dakota, by Sam Clark. The magazine used sensationalism, propaganda, humor and satire to expose corruption and spread truth. The subtitle of each issue was "A Volley of Truth."

Each issue was composed of around 60 pages, and began with a "Monthly Preamble" by Clark. The rest of each issue contained articles of social and political commentary. Subject matter was truly wide ranging, from the fight versus prostitution in Fargo (March 1912 ) and war with Mexico (July 1916), to abortion and infant mortality (August 1914). There were occasional cartoons and artwork, but the vast majority of each issue was textual.

Under the guise of Jim Jam Junior, Sam Clark recorded his views regarding the Federal Reserve System in a 1922 book entitled The Federal Reserve Monster.

Clark also was responsible for publication of another editorial newsmagazine, Red Ink, in the 1930s.

This particular issue, I'm told, was published by Fawcett (the indicia indicates a Minnesota address). Apparently, the magazine ceased publication for a short while in the late 20s and was renewed for a brief run by the Minnesota publisher. Inside this issue there is a plug for a Smokehouse Annual, one of Capt. Billy's other publications.

Get the scan here.

Jim Jam Junior starts this issue with an examination of Chicago gangdom, placing the blame for the rise of these mobsters on Prohibition. Hall uses a neat sort of 20s slang, you do get the sense that he's a voice of the midwest here, and I like his harangue of country scribes' flowery language and appreciate his attitude towards government involvement in the daily affairs of its citizens. After the opening section of editorials, the magazine gets into a standard sort of risque joke and cartoon mag with lots of spot illustrations, though JJJ does come back in a few times for more editorializing. Some antiquated racial views and humor in here but really a fun read. I've got another issue of this from this era where the covers look similar to what you'd see in tamer pulp pin-ups of the day. Some of the earlier covers I've seen look a lot more like Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang in terms of just a couple colors and a simple layout - I'll keep my eye out for an early example to scan.

McCoy edited this issue for me, and, as always, he's done a smash-up job, so thanks McCoy!


The preamble. Jim Jam Junior is right on target that Prohibition is to blame for the rise of gangdom, just as the war on drugs is responsible for today's rise of cartels foreign and domestic. End prohibition now!

I no longer feel the need to apologize for some of the antiquated views in the things I scan. I scan everything and let the readers sort it out. If I were to avoid scanning racist or bigoted material, I'd be doing an injustice to these wonderful magazines and misrepresenting the past. I find a sort of fascination in material from the 20s about how the other half lives and about the fun times being had in Harlem. There was obviously a simultaneous attraction even though there's an outward condemnation. Here Jim Jam Junior investigates..

An organization of Bar Flies? Apparently so, you can imagine Jim Jam Jems being passed around the bar...

Cheers and Enjoy! I realize I've been neglecting my little blog here and will try and keep up the excitement a little better now that Fall has arrived.

P.S. a small (1.6MB) but readable scan of Hall's book on the Federal Reserve from google is here.