Saturday, March 25, 2023

Satire v01n01 (Dizzy Detective Magazine), December 1935

 Cover art by Arthur Ray McCowen, also the art director for the magazine.

Hot off the presses here at Darwination Scans, a unique mag, Satire v01n01 from December 1935, get the full hi-res scan here: Satire v01n01 1935-12.Satire (Dizzy Detective Magazine) (missing pgs 29,30) (Darwination).cbr

From a set of raws sitting in my working scans folder for nearly 10 years.  If I sent these to an editor, I sure couldn't find a scan, so I'm pretty sure it's fresh. There's a missing page which maybe put me off of it.  Or the wretched condition. Or the many joins.  In any case, I felt like a bit of a photoshop challenge to get some work on my chops, so I sat down and worked it.  Not the most uniform results (part of which probably has to do with the machine I scanned the issue on), but it was a good exercise.  One day soon my scanner kung fu is going to be back where it once was (and even better, the AI in the newer version of photoshop is absolutely incredible).

First issue of a pioneering comedy magazine that lasted only two issues, helmed by Adrian Lopez and friend Hugh Layne with Arthur McCowan as art editor.  Lopez' magazine career spanned from the twenties through the nineties, and David Saunders has done his usual excellent biography work on Lopez here.  I'm familiar with much of Lopez' long and varied publishing career (absolutely remarkable) but had no idea that before his publishing career, Lopez wrote in the pulps for the likes of Argosy and Black Mask, wild.

My comicshop (where I consulted to confer on the date but not quite the title) says of the magazine "Vintage humor magazine considered a precursor to Mad or National Lampoon poking fun at trends in magazines and entertainment." In that aspect it's similar to the wildly successful Ballyhoo and the Ballyhoo imitators that came first, but Satire has its own thing going with ambitious design work mixed with racy photos and surreal slapstick humor.  Rightfully lampooning the "true" detective market, this issue sticks largely to that theme (the second issue, which I don't have, looks to be a send-up of movie/scandal mags). 

Samples.  A send up of my main man, Bernarr MacFadden.  Remember this image, as I've got some great MacFadden material coming up here at Darwin Scans in the not too distant future.

Contents/Indicia page.  I've blogged on "True" Crime mags before, and they were numerous in their long heyday.  The cover of the issue mimics the MacFadden titles, and I don't doubt the note in cursive here that these are all actual titles of pulled from the newstand.

 Complex work on the photo layout here, there's a lot going on in these splash pages.

Inspector Torso helps A-cupped Aunt Gussie track down her bust developer.  Bawdy humor never gets old.

A little cheesecake goes a long way.  Just an page or two along these lines might help a magazine hop of the shelf, by Peeper Tom, Special Investigator

Sometimes, I'll be editing a magazine, and I swear someone is looking right at me through time and space. Hey there Miss Doolittle, I see you, too.

 One last splash, well done.

Learn to draw! Your pictures have been a great comfort to me in my solitude, lmao.

 From the Institute of Applied Bunk

I'll keep my eyes out for the other issue (featuring an excellent and naughty cover, perhaps why it is so hard to come by).  Hell, or you could scan it for me and absolutely make my day.


Robert Deis (aka "SubtropicBob") said...

That's a great one I've never seen. Thanks!

Scott Saavedra said...

Thanks for posting this. I have coverless copy of the second issue and will scan it when I get a chance. There is a third issue with FDR sitting next to a giant eight ball and it seems to be hard to get as well.

darwination said...

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen any mention much less the cover for a third issue despite having "seen" various copies of the first two issues here and there.

It's a little jacked, but mycomicshop does have iamges for a front cover:
and back cover for the second issue to help out a scan of a coverless issue:

It's such an odd title with such surreal humor, I can see how an audience might have a what the hell? attitude about it. Not to mention building a brand might be kind of hard with a new theme every month. In the first issue, there's plenty of publisher's humor regarding the business of selling magazines, though. Kind of a funky self-awareness of the market. Lopez' certainly didn't let one short lived title keep him from try, trying again :D

Scott Saavedra said...

I can't get to scanning Satire Presents #2 straight away but do you mind spreads rather than individual pages? Also: Is 300 dpi okay for you? I can go larger too. Satire #3 was up on eBay last Summer. I was outbid. Based on the scans, that issue appears to shift to a more general humor publication.

I just picked up a copy of YELL #3 (1966) also published by Lopez. He sure kept trying to put out a successful humor pub.

darwination said...

300 dpi works just fine. That's the dpi I work at unless I am dealing with very small pages or very small print or occasionally I will go higher for a more intensive cover restoration. Spreads also work fine if an A3 works best for you and can be a good way to go in terms of speed and ease for new magazine scanners even if there will occasionally be "lost" art at the staple fold or shadows.

Usually, the more "natural" the raw scan is (i.e. the scanner software isn't making too many color or brightness/contrast type of corrections or degaussing corrections), the easier it is for me to work with. Flatness is usually very helpful (especially with some types of scanners) if possible too. I work my own scans usually from lossless .tif files but I can happily work with high quality jpegs as well. Really, don't worry too much about all this, we'll make the scan work no matter what. This is actually the first time someone has volunteered a raw scan via my blog which is a pleasant surprise.

No rush whatsoever from me! I have plenty of other scans to work on in the meantime and no end of patience, so proceed at your leisure :D

Feel free to hit me up if questions/concerns arise during scanning at

Scott Saavedra said...

I finally made the scan of Satire Presents #2. I sent you a link via wetransfer. If you need any rescans let me know. Thanks for all the great scans that you've put up.

darwination said...

Fantastic, Scott, these look great. I emailed you a follow up with one more thing I need. (let me know if you don't get it, the addy was from the wetransfer link). Much appreciated :)