Saturday, April 02, 2022

Atlas April, Day 2: What you build in your basement workshop on your own time is your business, Mister Atlas

This 1943 Charles atlas ad is in two colors, so you know he's serious about bulking you up! What's the catch, Mr. Atlas? Did you have to train for a long time?


Charles Atlas advertisement in Fawcett Comics cover-dated October 1943
ad copyright ©1943 and 2022 Charles Atlas Ltd.

Two colors are also the advertising gimmick for the Bongo Universe's Atlasman!


"The Hold-Up That Made a Hero Out of Mac" in Radioactive Man #1 (Bongo, December 1993), co-plot, script, and layouts by Steve Vance; co-plot by Cindy Vance; finishes by Bill Morrison

Hey, I can also use this page for June's "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley" feature!

Until tomorrow: drop down and gimme ten, soldier! ...ten cookies, that is. Gotta keep in pleasantly round Bully-shape.

Today in Comics History, April 2: Happy birthday, Todd Nauck!

A very happy birthday today to comics artist and writer Todd Nauck, artist on Badrock and Co., New Men, Supreme, Youngblood, Team Youngblood, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, 52, Young Justice, Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go!, Legion of Super-Heroes, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Comic and much more, plus writing and drawing his own creation, Image's Wildguard!


from Bloodwulf #2 (Image, March 1995)

Here's only the hand of Todd Nauck!


from "Marvel Legacy Primer Pages" in Spider-Man/Deadpool #23 (Marvel, January 2018), script by Robbie Thompson, pencils and inks by Todd Nauck, colors by Jim Campbell, letters by Joe Sabino

Here's kinda-chibi Todd Nauck!


from Teen Titans Go! #18 (DC, June 2005), script by J. Torres, pencils by Todd Nauck, inks by Lary Stucker, colors by Heroic Age, letters by Nick J. Napolitano

Happy birthday, Todd!

Today in Comics History, April 2, 1917: Death of Snoopy


from "Red Knight!" in Two-Fisted Tales #29 (EC, September 1952), script by Harvey Kurtzman, pencils and inks by John Severin, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Ben Oda

Today in Comics History, April 2, 1972: US Army takes hunting for chocolate eggs very seriously


from The 'Nam #72 (Marvel, September 1992), script by Don Lomax, pencils and inks by Wayne Vansant, colors by John Kalisz, letters by Phil Felix

Today in Comics History, April 2: Dad-murder finally justified


from The Perry Bible Fellowship, by Nicholas Gurewitch

Today in Comics History, April 2, 1917: Peace achieved through greater war


from "The Life of Woodrow Wilson" in Real Life Comics #2 (Pines, December 1941), letters by Ed Hamilton

Today in Comics History, April 2, 1915 and 1936: Nero Wolfe Explains It All


from Nero Wolfe: The Red Box graphic novel [scanlation of Collectie Detective Comics v.17: De rode doos] (Claude Lefrancq Editeur (Netherlands), April 1992), script by Jean-Claude de la Royère, adapted from the novel by Rex Stout, pencils and inks by Phillipe Wurm, colors by Kate

Wait, your wife died the day the baby was born or your baby died? Either way, which one of them was two on that day? Oh, but this seems like kind of a sensitive matter...do you want us to come back later?

Meanwhile, twenty-one years later...



Surely this will be an impossible case for Wolfe to crack, and


Oh, it's the old "Masquerade As a Dead Baby for 21 Years" con game. But that trick never works!

Well, that about wraps up the Mystery of the Red Box.

Today in Comics History, April 2, 1865: Arby's is invented


from "General U. S. Grant" in Real Life Comics #6 (Pines, July 1942), pencils by Maurice Gutwirth

Today in Comics History, April 2, 2003: Wow, they are serious about their parking spaces


from Combat Zone: True Tales of GIs in Iraq graphic novel (Marvel, April 2005), script by Karl Zinsmeister, pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Sandu Florea, colors by Raul Trevino, letters by Virtual Calligraphy

Friday, April 01, 2022

Today in Comics History, April 1: Those were the days, my friend


from Batman: The Long Halloween #11 (DC, October 1997), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Richard Starkings

Today in Comics History, April 1: Batman takes all the holiday decorations down from the Wayne Manor attic at once

from Batman: The Long Halloween #7 (DC, June 1997), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Richard Starkings
(Click picture to long holiday weekend-size)

Today in Comics History, April 1, 1942: Crisis on Infinite Earths destroys worlds, heroes, realities, and Roy Thomas's plans for this title





from All-Star Squadron #50 (October 1985), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Mike Clark and Arvell Jones, inks by Tony DeZuñiga and Vince Colletta

Today in Comics History, April 1: Happy birthday, Sheldon Mayer!

Born this day in 1917: Sheldon Mayer, writer, editor, artist, and one of the greatest comic book creators of the 20th century. He's one of my favorite-ever comic book masters.


from Fifty Who Made DC Great one-shot (DC, 1985)




Atlas April, Day 1: The Ad That Made a Millionaire out of Chuck

This months's daily feature...well, for April it had to begin with "A," right? Welcome to our stage for 30 days April Atlas, a celebration and a laugh at Mister Charles Atlas, who promised to make a man out of you, at least until Donny Osmond came along and put it to song.

The Charles Atlas ads were basically ubiquious through the entuire history of comic books until around 2001, so unless you're seven years old (present company excepted) you've probably seen, laughed at and/or cut out and mailed in one of those ever-present coupons to get a tough He-Man body so you'll never have sand kicked in your face or down your swim trunks (itchy!) at the beach in front of your best gal. Why, there was a Charles Atlas ad in the very first all-new comic book from DC, the big-ass and thoroughly game-changing New Fun #1, which right from the start promised to turn your granddaddy from a 97-pound weakling into a "NEW MAN of giant power and energy," which, I dunno, sounds like a threat to unleash the Atomic Superman upon us all, or at least upon the beach. The beach would not be protected by Frankie and Annette for more than 25 years later, so heaven help us, we were all subject to Charles Atlas's "Everlasting Health and Strength." Because Charles Atlas died in 1972, your definition of "everlasting" may vary.


Charles Atlas ad in New Fun #1 (DC/National Allied Publications, February 1935), script and (possibly) art by Charles Roman, the advertising exec and later President of the Charles Atlas Corporation from 1929 to 1997
ad copyright ©1935 and 2022 Charles Atlas Ltd.

For every day of Atlas April I'm going to bring you an ad page from comic books for Charles Atlas or one of his competitors, accompanied by a spoof of one of those ads unless I run out of those or forget. Yes, April provides double thrills, double strength and double deltoid development on every day from now until April 30. (Offer not valid if world ends before then.)


"The Armor That Made a Man Out of Mac" from What The--?! #1 (Marvel, August 1988); script, art, and letters by Marc Siry

So, whether you're a hulking he-man or a noodle-armed little stuffed bull, I think you'll enjoy the dynamic-tension™ of Atlas April. (Yes, of course Flex Mentallo will appear!) Tune in all this month! And would it kill ya to eat a salad for once, ya load?

Today in Comics History, April 1, 1985: Greatest Comic Book in the history of the medium is released


Legion of Substiture Heroes Special house ad in DC Comics cover-dated July 1985; pencils by Keith Giffen, inks by Karl Kesel

Today in Comics History, April 1: Cruel April Fool's prank pulled on Steve Lombard? I'm...going to allow it.


from "If I'm Here...What Am I Doing Over There?" in Action Comics #472 (DC, June 1977), script by Bill Kunkel, pencils by John Calnan, inks by Tex Blaisdell

The Marvel Calendar for 2011 2022: April Arachnid Amazing Adventures and Awesome Arches

"April 2011" from Marvel Calendar 2011, pencils and inks by Humberto Ramos, colors by Edgar Delgado
(Click picture to Spider-Man's-guilt-size)

The Marvel Comics Memory Album Calendar for 1977 2022: April Acrobatics with the Athletic Antichrist

Well, you try coming up with a word that starts with "A" and means "devil."

And now you can also celebrate with ol' Hornhead all month long. Remember, the whole point of this series of posts is to show you calendars from bygone years that you can click on, print, cut out, tack to your wall, and use all throughout April 2022! Mike Murdock approves, and he's mostly imaginary!

"April 1977", from Marvel Comics Memory Album Calendar 1977 (Marvel, 1976)
(Click picture to Foggy-size)

The Super DC Calendar for 1977 2022: April in Paris, please do not cry / We've got a bendy rubber guy

Dig, if you will, Plastic Man stopping his arch-enemy (?) The Snuffer (oh no! He must kill people!) from melting the Giant White Chocolate Eiffel Tower that French Woozy Winks had gotten Plas for Easter. Bad Snuffer! BAD!

You too can "save" April by clippin' out this calendar and attaching it (with, I guess, Silly Putty) to your wall for month-long April 2022 excitement! Come on...be flexible!

"April 1977", from Super DC Calendar 1977 (DC, 1976), pencils by Ramona Fradon, inks by Bob Smith
(Click picture to Big Bend-size)

The Marvel Age Calendar for 1994 2022: April Alucard Altercation

Because it's the first of the month, it's time once again for calendars from comic books that you can use in April 2022! How 'bout that? Isn't that convenient! That's why Bully Gives you More in '22! (My new slogan I've thought up three months too late to do anything with. Also, it would work better in '24.)

I break these things down into handy monthly installments to give you up-to-the-date and timely calendars from the world of comics! Remember: a 2022 calendar that doesn't arrive until April is of no use to anyone! (heh heh heh, chucking at the shade)

First up! An calendar for this month that might be useful if only Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich was transparent! Haven't you always wished for that? I myself have written extensive What If? fan fiction based on that very concept. Someday it will become canon!


from Amazing Spider-Man #359 (Marvel, February 1992), script by David Michelinie, pencils by Chris Marrinan, inks by Keith Williams, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Rick Parker

Or, if that doesn't work, how about this backwards calendar from the wacky world of Archie "April" Andrews! Naw, now that I think of it, the only ones who would find this useful would be Benjamin Button and River Song.


from Archie's Weird Mysteries #20 (Archie, June 2002), script by Paul Castiglia, pencils by Fernando Ruiz, ink by Rich Koslowski, colors by Stephanie Vozzo, letters by Vickie Williams

Aw, okay, here 'tis a real calendar for April 2022, even if it came out in 1994 and you have to color it yourself. (I suggest many black crayons. Have at it, you April vampire-hunters!

"Classic Clash #4: Dracula vs. Blade" from Marvel Age #136 (Marvel, May 1994), pencils by Darren Auck, inks by Scott Koblish
(Click picture to vampirisize)

(PS: Easter is not this weekend. I shoulda Photoshopped that out. Ah well.)

And there's more calendars for this month over the next couple hours! Be there or be somewhere else, because you can always come back later and still get them!

Today in Comics History, April 1: "Who's the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows her?"


from "Easter Hunt" in Love and Rockets (1982 series) #42 (Fantagraphics, August 1993); script by Gilbert Hernandez; pencils, inks, and letters by Jaime Hernandez

Today in Comics History, April 1: April Fool around and find out

As we saw last night, the night of March 31 (HINT HINT HINT), scientist Victor Gattling has turned himself into the police for murdering his best friend and co-worker Joe, startling all the boys in blue, especially when Vic tells them Joe murdered him first! How could such a thing even be possible?!? Well, first, it's a tale from an EC comic. Second...


from "This'll Kill You!" in Crime SuspenStories #23 (EC, June 1954), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by Reed Crandall, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Jim Wroten

Joe fell and accidentally injected Vic with Hypno-Helio-Static-Stasis (containing X-4) Virus Y-44-Gamma, so you'll expect he's about to turn into Victor-Hulk. Sadly, no, it just means what it means in the real world: Vic's gonna die. No antidote, no tomorrow, no picnic in the park this Saturday, no seeing the opening of The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters in a few weeks, even though it's sure to be the #1 box-office draw for the entire summer blockbuster season.

Notably, Joe's all broken up about it. So, for slightly better reason, is Vic.


Knowing you have only 24 hours to live, what would you do? Make peace with your family? Go speak to a minister? Eat all the cookies you could possibly hold? Naw, not Vic. He goes back later to the lab and murders Joe todeath with a microscope! (A small crime, then. They oughta let him slide for that. certainly none of his actions could magnify his crime. Um...ah...microscope!)


Still, after that amoeba-disturbin' murder, Vic comes to his senses and realizes he's going to have to live the rest of his life (less than 24 hours) with that guilt. He drags Joe's body to the police station — geez, there wasn't a trolley in that lab? — and confesses to the crime. But what can they do to him? Vic will die anyway (checks watch)...slightly less than at the beginning of this paragraph.


Give yerself a gold star or a No-Prize or one of the coverted EC Irony Awards if you, the reader, has sussed out exactly what happened and what day this is happening...


Good Lord! Choke!

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Today in Comics History, March 31: Man is clearly unaware of his story's clever twist ending.

It's "the end of March"...begins this EC Comics story with a dead man and his murderer, a man who is about to die! What fresh heck is this?!


from "This'll Kill You!" in Crime SuspenStories #23 (EC, June 1954), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by Reed Crandall, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Jim Wroten

We'll find out the rest tomorrow, won't we, boils and ghouls! (cackles evilly like the Crypt-Keeper, begins to choke, coughs for a few moments, clears my throat) I'm so sorry.

Liberty Bell March, Day 31: "I've noticed a tendency for this blog to get rather silly. Now I do my best to keep things moving along, but I'm not having things getting silly. Those two posts earlier got very silly indeed, and that last one about Captain Fegg was even sillier. So let's put an end to it!"

The end of Liberty Bell March? Say it ain't so! Play us off, Jarvis Poker, the British Joker!:



from Knight and Squire #5 (DC, April 2011), script by Paul Cornell, pencils and inks by Jimmy Broxton, colors by Guy Major, letters by Steve Wands

Tomorrow begins a new month and a new once-a-day feature! What's it gonna be about? Well, it's April...and it's strong! Make yer guesses and come back tomorrow for the beginning of April [REDACTED]!

Today in Comics History, March 31: Happy birthday, Scott Edelman!

In addition to today being the birthday of my pals John DiBello (best guy in the world) and Benjamin Birdie, 'tis also the day t'was born Scott Edelman, comic book writer (of characters like Thanos, Falcon and Redwing, Hawkeye and the Two-Gun Kid, Omega the Unknown, and in series like Marvel Spotlight, The Unexpected, The Defenders, Time Warp, Crazy, Spider-Man, Welcome Back Kotter, House of Mystery, Master of Kung Fu and more) and co-creator of Marvel's Scarecrow! He's also written for TV, was founder and/or editor of magazines Science Fiction Age, Last Wave, SCI FI Magazine, Rampage, Sci-Fi Universe, Sci-Fi Flix, Satellite Orbit, and Science Fiction Weekly! More? yes! Lots of short stories including some pretty chilling horror, chiller, and zombie stories, plus writer and editor of several books. Whew! All this and an editor of the beloved Marvel fan magazine FOOM!:


from FOOM #8 (Marvel, December 1974)



from FOOM #10 (Marvel, June 1975)



from FOOM #11 (Marvel, September 1975)

Plus, Scott (yes, that's him in the upper left hand corner) reveals the deadliest fighting secrets of the cows (for which he drummed him out of the secret Cow Fight Club, whose first rule is "Hey, watch out, not the face!").


from Crazy Magazine #12 (Marvel, August 1975)

(See a behind-the-scenes shot of Scott at this photoshoot here!)

So please join me in wishing John's birthday buddy Scott a very happy birthday as well! C'mon over later, Scott, we might have some cake left!


from 1975 Mighty Marvel Convention Program Book (Marvel, 1975), photograph by Michele Wolfman

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Liberty Bell March, Day 30: And you thought a Red Lantern's superpowers were gross

Last week I featured Dr. Fegg's Nasty Book of Knowledge and promnised you another one. Well, here it is, and a much different comic! Are you prepared for....Captain Fegg?



"Captain Fegg" from Dr. Fegg's Nasty Book of Knowledge (Methuen, 1974), creators unknown

Were you prepared? No. No, you were not.