Having Some Old New Fun!

I don't much follow comic book press anymore, so it was a surprise indeed when I saw an over-sized "Famous 1st Edtion" of DC's very first comic book -- New Fun Comics #1. The asking price was twenty bucks and given the relative values of things in the market today, I thought that a reasonable price if not necessarily a bargain. Because of my long love of comics, pulps, and films the 30's have long had an enchantment for me that other decades lack. Certainly living in those times would've been likely difficult and unromantic (my father was a boy during those days in the poverty-stricken hills of Kentucky) but the impact of the pop fiction of that time has been resonant even down to the modern day. Much of what we think of as the modern world was invented in the 30's or at the very least given voice. So it's always nifty to sample a time capsule from those days and that's what this vintage and important comic is.

Apparently this is a scuttled proje…

The Sunday Funnies - Prince Valiant 1937-1938!

I grew up lucky! I was in a household that took the paper daily and especially on Sunday and in that Sunday paper there was a robust and colorful separate section of comics. Page after page and it was a delight to read. I'd begin with the silent Henry, read Blondie, shifted to the easy-to-read Mort Walker features, and then to the adventure strips such as The Phantom, Tim Tyler's Luck, The Lone Ranger, and finally Prince Valiant. I always saved Prince Valiant for last. It required attention, and even then I think I knew the Prince Valiant I was savoring wasn't the full-blooded feature that comic histories raved about. John Cullen Murphy was the artist (with Foster's help) and the stories had a somewhat domestic feel to them much of the time seeing as how we had a an adult Val and Aleta dealing with their myriad children. Some years later I got a taste of the early stuff and felt the thrill that readers in the thirties and forties must have had when these delightful mo…

Hey, Gang!

Just a quick note to let folks here know that just as mysteriously and  unexpectedly as my ability to fully utilize the original Dojo went away, it seems to have mysteriously returned. Frankly I'd love to continue at the original site if possible, it feels like home.  There are a few advantages here, but there are downsides also. But I'm a wee bit suspicious if my access will continue. So for the month of July there will updates both at Rip Jagger's Dojo and here at Rip Jagger's Other Dojo. If things develop as I hope then maybe a return to the original site will be in the offing. I'll keep you posted...twice over for the time being.

Rip Off

The Fourth World Of July - Newer Gods!

The Anti-Life Equation is the deadly secret over which the war between New Genesis and  Apokolips is fought. It's an way to access a power to rule the minds and wills of other people, to effectively turn others into your willing servants and slaves. On the Fourth of July there could hardly be a better subject to discuss, as freedom and liberty are the focus of this holiday here in these United States of America. Jack "King" Kirby was a guy who fought for liberty in real palpable and life-threatening ways during World War II. He was a man who was and enormous talent but even more enjoyed his freedom to create as he chose. But the rigors of raising a family and meeting their needs has made many a person turn from the purity of their principles. Freedom doesn't feed the baby all by itself as much as we cherish it and so sometimes we give up aspects of our freedom, become de facto serfs to systems which use our talents to larger and sometimes even greater well-meaning e…

The Fourth World Of July - More Miracles!

Of all the Fourth World books, Mister Miracle proved to be the most successful. It lasted until its eighteenth issue during its original run but to do that it refocused and paid little attention to its Fourth World roots until the very last. Mister Miracle is Scott Free (what better character to explore during the Fourth of July) and he was adept at getting out of traps, traps of his own invention and traps such as Apokolips the deadly land ruled by Darkseid. His keeper was a hag named Granny Goodness and his mentor was a mysterious Fagin-sort named Himon. He came to Earth and sought a hiding place and found it behind the mask of Theodore Brown the original Mister Miracle who died and passed his stage identity onto this new wunderkind. With the name came Oberon, a loyal assistant who was more powerful than his short stature suggested and eventually he gained a wife in Barda, "Big Barda" she was called who was more gentle and loving than her towering stature suggested. He fo…

The Fourth World Of July - Secret Societies!

When Jack "King" Kirby busted out from the Bullpen at Marvel Comics and took his talents to the competition, the house of Superman and Batman, it was big, big news. It's still big news in the rear view of how I see the history of comics. Free at last of his partner Stan Lee, Kirby was allowed to create with abandon and he did just that. His "Fourth World" books The New Gods, Mister Miracle and The Forever People proved not to immediate financial successes but few argue they were creative victories. His second wave of characters featuring Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth, The Demon, and OMAC The One Man Army Corp, were somewhat more successful on the average with Kamandi being a real hit. Kirby took on war in The Losers, and bounced out new concepts such as Atlas and a new spin on The Manhunter as well another kid team called the Dingbats of Danger Street. Toss in some ghostly tales, and a few one off adventures for other characters he had not created and Kirby fu…