January 14th, 2011

This cover has me hopelessly confused

From 1962, this one had me puzzled.

The tag, "They were fearsome animal women... and they lusted for my life" almost certainly refers to this illustration, but I first just took in the artwork.

I'm going to with the premise that, for whatever improbable circumstances have led them to this, some Aborigines in the Outback are attacking a helicopter crew. Fair enough, God knows men's postwar adventure mags had many stories much more unlikely. But what throws me is the brunette with the boomerang. She's not intended to an Aborigine. Her skin tone and features and hair all indicate that, not to mention the modern bikini. But then what is she doing with that boomerang? Did she snatch it up in the fight? It sure looks to me like she's ready to throw it at the helicopter. Now the original Daredevil could make a good attempt at breaking the rotor assembly that way, but I don't where she has that Golden Age suspension of physics going for her.

Maybe she was a child abandoned when her parents died, brought up by the Aborigines, and feeling loyal to them? And when these Australian intruders fly their whirlybird in to retrieve the little white girl, she surprises them by not wanting to go? Could be an interesting pulpish story them... off to eBay I go.

Time to clean your eyeballs

We were never meant to sit hunched over an infernal device in the gloom, reading endless lines of text on a dimly glowing screen. But we do it anyway. I think we should spare a few minutes to metaphorically rinse our eyeballs with these.

Whew. There's that's better. Back to reading about whether or not Wlson could have gotten better terms for Germany after the Great War... (I tend to doubt it).


If Lester Dent had never written another book, this one alone would still make Doc Savage one of my favorite adventure heroes. That's how good THE SARGASSO OGRE is. From October 1933, the eighth issue, this novel still has some rough edges, both in Dent's writing style (too many exclamation points and sound effects) and in the characterizations. But for sheer inventiveness, headlong momentum and creative details, this book is hard to beat.

The real Sargasso Sea is in fact a huge concentration of seaweed in a relatively still area of the Atlantic Ocean. The Sargasso Sea of legend is almost forgotten now, but for centuries sailors believed it was a vast deadly trap of clinging weeds circling a whirlpool, and that ships entering it could never escape. Thousands of ships through the ages were said to be still stuck in this dire trap.This folkloric Sea is where this adventure takes place.

The Sargasso Ogre himself is one of the best villains in the entire series. Collapse )

Is that 60-foot balloon supposed to resemble me?

In 1977, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade introduced a Kermit balloon. However, even though he made a cordial personal appearance, other Muppets revealed that Kermit was actually not at all pleased. He said privately that the balloon made him "look fat" and had a "retarded expression." Due to his contract with Jim Henson, though, he had to go along with the pretense.