Friday, March 19, 2010

A Real Super-Hero Picks Out A Story For you! To Read!

"Sparks" Spinkle here, folks!

Well, as you know, I've moved in on the Morays. It's been nearly a month, now, since I took roost at their hen house.

The grub is good, the weather is calm, and ol' Masoroonie is still the best durned comic collector on this good earth. I'm mighty pleased to be out of the walnut academy. T'wasn't no fun, no way, no how!

Well, ol' "Moray Eel" ran off to see the doc. Sez he had some foot pain. May be it's that gout come back to get him.

The upshot of all this is, he left his computer logged on to the "web," and I know he was wanting to do a new "post" here. Boy, that wife of his sure rides herd on him. It's "Mason, this" and "Mason, that." Poor chap seldom gets a sec to sit down and smell the roses--or the Golden Age comics!

Mase offered to let me pick today's Golden Age gem for you fine ladies and gents to peruse. So I thought, "heck, he's set up the canvas for me--why not do his painting for him?"

So it's me, folks--"Sparks" Spinkle (AKA Super Senior, the crime-fighting wonder) in charge of the cavalry today!

If you got worried by Mason's palaver, last time he posted, not to worry, folks! I've got this crime-fighting thing well in hand. Each night, in the SeniorCave (well, it's actually a space under the front steps, but it's water-tight, and I can store my gear there), I suit up for town patrol. I keep my mask and my weapons under there, in a big paper bag.

I like to travel light. I've got it down to a fine art now. Windex bottle is carried in my left hand, Easy-Off Oven Cleaning Foam sits in my right mitt. I also carry a container of Elmer's Glue-All (to pour into the gas tanks of fiends' getaway cars) and some fine sand from a local playground--it blinds 'em like nothing else!

By far, my most effective crime-fighting tool is built in. It's my surgical scars. I had my appendix removed in Mexico City, back in '74. The quack who carved me up did something wrong. When the wounds healed, they looked pretty awful. The skin is all blue and green, kind of marbled like alabaster. There are these big bumps that look something awful. They don't hurt--in fact, they feel kinda numb anymore.

But talk about your "special effects!" Brother, can they raise an eyebrow! I've had hoodlums turn tail more than once when I give 'em an eyeful of those babies and brother, that's all she wrote!

Crime is at an all-time low in this fair city, and I aim to keep it this way. Oh, the newspapers may not like me. They may talk about me on the Ten O'Clock News. But they can't keep a good man down--no, sir!

Truth be told, I've kept a low profile so far this week. I expect there will be some filibustering and gandy dancing tonight and tomorrow night. My Pepsi sweatshirt is freshly washed and ready to don at a moment's notice!

(By the way, Maseorooni, thanks for the tip in your last post! I didn't notice I was wearing that shirt in my "civilian identity!" I almost gave myself away, huh?)

My daytime job, delivering dinners to folks who live or work in a six-block radius, allows me to keep my ear to the ground, crime-wise. I overheard two so-and-sos talking about a scheme to break open city parking meters and pocket all those quarters.

I was there, with Easy-Off in hand, that night. Sure as shooting, those two goons showed up. I gave 'em the works.

Like The Shadow, I realize that a good spiel is important in getting their attention. So this is my little prepared bit. I say this to all miscreants and fowl-players:

The arms of justice protect the innocent--and defeat the guilty! Each finger is a sword, and every hand a blade! Cower before the arms of right! Heed the warning of the Super Senior!

After that, I let 'em have it with Windex (if they're guilty of a minor misdemeanor, such as prowling or loitering) or the Easy-Off (reserved for thieves, liars, and such).

Well, that's all of that for now. Let's get onto today's super story! Actually, it's TWO stories. They're both such corkers that I couldn't decide.

These babies come from an unlikely spot: Jungle Comics. You wouldn't think that series to have anything but ape-men caterwauling and swinging through the trees, huh? Wrong, buddy boy! Early on, this title was chock-a-block with tasty exotic costumed heroes.

Here are two gems from the 10th issue of Jungle. This is vintage stuff, folks. I'm sure Mr. Masonite would approve of these choices. Here goes. First up is "The Red Panther."

Gee whiskers, what a story, huh? Wow! I thought those li'l green boogers were going to do our hero and heroette in--and good! But you can't keep a costumed hero down--whether he's on land, sea, or, as in this case, flying through space.

Those bad guys are sarcastic li'l cusses, huh? I'd give 'em a quick blast of Easy Off if they flipped me the lip they give the Red Panther!

Are you ready for a mind-blower? This story takes the cake into the next zip code!

Didn't look so hot when it started, did it? But, brother, did you lamp that "all a dream" angle at the end? It's a wow--and how!

I remember when Mace and I first read this story. It was at the '72 MagnaCon in Dubuque, Iowa. It was colder than a dead cat outside. The con was held in this terrible little TraveLodge out in the middle of nowhere.

There wasn't even a convenience store within walking distance. For three days, we had to live off of the snacks in the vending machine. I tell you, I got so sick of chocolate sandwich cookies that, to this day, I still get woozy at the sight of 'em!

Anyway, back in those days, you could score these old Jungle issues for a song and dance. The collectors were all after those Captain Americas and Batmans--baloney on a pony, if you ask me! But I don't make the rules--I just bend 'em!

I was the first to spot this little masterpiece. From the splash panel, I almost paged right past the darned thing! Those he-men adventurer stories are the bane of many a Golden Age comic mag. But am I glad I kept reading!

You know, they have that Shelter Island show on at the movies--where everything turns out to be just a dream at the end. The critics are trampling each other, shouting out their praises of this clap-trap! Phooey, sez I. At least I know that I don't have to sit through two hours of that blather. I've got a better version of that story right here, in the pages of this comic book!

Well, folks, I did it. I'm not the historian that Macerooni is. I'm sure he could tell you the shoe sizes of the fellows who wrote and drew these things. Bless his heart--he was the guy who stopped and asked these questions, every chance he could get. He'd bend the ear of any old-time comic book artist or writer who showed up at the "cons."

Out would come his little red notebook. I'd see that pencil waggle up and down, back and forth. I knew he'd have some little gems when he was done. And he's shared all this wealth with the world of comics fandom.

I wish he'd tell the one about Rudy Palais and the pickle barrel. It's a corker! You see, Rudy Palais was kind of hooked on those big dill pickles that they have at the store. Back then, they'd just leave 'em floating in the brine, by the register, in one of those big wooden barrels.

Well, Al Bryant and Reed Crandall pulled a good one on ol' Rudy. They ran a live electric wire into this big pickle barrel. They knew that Palais always bought five big pickles on his way to the studio every morning. They couldn't wait to see him dancin' a jig, with his mitts buried in that salty brine!

Unfortunately, Rudy called in sick that morning, and some old lady died of electric shock instead. Al and Reed kept a low profile for a couple of years after that. I guess the "statue of limitations" is out on that particular crime now. I believe both those fellows are long gone, any how.

They would have certainly gone to jail for that little caper--if they'd been caught.

I think I woulda just given 'em a squirt of Windex apiece and sent 'em back to their drawing boards.

Well, I hear some commotion out in the front yard. Better post this thing while it's still a surprise. And remember, the arms of jsituce