An octopus has crept into the following pages. Can you spot it before the year ends?*
*I realize this is an extremely easy assignment, but given the state of things these days, one should seek out a minor sense of accomplishment wherever one may find it!
I have plenty more tentacles saved up, but after four years of weekly cephalopods, I am growing rather weary of this topic. While I endeavour to rekindle this old love of mine, I will move on to other interesting things, so this is not only the last Tentacle Tuesday of the year, but the last TT for a bit. See you on newer, fresher pastures!
Today’s Tentacle Tuesday is going to be short and sweet, as the week before Christmas, complicated traveling plans, and pandemic scares do not incite one to write long posts.
Bill Spicer, a then-letterer for Western Publishing, launched Fantasy Illustrated in 1964, after gathering some contributors through a want ad in a science-fiction fanzine. The introduction (with issue 4) of a Spicer-penned column titled ‘Graphic Story Review’ heralded a shift from the initial graphic adaptation of stories to a focus on articles and interviews, and what used to be Fantasy Illustrated continued as Graphic Story Magazine by issue 8 in 1967. GSM may have been somewhat short-lived (it lasted another 9 issues), but thanks to Spicer’s sensitive and literate editorial direction, it had a lasting impact on the minds of astute readers through pioneering in-depth interviews with comics creators (notably Basil Wolverton, Bernard Krigstein, Howard Nostrand…). GSM would later morph into the equally-excellent, but with a broader scope, Fanfare (5 issues, 1977-83).
« Let’s just say you weren’t born to be an octopus… only a poor fish! »
Salutations on this most diverting day of the week, Tentacle Tuesday! Today, we take a little trip to the 60s… but perhaps not the 60s as you remember them, those who were around back then.
Rip Hunter was created by Jack Miller and Ruben Moreira – the “Time Master” part is explained by Hunter’s invention, the Time-Sphere, that allows him (obviously) to travel through time. Other characters in Rip’s world include his girlfriend, Bonnie Baxter, and Bonnie’s kid brother Corky (who’s being grabbed by a tentacle on this cover). Maybe Corky was spotted as an imposter because he’s wearing jeans instead of yellow pantaloons? Fashion can be quite goofy in some of these far-away, long-long-ago kingdoms…
When The Jaguar gets into trouble with The Human Octopus, you know the Jag is going to come up trumps, mostly due to the fact that he has all powers of the animal kingdom at his disposal, whereas the Octopus has to make do with some unconvincing tentacles and an evil stare. The Jaguar (or zoologist Ralph Hardy, in his everyday life) was created by Robert Bernstein and John Rosenberger as part of Archie’s “Archie Adventure Series”.
Some fodder for your nightmares? Of course!
I believe Hawkman needs no introduction (although I will mention that he was created by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville!), and we don’t have time for one, anyway, seeing as he’s currently stuck between a dragon and some tentacled nest-creature.
Today we play a game: yes, those long slithery things are wrapped around somebody’s ankle… but are they tentacles, or worms?
In real life, worms (even predatory) don’t really wind around their prey or suffocate them. A biologist could tell us whether they ever ‘hunt’ in huge numbers, but I think we can be fairly certain that the scenes depicted below have never happened in real life. If disbelief must be suspended, I’d rather string it up for a cephalopod invasion, rather than a worm onslaught (ick)… But the characters of this post have had to deal with both kinds of threat. Let’s get on to it!
Worm or tentacle? Well, these have eyes at the end of… of whatever it is… and they seem like individuals, so probably worm. Hey, those who have read this issue before, no spoilers, please!
Let take a look inside this issue…
What do you think? These seem to originate from the same source. Let’s peek at the next issue – cephalopod confirmed!
Moving on to our next puzzle! Those are surely tentacles, belonging to some cephalopod monstrosity with a thousand arms:
Moving on! With a texture distinctly reminiscent of some sort of slug, the following whatchamacallits could be either… but the planet that hungers is using its tentacles, and not worms, to feed. Ping! Correct. This makes the following scene no less disquieting – oh, somebody bring me back to the normal, sea-faring octopus…
Let’s have one last go. This cover so clearly depicts Abby getting grabbed by some underwater tentacled monster, that it regularly appears in tentacle-related searches…
And yet! The cover is the self-explanatory The Conqueror Worms!, scripted by Len Wein and illustrated by Nestor Redondo. The star creatures of this story are actually pretty adorable, especially their mini-trunks and moist, sensitive eyes:
I hope some of these examples gave you pause, even if for just a little bit!
Eventually I accumulate enough material that posts bleed into other posts, sort of like a melting blueberry puddle gradually makes it way into the nooks and crannies of every object in its path on the counter (that happened recently, thus the very specific analogy). In this case, the blueberry juice is Uncle Scrooge et al., who have already appeared in Tentacle Tuesday: Duck Feathers!. Today our emphasis is more on Mickey Mouse, but I can’t promise other Disney characters won’t wander in for a cup of tea (or a quick tussle with an octopus).
As a matter of fact, my usual habit of arranging images in chronological order starts this post on a distinctly un-Mickey-like note…
The following sequence is from Ghost of the Grotto (written and illustrated by Carl Barks), published in Four Color no. 159 – Donald Duck in The Ghost of the Grotto (August 1947, Dell). You can read the full issue here.
Okay, I promised Mickey Mouse, so I’d better get back on topic!
Speaking of the aforementioned Paul Murry – I bet you have never seen an octopus adorned with quite so many bracelets.
Now we step into the dubious territory of European Disney comics – don’t forget to read about co-admin RG’s enjoyably scathing views on the subject here.
The following story, credited as ‘story and art: the Egmont Group, script: John Cochran, colour: Scott Rockwell’, was published in Walt Disney’s Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse no. 4 (March 1996, Gladstone). You can read the full issue here.
I’ll wrap up by going back to the top, which is to say finishing on as high a note as this post started on. Carl Barks, ladies and gentlemen!
Wishing you happy undersea adventures… until next Tuesday rolls around!
Greetings to all my dear tentacle zealots! This week I am rather exhausted from a move (not mine own, which somehow makes it worse?), and so I will retreat into my cozy shell, just like this handsome fellow:
But I don’t want this to be a complete disappointment, so I will leave you with these two panoramas:
To quote the man in question: « This, my dearies, is my takeoff on Leonardo’s Last Supper. All of the characters are from the Thimble Theater strip by E.C. Segar, which later became just the Popeye comic strip. I tried to keep most of the characters in the same positions as the apostles are in Leonardo’s version, and tried to put in a few little fun things relating to the original. For instance, putting Olive in the same place as the apostle John, who some believe to be Mary Magdelene. I also had to put Brutus in the place of Judas Iscariot, and have him holding money (pieces of silver). Some theories also say that both Judas and Christ were reaching for the Eucharist in Leo’s version, so I included that too, replacing the bread with limes so they don’t get scurvy. And the cigar in the ashtray is a tribute to Popeye’s creator E.C. Segar who used to sign his drawings with a little cigar with the smoke forming the letter “S” in his name. The halo effect in the wood around Popeye was pretty much an accident, perhaps there was divine intervention? »
« In 1952, Charles Addams, at the height of his skills as a cartoonist, painted a lush, monochromatic mural on canvas for a bar at the Dune Deck, a hotel in the Hamptons. (The work is nearly fourteen feet long and more than four feet high.) When the hotel changed hands, the new owners—one of them a Penn State alumnus—donated the painting to the university’s Palmer Museum of Art. A few years later, it was transferred to the library, where it hung in the Lending Services area, until it was relegated to its current location, in 2000. Somewhere along the way, it picked up the name ‘An Addams Family Holiday.’ »
Tentacular greetings to all! Today’s post finds us with our feet firmly planted in France (well, maybe with one toe dipping into Belgium, as usual). As friend Barney might say, come for the Important & Serious Artist discussion, stay for the ‘naked man/nubile woman’ fringe benefits…
Many are fans of Jean Henri Gaston Giraud, far better known under his nom de plume, Mœbius. Co-admin RG and my humble self do not belong to this category, which is possibly why he has never been mentioned in WOT before. RG thinks he’s ‘the Serge Gainsbourg of French comics‘ (not a compliment); I do not specifically dislike his work… nor am I interested enough in it to investigate. We could argue about Mœbius’ profound influence on science-fiction and cyperpunk and his lasting impact on comics until we’re blue in the face, so I suggest we look at some tentacles instead!
The Long Tomorrow was written by American screenwriter Dan O’Bannon and illustrated by Mœbius in 1975. Published in Métal hurlant (nos. 7 and 8) in 1976, it was then picked by Heavy Metal in 1977 for the anglophone market. This story is credited with having heavily influenced a number of movies – Blade Runner gets mentioned a lot, for example. Read the full story (and a little interview with O’Bannon) here.
Speaking of Métal hurlant, this cover offers some quality tentacles from French comics artist/illustrator Jean Solé:
Solé liked the absurd, the grotesque, and the psychedelic, so naturally he has more tentacles on offer than just one cover!
The last offering of today’s TT is this very dramatic action scene by Claude Serre. Is the surgeon trying to stuff these tentacles back in, or extract them? We shall never know.
«Then suddenly, like some gigantic serpent out of the deep, a huge, quivering tentacle tose from out of the sea — a sight from any seaman’s maddest, most impossible nightmare –! »
Today we pay another visit to Subbie (or Subby), which every bit as horrible an abbreviation as ‘hubby’ for ‘husband’. We’ve gone over his history in a previous post (see Tentacle Tuesday: Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner), so now we can concentrate on Action! Adventure!! Excitement!!! What’s on his charged schedule, you might ask? Why, a quick tussle with some Soviet submarines, a few pompous (I’m sorry, I meant ‘dramatic and exciting’) speeches, a plunge intro ‘wintry, unplumbed depths’, a lengthy trip to memory lane, and an epic fight with an unliving cyborg!
My favourite, naturally, are the Soviet submarines.
Moving forward by a little more than 15 years, we get embroiled in a slightly different kind of evil…
When Wakes the Kraken! was scripted by Roy Thomas, pencilled by Sal Buscema and inked by Mike Esposito. Aside from a lot of dialogue (check out the ‘ay, woman… but the time has come for battle… not words!‘), this story also has a lot of plump, high-quality tentacles.
This cover is fun, given that the Symbiotic Man appears to have tentacles on the soles of his feet and the ends of his hair as well. Did somebody actually demand that Namor should fight alone? I was under the impression that Marvel readers were more into ‘the more the merrier’ type of fun.
The cover story is titled Death Is the Symbionic Man!, scripted by Bill Mantlo and illustrated by Jim Mooney. Note the typo in ‘its’ in the second speech bubble.
Today’s entry is fun and light-hearted, but as this is the last week before Hallowe’en, let’s open on something with a bit more decorum!
Once upon a time, Vincent Price accorded his (paid) stamp of approval to Creamettes, a brand of elbow macaroni. You can read all about that in Vincent Price’s Supper Casserole! on the Dinosaur Dracula blog (where there are plenty of other things, too). I far prefer the version below. Who was this delightful parody created by? Is it something that would be served at The Monster Club with a nice glass of ruby red what-is-this-liquid-anyway? So many questions!
*No actual octopuses were eaten in the making of this post