What’s that? You’re not familiar with Mr. Crawford’s name? Well, perhaps his work will ring a bell. Take a look at some of his œuvre through this fine overview by historian Ivan Kocmarek.
For some sense of Crawford’s range, here’s an episode of Professor Harbinger, a speculative ‘science’ backup feature that regularly appeared in Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom. This, the inaugural vignette, saw print in the magazine’s second issue (Dec. 1962, Gold Key). It was scripted by the prolific Dick Wood; Crawford must have enjoyed the feature, as he stuck around to illustrate its first dozen or so instalments. He was succeeded by fellow Ontarian Win Mortimer.
For much of its existence, The Golden Magazine thrived, having access to top creative talent from the Western publishing empire (Whitman, Gold Key, Golden Press, Golden Book Encyclopedia…)
As Archie Comics had their Christian-zealot madman in Al Hartley, so did Western in the person of Vic Lockman. A significant difference, however, is that Hartley, despite quite stiff competition, is arguably the very worst Archie artist; he’s certainly got my vote [Seconded! ~ ds]. Lockman (1927-2016), a prolific but often terrible scriptwriter, was a terrific cartoonist, blessed with a gorgeously fluid line and exemplary design sense, lively and detailed. Here, then, is a story from Wacky Adventures of Cracky no. 3 (June, 1973). Script and art, including his distinctive lettering, by Mr. Lockman.
During the run of his comic book, Cracky (and sidekick Mr. Kaws) wore many hats: detective, inventor (presumably giving Lockman the chance to recycle some of his rejected Gyro Gearloose scripts), ship’s captain, escape artist, sheik… And yes, he did encounter some choice tentacles, but I leave it to my partner to conduct her own investigation. Lockman beautifully handled the first ten issues of WAOC; the instant he stepped away, the thing dissolved into tripe. Avoid accordingly.
Lockman was also among those sadly deluded souls (hello, Chuck Dixon) who tried to lay claim to the title of most published comics writer. Let’s face it: the most likely contenders (Joe Gill, Paul S. Newman, Gaylord DuBois) toiled in anonymity for most of their long careers.
« Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas makes me happy I love Christmas cold and grey, I love it sweet and sappy Says crazy kissin’ Cousin Flo: ‘Let’s break out the mistletoe’ »
« Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas out the waz Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas up the schnozz Come all ye faithful, don’t be slow It’s Christmas time, you can’t say no»
« Momma wants a kitchen sink And daddy wants a stiffer drink Grandma wants us to cut the crap Grandpa wants a nice long nap »
« Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas everywhere Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas pullin’ out my hair Shoppers lined up out the door Traffic backed up miles and more It’s Christmas time, so what the heck Let’s go spend the whole paycheck »
« Deck the halls, it is the season We don’t need no rhyme or reason It’s Christmas time, go spread the cheer Pretty soon gonna be next year»
Meet an old man’s pet, Poochy. Like most pets, he gets a little impatient and loud around mealtime, but forgive him – he’s just a healthy animal who needs his calories. Who’s a good boy?
It’s Tentacle Tuesday, and today’s offering is this barking mad (hehe) and delightfully nonsensical story with script and pencils by Jim Starlin and inks by Wayne Howard.
« The Hotel » is a mere 2 pages long, so here it is in its full and unabridged glory:
This tale of woe comes from Weird Mystery Tales #4 (Jan.-Feb. 1973), with a cover by Jim Aparo. It re-interpreted the story somewhat, making the thug’s comeuppance a little more immediate, but it’s still the same basic plot device: there’s the Deus ex machina, and there’s what I call Sudden Tentacles. Don’t know how to wrap up your story? Bam! tentacles out of nowhere, and everyone forgets that your tale makes no freaking sense.
Continuing this rather disturbing theme of stay-at-home octopuses, we have another contender for someone’s beloved pet: this sweet little (metaphorically speaking) guy from « Dum-Dum’s Basement » (Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery #93, August 1979).
Then we have the prototypical Sudden Tentacles and set at home, too: this panel from a chilling Tom Sutton and Nicola Cuti story called « Those Tentacles! » (inventive title), published in Ghostly Tales #106, August 1973.
There’s a scene in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (at 3:55) that quite terrified me as a kid – a girl reaches over a sink to turn the water on, and the tap sprouts… appendages… and grabs her hand. I wish Freddy Krueger was into tentacles, I would have spent fewer sleepless nights in my youth.
Wishing all of you peaceful nights of slumber… until the next Tentacle Tuesday rolls around – and it will.