A Glance at the Gallery

Posted: 11/10/2010 by Michael McFadden

The exuberant QC Doctor, Michael McFadden, has returned for another exciting tour of the latest exhibits in the Fandom-famous DigiGallery.

Greetings, fandom. Michael McFadden with the latest CGC DigiGallery additions.

Zoot Comics Leading off is a Jumbo Comics #55 that qualifies as the best copy we've seen in 11 years...and also the worst. Namely, it's the only copy we've seen. That always sends a ripple through the office. ("You mean I gotta write art comments for this?") You'll go ape over the cover of Zoot Comics #10, 8.5, which reminds me of what we saw transpire on Sultan of SigSeries Joe Pierson's last date. Only one copy marginally improves on the True Crime #3, 7.5, a classic Jack Cole cover depicting a chattergun-toting mobster spelling “RAT” in hot lead through his victim's torso. That's pretty good shooting when you consider the hitman's spelling his verdict backwards. His anger management issue needs work, though.

True Crime Comics We're more accustomed to seeing Cole's extraordinary work on the Plastic Man feature, like on Police Comics #101 and Plastic Man #s 10 and 25. Cole left comics in the early 50s, moving to success in illustration and magazine cartooning before his suicide in 1959. We also saw a run of hard-to-find, higher-grade post-Cole Plastic Man copies, including #s 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 40 and 44. Our Fighting Forces #1 at 9.0 was a tie for highest grade. Wonderworld Comics #5, 6.0, is currently bested by a lone 6.5 copy. From 1905, Buster Brown's Blue Ribbon Book of Jokes & Jingles #2 was only the second copy we've seen of this promotional published in St. Louis, Missouri. Comic Cavalcade #58 was 7.0, rarely seen. Human Torch #29 and All-American Comics #90 are both highest-graded. Action Comics #3 at 6.5 was highest graded, non-restored, too. Centaurs like Keen Detective Funnies #23 (5.0) are tough finds even in mid-grade. Captain America Comics #56 at 9.2 is the number-two copy. Simon and Kirby's satiric retooling of Captain America, Fighting American, was a first-timer in the office for issue #3. Strange Adventures #19 hit 9.0.

A run of Mickey Mouse Magazine included V3 #s 2, 11 and 12, V4 #12 and V5 #7. If the charming baby penguin on V4 #12 doesn't seem a familiar face in the pantheon of Disneydom, that's because the cover promotes Donald Duck's latest cartoon for Fall 1939, “Donald's Penguin.” More Fun Comics #18 was 6.5. Draw your own conclusions about acceptable American social mores in 1937 from this one, folks. Jumbo Comics #15 was highest-graded at 9.6, as was Jo-Jo Comics #11. Sub-Mariner #1 was highest-graded at 9.2 and Captain America Comics #2 hit the summit at 9.4. Dark Mysteries #21 was 9.2. Pep Comics #40 was 8.5. Its cover artist, Bob Montana, would achieve a wider audience as artist of the syndicated Archie comic strip for many years. Gaines File Copies were Frontline Combat #1 and Mad #s 7 and 11, 9.6 all. And thanks to one of our readers for alerting us to a couple of gorgeous Fight Comics, #31(highest-graded) and #32 (almost!), both WWII covers.

A file copy of Thrills of Tomorrow #19, inaugurating a brief run of Simon and Kirby Stuntman reprints, illustrates the industry's abrupt shift from horror comics under public pressure in late 1954. The Vancouver copy of Merry Comics #nn from 1945 certified 9.4. Cosmic Aeroplane copies of Sheena, Queen of the Jungle #s 9, 12, 13 and 16 all impressed us. Reed Crandall's technically proficient cover on Modern Comics #61 earned 9.0 for the Ohio copy. A Harvey File Copy of Richie Rich #2 was 9.2. Edgar Church copies of Wow Comics #7 hit 9.6 and Prize Comics #23 certified 9.4. More Mile High copies were Catman Comics #s 7 and 14, Crime and Punishment #s 1 through 5, Master Comics #108 and Prize Comics Western #77. From the Rocky Mountain collection, DC's innovative giant DC Special #1 was 9.4 and #3 was 9.6. Detective Comics #365 (9.4) tied one other copy for the top. Bat Lash #s 1 and 2, 9.6. Other Rocky Mountain copies, all 9.8, included Adventure Comics #s 368 and 381 (the first Supergirl solo book), Superman #s 226 and 237, and Batman #s 183, 188, 190, 191, 192 and 242.

Avengers Invaders An exclusive convention edition of Amazing Spider-Man #638, this an Amazing Fantasy #15 cover homage featuring Spider-Man and Stan Lee, reached CGC's coveted ten-oh. Excelsior! Morning Glories #1 Limited Edition was 10.0. SigSeries copies of Deadpool #1 and Wolverine Limited Series #1 both earned 9.9s. I Dream of Jeannie More SigSeries: TV adaptation I Dream of Jeannie #2's photo cover is signed by both Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman. Charlton's Six Million Dollar Man #1 (9.8) is signed by series star Lee Majors. The nifty faux Timely cover on Cincinnati Comic Expo 2010 is drawn by Timely mainstay Al Bellman, inked by Dan Davis. Bellman signed the copy as well. A Walking Dead #75 Ultimate Comics Edition is signed by the series' original artist Tony Moore and sports his sketch of Michonne. Tim Truman's rendition of Conan graces a lucky fan's copy of Marvels Project #1 Sketch Cover Edition. This month's Stuart Sayger masterpiece is a Moon Knight on Secret Invasion #1 Sketch Edition. Batman great and Joker co-creator Jerry Robinson draws a a mirthful Clown Prince of Crime on the Avengers / Invaders #1 Dynamic Forces Sketch Edition. It looks like someone asked the Joker if Bob Kane really drew everything he signed his name to.

Fantastic FourLittle Dots Uncles and AuntsSelect Silver and Bronze Age submissions earned the impressive 9.8 nod, like World’s Finest Comics #163, X-Men #13, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4, Avengers #13, Marvel Premiere #15, Man-Thing V2 #1, Detective Comics #400, Batman #223, Little Audrey and Melvin #55, Amazing Spider-Man #72, Green Lantern #54, Little Dot’s Uncle and Aunts #32 and Thor #140. Squarebound DC Annuals debuting on the DigiGallery are Sgt. Rock’s Prize Battle Tales #1 (9.0), Superman Annual #1 (8.5) and #2 (9.4). Rip Hunter, Time Master #19 hit 9.6, as did Fantastic Four #51 (the dramatic Thing cover fronting “This Man… This Monster!”) and #53 (the origin of the Black Panther). Only one copy bests the Adam Strange Mystery in Space #76 at 9.2 that we added and only two copies are marginally superior to the 9.2 copy of #84.

Weird Tales of the Future Kids, you gotta have heart to make it in pre-Code horror comics. Unfortunately, it looks as if someone has gone all Aztec sacrifice on the fellow on the cover of Weird Tales of the Future #8 (6.5). Or maybe it was one of those popular “Do-It-Yourself Home Open-Heart Surgery Kits” now that health care is so expensive. No matter, I doubt we'll know the hole truth but it looks as if his search is not in vein. But when I saw this cover on my desk in the Fortress of Qualitude, I knew aorta show it to you.

Comments and questions regarding the gallery? We’re fans, too. We enjoy hearing from you, unless we don‘t. You can contact me at mmcfadden@CGCcomics.com. Thank you for your time and do remember — as Captain Marvel Jr. says on the cover of Master Comics #108 (9.6, Mile High), “Holy Moley! He'll kill somebody with his weird sense of humor!” Be good to yourself and be CGC-ing you!

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