Tag Archives: comics

Fletcher Hanks: The RPG

Fletcher Hanks: The RPG

A brief post, inspired by a Facebook conversation.

GM:”You encounter a…”
Player: “I transform it into a two-headed frog, then take the frog to a space-snake, which swallows the frog and halfway digests it, but then I make the space-snake spit up the half-digested frog and I take what’s left and throw it into a black hole where it will be torn apart by gravitational forces for eternity while still being conscious.”
GM:”… jaywalker.”
Player: “I stand by my actions.”

And if you don’t know who Fletcher Hanks is… he is, or rather, was an alcoholic, violently abusive man who died alone and forgotten, frozen on a bench in Central Park in the 1970s.. and in the early 1940s created some of the most insane, bizarre, strange, and unforgettable comic book stories ever. Crudely drawn, poorly written, and bursting with the energy of unhinged madness and the desperate urge to churn out pages as fast as possible to meet the demands of an industry in its boom stage. Of his life between the last comic he published and his unheralded death — it would be decades until his lunatic genius was brought to a wider audience — almost nothing is known. But you can read everything he published, as well as the saga of tracking him down, here.

Marvel Boy Vs. Mohammed!

It’s amazing what you can find while trolling about the intert00bz. For example, I found a copy of “Astonishing”, issue 3, published by Marvel (during their “Atlas” years) in 1951, in which Marvel Boy, a fourth-tier hero, battled the scourges of Islam.

No, really.

You can read all about Marvel Boy on wikipedia or something; let’s just go with what I got from this issue, which is that Our Hero works for an insurance company in his secret identity and at least some of his cases involve tracking down those sorts of vile, contemptible, criminals who actually expect insurance companies to pay money. No, this isn’t ironic. No, Marvel Boy isn’t like Mr. Incredible, secretly helping customers. No, he’s a total stooge for THE MAN. Fascist!

(When he returned in the 1970s, he was busy tossing bankers off of rooftops in the name of God. Seriously. I am not making this up.)

Anyway, our hero goes about investigating an evil cult that’s killing people for their insurance money. Naturally, this is a totally made-up pseudo-faith that will not offend, insult, or embarrass any actual people…

Marvel Boy Confronts The Islamic Menace

Just in case you’re not convinced, here’s a few more shots:

Allah Is A Jealous God

You know, I figure Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin get most of their ideas on Islam from things like this.

Another Blasphemous Image of Mohammed

Apparently, Muslims in 1951 didn’t read comic books (or were a lot more aware of how silly it would look if they got upset over nothing), so no one was threatened with beheading for this image of Mohammed. Are you listening to me, South Park? Publishers in the 1950s had bigger balls than you! (Well, except when it came to knuckling under to McCarthy. And to the Comics Code. And to darn near everything else. Unless we’re talking about EC, which took on the most sacred cows of the 1950s with courage that most media publishers today never show when it comes to equally controversial issues. But I digress.)

Anyway, it all ends with the evil Omar being caught and arrested. At no point does anyone make a speech about how Islam is a legitimate faith being perverted by a con artist and at no point does an unbelievably perfect, noble, and infallible Muslim show up to provide “balance” and a “positive role model”.

Today, of course, whenever the comics need an Evil Religious Figure, they just make up something. No published in the modern age would use an identifiable modern faith as the basis for their villain’s schemes.

GLMK

Or, you know, maybe they would…

Flint Baker And The One Eyed Monster Men Of Mars

Tales From The Public Domain

Planet Comics #1

Flint Baker And The One Eyed Monster Men Of Mars

Not Gay Porn. Really.

OK, folks. Welcome to an exciting new feature here at mrlizard.com, I’m sure all (both) my readers will be happy with! In this feature, I look at some of the great (cheesy) comics from the Golden Age, with a general intent to look at non-superhero comics, because, frankly, the iconoclastic (lame) superheroes of the Golden Age (such as the Red Bee, a hero whose sole power was that he had a bee — a normal, everyday, bee — in his belt buckle) have been done to death. We’re starting with Planet Comics, which featured, in its 79 issue run, a variety of ongoing serials.

Here’s the cover of issue 1:

Planet Comics 1

Planet Comics 1

Remember this cover — it will come back later. There may be a quiz. For now, though, let’s move on!

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