Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Curse of Monk Mauley + Woozy!

I always get requests for "More Jack Cole!", but I think I've pretty much exhausted my precode Cole horror supply at this point-- so what's the next best thing to do? Why, we dig into the supernatural superhero shenanigans of everyone's favorite laffy taffy human spazzy-- Plastic Man! That's what we do! I've even included a quickie bonus tale featuring his silly sidekick, Woozy Winks running into some kooky spooks! Now, GCD doesn't list either of these stories as being illustrated by Cole, but look at those rotten living dead, the skeletons, the Devil, the lay-outs etc... --just look! See what you guys think, as our first story is from the Nov '52 issue of Plastic Man #38, (with creepy cover recycling by Alex Kozky), and the second tale is from the Jan '53 issue of Plastic Man #39.























4 comments:

Mestiere said...

Things I learned reading The Curse of Monk Mauley:

• Plas and his goofy partner are in the FBI. Did I ever know that?

• Don't be a stool pigeon or your former partners will come at you from beyond the grave.

• Plas knows what the Devil looks like to be able to impersonate him so perfectly as to fool those ghosts. Yet Plastic Man did not believe in ghosts until this story. "Yes I believe in leprechauns, it's goblins I don't believe in!"

• The Devil's job is keeping souls in their graves. Because... they are waiting for the Resurrection? Confusing, right?

Woozy

That first panel I thought Woozy was wearing an orange afro. It's the rim of his hat.

"Let's explore that abandoned house Woozy!"

"Sure, Fred, there's nothing weird for a middle age man to be alone with a kid in an abandoned house!"

"I just realized something", says Fred's Paw, "with the money we spent buying the fake skeletons, the coffin with the fake body and the trained bats we could have just rented a place to play cards!"

Brian Barnes said...

The inks on the Curse of Monk Mauley are incredibly heavy! I suspect the artist was attempting to meet the house style, which was Cole. There's certainly a lot in there that reads Cole but it looks a bit too heavy. Then, again, I'm usually a terrible art spotter, so there's a good chance I'm wrong!

Page 6, panel 4 is pretty gruesome for a Plastic Man comic! The "ghosts"/"zombies" in this are incredible. Page 6, panel 6 is also incredible.

I think Woozy is another different non-Cole artist trying to do Cole style. I don't think it's the same artist as the first story, just in the way the shadows are done. That's a good comedy story with a fun twist.

Regardless, it's a good PM story and a good comedy story, and the art is very good, Cole or Cole-lite. Nice stuff!

JMR777 said...

In Curse of Monk Mauley, second page middle left panel, one of the gang is reading the newspaper Daily Bugle, did J Jonah Jameson have a nasty relationship with Plastic Man too?

Woozy seems to be imitating Lou Costello in these two tales.

I wonder if anyone ever back then sell Plastic Man style sunglasses.

Glowworm said...

"Plas and his goofy partner are in the FBI. Did I ever know that?" Yeah, Plastic Man eventually became a member of the FBI. He initially used his former crime alias as an alter-ego to keep his close connections with the underworld so he could collect information on criminal activity. After all, it takes a criminal to catch a criminal.

"Woozy seems to be imitating Lou Costello in these two tales." That's intentional. His personality was meant to be that of Costello. Goofy sidekicks were all the rage back then for superheroes so what better than to have Woozy imitate one of the greatest comedians at the time?

As for the tales themselves. Boy, Monk sure decomposed fast after only being buried for a week! I also love the part where one of the phony ghosts declares that he's going to chop Plastic Man's head off. That's probably the most difficult way to kill him given, he could probably just keep flopping his head back and forth to get out of the way.
Also, gotta love how he instantly morphs himself into the devil to scare the crap out of the undead gangsters.

The second tale is silly--but what do you expect when your main protagonist is a bit of a bumbler to begin with? I did get a laugh at Fred seeming a bit too excited to see all of those skeletons.