Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Monster of the Mire!

Some of you know I've been working on a Swamp Monsters book for IDW / Yoe Books (more info on that coming soon!), and over the last year of dredging around the old long boxes for suitably themed stories, I found this creep-filled, adventurously Scooby Doo-esque story (not included in my book) from the September 1950 issue of Doll Man #30. And while I typically don't post much "hero" stuff, I thought this was just fun enough to include here, in particular for the brilliantly brisk writing, (Darrel Dane's dialog is dynamite, haha), and the super great artwork by Bill Quackenbush (?)

And no offense, Doll Man, but I think we all know who the real doll of this story is...


Brian Barnes said...

I'm not really a vacation guy, myself, but I've been on a few ... and not a single one has some kind of criminal or supernatural activity broken out. Yet these folks, it's nearly 100% of the time!

Good actual for an early super hero comic, lots of dynamic art, aside from the relatively goofy alligators. I like the monster design, too. It's a brisk read, the captions are kept to a minimum, pretty good for 1950!

Doll Man punched a LOT of stuff in this one. Alligators! Monsters! Probably the snake though it's not shown.

Guy Callaway said...

Cool art (and monster) aside, I can't grasp how turning doll-size is at all useful?
Thanx for this semi-change of pace!

JMR777 said...

Doll Man, the mini superhero predating The Atom either by one year (little remembered golden age Atom) or 22 years (silver age current Atom) You can learn a lot from the internet, especially important things like superheroes and pre code horror comics.

The monster costume was cool, a one eyed cyclops swamp thing. Maybe not a horror story but a fun story all the same. Thanks Karswell!

Mr. Cavin said...

Super clean and elegant art here. This guy's line is very suave. The figures (including the animals) almost look like animation models. And it strikes me as very energetic to picture so much from the level of the water--this guy really knew how to draw around the balloons. The colorist wasn't phoning it in, either. The screen details on the first page, in the splash and the smaller panels, is amazing and intricate. I also really like the orderly color design of the boat interior (panel one, page four). Lovely stuff.

Kind of ironic about spinning the crocodile, though. I'm pretty sure that would not have worked.

Grant said...

If you're a reptile fan, it's nice to see an alligator and a venomous snake that only get slapstick type violence done to them (assuming the snake unties itself). And I don't just mean in EARLIER adventure stories - venomous snakes (and I guess alligators too) are probably STILL fair game in outdoor stories.

Mestiere said...

For some reason the idea of Doll Man needing a little superhero uniform with a cape amuses me.

He "condenses" his atoms. Think about that. Since he is six inches tall—about 12 times shorter than normal—he reduced his volume by 12³=1728 times while keeping the same weight. He is 154 times denser than lead, 78 times denser than the densest material on Earth, osmium. Doll Man must be bulletproof! Now the bad news:

• Since he weights as much as a normal man he needs to spend as much energy as a normal man. But his lungs have 1728 times less volume than normal. He must breathe extremely quickly to provide oxygen to his body. He wouldn't be able to hold his breath at all.

• When he jumped on that alligator he probably would have gone right through it. After which he would have sunk to the bottom of that swamp.

• His eyes only let in 12²=144 times less light than normal eyes. He should be blind! There's a reason why little animals have big eyes. But they still have diminished resolution and a limited ability to see colors.

• Doll Man's ears should be too small and dense for him to hear anything.

• His tiny, extremely dense vocal cords probably don't work. If they do he must sound like a mouse.

Of course, this is fantasy. You could always claim that Doll Man can control his mass. But if he can do that why would he need to change sizes? The answer to that question is, of course, obvious. So he can wear his little superhero outfit!

nutsilica.blogspot.com said...

Swamp Monsters! My immediate thought was that my two favourite swamp monster tales are Outer Sanctum in Mad, and The Swamp Monster by Basil Wolverton, but then I re-read Swamp Monster and realized it doesn't actually have the Swamp Monster in the story at all. It's an escaped prisoner on the run/ vampire story that takes place in the forest. I don't blame you for putting it in though because of the splash panel. It's a masterpiece.
Maybe a masterpiece can't be flawed though. The title and panel seems like he forgot what story he was doing. It's a really good splash panel but he could've came out with an equally good idea for the story he was doing!! Couldn't he?
It's the kind of thing a little kid would do.
That weird mistake shows how un-marketed and uncontrolled his creativity was. He was allowed to do anything he wanted.

Grant said...

This question isn't about a story, but I was wondering why I no longer see that sidebar with the links to the other comics sites, like "Pappy's."

glowworm2 said...

I got a kick out of this one. Dollman's dialogue is witty and hilarious. My favorite line is "Talk some more, Mister Monster! Say Ouch!"