Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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I made a mistake in my review of the first issue of Blue Bolt, in that I referred to the title's last year of publication by Novelty Press as its final year. In fact, the title was continued for over a year and a half by Star Publications, and then converted into Blue Bolt Weird Tales of Terror. During the former period some of the early features from the title, such as "Phantom Sub" came back as reprints (but not in the very first issues).

I've been reading the contents from Blue Bolt Comics #103, the second Star Publications issue (via a later reprint of the issue). According to the GCD the contents of the issue were all reprints, behind a new cover by L.B. Cole. An appreciation of Cole can be found here.

The first story features "Blue Bolt, the American" and comes (according to the GCD) from Blue Bolt Comics v.7 #2, the sixty-eighth issue. By this stage he had no powers or costume and was apparently a professional pilot. The story recounts his first adventure working with a photographer for Glimpses magazine. The second story features "Pete Stockbridge, the Chameleon", and comes (according etc.) from Target Comics v.6 #10. The title character is a master of disguise, and the story has him impersonating a kidnapped Latin American ruler to prevent a coup. These two stories are both drawn (by different artists) in a clear but stiff style.

The third story features "Candid Charlie". This is an adventure story about a boy photographer and his brother drawn in a cartoony style. The final story features "Target and the Targeteers", and is a superhero story on a level with a lesser DC story from the 50s. This is also drawn in a clear, non-cartoony style, but it lacks the stiffness of and is more entertaining than the issue's first two tales. The GCD attributes the art on the Charlie and Targeteers stories to Joe Certa, and lists them as reprints from Target Comics, but it doesn't have the source issue numbers.
Alan M. said:
And then I started reading Timestorm: 2009 - 2099; I'll keep with it, but I'm not super-keen on its re-writing of the 2099 universe so far. At the very least, I'm going to keep reading so I can see if there's a worthwhile explanation for why they're re-writing the 2099 universe.

Finished this, and there really wasn't a good reason for re-writing the 2099 (part of the re-write suggests that the 2099 universe now isn't actually the year 2099, but is actually centuries in the future). I feel no need to recommend this to anyone, really. :-/
Thanks, Alan. Glad I skipped it.
As I was reading it, I kept thinking, "I wonder if Chris has read this; I don't think he would like it at all..."
I've just finished the material from Blue Bolt v.9, #8, one of the final issues of its Novelty Press run. This one had three features, "Dick Cole", "Rick Richards", and "Edison Bell", and some filler pages.

The "Dick Cole" tale is a school rivalry story: Dick is portrayed as athletic, but there's no indication that he's superhuman.

"Rick Richards" started appearing in the title in 1947. The star of the feature is a millionaire with "odd adrenal glands" that give him superior strength when stimulated. The story, set in the West Indies, involves a lovelorn baseball player, a lady sports columnist, an American gangster rebuilding his gang, a fight with a crocodile, and a climactic brawl.

The "Edison Bell" story is about an ice boat race. This could be just an adventurous boys story, except Edison shows some ingenuity at the climax saving his friend from going over a falls. The story is followed by a page instructing the reader how to make a hand-held ice sail. (The first instalment was followed by a page detailing how to make a model of the story's robot.)

The three stories are all drawn in a clear late 40s style (the "Rick Richards" one has a slightly sketchy look that I like), but unlike the first two reprints from #103 their storytelling is neither stiff nor dull.
I've been reading the stories from Quality's All Humor Comics #3 from 1946/47. The first story, with art by Bart Tumey, has something of the Mad-like quality that the Captain has noted in Jack Cole's work. Another of the stories is signed by Paul Gustavson, who, it turns out, did bigfoot humour art very well.

Back at early Vertigo, I read the Prestige format one-shot Mercy, by J.M. DeMatteis & Paul Johnson. This is DeMatteis at his most mystical, but it does work as a story. Beautiful painted art by Johnson.

I own this book, but I'm pretty darn sure I've never even thought about cracking it open to take a look at it. I know I bought it way back when for some reason, undoubtedly at a comics show quarter bin.
I've read the latest two issues of Green Lantern Corps, which I thought were excellent; the first issue of Osborne, which was wonderfully infuriating; the latest issue of Red Robin, which was a good story with some great art; and the latest three issues of Justice League Generation Lost, which were hit and miss. I thought I would love Generation Lost, because I'm such a big JLI fan, but instead it's been okay. I still hate that they've villainized Max Lord and killed Blue Beetle, so I'm probably just a bit bitter.
Finished JLA: Rock of Ages, and all I can say is: what happened? I'm sure Figs will tell me over at the Morrison thread, so I'll head over there later.

A different sort of mysticism in my early Vertigo reading today: Rogan Gosh by Peter Milligan & Brendan McCarthy. It's an adventure story/search for enlightenment in the guise of an Indian comic book (also sometimes described as as an "Indian science fiction series"). Originally published in the British anthology Revolver, where it was sufficiently baffling to readers that Milligan included an Afterward in this edition which explains how to read it (sort of). It's a crazed psychedelic narrative that follows two guys on their spiritual journey, through other realms, England, and India. It also features Rudyard Kipling, and a young man who commits suicide at the end. It's the young suicide's story that resonates the most for me, possibly because it's presented the most realistically. McCarthy goes nuts on the visuals; it's the wildest coloring I can remember in a Vertigo comic. None of that drab earth tones stuff here!
I've read the stories from Hit Comics #64, from near the end of the title's run. This contained four features.

"Jeb Rivers", an adventure series about a 19th century Mississippi river boat pilot. Drawn by Reed Crandall. One of the villains is a Blackhawk-ish evil sexy lady. Rivers also featured in the issue's text story.

"Sir Roger", a bigfoot comedy series about a tramp. In this instalment he gets a job as a lifeguard and makes a hash of it. Nicely drawn by, the GCD tells me, Bernard Dibble, who I don't think I've heard of before.

"Bob and Swab", another bigfoot comedy series about the adventures of a marine and a sailor. In this one, set in a Middle Eastern country, their woman chasing gets them into trouble when the women turn out to be would-be witches who want to cut out their hearts to make an eternal life elixir. Nicely drawn by Klaus Nordling.

"Betty Bates", about a pretty lady DA. In this instalment she goes undercover to get information on a guy running a crooked gambling house. The GCD tentatively attributes the story to John Forte. You could call the style "Crandall school", for want of a better term.
I've read the stories from Hit Comics #60, the last issue before "Jeb Rivers" replaced "Kid Eternity" in the lead slot. The other features are the same as in #64. The GCD credits the art on both the "Kid Eternity" and "Betty Bates" stories to Al Bryant. They don't look like the work of the same artist to me. The "Kid Eternity" story is much like the others from his series I've seen, the "Betty Bates" tale has a good plot but ends weakly. I thought its art had something extra. In the "Sir Roger" story Roger is hired to play a tramp in a movie. The GCD credits the art this time around to Bart Tumey. The "Bob and Swab" story involves its protagonists playing a prank on sailors from another ship and ends on a surprisingly subtle note. The text story stars Kid Eternity.

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