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Diary of an Aardvark?

From "Only Two Will Return", Black Magic v.8 #1 (=#46) (Prize, 1961).

I’ve been reading Black Magic v.4 #4 (=#28) (Prize, 1954). This was a horror title produced by Simon and Kirby. The indicia title was Black Magic Magazine.

Here’s “Buried Alive!”, drawn by Steve Ditko:

 

It’s The Fall of the House of Usher with the ending changed!

 

Here’s one of two stories Kirby drew for the issue: “Alive After Five Thousand Years!”

The opening is closely imitated from The Mummy (1932), and the plot comes from that movie and perhaps "The Ring of Thoth" by Arthur Conan Doyle, on which it may have been partly based.

Scans from Comic Book Plus.

Many of the Black Magic stories were reprinted by DC in the '70s and are available in The Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol. 1. (There is also a volume reprinting the original Black Magic series.)

The original series ran from 1950-54. That doesn't sound so long, but it was likely the anti-comics backlash that killed it. One of the issues, #29, was used as an example in the Senate hearings.

When Kirby went to DC in the 1970s several of his projects recycled the genres he and Simon had concentrated on post-war: In the Days of the Mob was a crime comic; the unpublished True Divorce Cases and Soul Love romance comics; and Spirit World was about the occult/uncanny, Black Magic's subject-matter.

The "Diary of an Aardvark" panels are from the revival of the title, which ran from 1957-1961. Simon edited, but this was after the break-up of the S&K partnership so Kirby wasn't involved. The stories were Twilight Zoners. (The Twilight Zone itself didn't start until 1959.)

"...the unpublished True Divorce Cases and Soul Love romance comics..."

Unpublished until recently...

Apparently the Dingbats were initially conceived as supporting characters for a martial arts feature called "Death Fingers". I would not have guessed that!  I found a preview of Dingbat Love at Google Books, and it covers this.

Kirby's proposal might be the reason he drew an issue of Richard Dragon.


Luke Blanchard said:

Apparently the Dingbats were initially conceived as supporting characters for a martial arts feature called "Death Fingers". I would not have guessed that!  I found a preview of Dingbat Love at Google Books, and it covers this.

Edith Bunker led a crew of printer's ornamentations into Kung-fu mayhem? Man, that must have been some comic.

"Kirby's proposal might be the reason he drew an issue of Richard Dragon."

Kirby's contract called for him to produce an insane number of pages each week, 15 I think. Richard Dragon was toward the end of his contract and he was assigned to meet his page count.


From Condorman #1 (Gold Key, 1981). Panels rearranged. The series was based on a Disney movie, and ran three issues. The first two adapted the movie.

What are we blaming youth violence on these days? Is it still video games? I remember when it used to be heavy metal music. I just read about a case predating both of these developments attributed to a different cause. On September 23, 1937, in Toledo, Ohio, 12-year-old Bobby Snyder drew a Mauser automatic pistol and shot and wounded his 60-year-old principal, June Mapes, in the school office. Police theorized that he was driven to the attack by exciting radio shows such as The Green Hornet.

That really stings.

It looks like someone beat Dr. Wertham to the "comics as the root of all evil" riff, though using a different medium.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

What are we blaming youth violence on these days? Is it still video games? I remember when it used to be heavy metal music. I just read about a case predating both of these developments attributed to a different cause. On September 23, 1937, in Toledo, Ohio, 12-year-old Bobby Snyder drew a Mauser automatic pistol and shot and wounded his 60-year-old principal, June Mapes, in the school office. Police theorized that he was driven to the attack by exciting radio shows such as The Green Hornet.

"That really stings."

I see what you did there.

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