Friday, August 31, 2012

Quality Comics Indicia: Early indicators

When I was writing the book, no copy of Quality's first issue, Feature Funnies #1 (Oct. 1937), was available to me. Well it still isn't available, but a gracious collector, Todd Warren, has hooked me up with another collector who was willing to take a solid picture of its indicia! (Incidentally, I just provided my coverless paper scan of issue #2 to the DCM. Now to get my issue of Uncle Sam Quarterly uploaded!)

Indicia from Feature Funnies #1 (Oct. 1937)

There is something curious about the indicia in the first line, where it inexplicably reads "VOL. 9." This seems too deliberate to be a typo. Volume numbers were used regularly by periodicals of the time and reliably counted the years of publication. This would have meant that whatever "predecessor" would have begun in 1929.

What's interesting is that this year is the same in which George Delacorte launched Dell's The Funnies. That book actually continued in publication through 1939 and there are no similarities in the content between it and Feature Funnies (in fact, some of the strips in Dell's book later moved into National's). Famous Funnies by Eastern Color ran from 1934–1955.

The same volume designation appears in Feature Funnies #2. This opens up a whole lot of questions, especially because of something Will Eisner said, which nags me to this day. Eisner stated,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Phantom Lady Preview is Up!

Out this week! DC Comics has released a preview of this mini-series:

When she was very young, Jennifer Knight watched her parents get killed by Metropolis’ oldest and strongest crime family: The Benders. Cut to years later and an adult Jennifer is following in her father’s footsteps by taking on the crime world as a reporter … and as a super hero! Phantom Lady to be exact. But will she experience the same fate as her parents when she tries to infiltrate the next generation of Benders? And don’t miss the astonishing origin of the diminutive hero Doll Man!

Featuring a cover by Amanda Conner with Paul Mounts, PHANTOM LADY #1 is written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and is illustrated by Cat Staggs and Tom Derenick.
The description reveals the change in her alter ego's name from Sandra or Stormy, to Jennifer. It remains to be seen whether she has any personal scientific connection to her powers and gear. The original Phantom Lady was the inventor of her fantastic powers, which came from her "black light wristbands." 

The preview's pages reveal that this Phantom Lady uses special goggles for night vision and "3-D relay vision, and can "shadow slide," or transport herself via shadows. This is a change that echoes the super-powers of Nightshade and Obsidian (neither of whom have a DCnU presence as of yet). 

SIDE NOTE: Notice the awesome logo for Doll Man, which riffs of the original Quality logo!

Original Logo
Logo from Phantom Lady #1
More here...