Comic Cavalcade (1942) 9

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A great Christmas cover with no holiday spirit inside. With the exception of “The Story of Christopher Columbus.”

Columbus Day celebrates its namesake’s arrival in the Americas. Observance of the holiday varies from area to area. It shares itself with Yorktown Victory Day in Virginia and Puerto Rico Friendship Day on the Virgin Islands.

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 9

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 9

Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash are the mystery men and woman of the book with Hop Harrigan keeping the skies safe from Nazi menaces.

Mermaids are the villains in Wonder Woman’s story “The Subsea Pirates.”

Doiby Dickles becomes the damsel in distress for Green Lantern in “A Tale of a City.”

The Flash is featured in “The Tale of the Winged Horse.” An invitation is extended to join the liar’s circle.

Without a doubt, the oddest story is “Filipinos are People.” The “yarn” is “devoted to furthering understanding among the peoples of the world.”

Also included are some one and dones from Mutt and Jeff.

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Donald Duck’s Halloween Scream! (2015) 1

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Donald Duck’s Halloween Scream! (2015) 1

Donald Duck’s Halloween Scream! (2015) 1

IDW dusted off two Donald and nephews stories for its 2015 Halloween ComicFest offering.

The first, “It’s in the Bag!” is a retread from Donald Duck Adventures (1990) 7 and the second, “Public Ugly #1” from the same title an issue later.

In the first story Donald goads his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie into betting who can collect the most candy. Donald doesn’t realize the age prejudice he won’t be able to overcome.

A fortunate turn of events has Donald the hero and the recipient of 13 tons of candy – on his front lawn.

By the second story Donald and the boys have had their fill of chocolate goodness. So has the town. Donald is slapped with a town order to dispose of the sweetness or face a fine.

Gyro Gearloose comes to the rescue with a new invention allowing Donald to transport the candy to an abandoned mine. Or, that’s the plan. Instead, the scheme goes afoul and Donald is on the lam to Bolivia.

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Uncle Scrooge Very Special Halloween

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This digital one-shot was released Oct. 23, 2013.

Huey, Dewey and Louie attempt to circumvent Gyro Gearloose’s latest invention in an effort to relieve Uncle Scrooge of some of his candy. This Halloween tradition will continue to fail unless the triplets can find a way to scare their uncle.

For 2013 Gyro has created a machine that allows Scrooge to see each visitor’s true identity. Roles and settings are reversed leaving too many of Scrooge’s worst nightmares roaming the money bin.

A quick and satisfying read while sorting through the candy this Halloween.

Uncle Scrooge Very Special Halloween

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Hallmark Holiday ornaments (Part 2)

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I hate it when Halloween is bypassed for Christmas, but we’re gonna break my self-imposed rule just this once. Hallmark is offering the following ornaments beginning today:

Santa Spidey

Santa Spidey

DC Comics Christopher Reeve as Superman Musical Ornament

DC Comics Batman Classic TV Series Batboat Ornament

DC Comics Batman Classic TV Series Batgirl Ornament

Marvel Studios Captain Marvel Mystery Box Ornament

Marvel Spider-Man Here Comes Spidey Claus Ornament

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Comic Cavalcade (1942) 12

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Comic Cavalcade (1942) 12

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 12

Masks upon masks upon masks for the Fall 1945 issue of Comic Cavalcade.

As was the model for the title, the cover featured a seasonal event, but the interior proved its own beast.

Wonder Woman was featured in “Rebellion on Paradise Island.” Rival Dalma is jealous of her Amazon sister. She attempts a coup to assume control of the island.

“A Race Against Time” has Green Lantern and Doiby Dickles attempting to foil a murder during a six-day bicycle race.

The Flash is “Painting the Town” with “nitwit” inventors on the loose.

Mainstay Hap Harrigan must stop Professor Robomb from killing him in “The Adventure of the Million-Dollar Parcel!”

Also included in the 80-page giant are “A Medal for Mervyn!” and “Johnny Everyman.” Mutt and Jeff tag along for some shorts, too.

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World of Archie Comics Double Digest 72

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At 150 pages, the digest is a hearty tome.

As with most Archie-holiday themed digests, the first quarter to third serves up the flavor or the season. The remainder is crowded with various reprints from throughout the years.

World of Archie Comics Double Digest issue 72 is no exception. The first few stories deal with a Halloween theme:  “Something is Missing,” has Jughead’s sister vying for the candy crown in a contest of wills and stomachs. Reggie is terrified by Jughead’s idea in “Beasties in the Night.” Reggie is the focus of more mischief in “Mad House.” Mr. Lodge adds to the local legends with an investment in fun.

“Wishy Washy” is pulled from a more recent timeline as Archie finds yearnings come true; as long as the rules are obeyed.

Archie returns in “Study Aid.” Dalton teaches the redhead there is no substitute for hard work.

In “Space Fright” no one can hear you scheme. Archie nominates Mr. Weatherbee as the first teacher in space. The two learn neither has the right stuff.

World of Archie Comics Double Digest 72

World of Archie Comics Double Digest 72

Archie dresses the part as a study partner for Moose in “Study Partner.”

The middle part of the book returns to prehistoric times for four stories. Jughead is the original Henry Ford in “Leave the Driving to Us.” Archie and Jughead are culinary cavemen in “Flame Out.” The boys learn writing can be a painful experience in “The Write Stuff.”

And, Jughead finds greed to be a cool sensation in “Fare and Cooler.”

Several one-page gags offer a breather before jumping back to “Miss Grundy’s Retirement.” The aging instructor decides she has had enough. Students and staff work to keep her in school.

“Tapir Caper” is Jughead and Archie earning the ire of Mr. Lodge.

Archie finds his pins are weak when he discovers a new girl in “Bowled Over.”

Exercise is the way to remembering in “Down Memory Lane.”

Nostalgia has the boys eager to house clean in “Komic Kooks.”

“Lucky Loser” shows misfortune is in the eye of the beholder.

Up next is “Mystery Date.” Everyone wins in the end.

Generational issues are over come in “Gap Flap” when Archie and his dad agree to disagree.

“Hit the Deck” is Mr. Weatherbee’s Pirates of the Caribbean.

Archie and Betty teach his dad a lesson in sexism in “Cooking Up a Story.”

The second “Write Stuff” proves Jughead’s composition is as edible as it is readable.

“Soup Gets the Bird” exposes Super Duck’s ignorance.

Archie goes to the ends of the Earth to accede an order in “Obedience Training.”

Finally, “Halloween Scene” closes the book. Archie is the great pumpkin treat while Reggie is falling apart.

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The Puppet Master Annual 1 (2015)

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What began as an independent horror film became a franchise birthing 12 films after the original in 1989.

Malibu, under the Eternity Comics imprint, picked up the first comic book license running four issues. A two-issue mini followed in 1991.

The Puppet Master Annual 1 (2015)

The Puppet Master Annual 1 (2015)

The four-color franchise sat idle until 2015 when Action Lab Entertainment, under the Danger Zone imprint, resurrected the title. From March of that year through November 2016, 20 issues were published. Including The Puppet Master annual one or Halloween Special.

The annual itself focuses on younger, scantily clad women – are there any other kind in horror movies? – and a visit from Neil Gallagher.

Mr. Gallagher delivers a bag of puppets that come to life and kill all but their benefactor. His ultimate plan is to discover the secret of immortality the puppets possess. Somehow the killing spree is supposed to revel that.
Whatever.

A quick and decent read to bring in Halloween 2019.

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Hellblazer (1988) 42

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Do you really need an excuse to have a beer? If so, today is your day. Today is National Drink Beer Day.

Not a Hallmark holiday by any stretch of the imagination, National Drink Beer Day, needless to say, is unofficial. Beer’s origins are murky as well. There is some proof beer was first crafted in what is now Iran in the fifth century B.C.

Later it spread throughout Europe by Roman soldiers and later still through its production in monasteries.

Hellblazer (1988) 42

Hellblazer (1988) 42

To celebrate National Drink Beer Day, Four Color Holidays presents Hellblazer 42. Spoiler: if you’ve never read the title, at least Garth Ennis’ run, stop reading this now. Drop your beer and get the hardcovers, trades or floppies. Then you can crack your cold one.

Ennis steered John Constantine through issues 41 to 83. All are good, but the first story arc is the best.

In it Constantine discovers he has lung cancer. He sets about seeking a cure through sorcery. In the second chapter of the tale he finds himself in Ireland sharing a very special drink with an old friend. I won’t spoil the rest.

Wikipedia describes Hellblazer as a “contemporary horror comic book series.” A simple answer that falls short of properly appreciating how Ennis handled his chronicling chores. The book has shown sparks of brilliance before and since, but never shone as brightly as it did during those brief years.

Cheers.

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Classics Illustrated Junior (1953) 515

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Today is Johnny Appleseed Day. Yes, it’s a legitimate holiday. One that commemorates the birth of John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed.

Chapman is credited with seeding parts of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania with apple trees. His day is normally celebrated on his birth date, but is also recognized as March 11, prime apple planting season.

Chapman/Appleseed planted orchards that he would revisit from time-to-time and care for. When the orchards were developed, he would sell them at a profit.

With no specific area that celebrates the holiday, this day is for those who either plant apple trees or enjoy apple or apple-based products in Chapman’s memory.

Classics Illustrated Junior was published by The Gilberton Miller Company from 1953 to 1962. The 77-issue run featured stories of legends, myths and fairy tales.

 

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Action Comics (1938) 454

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National Cheeseburger Day is certainly not one of the Federal or State holidays. It is perennially celebrated Sept. 18, offering an excuse to chow down on a greasy burger topped with cheese and favorite condiments.

Action Comics (1938) 454

Action Comics (1938) 454

German immigrants brought the hamburger to America. Hamburg steak was a popular dish among lower-class Germans. Later it was placed between two slices of bread becoming a sandwich. It was properly introduced to the American public at the 1904 World’s Fair and became the darling of the nation.

Cheese was added sometime later, possibly between the 1920s and 1930s to Americanize the sandwich. No one has legitimately laid claim to creating the cheeseburger, but the bacon cheeseburger can be credited to Dale Mulder in his A&W Restaurant in 1963.

While Action Comics issue 454 does not celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, the cover does commemorate the holiday well enough. Though a bit over represented, the scene does appear inside the book.

Superman’s fast food gobble is a bid to maintain his metabolism after Toyman finds a way to deprive the Action Ace of the power-giving sun light. The man of steel finally figures out a solution and “Superman’s Energy-Crisis” is wrapped up with enough room for the Atom to close out the book in “The Campus That Swallowed Itself.” The title is longer than the actual story.

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