Archive for the ‘Labor Day’ Category

Posted Monday, September 5th, 2022 by Barry

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (1954) 107

Whether you enjoy your job or not, today is Labor Day and for those who work for a living, we salute you.

Labor Day is celebrated the first Monday in September to honor the American labor movement. By the late 19th century, trade unions and labor movements were on the rise. Unionists championed a day to celebrate the working man. The Central Labor Union and Knights of Labor organized the first parade, which marched through the streets of New York in 1887. Oregon was the first state to make it a public holiday and the notion was celebrated in 30 states by the time it became a federal holiday.

In the past we’ve had Superman do his share of heavy lifting to keep the site going. Today we call upon the Man of Steel once more with his appearance in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (1954) issue 107.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (1954) 107

The short and sweet of the story is Superman must perform menial jobs as commanded by an alien court for stopping an alien bounty hunter from killing the destroyer of his world until the killer is caught.

Or, something like that.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen was a bi-monthly begun in September-October 1954. The title ran until March of 1974, publishing a total of 163 issues.

All thanks to the popular Adventures of Superman television series that began airing in 1952.

Olsen was played by Jack Larson during the shows’ run. He was offered a solo series in 1959 after George Reeves was found dead. Old footage of Reeves and a stunt double would have been used for additional footage, but the show was to focus on Olsen and his career as a photo journalist. Larson refused to cash in on the dead and the idea never materialized.

The book spent much of its history knocking around the absurd with writers and artists offering imaginary tales featuring Olsen in improbable situations.

Some of those adventures involved Jimmy turning into a werewolf, a woman, morbidly obese, a human porcupine, a gorilla, radioactive, etc.

Jack Kirby changed all that when he took over in 1970 with issue 133. His universe expanded the consciousness of Superman’s buddy and the world around him. Literal New Gods were introduced and old memories brought back like the Newsboy Legion and the Guardian.

So, enjoy the day with a little rest – if possible – and, check out Scott’s take on the title at Nerdsync.


Posted Monday, September 6th, 2021 by Barry

Popeye and Business and Office Careers (1972)

While waiting for the burgers to grill, drinks to chill and stomachs to fill check out a piece of the past while celebrating Labor Day 2021.

Popeye and supporting cast head to the office for a walkthrough of white-collar life circa 1972.  There, host Popeye explains job opportunities from the ground level up. Receptionists greet the reader along with an explanation of their duties.

Popeye and Business and Office Careers (1972)

Next stop are typists and their duties followed by file clerks. Each stop is punctuated with “interviews” from respective workers and the level of school needed to perform their functions.

Following are the stenographers as are legal secretaries.

Popeye doesn’t stop with the workers, but spotlights the machines they must use as well. This leads to the people who operate them and their duties.

Those who finish the book are encouraged to participate in planning their future work career.

Other books designed to set readers on a career paths included in the Career Educational Series included Health, Environmental, Communications, Transportation, Construction, Consumer & Homemaking, Manufacturing, Hospitality & Recreation, Marketing & Distribution, Public Service, Personal Service, Marine Science, Fine Arts & Humanities, and Agri-Business & Natural Resources.

King Features distributed the educational comic books to schools, hospitals, offices, etc.

Labor Day dates back at least to 1882 and the Knights of Labor. Central Labor Union Secretary Matthew Maguire is said to have proposed a national holiday to celebrate the worker.

Others attribute the notion to Peter J. McGuire, vice president of the American Federation of Labor.

Whichever the case, President Grover Cleveland backed a September commemoration and Labor Day became officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1894.

Posted Monday, September 7th, 2020 by Barry

Action Comics (1938) 159

Today we celebrate a day of work by not working; today is Labor Day.

Action Comics (1938) 159

Action Comics (1938) 159

As evidenced by the cover of Action Comics 159, Superman is going to be doing the heavy lifting.

This August, 1951, dated issue comes from a simpler time. One when readers would plunk down a dime for a story in which Lois Lane convinces Superman to sign a promissory note agreeing to perform all her wishes over a three-day period. The paper is lost, only to be found by Oscar Whimple, who proceeds to work the Man of Steel like a dog.

Also, included in this issue is Showdown in Suez! Starring Congo Bill. The character would later become a full-fledged ape known as Congorilla appearing in DC Comics Vertigo imprint.

Tommy Tomorrow appears in The Planeteer from the Past! The journeyman comic book character bounced through different DC titles from 1947 to 1963.

The Vigilante takes justice into his own hands in The Trigger Trail of ‘Wild’ Eddie Meeks! Greg Sanders, aka Greg Saunders, was the original Vigilante, riding the trails in the old west beginning in Action Comics 42.

An early origin of Labor Day is attributed to the Knights of Labor in 1882. Central Labor Union Secretary Matthew Maguire is credited with the proposal of a national holiday to celebrate the worker.

A second theory is Peter J. McGuire, vice president of the American Federation of Labor is the father of Labor Day.

Whichever the case, President Grover Cleveland backed a September commemoration and Labor Day became officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1894.

Posted Monday, September 2nd, 2019 by Barry

Wonder Woman (1942) 222

Finally, the last labor of Wonder Woman’s 12 labors.

I say finally, but issue 222 is based on enough urban myth to make it interesting.

Wonder Woman finishes her labors in a sinister Disney World clone. The villain this issue is a thinly veiled version of Walt Disney called Wade Dazzle.

Wonder Woman (1942) 222

Wonder Woman (1942) 222

Dazzle is ensconced in a bunker below Dazzleland. From there he engineers his nefarious plan to kidnap people and steal their life force. This is all done without detection due to a miracle contraption that allows Dazzle make duplicates of people.

That includes himself.

Dazzle is dead, body and soul, except for brainwaves he can use to manipulate his clone. His corpse is frozen in a huge chunk of ice hung on a wall Han-in-carbonite style.

Wonder Woman inadvertently destroys the Dazzle doppelganger as well as her own to save the day. By unanimous vote, she is reinstated as a member of the Justice League of America with the promise, “Next: The first chapter of Wonder Woman’s NEW life begins with a saga so shocking we dare not reveal its title!”

Thanks to the we see it was called “Welcome Back to Life…Steve Trevor!”

Happy Labor Day.

Posted Sunday, September 1st, 2019 by Barry

Wonder Woman (1942) 221

If you’ve been along for the ride this long, we’re almost done. Just this and one more to finish Wonder Woman’s 12 labors as Four Color Holidays celebrates Labor Day.

Wonder Woman (1942) 221

Wonder Woman (1942) 221

Thus far we’ve sat through plots to enslave the world, enslave time and enslave women. In this issue we read about how women enslave themselves.

A foreign dignitary is lured to a retreat with the promise of a youth formula. In return for turning back time, the princess will relinquish a “psycho-chemical formula.” With it, the user holds control of another’s personality.

Vanity proves to be the real villain in the story. It is also the cause of death bringing the book to a close.

In the epilogue Hawkman, who has observed the adventure, speaks for Wonder Woman and her reinstatement to the JLA.

The book ends on a cliffhanger with Batman entering and promising a conclusion to the labors and the story arc.

Posted Saturday, August 31st, 2019 by Barry

Wonder Woman (1942) 220

Wonder Woman’s ninth labor is chronicled by the Atom in “The Man Who Wiped Out Time!” on our way to Labor Day.

Chronos is the villain of the month. In keeping with his clock-themed crimes, Chronos “steals” time in New York City.

Wonder Woman spends 32 pages, including ads, deducing who the time thief is and then defeating him.

Chornos was created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane. His first appearance was in The Atom (1962). Over time Chronos became one of the Atom’s chief villains.

Wonder Woman (1942) 220

Posted Friday, August 30th, 2019 by Barry

Wonder Woman (1942) 219

Wonder Woman’s labors are nearly as taxing as the tales in which she performs them.

Wonder Woman (1942) 219

Wonder Woman (1942) 219

Continuing the Amazon’s self-imposed labors for reinstatement to the Justice League of America, Elongated Man Ralph Dibny plays voyeur. He’s able to bring the reader along with the aid of a video camera.

In this issue Diana fights against the male-dominated patriarch of Xro. Their women have become uppity due to the influence of Earth females. The males have decided to kidnap the feminists of our planet. Once captured, they will be brainwashed into teaching the women of Xro they are to be subservient of the master race: Men.

Wonder Woman is able to foil their plan and transport the Earth woman back home. Thanks to Elongated Man’s recording of the event, fellow Justice Leaguers are able to see the entire adventure.

Fortunately for readers the labors are coming to an end. Only Atom, Hawkman and Batman have to observe.

Posted Thursday, August 29th, 2019 by Barry

Wonder Woman (1942) 218

This issue is a two-fer with guest stars Red Tornado and the Phantom Stranger as they monitor Wonder Woman’s seventh and eighth labors, respectively.

Wonder Woman (1942) 218

Wonder Woman (1942) 218

Red Tornado observes as Wonder Woman loses control of her powers. She later finds astrologer Damon Celestris is responsible for the mishaps. He has invented a machine allowing people to achieve their dreams as he divines them. The catch is Wonder Woman’s powers interfere with both his device and plans.

Gearing for the Bicentennial the second story, “Give Her Liberty – And Give Her Death!” is Bronze (age) cheese. Felix Faust is the villain who is attempting to enslave America.

He is told by demons he summons Americans prize their liberty. To chain the people to his will, Faust must first take their symbols of freedom. That would include the Statue of Liberty.

Wonder Woman follows Lady Liberty to Faust’s hideaway after a heated battle. He reveals his plan and finds it foiled as the Amazon uses her whiles and weapons to best the fiend.

Click back tomorrow as the countdown to Labor Day continues with Wonder Woman’s 12 Labors.

Posted Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 by Barry

Wonder Woman (1942) 217

The continuing labors of Wonder Woman showcase Green Arrow as her watcher for issue 217.

Wonder Woman (1942) 217

First appearing in Wonder Woman (1942) issue one, the Duke of Deception returns in this 50-cent giant from May of 1975. In addition to the original story, two reprints flesh out the book. The first is “The Return of Diana Prince” from Sensation Comics issue nine. Second is “Fun House of Time” from Wonder Woman 101.

“The Day Time Broke Loose” has the Duke seeking control of the United Nations Delegates. With them in line he plans to “plunge the entire world into war…and make Mars, the War-God, bow to me…as Mars Once made me bow to him!”

Wonder Woman defeats the would-be war monger and Green Arrow is able to file his report recommending Wonder Woman for reinstatement to the Justice League of America.

The final word panel dedicates the story to Wonder Woman and lie detector creator “William Marston—alias Charles Moulton.”

Posted Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 by Barry

Wonder Woman (1942) 216

Wonder Woman’s fifth test in her 12 labors is to stop an invasion of men from setting foot on Paradise Island. Black Canary was the Amazon’s monitor in “Paradise of Peril!”

Wonder Woman (1942) 216

Wonder Woman (1942) 216

Billionaire Diogenes Diamandopoloulos, a thinly veiled doppelganger to Aristotle Onassis, channels his resources into conquering the timeless tale that no male may trod upon the island.

Legends say if man does step foot on Themyscira, the island will be engulfed in a tsunami or Zeus will hurl lightning bolts down from the heavens or that a whirlpool will suck the land mass to the bottom of the sea. In truth, if any man would walk on Paradise Island any Amazon would fall in love with him. The curse was spun by Aphrodite as punishment for Hippolyta deception by man.

Diamandopoloulos’ mercenary army attacks the island, but are repulsed by Wonder Woman and her sisters.
In the end it is revealed Diamandopoloulos has undertaken the gamble to impress Wonder Woman whom he has fallen in love.

Black Canary finishes her report with the recommendation Wonder Woman be reinstated as a Justice League member.