Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Change of Plans! On with the program, Wanted 32

Ok, kiddie cats, change of plans. My first thought was to have this page be an organized presentation of some underground paper scans, but I'm still a bit hazy on the specifics of how I'm going to go about that. While I still plan to put that project together, I'm going to erstwhile just start keeping this page as a scan diary. I'll post some old scans as they relate to newer scans but am pretty much going to get into new stuff. I scan an eclectic mix of publications, as I love variety and think the wonder of our culture is in its diversity and like to keep the ball bouncing. This blog has been stagnating a bit too long, so I'll cast any attempt at coherency out the door for a bit and get on with posting new scans.

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Here's Wanted 32 from December 1950 on Toytown. It looks like Toytown/Orbit/Patches published out of St. Louis and their main titles were Wanted, Love Diary and The Westerner (Wild Bill Pecos). Mort Leav started as the art director and did a lot of the covers and lead stories.

A wiki for Mort Leav:

This cover is by Mort Lawrence and is one of my favorite in the series, a fiery scene of some sort of crime of passion and the walls closing in. I guess the fiery dude serves as a sort of narrator sort of function. Does anyone know how he got stuck with the job? Was he a victim or perpetrator of crime? This ish leads with Mort Leav's "The Man Who Lost his Face" about a pretty boy mobster ready to kill a lass that scratches him for unbecoming advances. A weasel like that is a natural to fall in with the mob bosses' girlfriend. Murder, double-cross and plastic surgery ensue. Second up, part of Action Unlimited, "Now you can watch Tony Action - In Action!" A survey asks if reader want this one to continue, I can't imagine there was too strong of a response, heh heh. The text story "The Red Neck-Tie" regards a color blind tough guy that just wants to be a goodfella. Somehow he lands a job in a fabric stockroom, sent to help the mob boss pick out his drapes, his color blindness is exposed, but the mob boss likes him anyway. A strange story. Third Up, Syd Shore's art in "Dead Man's Witness." A raid on a small time bookmaker reveals a nationwide effort by the mob to rig horse races. It's time to call in the FBI, cuz only the federal government is smart enough to deal with the wily syndicate. Last up, my favorite of the bunch, John Buscema art in "Gang Doctor." If there's one thing worse than criminals, it's doctors. Watch Gang Doctor play to hypochondriac jet-setters only to be introduced to gangsters willing to pay his steep fees for hush hush bullet wound surgeries. Are there no bounds to Gang Doctor's greed? A fun ish! I guess this title is a bit notorious for grit and violence, but I thought the art was pretty good in here and the stories quirky how I like em.



Get the full hi-res scan here.

Samples. This dangerous pretty boy is hardcore. He makes ungentlemanly advances on a girl and she scratches him. Never scratch a pretty boy's face! I love the last panel on the page, brutal crime comics:

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Hmm. I find this one unsettling. Man kills cheating wife, escapes prison, could be anywhere! The end.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Darwin's Free Press

Welcome all. It looks like I've found my own little corner here to showcase my efforts as a digital preservationist and kick some culture in the process. Some of you may know me from other places on the interwebs - welcome to my blog! Simply put - I love to scan and I believe in the popular preservation of our printed culture. Preservation means capturing the scarcer, more delicate, and forgotten parts of our printed culture but also pondering their nature. I'll be bringing in a portion of my older scans as I get the time, but I'm all about what's next and a handful of ongoing projects. Right now, my main concern is kick-starting some preservation of the underground/free press papers of the 60s and 70s. These are documents of a peculiar time of turmoil, and a digital library of these papers will make an amazing resource for examination of what seems to be often referred to as The Movement. I have scanned a good number of these papers and will be posting them in the days to come as well as posting new entries. My goal is to get a wide survey of papers from all over the country and ranging in time from their birth to their demise. My personal interest in these papers is largely as a type of media outside of normal bounds. As the number of newspapers shrink and our mass media becomes more and more conglomerated, I am interested in new forms of media that operate outside of corporate or economic channels. What is the future of the people's media? What might it look like? What are it's strengths and limitations? Can this blogosphere touch lives and change society or is it just so much white noise? Stay tuned, perhaps we will find out.