Monday, August 31, 2020

Raines' Man

She's a swell looking, perky young frail 
But the fella she works for's in jail
Seems his alibi's riding
On a gal who's in hiding
It's one helluva a quirky noir tale.

To clear boss Alan Curtis, secretary Ella Raines turns detective in Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak; 1944).

Friday, August 28, 2020

Lust in Space

In the days before space gal Sigourney    
Most alien races seemed corny
More funny than strange 
But one thing won't change:
The way-out skirt-chasers are horny.

Planet Comics #23, 1943. Art by Dan Zolnerowich. Title by David Cairns.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cover Girly

The editor bought it and ran it
Doc Wertham’s advice was “Just ban it!”
But comic-book lovers
Still treasure the covers
Of every dumb issue of Planet.

Paul Truster

Cover art by Dan Zolnerowich. Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham wrote Seduction of the Innocent, a book which asserted that comic books caused youth to become delinquents.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Hero Tolerance

He'd tell the kids "Drugs! Don't go near 'em!"
To safer diversions he'd steer 'em.
He'd add "Look at me!
Completely drug-free...
Except for that government serum."

Donald B. Benson

Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs #1, 1991. Cover by Jose Marzan Jr and John Romita Sr.
Donald refers to the Super-Soldier serum, which turned the physically frail Steve Rogers into Captain America, "a nearly perfect human being with peak strength, agility, stamina, and intelligence."

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Prey of the Locust

This guy, who's a grave man of science
Could die in a wave of bug giants!
Though lab work is fun
He grabs a big gun
Lets fly with some brave self-reliance!

Pistol-packing agricultural Scientist Peter Graves battles giant locusts in Beginning of the End (Bert I. Gordon; 1957).

Monday, August 24, 2020


To the nightclub they come and they gawk
'Cause this sprite of a dummy can talk
And tell terrible jokes
But he'd scare all the foks
If the nightmare Tom Thumb took a walk.

Tales of the Mysterious Traveler #9, art by Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Bobby Sox Drawer

When Herbie grabs mic, starts to sing
He burbles just like Crosby, Bing
At each meaningless tune
The teens scream and swoon
The nerve to waste Lake in this thing.

Out of This World (Hal Walker; 1945) is in part a satire on the Frank Sinatra 'bobby soxer' cult. The gimmick is that Eddie Bracken's character Herbie sounds exactly like Bing Crosby--because it is Bing Crosby doing the singing. Sadly, Veronica Lake plays second fiddle to Diana Lynn.

This week has been Out of This World!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Paint Misbehavin'

Expressing my terror and dread
Is messy and garish and red
I used to be modest
But now I'm the oddest
Did you guess I'm not wearing a thread?

Out of this World #10 (1956). Cover art by Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Not a Miss But a Myth

Three people, two clearly mammalian
One creepy thing, near to an alien
No red on that blade --
Not dead but unmade?
Asleep, till appears her Pygmalion.

Donald B. Benson

Out of This World Adventures #2, December 1950. Cover art by James Bama. A pulp magazine which also featured a comics section, with stories by Joe Kubert, Gardner Fox, and John Giunta.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Out of This Lunchbox

What fun is our new techno-toy!
An unwary ship we'll decoy
The crew we can shake out
Like sushi from take out
Wish one of us brought sauce of soy!

Donald B. Benson

Through the skies zooms the great X-B2
A surprise that booms out of the blue
Remotely we steer it
We float, dive and veer it
Just green guys who love humans to chew. 

David Cairns

Out of This World #1, 1956.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Guy, Robot

To their rocket this robot will scamper
Without knocking, he'll probe him, and clamp her
Seems this thing made of cans
Is a swinger with plans
A mad doc with his program did tamper.

Out of This World #1, 1950. Cover art by Gene Fawcette. It's OUT OF THIS WORLD WEEK!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Out of the Fast Lane

You'd run but you know you can't hide
Your punishment won't be denied
No wedding bells loom
You're heading for doom
You're done. Time to go for a ride.

Virginia Huston, Robert Mitchum, and Jane Greer in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947).

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Out of the Pasture

This private detective for hire
Decided he'd better retire
But the past pulled him back
Where it's nasty and black
Now his licence is set to expire.

Robert Mitchum as Jeff Bailey starts one of many cigarettes in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947),

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Expat Expressions

She seems like a right-thinking kid
But her gleam in the night is well hid
Sure, she plugged her last man
Things got ugly, she ran
He's still steamed, so she's staying off-grid.

David Cairn

Jane Greer is Kathie Moffat in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947).

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Out of the Gas

Though he's tough as they come, super cool
Sure enough, he's played somebody's fool
She looks hot, but she's ice
And she's not very nice
Looks hot, cold as ice
One last puff, time to plumb the black pool.

Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947).

Monday, August 10, 2020

Look Out For the Past

The past, it won't let you alone
Die cast, your fate's set, can't atone.
Once fallen, you're stuck
And all out of luck
"Lived fast, no regrets" set in stone.

Surly Hack with Donald B. Benson

Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947).

Friday, August 7, 2020

Change Your Neptune

On Neptune new love is in bloom
As alien brides seek a groom
But spaceman, beware
You'll step in their snare
And with tentacled creeps get a room!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

His Drowning, Gory

The wheezy old wreck under water
Now squeezes your neck for the slaughter
Assaults from his grave
In a salt water cave
You shouldn't have checked out his daughter.

Cover for Tomb of Terror #16 from Harvey Publications Art by Lee Elias. Title by Donald B. Benson.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

In the Pool of the Night

At some distance, she's drifting, afloat
Can't assist: on her skiff, she'll emote
With a cry most forlorn
She will try hard to warn
But oh mister, you'll stiffen and bloat.

David Cairns

Cover art by Lee Elias. Title by Donald B. Benson.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Flame-Grilled Dropper

The skeletal finger is aiming
You're unwell, not malingering, claiming:
"I flinch from this noose,
It's a lynching, abuse!
In Hell I won't swing, I choose flaming!"

David Cairns

Another terrific Harvey horror cover by artist Lee Elias.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Beyond a Reasonable Sprout

The creatures wear pants in this Planet
Or else both your parents would ban it.
What's hidden? Just green?
Or really obscene?
It can't be the latter -- or can it?

Donald B. Benson

Planet Comics #17, 1942. Cover art by Dan Zolnerowich (as Zolne Rowich).