Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sherlock and Watson? Nope! It's SPURLOCK and WATKINS in "Murder in the Blue Room" (1936)

From December of  1936, and Detective Picture Stories #1, comes this tale of two famous detectives (one of whom is undoubtedly a great uncle of Duane Spurlock). It was uploaded to comicbookplus by stopper75, and story and art is credited to John A. Patterson. Another Spurlock and Watkins story (in black & white, alas) appeared in the next issue, and can be read HERE

A third adventure (once again in color) will appear here too soon for some, not soon enough for others.  

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Dan Turner, HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE in Color! "Bellyboard Bump-Off!" (1951)

Crime Smashers #5 was dated July 1951, and uploaded to comicbookplus by freddyfly. Let's all tip our fedoras to Fred. He offers a guess the art might be by Robert McCarty, the guy who did last Saturday's story.


Friday, November 9, 2018

Forgotten Books: THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION by Nicholas Meyer (1974)

I had fond memories of this one, and had been looking forward to a second reading for a long time. Maybe that was the problem - that my expectations were too high. At any rate, this time through, I didn't really dig it. 

Sure, it's well written. Probably better written than most of the fifty or more other pastiches I read after this one. Stylistically, it's great. And yeah, it's a clever idea, with many clever touches. But the story - about Watson tricking Holmes into visiting Sigmund Freud to be cured of his cocaine adiction - seemed rather tedious. 

Though Meyer (via Watson) plays it cagey and avoids naming Freud until our two heroes are sitting in the doctor's office, it's really no surprise. Any reader who read the inside of the dust jacket or peeked at the back of the paperback knew what was coming. For me, having done both those things, plus read the book and seen the movie, it was just sort of sad. 

Two-thirds of the way through the book, the story shifts gears, giving Holmes a case to solve. And the sadness is finally gone. But the new plot is only mildly engaging, and the book is saved by a wildly melodramic and totally cinematic finale that's about as non-Sherlockian as you can get. Was the big finish entertaining? You bet. It was the best part of the film version of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, too. But it was like something out of an old B-Western (if Roy Rogers didn't use that gimmick, he should have). 

This all sounds more negative than I intended, because it's really a pretty good book. It just wasn't as good as my memory of it, and I probably wasn't in the right mood. For this I blame Robert Jordan, because I was still under the spell of one his Conan books, and should have read another instead of shifting to Sherlock.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The BLACKHAWK SQUADRON Arrives! (1941)

Military Comics #2, from Sept. 1941 saw the first appearance of the Blackhawk Squadron and their familiar Grumman Skyrocket planes. The art is credited to Chuck Cuidera and Bill Smith. This was one was kindly posted to comicbookplus by djingo. If you missed the Origin of Blackhawk from Military Comics #1, it's HERE.