Tag Bell Features Publications

The kelly connection

Today’s column orbits Bell Features artist Fred Kelly whose best-known creation was probably Mr. Monster. It does so because, last month, I came into possession of 21 pages of original Bell Features art and this was due originally to the…

Masks

Now, more than ever, we have become acutely aware that we all swim in each others’ mists and that proximity can transmit and infect. The western handshake and European cheek peck may soon become obsolete and the palm-press namaste of…

Sort of Heroes

As many of you know, this column began seven years ago as part of my attempt to focus a newly minted retirement on something both interesting and challenging, albeit perhaps trivial in comparison to the struggles we all face daily…

Slam-Bang 7

This week I want to talk about a significant comic from the late WECA period, Slam-Bang Comics No. 7, with a cover date of May, 1946. (Jim Finlay informs me that his indicia for this issue has the date July, 1946 pencilled in, maybe with the May date whited out? Anybody else have a copy they could check?) It took the cover banner from Fawcett’s short live run of a same titled series of 7 issues from 1940, but why it began in Canada with an initial number 7 is still a mystery. Perhaps it was some sort of nod or licensing response to the Fawcett run, but who knows?

Saakel’s Satire

The Whites were not only about the cliffhanger dramatics of superheroes, spies, and soldiers taking on the Axis. Satirical strips like Steele’s Private Stuff and Saakel’s Spike and Mike, both in Joke Comics, were just plain tongue-in-cheek fun.

Thunderfist Three Ways: Karn, Bachle, Steele

“Thunderfist,” what a great name for a superhero. E. T. Leagault came up with this early in 1942 after having being the sole writer and artist for Cy Bell and his one title at that time, Wow Comics which featured two other Legault creations, Dart Daring and Whiz Wallace. The first issue of Wow Comics was cover dated September, 1941 and came out on the stands after half-dozen issues of Better Comics and a couple of issues of Lucky Comics issued by Maple Leaf Publications out of Vancouver had already been in the hands of lucky kids across the country.

Where are they now?

Many times over the last year or so I’ve wondered about what became of the original locations of all the WECA era Canadian comic book publishing houses. Are the original buildings still standing or have they been razed to make way for modern money making enterprises? I glean the following address information from the indicia of the actual comics.