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Somebody’s First Comic: The Incredible Crash Dummies #3

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Wondering what Somebody’s First Comic Book is all about? The explanation is on this page!

TITLE: The Space Dummies & My Daddy the Junkman

CREDITS:
Writer:
Angelo Decesare
Pencils:
Bill Vallely
Inks:
Jorge Pacheco & Frank Hill
Colors:
In Color
Letters:
Dan Nakrosis
Editor-in-Chief:
Sid Jacobson
Publisher:
Harvey Comics

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: Wait, the Crash Dummies? The creepy dummies from those old “Buckle Your Seat Belt” PSAs? They had a comic book?

IMPRESSIONS: Yes, they did have a comic book, and good grief, is it bizarre. Spin and Slick are the Crash Dummies, some sort of bizarre robot (I think) superheroes that were invented by another… robot crash dummy… mad scientist? Ahem. Anyway, in this issue, the scientist invents these rocket boots so the Crash Dummies can man NASA’s first orbital space station, because “loss of gravity can be harmful to humans.” Evidently, NASA’s solution in this universe is not to rotate your crews out, as has been done in the real world since 1971, but rather to send in a crew whose name is literally synonymous with a lack of intelligence.

Anyway, the Dummies’ enemy, an evil Dummy named “Junkman,” makes an Infomercial trying to get scrap metal away from other countries so that they can build their own, competing space stations, but he really just intends to use the components to build a missile to shoot at the Earth. Spin and Slick head into space to stop him.

There’s also an equally nonsensical back-up story, “My Daddy the Junkman,” in which Spin starts to lament the fact that, as a Crash Dummy, he never had a real family. So his scientist buddy loads up his brain with a bunch of fake memories, accidentally convincing him that the Junkman is his father. Hilarity ensues.

I don’t even know what to make of this book, honestly. The story is easy enough to follow, so for that part of the grade it deserves a high mark… but it’s just so bad. Bad writing, bad jokes, dull characters. I guess this was an attempt to make the Crash Dummies a “brand” (now that I think about it, weren’t there toys, too?), but talk about your misguided efforts. Did I get this? Yes. Did it make me want to ever read a Crash Dummies comic book again? No way.

GRADE: C

Somebody’s First Comic Book: Casper the Friendly Ghost #184

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Wondering what Somebody’s First Comic Book is all about? The explanation is on this page!

TITLE: The Magic Snowman

CREDITS: None
Publisher:
Harvey Comics

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: Well, it’s Casper. The friendly ghost. The friendliest ghost I know.

IMPRESSIONS: This issue starts, oddly enough, with a one-page story about Richie Rich springing for Hostess Fruit Pies for a public picnic and another one-page story where Casper encourages us to contribute to Unicef. I think those may have been ads, but I’m not sure. Anyway, on page four we finally get to a real story, “The Magic Snowman.” In this one, Casper is feeling down because he has no one to play with, and Jack Frost is too busy to do so. But he helps Casper out by bringing his snowman duplicate, “Jasper,” to life. Casper and Jasper are having a rollicking good time until Casper’s evil uncles, the Ghostly Trio, convince him that Casper evidently intends to let him die a horrible, miserable death by melting once spring arrives.

Wait, what?

Ahem. Anyway, Jasper starts  playing nasty tricks on Casper, most of which involve pelting him with snowballs of various sizes, which seems odd considering that Casper can walk through walls. The Trio escalate matters until Jasper plots his most dastardly scheme, pelting Santa Claus with a giant snowball, and—

Wait, hold the Egg Nog… Santa Claus? This story takes place at Christmas? Why didn’t anybody mention that before the second-to-last page? And why is there a friggin’ shark on the cover? And why in the hell would throwing SNOW INTO A FIREPLACE prevent Santa from getting in? It’s a FIREPLACE. And SNOW MELTS. Which, until this point, has been a MAJOR CHARACTER MOTIVATION.

AND WHY IS SANTA CLAUS DELIVERING TOYS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT?

This story is a complete mess, to be blunt. Jasper is an idiot and Santa is either way early or running extremely behind in his deliveries. The issue has a few one-page stories that don’t really help much either. We see “The Tuff Little Ghost” Spooky (who looks exactly like Jasper wearing a fedora) losing his hat and getting it back thanks to a moose… I know that doesn’t make sense, but seeing as how it’s another story that evidently depends on ghosts forgetting to turn intangible, I maintain that my summary is just as comprehensible as the comic. Casper also meets “Cootie the Fun Bug,” perhaps the most obnoxious cartoon sidekick since Scrappy-Doo, and the Ghostly Trio scare a skunk into their house, which admittedly must suck even if you’re a ghost. Finally, there’s a five-page story where Wendy the Good Little Witch meets a mouse and teaches him the value of hard work.

Y’know, there actually are a lot of comics here for the 25-cent cover price. Which is cool. But those comics are just this side of clinically insane.

GRADE: D+