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I managed to pull Rin Tin Tin and Jackie Robinson out of this bitch before it disintegrated – Real Fact Comics #2

December 4, 2011

Clowns. Terrifying in any decade.

I had grand plans to go through this entire issue. I can’t get enough of Golden Age comics. They’re terrible reads, but excellent windows into THE WAY WE WERE. It’s like going through your grandparents’ attic. “People were like that? They wore that? They ate that?”

So I bought this 1946 comic, even though it was in terrible shape. Intact, but terrible. Then I went to scan it, and it started to fall apart in my hands. Seen The Blues Brothers? Remember when Jake and Elwood finally made it to the building that housed the Cook County Assessor’s office, and the Bluesmobile literally fell apart? That’s what started to happen. But I persevered. And then my scanner froze up in mid scan and I lost all the scans I had done up to that point. And I had to start over. And I pretty much gave up.

The best laid plans of mice and men.

As much as I’d like to give you the comic life story of P.T. Barnum and the other luminaries within, I’m cock-blocked. And I wasn’t eve going to mock the “Real Fact” aspect of the book, either, because I actually learned something reading it. Which brings me to one of the two scans (plus a few ads) that I was able to drag out of this book.

I thought Rin Tin Tin was completely fictional, another Lassie or Benjy or Air Bud. But he (the original, at least) was real. And he was born at the World War I front. IT SAYS SO IN THE COMIC:

Knowledge for life.

Also, there was this pretty damn nice Jackie Robinson pin-up, predating his Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. It’s different seeing an early contemporaneous tribute, as opposed to the (deserved) hagiography of later years:

I always thought of the Negro Leagues as “organized” baseball. I guess that was a nicer way to say “lily-white.” Neat nevertheless.

The Real Fact books were Whitman’s Samplers of material. I guess this was a sample of the sample. Hope you liked it, and that the Jackie Robinson page was a chocolate covered cherry and not that God-awful coconut thing.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2011 1:01 am

    Real Fact #6 contains the first publication anywhere of famed SF writer Harlan Ellison; it was a short fan letter about how he and his parents both liked reading Real Fact.

    • December 8, 2011 4:29 am

      Knowing Ellison’s somewhat prickly personality, I’m surprised his younger self didn’t lay into the mag for its redundant title. (REAL FACT IS LIKE SAYING WET WATER, YOU RUBES!)

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