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A potpourri of Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Swanson, Lou Boudreau, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Jimmy Stewart awaits – Magic Comics #32

February 25, 2013


Is there some manner of kismet involved with a book called Magic Comics reaching its 32nd issue? Earvin says “yes.”

Unlike the Eddie Cantor-infused Super Magician Comics, this book doesn’t have much in the way of “magic” going on in its innards. In fact, the only magician to make an appearance is the one appearing above the title: Mandrake the Magician. And even the cape, wand and top hat of this venerable sorcerer don’t get a lot of abracadabra in during his few pages of action. But, well, there’s this — poor Lothar:


Oh, artificial respiration. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? [Does quiet Leslie Nielsen Airplane! cockpit turn and exits room.]

Moving on.

There may not be much magic, but at least there’s some groan-inducing “humor.” I double dog dare you to read “Dollar-A-Dither” and not grind your molars into oblivion:


And here we have a precursor of the long-running Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” feature:


The line-up of character talents within is, lack of magic aside, quite impressive. There is, as the cover indicates, a dash of Chic Young Dagwood Bumstead strips, to go with the sampling of great Thimble Theater Popeye material, and lesser, largely forgotten personas. One star who’s not forgotten — in fact, he has a big-budget screen revival coming soon — is Fran Striker’s Lone Ranger. Here he and Tonto battle and impersonate thugs who prove that, if you want to maintain your menacing aura, you shouldn’t have nose-holes in your conical hoods:


The biggest selling point of this one issue might be the star-laden Feg Murray centerfold, which has a whole lot of moving parts:


Is Jimmy Stewart’s stamp a precursor of the Marvel Value Stamps, the removal of which scarred so many wonderful 1970s comics? If so, thanks for nothing George Bailey. But there’s Fred Astaire golfing. Or GOLF!ing, as it were. And there’s Gloria Swanson looking a tad frigid, especially next to Dorothy Lamour’s come-hither pose, which lives up to her last name. The love, indeed.

Cleveland Indian manager Lou Boudreau’s smiling face (in an page that lacks a Wheaties box) approves!:


There you go: some Magic Comics. Try and track down Zatanna, and see if she can mind-wipe Mandrake’s “artificial respiration” on poor unconscious Lothar from your memory.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 26, 2013 1:58 am

    You’ve got a great blog here. Yeah, Dorothy Lamour looks quite fetching while Gloria Swanson is not being done justice by artist Feg Murray. This post of yours is a fine example of how comics are capable of a wide reach, even a mixed bag such as “Magic Comics.”

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