From the inside front cover of every DC comic book to hit the stands in December, 1961:
Posts Tagged ‘1961’
December 31, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
November 18, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
Linda Carter, Student Nurse debuted in 1961 and ran for nine issues until it was cancelled to make room for The Amazing Spider-Man. The first issue (Sept. 1961) was clearly intended by creators Stan Lee and Al Hartley to be firmly in the genre camp of teenage humor, but by issue 2, the title was well on the way to becoming a more traditional Romance comic, a transition that was also made by the Hartley drawn Patsy Walker.
Most conflict in the series was sparked by a blonde student nurse named Gwen Glitter who envied how men (doctors, patients, college boys, anything with a Y chromosome) were constantly falling in love with Linda. Linda was blithely unaware of Gwen’s schemes to sabotage her love life since they all ultimately backfired. Other supporting characters included doctors Steve Stuart and Jackson Jangle, classmate Dolly Noonan, and the tough but motherly Nurse Barker. In addition to the stories, the title often contained fashion features such as cut-out paper dolls and reader polls suggesting new hair styles and uniforms for the characters.
Linda Carter would return as Night Nurse in 1972 but as a blonde with an entirely different cast of friends and co-workers.
November 17, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
Due to ruinous budget overruns by the makers of the Elizabeth Taylor / Richard Burton epic Cleopatra, 20th Century Fox was almost bankrupt and was forced to sell off most of its backlot to developers planning the new business community of Century City. In late 1961, the sets used to film hundreds of Fox westerns and other films were bulldozed to make room for high-rise office buildings and hotels. Where the likes of Tyrone Power and Gary Cooper once faced off on a dusty small town thoroughfare, two bulldozer operators reenact a familiar scene before getting to work ripping down a piece of movie history.
Two years later, Cleopatra, initially budgeted at $2 million, was released in theaters and became the top grossing film of the year raking in $26 million at the box office. Unfortunately, by that time, Fox had spent $44 million on the film.
Images from the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
November 16, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
Wood’s Li’l Abneh appeared in the same Sunday Funnies pullout from The Worst from MAD #4 as his Blondie and Pogo parodies. Panels from Elder’s Dopgatch Revisited are from Harvey Kurtzman’s Warren publication Help!
November 12, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
This is the third installment in a series highlighting each of the four superheroes who inaugurated the Marvel Universe in the Fall of 1961. We’ve already covered the Invisible Girl and The Thing. Today we take a look at the modern Human Torch and his introduction in Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961).
The most striking thing about the debut of the MU’s first teenage superhero is how little control he has over his powers. In his first appearance, he spots the FF’s emergency flare signal from inside the hot rod he is working on; a passion he admits is only second to his calling as a hero. Instead of stepping out of the car before “flaming on” he flies through the roof leaving the vehicle a molten mess. No sooner does he take to the sky then a squadron of US Air Force jets converge on him to investigate the flaming object over Manhattan. So unused to the powers bequeathed to him by the cosmic rays he was recently exposed to, he can’t avoid melting the planes from around their surprised pilots. The pilots parachute to safety as the planes plummet toward the city below. It’s left to Mr. Fantastic to save his bacon when a guided missile is on his tail and again when Johnny is about to plummet to his death.
Never fear, by the end of issue #1, the new Human Torch is the one who ultimately fends off the menace from the cover (Giganto) and seals up the Mole Man’s monsters in their underground lair by melting the rock surrounding the passage to the surface. By issue #4, the Human Torch has such precise control over his powers that he can use them for a job as delicate as giving the Sub-Mariner a shave.
November 10, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
In memory of Bil Keane who passed away on Tuesday, here are a few of his Channel Chuckles from 1961.
November 7, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
While other EC Comics alumni like Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Al Jaffee, and Al Feldstein went to work with the premier humor magazine of the early ’60s, MAD, John Severin was a contributor to the second-tier CRACKED. Every now and then, Severin would elevate the brow of the humor magazine with features such as these illustrations to a famous poem by “the Bard of the Yukon”, Robert Service.
From CRACKED #19 (1961)
November 4, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
In 1961 the Soviet Academy of Sciences held a news conference in Moscow to display an assortment of animals that the USSR had launched into space and safely returned to Earth. Space-faring dogs, mice, rats, and guinea pigs were put on display; the rabbits and various insects that flew the previous year were unable to attend.
November 2, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
I don’t think I’m alone in the opinion that the Twilight Zone episode, “It’s a Good Life” (first aired 50 years ago on November 3, 1961) is the most terrifying and disturbing tale ever presented on the show. All the more impressive since it doesn’t rely on a twist ending or sudden revelations to make that impact. In fact, the premise in its entirety is laid out by host Rod Serling in the longest opening narration ever presented on the show.
“Tonight’s story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there’s a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken away. They were, on the other hand, sure of one thing: the cause. A monster had arrived in the village. Just by using his mind, he took away the automobiles, the electricity, the machines – because they displeased him – and he moved an entire community back into the dark ages – just by using his mind. Now I’d like to introduce you to some of the people in Peaksville, Ohio. This is Mr. Fremont. It’s in his farmhouse that the monster resides. This is Mrs. Fremont. And this is Aunt Amy, who probably had more control over the monster in the beginning than almost anyone. But one day she forgot. She began to sing aloud. Now, the monster doesn’t like singing, so his mind snapped at her, turned her into the smiling, vacant thing you’re looking at now. She sings no more. And you’ll note that the people in Peaksville, Ohio, have to smile. They have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion. Oh yes, I did forget something, didn’t I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He’s six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you’d better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.”
Lesser storytellers would find such an introduction to be an insanely wasteful dump of valuable detail that should be slowly parceled out as the story unfolds. But instead of lessening the impact of the story itself, Serling’s introduction frees up the viewer’s attention so that it can focus not on the monster but on the fear and helplessness of its victims. The viewer isn’t asking himself what he would do if he himself had such powers but rather what he would do if put in the position of the conflicted and ultimately cowardly citizens of Peaksville.
October 28, 2011 by The Belated Nerd
In 1961, Chicago TV pioneer Ulises Sanabria tested the market for a three-screen television with a photo spread in LIFE magazine. I suppose the advantage it had over simply owning three individual TVs in different rooms of the house is that it kept the family together – at least, physically. A hi-fi record player is concealed behind the center speaker panel. Apparently, it was inconceivable that two or more members of a family would want to listen to different records at the same time.