Soapy Sam: Howzabout More VARIETY in Comics?

Comic books have changed an awful lot since the forties. There used to be a lot more variety; not just a lot of different genres and different styles...there were lots of successful anthology titles that had five or six ongoing series running concurrently in the same book for years.
There was also more variety
among the individual stories in each book.
Today's "Exhibit A" is Soapy Sam the Snooper Man.

Soapy Sam. Dude's a window washer,
but he dreams of being a detective.
(Check out that flattened nose.Is that because
it's always pressed up against the glass?)
Take a look at these three pages
of pure cartoon weirdness!
This story appeared as some comic-relief filler
in a 1947 issue of Black Cat,
published by Home Comics, Inc. St. Louis, Mo.

As usual, CLICK on any one of the pages
to see a king-size comic book page.

As usual, CLICK on any one of the pages
to see a grande-size comic book page.

This story is signed "Jack Keeler." Jack Keeler!? Do you realize who that is?

Don't look at me...I have no idea!

And it's not for lack of trying to find out. Whenever I post one of these golden-age oldies, I try to find some background info to give it context. Can't find a blessed thing about Jack Keeler. I bet there were hundreds of guys that drifted in and out of the totally disreputable comic-book trade, worked under pseudonyms for a few years on a few obscure titles, then went back to earn a decent, respectable living as insurance salesmen or electrical engineers.

  • One of my favorite things about old comics is that they weren't afraid to mix up genres just to keep things fresh. In many crime and action-oriented comic books, they had these little one- two- or three-page fillers that sort of cleansed the palette in between the more serious stuff.

In this case, this goofy tri-page treat was sandwiched in alongside a Black Cat story by the awesome Lee Elias,

...and a pulse-pounding Danny Dixon...CADET adventure,

...and right after a single-page comedy strip
about a Miss Lonely-hearts called, "Getting Maisie Married."

After the Soapy Sam story comes a real oddball title: "His Honor and...The DEMON!"

Signed by long-time utility-player Bill Draut, this Batman-style story is about a judge who dresses up as a red devil at night and metes out vigilante justice on the underworld criminals that are beyond the reach of his courtroom!

This issue of Black Cat finishes off with more short comedic comics.

Real short.

Two half-pagers stacked one on toppa the other.

Meet Jobless Jerry and Crackpot Cornelius...

There's nothing more hilarious than being unemployed!

Not sure who did the Jobless Jerry strip, but Crackpot Cornelius was penned by gag cartoonist Art Helfant, who apparently drew tons of these comic book fillers during the 1940's and 1950's.
I dunno...maybe Helfant did them both. Click the image below for the macho-sized gag page.

Now THAT'S a comic book! Thrill, chills, jokes, even a classic "plop" panel at the very end of that last page.


Call me old-fashioned, but I like comics that are FUN!

If you're interested in seeing any of those other stories from this comic, just let me know and I'll post 'em right up! See You next time!

UPDATE: There's LOTS more comic book scans
to look at and download! Click HERE

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