Archive for Robert Bernstein

Strange Tales #109: Flame On 37

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #109, page 13, panel 3

Strange Tales #109, page 13, panel 3

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: R. Berns

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Marty Epp

Gosh, that didn’t take long at all. This story was so dull that I couldn’t even drag any of the normal tropes out of it, apart from this brief fiery moment from the final page.

That’s a fire demon from Pandora’s Box there, but I’m not going to tell you why it’s out of the box as that would require re-reading an issue of Strange Tales that I had completely forgotten about.

And I’d like it to stay that way.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #109 on our thirteenth episode: The Thinker’s Fantastical Predictions!

Strange Tales #109: Flame On 36

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #109, page 3, panel 5

Strange Tales #109, page 3, panel 5

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: R. Berns

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Marty Epp

Is it me or does Johnny look… different? I’m pretty sure it’s not me.

This is the last issue of Strange Tales to be drawn by Jack Kirby for a little while, and I think, looking at the art across this story, that he was providing little more than layouts at this point. A lot of the faces look very un-Kirby, and it seems fairly clear to me that Ayers is shouldering the lion’s share of the work for this issue.

Anyway, it’s another Flame On, and it comes in one of the most forgettable issues of Strange Tales ever. The story of the Sorceror and Pandora’s Box (insert New 52 joke here) is so bland that I’m going to try and not mention it at all during the panels from this issue.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #109 on our thirteenth episode: The Thinker’s Fantastical Predictions!

Strange Tales #108: It’s… ASBESTOS!!! 12

Posted in It's... ASBESTOS!!! with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #108, page 12, panel 3

Strange Tales #108, page 12, panel 3

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Robert Bernstein

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Terry Szenics

In amongst all this talk of magical paint that allows the user’s imagination to come to life when used, it’s been pretty much overlooked that this is not the Painter’s greatest asset. And no, I’m not talking about his moustache.

Wilhelm van Vile’s greatest asset is his ability to paint complete scenarios in a matter of seconds. At no point in the story is it mentioned that he can paint a picture then will it to life at a later point. So, we have to assume that the animated mascots came to life, at which point he started painting an asbestos cell along with members of the Fantastic Four. As this springs up within a page, he must have been daubing away like the devil to get it done in time.

No wonder his attention to details is a little shaky!

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #108 on our twelfth episode: HYPNOFISH!!!

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_12.mp3]

 

Strange Tales #108: Flame On 34

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #108, page 11, panel 1

Strange Tales #108, page 11, panel 1

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Robert Bernstein

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Terry Szenics

We seem to come across them on almost every page of the comics we’re currently covering on the show, but earlier in the run of the show, these widescreen panels by Jack Kirby were a real rarity. It’s great to see him stretch what he can portray in the space of a panel, and this shot of carnival mascots coming to life is really rather fun to look at.

Unfortunately, this is also the point where both the plotter and the scripter forget everything established about The Painter so far in the book. It is spelled out pretty darn clearly that The Painter paints something, and it appears. Here, The Painter uses his powers to somehow animate an already-existing object. Is he painting fast enough to literally animate them? It’s a very inconsistent approach to the villain.

Anyway, the point of this post is to catalogue yet another Flame On from Johnny, and here, letterer Terry Szenics treats it almost as an afterthought, extruding the out of the speech balloon and into the sky. Again, it’s different, but not quite right.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #108 on our twelfth episode: HYPNOFISH!!!

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_12.mp3]

Strange Tales #108: Flamin’ ‘Eck 21

Posted in Flamin' 'Eck with tags , , , , , , , on September 13, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #108, page 7, panel 4

Strange Tales #108, page 7, panel 4

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Robert Bernstein

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Terry Szenics

It’s flashback time at the Fantastic Flame On. The villain of the piece – The Painter, aka Wilhelm Van Vile – is relating his multi-part origin to the gang of crooks that he’s taken up with. Unluckily for him, his origin involves trying to pass off his dodgy counterfeit banknotes on a teenage boy in a bookstore, taking him hostage when his forgeries fail. Why unluckily? Because that young man was none other than The Human Torch.

So, at the flashback-crooks’ hideout, Johnny reveals himself and restrains the criminals in a hoop of fire. Once again, Johnny decides that his fire is substantial and self-renewing enough to provide an extended period of incarceration. And, once again, those caught in his fiery prison believe this as well.

Fools.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #108 on our twelfth episode: HYPNOFISH!!!

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_12.mp3]

Strange Tales #108: Flamin’ ‘Eck 20

Posted in Flamin' 'Eck with tags , , , , , , , on September 12, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #108, page 3, panel 4

Strange Tales #108, page 3, panel 4

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Robert Bernstein

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Terry Szenics

Oh dear. Four posts from three pages of material. I suspect Strange Tales #108 is going to divert our attention for a while…`

Is it me or is there something ridiculously archaic about robbing a masked society ball, stuffing the loot into oversized bags that really need to have the word ‘swag’ written on them? It reminds me somewhat of the Dennis Moore sketches in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. (Skip to 5:50 for the exact scene, but the entire sketch is a blast)

Anyway, Johnny deals with these crooks in the only logical way – using his flame as giant scissors to gut the necks of the sacks. Not burn them. Cut them. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to suppress a rant about the physical properties of fire…

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #108 on our twelfth episode: HYPNOFISH!!!

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_12.mp3]

 

Strange Tales #108: Flame On 33

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , , on September 11, 2013 by quizlacey
Strange Tales #108, page 3, panel 2

Strange Tales #108, page 3, panel 2

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Robert Bernstein

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Terry Szenics

A page later and we’re seeing almost the same thing as we did yesterday. The Human Torch flies into action in a great piece of posing by Jack and Dick, threatening to burst out of the page and right at the reader. We get the same, spikily-rendered ‘Flame On’ catchphrase as well.

I suggested yesterday that the unusual style of lettering didn’t fit with the house style at Marvel, and I think you can really see this with the little kid in the panel. I can’t really think of any lettering like it in Marvel at this time. The uneven line, the exclamation marks near-bursting with energy. It’s all actually rather appropriate for a fast-paced, throwaway tale full of action, but it does read uncomfortably when compared to the contemporary efforts of Art Simek and Sam Rosen.

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #108 on our twelfth episode: HYPNOFISH!!!

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_12.mp3]
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