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Sunday, November 8, 2009

GETTING A SWELLED HEAD - Bob Powell and Andre Le Blanc

Here's something to fill the time while I wait for my guest, comic book psycho-analyst Dr. Wertham P. Fredrics, to wake from his nap. Apparently he had a busy day and needed to lie down for a while (he did kind of smell like he fell in a vat of Kahlua). So, I went down to the basement to get away from his snoring, and found one comic book that reminded me of another here they both are! In researching background on one of the artists I learned something that I will share with you later. But for now, check out these cool comic stories!

The first one is a brain-busting sci-fi tale from Bob Powell. The GCD gives him writing credit on this one, too, and it's a DOOZY! It's from the final issue of Harvey's TOMB OF TERROR # 16, 1954.

This is...THE REPORT!


This second story reminded me of the previous one, for reasons soon to be obvious.I'd like you to meet 'Intellectual Amos', the creation of artist Andre LeBlanc. LeBlanc started in comics in the 40's working in Eisner's studio, and later in his career during the 60's and 70's he did work mostly for Gold Key. A bit more on him later. This story comes from 1945's NATIONAL COMICS # 50 by Quality Comics.
Here is...
"INTELLECTUAL AMOS meets the Mosquito Menace! "


Did anyone else feel a little Windsor McCay type of "Little Nemo"-ish moment or two in there? Well, I did, anyway. I liked it so much I went and dug up his very first appearance in NATIONAL COMICS # 46, 1954. As Stan Lee might have put it, "The Spectacular Senses-Shattering Heart-Pounding Origin Issue!!" is coming at ya!
Here again is the odd, quirky, and in most ways charming 'Intellectual Amos' in
"The Lisping Hob-Goblin and the Ghost That Failed!"


While researching Andre LeBlanc I discovered that I was very familiar with his work already, but I just hadn't realized it. LeBlanc, who had by now traded the whimsical style for more realistic depictions, was the illustrator for "The Picture Bible", originally done in the 70's, I believe (at least the ones with his artwork).  I have a 6 volume black and white paperback boxed set that I have looked at so many times I can't even recall. It is not a word-for-word depiction, but the writer and he portray many key Biblical scenes wonderfully. I can't find my set right now, so I can't show you his lovely artwork in detail., but here are a couple of pics from the web.


Whoops!Sounds like my new friend Dr. Wertham Fredrics is waking up! I'll take him over to Denny's for some bad eggs, and coffee, and we'll continue psycho-analyzing comic book covers with 'hidden sexual' messages -  see you then!


  1. i'd never heard of Amos, great stuff, obligatory WWII-era propaganda aside...

  2. Very Windsor McCay-ish ! Probably uses a dip pen with a rounded nib instead of a brush; amazing draftsmanship.

  3. Prof. - "What? You didn't like the propaganda? You must obviously be a commie spy, with your 9 millimetre luger..."

    Lysdexicuss - I think part of what gives it that 'McCay' feel is the huge solid black outlines on the characters in many panels.

    Gentlemen, I thank you both for weighing in on this one...I must confess I never heard of this strip myself until I chanced upon it last week...sometimes you can find a little gold while panning for comics!

  4. I'm Andre's daughter, and I'm glad I stumbled on your page. Yes, Windsor McCay was one of pop's influences, he was a tremendous fan.

    Back when I still lived on LI, I became friends with Bob Powell's son...small world out there in comic world. Thanks!

    1. You know, there are many times when things escape me and get by me, and this is another one of those times...
      I regret that I hadn't seen your comment sooner. In 2009-10 my Blogger settings didn't alert me to new comments, and for some strange reason, I missed yours. If for any reason you return and see this comment/reply, I apologize for the delayed response!

      I'm glad you chanced upon my blog, and I very much regret missing your comment. Your father was an amazingly talented artist and story-teller. I can only imagine what it was like to grow up with him!

      ...and the Bob Powell connection! WOW, very coincidental! Like you say, small world sometimes!

      Thank you very much for your comment!

  5. There are 3 Intellectual Amos stories in the Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comic edited by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly. It is great stuff and thanks for putting up the pieces you did.

    And Andre's daughter it would be nice if you had some more of your father's work to put it on the internet or send scans to someone who would do it, along with some more bio about your Dad. Really the world should know him and his work better.

    1. Thanks for the info, and for your comment, Theorbys! Sorry for my delayed response!