Saturday, June 7, 2008

Robotman "Around the World in 24 Hours", drawn by Jimmy Thompson

Jimmy Thompson drew great Robotman backup comics in Star Spangled Comics and in Detective Comics in the 1940s. I've been on the lookout for Thompson Robotman stories ever since reading an enjoyable one in DC's GREATEST GOLDEN AGE STORIES EVER TOLD (bizarre title, yes). Recently, Pappy's Golden Age posted a great one from Detective 152.

Here's the only Thompson Robotman story I own--from Detective 151. I don't know who wrote it and neither does the Grand Comics Database.


Even in this era of "let's reprint everything" Thompson's Robotman probably won't be getting a collection. Neither artist or character is that famous, and for that matter Thompson didn't even create the characters; Jerry Siegel and Leo Nowak did. It isn't brilliantly weird (like Fletcher Hanks's comics). It's just imaginative, funny, and well drawn (and nicely lettered, if I may be so nerdly). Still, I hope I get to see more of these stories.


RAB said...

The plot structure of this is wonderful! The idea of opening with Mack receiving the disembodied head of Robotman would be enough by itself to make it noteworthy, but the rest of the story lives up to the opening, and leaving the payoff of the Doc Payne story out of the flashback and in the "present" -- the whole thing is just terrifically clever. Between this and the story at Pappy's Golden Age, I've joined you in wanting to see more. Thanks for sharing this.

Mark said...

It's drawn (and maybe written) by Jimmy Thompson, one of the greatest forgotten talents of the Golden Age. The guy did very little other work in comics, and nothing that evocative. He was a genius.

Chris Duffy said...

I'm such a doofis. I meant "I don't know who WROTE it and neither does the Grand Comics Database." (I fixed the post now.)

Yes, I had heard that Thompson sometimes wrote his stories, but I see that the GCD has attributed some stories to other writers.

Sherm said...

How freaky is that scene on page 3...Doc Payne is basically raping Robotman...yeeesh!

Love these one-liners:
"Not even mountains can stop me!" --that's my new motto
"If I'm lucky, my head will roll free, undamaged! Here goes!"
...and of course, "Tarnation!"

I love the structure, too! Great splash panel followed by a framing sequence that makes you go "Whaa?"

Once started, nobody could STOP reading this story no matter how hard they tried!