Archive for Dell Monsters

AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: The Dell Comics Monster Squad

Posted in comic books, Dracula, Frankenstein, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, werewolf with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2015 by Paxton

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Yesterday, with my review of Dell’s Frankenstein, I finally completed all three infamous 60s Dell superhero monster comics reviews (Here’s Dracula and Werewolf).  I love all three of these zany re-imagining of the classic monsters.  And as I mentioned in my reviews, the only thing that was missing was a team up.  We did see Frankenstein pop up briefly in a one panel cameo in Dracula, but other than that, no other crossover ever happened.  It’s time I rectify this situation.

So, issue #10 of Cavalcade Comics features the debut of the Dell monster super heroes in a team up.  Finally we get the Dell Comics Monster Squad.

Cavalcade Comics 10

How did this never happen? I’ll tell you how, the comics never sold. It’s why we only got three issues of each title. I would love to see these characters come back in a cool retro reboot. I don’t even know who owns the license to them anymore, but with the right writer and tone, they could be fantastic.

I had only three covers of each of the three heroes to try to make work, but I luckily found Marvel’s Where Monsters Dwell #3 (1970) which works as a really nice base image for this cover.

where-monsters-dwell

I love all those 70s horror comics from Marvel. Such good cover artwork and great to use as a base for these types of Photoshop projects.

The Dell Monster Squad logo was going to be a re-interpretation of some awesome original art by Nathan Milliner.

nathanmilliner

Nathan created these awesome EC-style vintage comic covers I just love.  I really wanted to use that logo, but no matter how I manipulated it, it didn’t fit in the 60-70s vintage comic cover I was trying to create, so I sadly had to abandon it. I then went back to the original Where Monsters Dwell logo and just created the new logo off those letters and I think it turned out pretty good. I’m happy with it.

As for the monster heroes themselves; Dracula comes from Dell Dracula #4, Frankenstein comes from Dell Frankenstein #2 and Werewolf from Dell Werewolf #1.  

I also had to change the background a bit and add the night sky with the full moon which I believe I got from Marvel’s Werewolf by Night #11.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Dell Dracula comics (1966)

Posted in comic books, Dracula, Frankenstein, monsters, nostalgia, pop culture, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2011 by Paxton

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Continuing our Halloween AWESOME-tober-fest, this week we are looking at comics featuring Dracula. Today is one part of a group of comics by Dell that re-imagines the Universal Monsters as super heroes.

Dell Dracula 01 I have previously looked at the other Dell Monster comics for Halloween. Dell picked up the Universal Monster license in the early 60s and tried to reboot the monsters into super heroes.  It was as gloriously insane as you think it was.  I talked a little bit about the Dell Frankenstein comic during AWESOME-tober-fest 2009. I hope to someday revisit that comic for a more in depth review. Next I took a long look at the Dell Werewolf comic for AWESOME-tober-fest 2010.  While strangely awesome and weird, the Werewolf comic had the best plot so far.  They next turned their eyes toward Dracula.  And the above comic laden with ridiculous weirdness was the result.  Check out that goddam costume.  Did he design it in the dark?

The Dracula series only lasted three issue.  Here are issues #3 and #4.

Dell Dracula 03 Dell Dracula 04

The comics are pretty zany. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more entertaining bits.

Dracula origin 1 Dracula origin 2
Here’s the new Dracula’s origin. This guy, Dr Dracula is trying to clear his family name since it’s been smeared by legend. He is trying to cure brain damage with bats…somehow.  He creates a serum, pronounces it a success and then proceeds to let go all of his test bats because his work is done (without testing it?).  Then one of the bats knocks over the serum and it pours into Dracula’s celebratory drink…without him knowing it (of course!).  The serum inexplicably gives Dracula the ability to transform into a bat which, if you think about it as a super power, kinda sucks.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2010: Dell’s Werewolf (1966)

Posted in comic books, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, werewolf, werewolves, Wolf Man with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by Paxton

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Welcome to Day 4 of AWESOME-tober-fest 2010. I’ve been discussing werewolves in comic books this week. Today, I’m looking at Dell’s super spy, Werewolf.  He isn’t literally a werewolf, but he is called Werewolf and he’s a somewhat reboot of the Universal Wolf Man into a crime fighting super hero.  Let’s take a look.

Dell Werewolf 1

In 1966, Dell would attempt to reboot the classic Universal Monsters into super hero comics.  I talked about Dell’s ridiculous super hero Frankenstein last year during AWESOME-tober-fest. Dell also tried this with Dracula.  Anyway, since The Wolf Man was a trademarked title, they had to go with the more generic “Werewolf”.  And so they created their new super agent, code named Werewolf and his wolf companion, Thor.

In the first issue of Werewolf, pilot Wiley Wolf, while flying experimental aircraft in the Arctic Circle, crash lands in the Canadian wilderness.  The crash causes Wiley to lose his memory.  He even forgets he’s a man and thinks he’s a wolf (cause that’s how amnesia works).  Of course, he is taken in and cared for by a pack of wolves, because that’s what they do.  One of these wolves, Thor, becomes his constant companion because he feels he owes Wiley some sort of “life debt”.  Eventually Wiley gets his memory back and is rescued, after which he immediately resigns from military duty.  Literally five minutes after resigning from the military, he is “recruited” by a shady covert government agency (along with Thor) to become a super spy.  I say “recruited” because he is not really given a choice.  He is taken directly from the airport to the agency’s hidden headquarters and begun his training before he can even take a leak.  And he goes right along with it.  He is trained to physical perfection and given special hypnotic abilities to allow him to assume several different “facial configurations” to help facilitate his undercover work.  He is given an all black suit (see pic below) that, while being only one molecule thick, is built with advanced technology making it virtually bulletproof and has boots that can change their tactile surface for sliding (slick) or climbing (gripped).

Werewolf Costume

Properly trained and clothed, Wiley sets out to fight the enemies of democracy and freedom as a cross between Batman and James Bond.  When not on assignment he lives in a hidden mountain retreat (of course it’s hidden) and has a beautiful CIA contact Judy Bowman (of course she’s beautiful).

Dell Werewolf #2 Dell Werewolf #3

Dell’s Werewolf only lasted two more issues before it was summarily canceled (see issues #2 and #3 above).  A similar fate to it’s Frankenstein brother.  However, as ridiculous as the Frankenstein super hero concept was, this one was actually good. The problem lies in the writing.  This book is poorly written.  It is hokey and ham fisted and makes little sense.  Some examples?  Of course.

Werewolf 1 underwater
Werewolf’s lair, as I said, is hidden. It has a secret entrance and exit, but instead of implementing some hidden tunnels underneath said lair like Batman, the “backdoor” is actually a man made pool/lake that he swims in and out of to get out. Yes, he has to SWIM out of his lair if he wants to sneak away. Logistics aside, that just seems like an overly complicated solution to a simple problem. Not only that, but his wolf companion, Thor, also has to swim out. Werewolf’s suit helps him breathe. What about Thor? That looks like a pretty long underwater tunnel in the last panel.  How long can Thor hold his breath?  Again, this solution seems needlessly complicated.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Frankenstein comic books!!

Posted in comic books, Frankenstein, Halloween, holiday, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by Paxton

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This week we looked at Frankenstein’s many appearances in books and novels. Today, I want to take a look at Frankenstein’s appearances in comic books. Specifically, his cover appearances.  Having Frankenstein’s monster make an appearance on a comic cover gave companies an instantly recognizable character that could lure in more readers.  Plus, having your hero battle Frankenstein’s Monster was pretty BAD ASS.

Let’s take a look at some of the cooler comic covers featuring our friend Frankenstein (‘s monster).

Classic Comics 26 Classics Illustrated 26
These are the Classics Illustrated comic adaptations of Mary Shelley’s novel. The comic on the left is the original from 1941. The comic on the right is from ’47 or ’48.  It’s a reprint of the comic on the left with a nice, new painted cover.

Briefer Frank 2 Briefer Frank 10
Artist Dick Briefer created his own version of the Frankenstein monster in the early 1940s. It ran in Prize Comics as a feature. Briefer’s Frankenstein character got his own humor comic in 1945. Issue #2 of this comic is on the left up there and Issue #10 is on the right. Briefer was known for his color and composition. His Frankenstein was very popular and ran well into the ’50s.
Here’s some nice artwork featuring Briefer’s Frankenstein fighting an alligator. Wait…he’s fighting an ALLIGATOR?! I wonder why. Oh yeah, probably because it’s f***ing AWESOME.
Frank vs Gator

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