Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Mister Named Monster! -- A "Comical Wednesday" Post


This is the second in a series of two posts about American comic book characters who have their roots in Canadian comic books. For part one, click here.
 
One of my favorite comic titles in the 1980s and beyond was a book about a character called Mr. Monster! Mr. Monster was the creation of Michael T. Gilbert, who usually wrote and usually drew the hero's adventures.

Mr. Monster generally eschewed time-honored methods of monster disposal -- silver bullets, wooden stakes, holy water, exorcisms, etc. -- and instead, often blasted away with two Colt .45s! Each story -- there were often two or more per issue -- featured plenty of slam-bang action, with a decidedly twisted, humorous slant. That doesn't mean that there weren't moments of poignancy, I must stress.

(It's a shame, by the way, that I can only tell you what charms certain comics hold or held for me, since I try to avoid fully reprinting copyrighted stories. I can only hope that, if you are a comic book fan, you'll seek out whatever I've mentioned... titles, characters, stories, artists, writers, etc.!)

And now, in order to avoid my usual long-windedness, I'll instead present a Mr. Monster cover gallery!

 A really fun issue, one I point to when people ask why I never "outgrew" comics!


A two-part crossover with the Airboy character.... One of the examples
of "poignancy" which I mentioned earlier. Highly recommended!





"But," you may be asking -- and even if you're not, I'm gonna tell you anyway -- "where did the idea for Mr. Monster come from?"

I'll let Michael T. Gilbert tell you himself!

"Mike Friedrich, my agent, got me a gig doing an eight-page story for another Pacific title, Vanguard Illustrated. The comic was an anthology with numerous features, and they told me to come up with a new character. Time was short, so I went to my trusty comic collection to see if anything there would spark my imagination. That’s when I found Mr. Monster. Actually, I found him a decade earlier at the 1971 New York Comic Convention, when I’d stumbled upon a coverless 1947 comic starring a weird monster-fighting hero called Mr. Monster, written and drawn by Fred Kelly, a Canadian cartoonist. I later found out that this comic, Super Duper Comics #3, featured the only full story starring the Golden Age Mr. Monster. It was printed by Bell Publishing, a Canadian company, shortly before they went out of business... I remember buying it for fifty cents and thinking, “Boy, this would be such a cool character to bring back!” Now I had the chance to do just that, only reinventing him for the 80s... And that’s how Mr. Monster began."

Here's a shot of Mr. Monster from the cover of 1947's Super Duper Comics #3! It may look a tad familiar, as that Super Duper Comics cover was also shown in our last installment



And here's one of the issues in which MTG established that
the 1947 Mr. Monster was the father of the current version!

Here, once again, is the cover to Super Duper Comics #3...

And here is the complete Mr. Monster story that inspired Michael T. Gilbert!










Thanks for your time.















29 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Mr. Monster before. He's quite muscular and colorful. Were you the model the artists based him on? Oh, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. I'm sooooo naughty.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uhhhh, no, I wasn't the model. I could have been, but I'm *ahem* too shy.

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  2. i remember seeing these but dont think i ever read them...i am intrigued...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should really check out a few, Brian. I highly recommend #7 and the two-part Airboy/Mr. Monster crossover. Both were published by Eclipse Comics. The later series, from Dark Horse, is more serious in tone, but still fun!

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  3. I like Batman better. Mr. Monster doesn't have a cape! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, he doesn't have a cape. Maybe he had one once, and someone stole it!

      I won't tell him you prefer Batman; it might hurt his feelings.

      Delete
    2. You mean like a souvenir? No doubt it's happened before!

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    3. Superhero souvenirs are a nice idea. I wouldn't mind returning home with part of Wonder Woman's costume...

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    4. Now why am I not surprised? So...crown? boots? Sometimes she wears a billowy cape that flows around her boots.

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    5. If those are my only choices, I guess I'll opt for the cape.

      Wonder if that bodice zips in the back...

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    6. I have my moments, yeah. siiiiigh

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  4. Mr. Monster, first I have heard of him. If all else fails use a gun or two haha

    Was the alien one done before Mars Attacks? If so they really ripped off those aliens on the cover. Or Mr. Monster ripped off the movie if not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, other way around. Michael T Gilbert was doing a tribute to Mars Attacks. (In fact, Mars Attacks goes wayyyy back. It started out as a controversial trading card set back in 1962! Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Attacks)

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    2. yeah, weren't those fish bowl heads just on your blog, Pat? haha.

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    3. Wow that I never knew and yeah they were there monday for a view.

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  5. These comics make me remember some comics I read a lot time a go when I was little, I read a lot of these!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I remember your saying that before. In fact, you seem to have read a lot of comics, as I recall. :)

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    2. And Gloria, look....the beautiful lady in the comic has your name! :) Mr. Monster saves her!

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    3. I'll bet that the Gloria in that story wasn't complaining that Mr. Monster didn't have a cape! (ducks)

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    4. Well, I wouldn't either, with the Terror of Trezma about to get me!

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    5. Yeah, he's a mean-looking cuss, isn't he? Oh, my!

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  6. Oh O dont see the name really? I dont have my glasses in this moment, now I have I will read well. ;)
    Really? I don think a hero have to be a cape isn't important I look others things!!:)

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  7. Yeah I read all but Glo is blonde:(

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  8. I just have a thing for capes. :)

    Yes, the last comic...get your glasses and read it! ha. Mr. Monster is your hero!

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  9. Replies
    1. haha...yes, that is a great look for you! And she has a cape! lol....

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    2. So, you liked the Nelvana story? :)

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