Thursday, March 28, 2013

Guns And Ammo!


Guns are a big part of pulp fiction in general and to a lesser degreee comics, which geared for children initially often eschewed weapons. Doc Savage has a famous disdain for guns, and this attitude drifted into comic books by and large, most evidenced by Batman's ultimate refusal to carry a gun.

But that doesn't mean there are guns in comics and other things associated with them. So much so that even comic book logos are affected. Above is a cover for Sarge Steel  Special Agent and his signature Luger nestles smoking and doubtless warm against the "A" in the name.


On Charlton's Vengeance Squad, an automatic pistol emerges from the "V".


In this DC comic a colt pistol sort of floats over the logo "Top Gun" which includes also a target. More on that later.


Michael Mauser created in the pages of E-Man by Nicola Cuti and Joe Staton owes his very name to a specific gun and here we see it in proper noir shadow as part of the logo to a later Mauser collection from Apple Comics.


Not only guns, but bullets too get used as iconography for logos. The most pure example is appropriately enough the Bulletman comic book from Fawcett.


Later Charlton's GunmasterM book used the same technique to render the name of  his partner Bullet the Gun Boy.


Bullets are also used in silhouette such as above to encase Sgt.Stryer's name as part of his logo for the exceedingly short-lived Atlas-Seaboard comic.



Marvel pulls a simliar trick on this later issue of Mighty Marvel Western.


Of course with guns and bullets you need targets and those get used too. Most obviously on this DC Johnny Double comic.


This comic, Target: The Corruptors from Dell uses a target too, blended in behind the title.


And finally we have the Atlas-Seaboard comic Targitt in which the name evokes both the character and the image itself. This one hearkens back to our gun theme too as there is a gun sight affixed to the top of the logo.

Guns and the paraphernalia associated with them are infused through out the pulp essence of comics.

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13 comments:

  1. It's so funny, just last night I saw something gun related in a comicbook that made me show it to my wife and say "man, times have changed" I'll scan it and link to it here tonight.

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    1. A bygone time when toy guns were a regular part of the fabric of childhood. I don't condemn nor do I necessarily condone it, but I have to say I find much of the hoorah over toy guns overwrought.

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  2. Doc Savage disliked LETHAL weapons.
    He developed the Superfirer pistol and it's (mostly) non-lethal ammo because Doc knew he and his aides needed something to knock out armed enemies at a distance.
    (Savage did utilize armor-piercing bullets, but tried not to use them on living beings, just machines and vehicles.)
    The Avenger also shot to wound/knock-out rather than kill, but used potentially-lethal ammo while depending on his skill to keep from killing.

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    1. True enough.

      But I'm always struck how Doc trips off into danger with just his brain, his brawn, and some clever gizmos, but often without a gat of any traditional type. He seems to let Monk and Ham and the others lug around the Super-Firers most of the time, or at least it seems that way to me.

      It actually seems short-sighted sometimes, as he gets into spots where a well-placed bullet or three might end an adventure a bit sooner. But that's pulps!

      On the other side of course, the Shadow sure didn't hesitate to shoot 'em up!

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  3. Here is the ad I saw on the back of Adventure Comics 359.

    http://oi50.tinypic.com/35k5pis.jpg

    Imagine if they had this ad today? Did you see the article about the dad that put a picture of his son holding a gun on facebook and he was brought up on a child endangerment charge? Turns out that gun was just a BB gun too and I guess the charges were dropped.

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    1. People would freak for sure. Play is play, and I wish the adults who lose their livers when a kid "pretends" to be some thing or other would display a smidgeon of the imagination the kid is using to understand the difference betwixt real and unreal.

      Sheesh!

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    2. Zero tolerance policies have been in place for years, and have definitely gotten out of hand. Two kids in Maryland and one in Colorado were suspended from school for pointing their index fingers and saying "bang" while playing cops-and-robbers at recess. A boy in Virginia got suspended for playing with a pellet gun in his own yard (nowhere near school property). And a kid in Oregon got sent home from school for wearing a "support our troops" (with a picture of an M-16 rifle on it) T-shirt.

      AFAIK, there were no shakedown lawsuits against the schools in any of those incidents. And none of those kids got invited to the White House.

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  4. I never even noticed the bullet shape on Mighty Marvel Western before this!

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    1. I wouldn't have even noticed it in this post if it hadn't been pointed out!

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  5. Jon Sable, Dominic Fortune, and Manhunter (the Goodwin/Simonson version) all used Mauser pistols, too.

    IIRC, Sgt. Stryker's Death Squad was an example of the "paroled prisoners on a commando mission" subgenre, as were DC's "Hunter's Hellcats" and Marvel's "Combat Kelly and His Deadly Dozen," and the TV series "Garrison's Gorillas" (1967-68). The Dirty Dozen was the #1 box office hit movie in 1967, so naturally there was a lot of sincere flattery.

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  6. I didn't know Sarge Steel ever had his own self-titled comic. I remember the character from the second feature strip in (IIRC) Judo Master.

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