published in 1940


Spellbound (1945, USA) - 13 by Jim

LIFE photographer Nina Leen posing with Rolleiflex camera (1949). Photograph by Serge Balkin. LIFE.

Leen’s first photographs to be published in LIFE in April 1940 were of tortoises at the Bronx Zoo, taken with her Rolleiflex camera. While she never became a staff photographer at LIFE, she contributed as a contract photographer until the magazine closed in 1972. Leen was a prolific photographer of fashion for LIFE, and was long married to the fashion photographer Serge Balkin.


Spellbound (1945, USA) - 07 by Jim

The next issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA that arrived in my mailbox continued that year’s regular team-up between the JLA and their historic fore bearers in the Justice Society of America. And this time, as had become the pattern, a third group of heroes was also in the mix. This unnamed band was comprised of the super heroes published in the 1940s by Fawcett Comics, original publishers of Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family, who were also on hand in spirit. That’s the Earth-2 Batman slugging the Joker on this cover, his oval-less chest insignia giving the game away

This particular chapter focused on four pairs of partners working in tandem: Hawkman and Hawkgirl of the JLA (the League’s nonsensical regulation preventing Hawkgirl from joining the team suspended for the duration), the older Batman and Robin of Earth-2′s Justice Society, and both Bulletman and Bulletgirl and Mister Scarlet and Pinky from Earth-S, the world of Captain Marvel named after his benefactor, Shazam. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a fondness for Bulletman and Bulletgirl. When the G.I.Joe line of action figures came out with their own version of the character as their entry into the super hero doll derby, he became a prized possession (until his leg broke off at the knee–a career-ending tragedy!)

King Kull has already been hard at work, causing volcanic eruptions that are not only causing citizens of Earth-S to flee in panic, but which are also petrifying them remotely somehow. Hawkman gets a taste of this as he soars too close to the volcano and his shoulder begins to turn to stone. Elsewhere, other bizarre phenomena are causing similar disasters, which reporter Billy Batson reports on. But he is helpless to intervene, his magic word no longer functioning. He’s also drawn in a bit of an odd middle stage between his typical cartoony appearance and something more in line with the other characters in this story. It doesn’t really work at all.

Acting as the on-site talent of King Kull are one of Bulletman’s old foes, the Weeper, who has been teamed up with Earth-2′s Joker to cause mayhem. Mr. Scarlet and Batman and Robin give chase, finding the pair’s victims horrifyingly transformed into diamond, and so the vengeful quartet takes the fight to their foes. But even defeating them and analyzing a sample of the gas that they’ve been spreading gives them a clue as to how to prevent these incredible transformations. Now, batman’s jaw has turned to steel, and Pinky’s hair has become diamond.

Turns out that there are other minion villains at work: the darkness-loving Shade of Earth-2 and his opposite number from Earth-1, Doctor Light. The four flying heroes race across the world to engage these new enemies while the four earthbound crusaders continue their investigations. Hawkman and Bulletman battle the Shade at the Louvre where people are being transformed into living paintings–and Bulletman gets a taste of the experience himself.

And in Yellowstone National Park, in a bit of prophetic casting, Bulletgirl and Hawkgirl go after Doctor Light (in his pre-rapist days–here, he’s simply a colorful super-villain.) In the same way that the Shade has created a zone of perpetual darkness, Dr. Light has set up an area of 24-Hour daylight. Hawkgirl and Bulletgirl evade destruction, but before they can capture Light, he himself is petrified–and the quartet is no closer to coming up with an answer.

It’s clear that the two giant satellites the villains have set up to create night and day are the source of the transformative radiations–so Hawkman and Bulletman divert them towards each other, causing them to collide and destroy one another. And so, Earth-S is saved, and the various heroes regain the use of their altered body parts. But King Kull isn’t finished yet–he’s failed to destroy two Earths, but there’s still Earth-1 left. And in the very final frames, in a bit of foreshadowing that was even too obvious for me as a 9-year-old, the Marvel Family kids are startled by the appearance of Johnny Thunder, who knows the secret of their magic transformations! Now, why do you think Johnny’s been sent to them on Earth-S, do you suppose? Whatever your thoughts, they’ll have to wait until the final chapter!

Night view of Lower Manhattan skyscrapers from the bay. Circa, 1943. The City Bank Farmers Trust (Cross & Cross, 1931) at left and Cities Service (Clinton & Russell, 1932) at right, towers dominates the skyline.

Photo: Andreas Feininger.

Source: Andreas Feininger,Susan Elizabeth Lyman, “The Face of New York”. New York, Crown Publishers, 1955.


Women Behind Wonder WomanElizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne

Although she has long been celebrated as a feminist icon, throughout Wonder Woman’s 75-year history the vast majority of her writers, artists and editors have been men.

But make no mistake, women have played and are continuing to play an important role in shaping Wonder Woman down the years: writing, pencilling, inking, colouring, lettering, editing and generally influencing the ways in which she has been portrayed and perceived. So for Wondy’s 75th birthday, I wanted to celebrate some of the women behind Wonder Woman.

And of course, I couldn’t possibly start anywhere other than with Wonder Woman’s two mommies, Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I daydream in early 1940s gay romance. Do you have any books/poems/movies etc to recommend? Gay authors and themes are a plus, but as long as it isn't heavy in heteronormity I'm looking for anything. Male friendship or brotherhood works too. Thanks you !!

most of the gay and/or war era novels i read are from pre-world war ii (i.e. regeneration, maurice, brideshead revisited, all quiet on the western front, etc.) and the majority of the vintage films that i watch are silents, so this list was harder for me to make. but it was a good challenge! the 1940s is such a neat aesthetic era for gay romance, so i can see why you for love it :)


  • the charioteer by mary renault (fiction written by a lesbian about a gay male love triangle during wwii, highly recommend it)
  • gay new york by george chauncey (non-fiction, written by a gay man, chronicles 1900s pre stonewall new york gay history, has my 1920s and your 1940s too)
  • i’m a lil embarrassed to rec this but there’s a captain america fanfic called the thirteen letters which follows repressed gay bucky barnes as he fights in world war ii but it’s my favorite fic of all time and it fits your criteria so



i don’t really have films/shows to rec, so if you guys have any, feel free to reblog and add those to the list!


Susan and God (1940, USA) - 01 by Jim


Sullivan;s Travels (1942, USA) - 11 by Jim


Carlos Mérida. Estampas Del Popol Vuh. 1943. 

A series of original lithographs by the Guatemalan artist Mérida published in Mexico in the 1940s. The pieces are based on the 16th century Mayan manuscript Popol Vuh, the Quiché people’s elaborately poetic book of creation, a “Book of the People.” More completely: “a corpus of mytho-historical narratives of the Post-Classic people of the Western Guatemalan Highlands. Popol Vuh’s prominent features are its creation myth, its diluvian suggestion, its epic tales of the Hero Twins Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, and its genealogies. The myth begins with the exploits of anthropomorphic ancestors and concludes with a regnal genealogy, perhaps as an assertion of rule by divine right. As with other texts, a great deal of Popol Vuh’s significance lies in the scarcity of early accounts dealing with Mesoamerican mythologies.”

delmothesaint  asked:

First off, I shouldn't have to join tumblr just to ask a question but that's not your fault. Second, just discovered your blog and was wondering if you're going to do a Betty Bates collection if you haven't already.

What I can say right now is that we would absolutely love to do a Betty Bates collection … and we are looking into it. There are some challenges, but we’re looking into it. 

The biggest obstacles are the rarity of the original comics, combined with the relatively large number of Betty Bates stories that were published in the 1940s. By my count (yes, I counted), Betty Bates appeared in 62 total stories (all in Hit Comics #4-65, published in 1940-1950), for a total of 414 pages of Betty Bates. A complete collection of that size is a big undertaking. 

For comparison, our digital-only collection “Jill Trent, Science Sleuth Collected: 1943-1948” contains somewhere around 12 stories at just over 100 pages.

We probably do have enough Betty Bates material at this point to publish an incomplete collection… But I suspect an incomplete or “best-of” collection would be dissatisfying…?

In any case, we absolutely love Betty Bates and we think she is the greatest thing since we discovered Jill Trent.

Thank you for asking!