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06 August 2011 @ 09:32 pm
Look, it's Wonder Woman errr Moon Girl  
EC didn't do a lot of super-hero comics and when they did, the results were unimpressive. Moon Girl is full of 'blah.' MC Gaines claimed to have come up with the character, which is not hard to believe as there was not much about her that dazzled with originality. Gaines of course had been the founder of All-American comics group, which had given us Wonder Woman herself; after All-American was absorbed by DC (National Comics), Gaines started up EC. Not much of great interest came from EC until Max Gaines died in a boating accident and his son Bill took over. Bill of course was quite a character, and, working with Al Feldstein and Harvey Kurtzmaan, he turned out some astonishing comics durin the 1950s.. TALES FROM THE CRYPT, WEIRD SCIENCE, and of course MAD.



Moon Girl sure looks to me like an attempt to get sales from careless readers who glanced at the comic and thought they were picking up WONDER WOMAN. A brunette heroine in blue shorts, bare legs and cross-cross straps above shoes... all she needed was to have her top red instead of yellow (and the red girdle was step that way), but that might have been just enough to make DC's lawyers send an intimidating 'cease and desist' letter. Like Princess Diana, Moon Girl was a champion of an imaginary nation come to America to fight crime. Claire Lune (oh come on!) derived her powers from the mystic Moonstone she wore; when things got sticky, she pleaded with the talisman to grant her enough strength and speed to take care of things and the Moonstone invariably said, Sure why not? Moon Girl's sidekick was Prince Mengu of the adjoining kingdom Freedonia Klopstakia, who was her Steve Trevor. By issue #7, the title was changed to MOON GIRL FIGHTS CRIME. After that, the comic became A MOON..A GIRL..ROMANCE. Publishers often changed a comic's premise completely but pretended it was the same so they wouldn't have to pay a new fee for second class mailing permits. Sometimes the Post Office didn't notice but often they bristled. ("You don't mean to tell me that FUNNY ANIMALS ON PARADE is the same publication as HORRIFYING TALES FROM THE GRAVE?!").










 
 
 
Zathras IXzathras_ix on August 7th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
Sheldon Moldoff is famous for his "swipes" of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon. The entire concept of Hawkmen was lifted from lifted from FG, although the figure of The Hawkman himself was generally a copy of Flash leaping, diving or swimming with wings and a mask overlayed.

The Venerian rocket as it appears on the splash page and in the fourth panel of the second page is a direct swipe of one of Ming's patrol rockets. I don't know from whence Moldoffs got the design of the rocket as it appears in the rest of story, but it's clearly not the same as the Alex Raymond design.

Still, it's nice to see Dale Arden kick ass for a change.
dochermesdochermes on August 7th, 2011 10:36 am (UTC)
Absolutely. Years ago, I did a scan of a 1934 FLASH GORDON page that showed the Hawkmen in action. http://dr-hermes.livejournal.com/303672.html Moldoff had nerve. Looking over old Hawkman strips from FLASH COMICS, I see page after page of Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Ming posing blithely in new outfits.

Jules Feiffer wrote that he admired the way Shelley Moldoff used the Alex Raymond swipes and paid them the ultimate compliment of swiping them himself. His position was that not every artist could afford live models the way Raymond or Caniff could but they could easily use scissors to save the strips and swipe from them.
John Halljhall1 on August 7th, 2011 09:33 am (UTC)
Like Princess Diana, Moon Girl was a champion of an imaginary nation come to America to fight crime.

I did a momentary double-take at that point, being more familiar with the British royal family than I am with the history of Wonder Woman.
dochermesdochermes on August 7th, 2011 10:30 am (UTC)
One might do an odd alternate-reality comics with that premise, I think. The late Princess Diana of the royal house comes to the United States ostensibly on a holiday but actually to prowl the streets at night fighting crime. Wonder Woman hears of this and is offended. ("I'm the Princess Diana who fights crime!" she declares and sets out to confront the newcomer.)
John Halljhall1 on August 7th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
I'd buy it. :)
dochermesdochermes on August 7th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
"Princess Diana, this is Princess Diana."
Zathras IXzathras_ix on August 8th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
If Diana of Themyscira starts off fit to be tied, how will she end up?
dochermesdochermes on August 8th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
She is 'bound' to please?
full_metal_oxfull_metal_ox on August 8th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
The late Princess Diana of the royal house comes to the United States ostensibly on a holiday but actually to prowl the streets at night fighting crime. Wonder Woman hears of this and is offended. ("I'm the Princess Diana who fights crime!" she declares and sets out to confront the newcomer.)

...You realize that you may just have predicted a retropunk novel plot of the year 2100.

http://www.amazon.com/Queen-Victoria-Demon-Hunter/dp/144470026X

http://www.amazon.com/Abraham-Lincoln-Vampire-Seth-Grahame-Smith/dp/0446563080


Martin O'HearnMartin O'Hearn on August 8th, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
Whether MC Gaines came up with the character or not is lost to the ages, but Moon Girl's first actual writer was William Woolfolk. On my new blog (http://martinohearn.blogspot.com/2011/08/woolfolk-records-194502.html) I'm transcribing his script sales records from the mid-Forties, and in a few weeks, our time, I'll get to his EC work. It isn't a big surprise that he wrote Animal Fables, since the lead character, Freddy Firefly, appeared first in the Mad Hatter comic he wrote and published. At EC he wrote not only the early Moon Girl but a few stories for the radio tie-in Land of the Lost.
dochermesdochermes on August 8th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, very interesting! Thank you. I'll check out your blog. (Those primary sources like payment recepts and notes from publishers are pure gold when reconstructing comics & pulps history.) I had a vague thought that Gardner Fox was the Moon Girl writer?
(Anonymous) on August 9th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, Gardner Fox wrote the later Moon Girl. It's too bad Gemstone never reprinted Moon Girl or the earlier issues of Crime Patrol; there were some issues of the latter where the individual heroes' stories were chapters in a book-length narrative, making the Crime Patrol a society of justice...

Martin O'Hearn
(Livejournal and Google aren't cooperating today on sign-ins)
dochermesdochermes on August 9th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And yes, LiveJournal has been erratic at best for awhile. That attack seems to left the service uncertain.