Marvel’s Star Police Academy

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. It really is hard to believe that this little blog of mine is 10 years old; what started out as just a silly way to feel nostalgic for things that I grew up loving has now turned into a way for many of you readers as well to take trips down memory lane about the topics covered. With that said, today’s update is no exception as growing up my brother and I loved the Police Academy films and we would watch them all the time, but in 1988 they also made an animated series…that was not watched all the time and this update is about that animated series and the Marvel Comics under the Star Comics branch comic series based on it. Who would have ever thought that Police Academy would get a cartoon and comic book series? I know growing up it seemed like Marvel and DC Comics did more oddball releases like this, and now they play it way too safe. So if you are ready let’s head to the station and see what is going on with Mahoney and his friends.

Police Academy Animated 1

The Police Academy Cartoon series started airing on September 10,1988 and was a syndicated show that was based on the movie series that was being released by Warner Brothers at the same time. The cartoon would follow Mahoney and his fellow Cadet friends as they bust crime and try to take down the evil Kingpin who is a member of the Council Of Crime and other baddies include Mr. Sleaze, Claw, Numbskull and Big Burger. The cartoon was made by Rudy-Spears and was released by Warner Bros. Television and would last for two seasons and a total of 65 episodes, as it would end on September 2, 1989. None of the movies cast would voice their cartoon counterparts and names like Dan Hennessey, Ron Rubin, Greg Morton and Frank Welker would lend their voices to help make the characters come alive. Growing up very few of my friends at school watched this cartoon as it really was not popular at all and to be honest while I did watch it from time to time it was not must see TV for me, and looking back this is a little odd as I was a big fan of the movies. I will say that the animation for the cartoon was good and that classic 80’s style but I do always remember not being a fan of the voices of the characters, as they sounded nothing like they should and even the kid friendly humor fell flat. The series would get some home media releases with select episodes making it to VHS and part of the series would get a DVD release. Now keep in mind while I was not a major fan of the cartoon I will say I enjoyed if even with all its flaws.

Police Academy Animated 2Police Academy Animated 3Police Academy Animated 4

While I was not a mega fan of the cartoon series, I was a fan of the action figures based on it that was released by Kenner that started in 1988 and ended in 1989 and only lasted three series. The first wave of figures featured Mahoney with Samson the dog, Tackleberry, Hightower, Jones and Zed for the heroes and for the baddies you could get Cat with Mouser Cat, Numbskull and Mr. Sleaze with FooFoo Dog. Wave one also had some cool play sets like the Precinct Police Station that was really just the Real Ghostbusters fire station re-done. Wave 2 had new versions of Tackleberry and Jones and then added baddies Flung Hi and Kingpin to the mix, and a mail away figure was Captain Harris that is very rare. The third and final wave that is called “Special Assignment Rookies” the cops added was House, Sweetchuck with new versions of Zed and Mahoney and no new baddies were added. They also had vehicles released that included Crazy Cruiser and Crash Cycle. And growing up I had several of these figures like Jones, Tackleberry, Mr. Sleaze and Cat and got them from of course Big Bear and Hearts. The one I always wanted was Hightower as he was at the top of my favorite characters in the films series as well as the animated one. Its weird as very few of the kids I grew up with had the Police Academy figures and I knew no kid who watched the cartoon, I do however knew a few classmates who had the Marvel Comics based on it. And to be honest I do not even remember Harts stocking them for very long and can not even remember them being at Hills Department Store, though I am sure they were as Hills was the place for Toys!

Police Academy Animated 5Police Academy Animated 6Police Academy Animated 7

And when I became a teenager I got ride of my Police Academy figures and regretted it later in life, so I did what any nerdy adult would do and I bought many of them back plus the ones I didn’t have when I was a youngster! And below is a group shot of the figures I have in my collection and I wanted to share it with you readers. No as you can see I do not have the full set as some figures are way over priced like House, Sweetchuck and Captain Harris as they are rare and while I had a chance to buy Sweetchuck at a local store I decided not to pay the price they were asking. But as you can see I do have a good amount of them with my two favorites being Hightower and Tackleberry as I do think they are good figures and are two of my favorite characters from the whole Police Academy series. But check below to see the figures I have, and yes over time I do hope to get more and complete the set, and when looking at them I really need to get more of the bad guys as I need Claw and Mr. Sleeze back.

Police Academy Cartoon Toys Mine

The Police Academy film series started in 1984 and followed Mahoney who is a cadet at the Police Academy who is a prankster and a ladies man who is hated by Lt. Harris, and worse his fellow cadets would follow his lead and they would become good cops who worked well with the people they are protecting. The series would spawn five sequels a cartoon and even a short-lived live action TV Show. The film series would star names like Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney, Bubba Smith as Hightower, Michael Winslow as Larvell Jones, David Graf as Tackleberry, Marion Ramsey as Laverne Hooks, Bobcat Goldthwait as Zed McGlunk to name a few. The first film in the series was the biggest success bringing in $81,198,894.00 at the Domestic Box Office but with each sequel the profits dropped hard as the sixth film in the series “Police Academy 6: City Under Siege” only did $11,567,217.00 showing that the series did not have much legs behind it in the end, but to be fair to the later sequels they did do great on home media and the rental market and did their job of keeping the series alive. I have worked for several used media stores over the years and have had many of customers ask if we had Police Academy films in stock, and mostly they are looking for the sequels so that’s a sign at least that they do have a fan following. I think that if I had to choose my top three films in the series I would say that for me “Police Academy”, “Police Academy 4: Citizen’s On Patrol” and “Police Academy 3: Back In Training” make up that list with my least favorite film in the series being “Police Academy 7: Mission Moscow” a barely in the theater film that had hardly none of the original cast and had many jokes that just fell flat, but to be fair the film did star Christopher Lee and Ron Perlman as Russians. Rumors of an eighth film have been floating around for years and Steve Guttenberg has also fueled those rumors in 2018 by claiming talks are taking place, but I think sadly this sequel will never happen and if anything a remake will be made that will go direct to streaming. Say what you will but Police Academy in the 80’s was a big comedy franchise that sparked so much other media and helped make Warner Brothers some money and brought laughs to movie watchers around the globe.

Police Academy Animated 8Police Academy Animated 9Police Academy Animated 10

I want to also take a moment before we take a look at the score for the first Police Academy film that was done by Robert Folk who is also know for his music work on such films as “Toy Soldiers (1991)”, “Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time (1991)”, “Rock-A-Doodle (1991)”, “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)”, “Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996)” and “Beethoven’s Big Break (2008)” to name a few. But while all the above mentioned and even the none mentioned scores are good it really is his work on the Police Academy film series that is his crown jewel as the Main Title for the series is so iconic and when it starts to play almost everyone knows that its from the film and still even more will hum along to the catchy tune, and funny enough I still even hum this song at random from time to time. And my niece plays in a marching band and my brother use to try and get her to ask her teacher if they would play the Police Academy Theme at football games, he of course said no but it was worth a try. The soundtrack was released for a limited time on CD and I was lucky enough to nab a copy before it went out of print and to be honest the whole score by Folk is really good and if you can find it cheap enough and enjoy movie score soundtracks give it a listen.

Police Academy Animated 11

And yet still before we review these comics we should talk about my three favorite characters in this series with my first being Hightower who was played by Bubba Smith in the films and voiced by Greg Morton in the cartoon, and the reason he is my favorite is he is as strong as a bull, is fair when busting crime, is as big as a pro wrestler and just is a very cool character. Next would have to be Tackleberry who is Rambo with a badge and carries a massive handgun and is really unstable who comes from a family of cops who all act just as intense as he is, Tackleberry is played by actor David Graf in the films and was voiced by Dan Hennessey. And my third favorite is Zed who was a one time criminal who turns a new leaf and joins the Police Force, but he is just as crazy as he was when he was a bad guy he is played by the awesome Bobcat Goldthwait in the films and voiced by Dan Hennessey in the cartoon. And now that you know who my top three favorite characters are I want you to take a few moments to think who yours are as I think every fan of this series has their most as well as least favorites.

Police Academy Animated 12Police Academy Animated 13Police Academy Animated 14

Well as you can see we have somehow found ourselves in Comic Book Jail all because we said we enjoy old Marvel Comics over old DC Comics in a Warner Brothers part of town and now we have to wait for Mahoney to get here to straighten this mess all out, but while we wait lets take a look at the comic book series from Marvel Comics in connection to the Star Comics brand that of course is based on the super kid friendly animated series of Police Academy. I want to thank Bell, Book And Comic as well as Lonestar Comics for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I also want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that let’s find a bunk and see what this comic series has in store for us. And on a side note I do remember reading the first issue as a kid and the rest will be first time reads for me.

Police Academy Animated Comic 1

Police Academy # 1  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel    # 1 of 6

Mahoney and Jones are acting as a two man parade for all of the higher officers at the academy, and this is bad news as they the higher ups showed up a day to early and this annoys many of them and worse when Hooks, Zed and Sweetchuck have made a float head that looks like criminal computer and tech mastermind Mad Byter! This gets Mahoney and his friends in hot water and they are sent on duty in a terrible part of town and while directing traffic Mad Byter and his henchmen drive by and the cops give chase, but the criminal makes it to his base that is a massive movie sound studio! Mahoney gets an idea and as he and the rest hide inside of the Mad Byter float head that they will have Sweetchuck drop off as a gift to the criminal and this will allow them to be inside the hideout…and it works! Once inside Mahoney and his fellow officers find that Byter is using props from movies against them and when he makes his escape Mahoney uses one of the props to capture him and get back into the graces of the higher ups. “Little Boy Blue” is the second story and is about Buster a kid who won a contest to be a police officer for a day, the downside is that he is a brat and Mahoney and Jones are the ones who end up having to take him out for the day. Buster is running wild and Mahoney comes up with a plan for him and Jones to wear ski masks and fake kidnap Dusty to teach him a lesson about manors, but a pair of real kidnappers beat them to it and this causes Mahoney and Jones to save the day and in the end they do teach Buster a life lesson on how to act.

This first issue of Police Academy is pure silly stuff and has one longer story as well as a small back up and both pack the same silly humor and jokes and while it is entertaining it does have lots of flaws including characters being in spots they should not be and jokes that are eye rolling bad, you know the type like a bad dad jokes. The first story has Mahoney and company screwing up a parade and being forced on a terrible part of town that they end up saving the city from a very bad man who is a computer hacker that robs places. And that baddie is Mad Byter and he does rob a place and even uses movie props to stall and keep the cops at bay as he and his goons try to escape, they do fail but at least he tried. The second story is shorter and has Mahoney and Jones having to watch the Mayors nephew and have to save him from kidnappers, and the odd part of this plot is that Mahoney himself has a plan to kidnap the kid to calm him down…very odd coming from a cop. Mahoney is clearly the leader of the cadets and is as snarky as ever and while he saves the day often he still is a joker who does so by falling backwards into being the hero as really in this comic he is very bad at his work! Jones is kind of the sidekick to Mahoney and because they are friends he seems to be roped into helping, even when the idea is a bad one. The rest of the characters like Sweetchuck, Zed, Hooks and so on are around they do very little in the stories and play background to Mahoney and Jones. So far this comic held up to what I remember it being as a kid and while the jokes are bad and I cannot stress that enough it was a very entertaining read and while the characters act nothing like they do in the film series they do act like their cartoon counterparts. The cover is eye catching and features the whole cast and the art by Howard Post is good kid friendly art, I do have to say that his Mahoney in some panels looks like an old woman. With that lets see what issue two has in store for us.

Police Academy Animated Comic 2

Police Academy # 2  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 2 of 6

While on a date at the beach Mahoney sees a sea monster and rushes back to the station to warn his coworkers of this danger, and unlucky for him and his normal bank of fellow officers they get sent to the beach to stakeout and capture the creature! But when the sea monster eats Zed while he was surfing, it’s Mahoney and Jones that have to go after him in a tiny submarine that looks like a goldfish. They soon find themselves out of the sub and diving toward a sunken ship that is being robbed by diver, and Mahoney and Jones get caught in a net and captured by a Captain who is holding them and Zed prisoner as the sea monster is really a submarine that he and his crew are using to scare people away as they steal the safe from the boat! And when the criminals get the safe and try to escape, its Mahoney and Jones that escape the net and use the gold fish sub to attach onto the creature sub and crash them onshore! As the Captain and his men make a run for it with the safe to get to a van our officers go to work as Hightower makes one faint and Callahan uses her martial arts to take down another. As the Captain and one of his goons make it to the van it’s Tackleberry armed with an ice cream bazooka and Sweetchuck that brings the Captain down. The second story is “The Cookoo Commandant” and has Mahoney and his fellow officers being yelled at and sent on strange missions by Commandant Lassard who is acting very different and this has lead to The Chief to force the now missing Lassard to step down and Harris to take his place, but Mahoney thinks something is going on and after seeing an old year book he thinks he might have figured it out. Mahoney along with Jones, House and Sweetchuck head to a live taping of a kids show and soon find that the host was a former cadet at the academy at the same time as Lassard and was jealous of him because he got promoted and while the real Lassard was on vacation he wanted to show up and ruin his reputation. In the end all goes back to normal as Lassard returns from vacation and is just as laidback and silly as before.

The second issue in the Police Academy comic is slightly better than the first issue as the two stories just flow better and had less flaws in the art and character placement. The first story has Mahoney at the beach with his fellow officers and they put a stop to a sneaky Captain who is using a fake sea creature in order to rob a safe from a ship that had sunk, and in this story we see that Mahoney is a jerk as he is one a date trying to be smooth with the woman that he keeps forgetting her name. And the Captain is kind of a goofy bad guy for the story as his goal is to get the safe off the ship and he runs around like a goof on the beach with a stolen safe to get into a van! And I love how Mahoney and Jones leave Zed tied up on the ship so that Mahoney can be hero again, man Mahoney is really a jerk! The second and shorty story has a kids show host who went to the academy with Lassard being mad at him and using his master of quick change into characters to try and ruin his reputation at the academy and of course Mahoney is to smart to fall for that. Over all both stories are good fun natured stuff and Mahoney is always the hero of the day, the comedy is slightly less bad but still very goofy in nature. And like before this does a great job of capturing the feel of the cartoon series and does justice to the characters even if some are not getting the time to shine of these pages. I must also say that Tackleberry and his ice cream bazooka is amazing and I wish they would do more with him as well as Hightower as both officers are pushed back into just almost cameo roles. The cover is good and eye catching and has the officers along with the sea creature as sea and as before the talented kids comics artist Howard Post does a great job on the interior art and I like the way he draws Tackleberry! Over all a good solid kids comic that was a fun read and while the plots are simple and silly that is kind of the point with kids comics.

Police Academy Animated Comic 3

Police Academy # 3  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 3 of 6

House has eaten way to many pizzas and hamburgers and has landed himself in the hospital and Mahoney and his fellow officers go to visit him on a stormy night, and when they are asked to leave the room so the doctor can look at him they learn that the doctor was a fake and now House is missing! Mahoney comes up with an idea that has them all act as staff at the hospital to find him as well as the crazed doctor. They soon find a trail of jellybeans and when they follow it they find a hidden lab and House is tied up and meet Doctor Jockensteen and his assistant Clarence who have an idea to take part of Houses brain to put into a robot monster that will be the biggest sports jock the world has ever seen. And when Doctor Jockensteen is mad cause Mahoney frees house the Jock Robot Monster goes on the attack and as the officers run off Mahoney, Jones and House jump into an ambulance and drives off only to be chased down by the robot monster, that they end up getting addicted to jellybeans and have him reprogramed to play on the youth policed baseball team. “The Singing Smash!” has Hightower being charge of a singing group that is he and his fellow officers singing, and because Zed is a fan of pro wrestling he sets up a gig at a wrestling event and they get booed out of the building but they stumble on a plot as a manger has a team kidnapped in order for his team to win the match and Mahoney comes up with an idea to teach them a lesson as Hightower, Zed and Callahan take the match and win the titles and Hightower even gets to sing for his victory.

The third issue is as well fun and the features two stories that have elements of some of my favorite things and that’s Horror and Pro Wrestling! The first tale takes place in the hospital and has a mad doctor on the loose that is trying to build a robot jock and wants to use an injured officers brain to keep it hungry for the win. While the second story has the officers having to enter a wrestling match to stop a con man from winning titles and also get the crowd to be on their side when it comes to singing Christmas carols. Mahoney as always is the main focus and the hero of the day when it comes to the first story but it is nice to see Hightower be the main officer in the second and his size and power comes in play as he beats three wrestlers pretty much by herself by slamming the whole ring on top of them! I also like that Zed as well as even House get a little more time to shine on the pages as they each have some stories, and while Mahoney and Jones are around they are not the full heroes of the issue. The main bad guy of this issue is the sinister Doctor Jockensteen who works for the hospital but is really working on his own experiments and all he cares about is making a robot that will be perfect at every sport, and the robot it’s self only follows orders and while it can be mean its only following orders. And I have to say I am glad Hightower got to be more showcased a little in the comic series, now if he can get them to do so for Tackleberry all would be good. The cover is good and fitting for a kid’s comic series and like before Howard Post did the interior art and is good for this kind of comic. With that let’s see what issue four has in store for us.

Police Academy Animated Comic 4

Police Academy # 4  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 4 of 6

Lassard when he was a cadet captured a mad bomber called Baby Boomer that was tormenting the city, and after being put away for 40 years he has escaped jail and he is going after Lassard to even the score. Mahoney comes up with an idea that he along with the others will really capture Baby Boomer but will once more give Commandant Lassard the credit and make him the hero of the day again. As Baby Boomer heads into an old amusement park to get his stolen loot, Lassard goes in after him as does Mahoney and his fellow officers. After many failed attempts to capture Baby Boomer it is Mahoney and Lassard that capture him on a roller coaster and are able to stop a dropped misplaced bomb from going off, and Lassard is once more the hero as Baby Boomer heads back to jail. Our second wacky story is “Jonesy’s Day Off” has Jones off duty but yet as we walks around town he keeps seeing miner crimes being committed as well as bratty kids not listening to their parents and uses his sound effects to stop it all. He even saves a street musicians tips from being stolen before finally given up and clocking in to work.

This fourth issue in the series is good but does lack a little of the charm that the last few issues have had as both stories while silly and kid friendly do lack a little bit of charm as well as even a thought out story as they kind of come off a little generic. The first story is the better of the two and has Lassard going after an old criminal who has escaped from jail, and he is the one who put him away in the first place and along with the help of Mahoney he does so again when he recaptures him. The second story is kind of bad as it just is Jones walking around town and using the sound effects he makes with his mouth to stop small crimes, and he then because of the stress of being off work and yet still working he decides to just clock in. The main villain is Baby Boomer a criminal who likes to use bombs to strike fear as well as rob places, and when he escapes he only gets the chance to blow up on thing and that’s a package bomb that he sends to Lassard. Mahoney of is the main focus in the first story with Jones being the main cop used in the second story. Over all nothing special when it comes to this issue and the stories it brings to the readers. The cover is pretty cool and has Mahoney and his fellow officers on a roller coaster and the interior art by Howard Post is as solid as ever. While not the best issue in the series this far, it still is pretty fun I guess for the most part.

Police Academy Animated Comic 5

Police Academy # 5  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 5 of 6

Sweetchuck is a big comic book reader and his favorite hero is Grasshopper and Flea Boy and he looses his mind when the movie based on the hero is shooting in their city and the cops have been asked to help keep the actors safe. But an accident on set leaves the actor playing Grasshopper believing he is the masked hero and he heads out into the city to stop crime, and this gives Sweetchuck an idea who puts on the Flea Boy costume and rushes to help keep an eye on the confused actor who ends up stopping a scam that is going on at a construction site, but as Sweetchuck makes it to the scene Grasshopper has another bump on the head and regains his memories and runs away from the scene of the crime leaving Sweetchunk to try and stop it on his own, that is until Mahoney and the others who up and help Sweetchuck become the Superhero of the city by stopping the concrete crime at the work site. “Callahan’s Big Date” is the second story and has everyone at the academy wanting Callahan to be their date at the Police Ball and Harris uses his power of being the one to select who enters the judo tournament to force a date from her, and when Mahoney and Jones tell her she should be herself on the date her power and skills scare Harris away and the date to the ball is cancelled and she still ends up being able to compete in the judo tournament.

This issue’s main story has Officer Sweetchuck being a big comic book reader who gets to live his dream of becoming a superhero as well as working on a move set that is based on his favorite comic superhero! And he gets to also along the way stop a crime that has a crooked man strong-arming a builder into having to buy a ton of concrete. And in the end Sweetchuck learns that cops are the true heroes and his new favorite hero is himself after he and his fellow officers really save the day. The second story is all about Harris being taught a lesson when he tries to bribe Callahan into being his date for a big ball, that is until he sees that she is not a Barbie doll and is a super strong woman that scares him with her fighting skills as well as weightlifting feats. While Harris is a scummy officer the issues main bad guy is the Concrete seller who is trying to force people to buy more than they need for construction work. Sweetchuck and Callahan are the two officers that get their time in the spotlight and Mahoney this time while around is not the main focus and that is a nice change of pace. The cover for this issue is fun and while not great is surly cool for a kid’s comic, and as always the interior artwork by Howard Post is good stuff for this style of comic. Over all a good issue that brings a few laughs and none threatening baddies.

Police Academy Animated Comic 6

Police Academy # 6  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 6 of 6

The police van has broken down in front of a castle and when Mahoney and his fellow officers meet the owner they soon find that they are in the middle of a war as the former owners the Von Sluggs want it back and are using all types of weapons to attack from cannons to tanks and this has became dangerous for everyone involved. But when Mahoney decides that they are going to defend that castle the officers dress like knights and find ways to stop the attack. And it’s House that ends the war when he by accident is thrown from a catapult and brings down the helicopter that King Von Slugg was in, and they family surrenders. In the end the Von Slugg family are asked to live back in the castle and to give up their acts of war and are introduced to video games to get out their aggression. The second story is “Fast Company” has Mahoney being a terrible driver as he has wrecked many police cars over the weeks as he is ogling female officers and drives wreckless. Harris takes away Mahoney’s cruiser privileges and he is forced to use a super fast skateboard and of course he uses this to stop a car thief, and in the end Mahoney understands he drives everything to fast and buys himself an old car that only goes 30mph!

This sixth issue in the Police Academy comic series is also the final issue in the series, and clearly it was not suppose to be the final issue as a seventh issue is advertised in this issue and I would guess that maybe low sales is what did this Star Comics/Marvel Comics series in. The main story of this final issue has Mahoney and the officers fighting off a family who want to take over a castle that they have sold and are war hungry to get it back. And the second issue is about Mahoney wrecking cars and using a skateboard to stop a crime, when really the story is Mahoney is a sleazebag and harasses female officers and drives like a drunk person in order to catcall them. I do like in the first story House decides to order pizza during the battle as he is hungry, and when the delivery man is attacked and drops the pizza he goes out and ends the war so that he can eat. Both stories are ok and entertaining and do a pretty good job of bring a kids comic that captures the cartoon it was based on. While Mahoney and Jones get most of the attention throughout this series House, Sweetchuck, House, Callahan, Lassard, Zed and Harris get some stories while I think Hooks, Hightower and Tackleberry are very much underused and that’s a shame. And while some of the stories are better then the others I do find that over all they are fitting and deliver fun situations for Mahoney and the officers to solve and stop and this surly entertained young readers who enjoyed the cartoon. But while the stories are good they sometimes are way to simple and even at times flaws are all over them with even skin color of characters changing from panel to panel. The interior art work by Howard Post is good while very simple captures that perfect style of art that was used at the time for so many kids comics. The cover for the final issue is ok and has the officer dressed as knights on the castle. To sum this up the Police Academy comic series that was based on the cartoon was pretty good and did a good job of bringing the comic versions of these characters to the pages of a very kid friendly series that brought the humor side of law enforcement to readers. Check out the artwork bellow to see the style of Post used in this series.

Police Academy Animated Comic Art 1Police Academy Animated Comic Art 2Police Academy Animated Comic Art 3

Who would have ever thought that the 1984 comedy film Police Academy would have spawned a cartoon that would in turn spawn toys and a comic book series. And it’s also great that while all outside branding of this series says Marvel Comics inside its clear that this was a Star Comics release and I really do wish that Marvel would have ran with the Star brand for longer then they did as so many cartoons and toys could have gotten the comic book treatment. While the Police Academy cartoon was never super popular in my friend circle it still did make it’s mark in the world of 80’s cartoons and this update was a lot of fun to do for Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary as growing up the brand Police Academy was big for me growing up. But for our next update we will be leaving the police academy and will be heading into our July 4th update that will feature the America Hero known as G.I. Zombie released by DC Comics. So until next time read a Star Comic or three, watch a classic cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for some fireworks, grilled food and of course a DC Horror undead monster.

GI Zombie Preview Logo

The DC Dream Warrior Known As The Sandman!

Here on Rotten Ink we love ourselves some Jack Kirby as he really is The King when it comes to the Golden Age of comics as over the years I have covered him in such blog updates based on his art and characters like Devil Dinosaur, Captain America and Satan’s Six and with many more to come this update will showcase just how important Jack is to the world of comics as well as Rotten Ink and how can I celebrate my blogs 10 Year Anniversary without covering him! While thinking about what character to cover for this update I ruled out one of his Marvel Comics characters as we have covered his Marvel work already and I also ruled out his indie work as well for the same reason and that’s why I landed on covering his DC Comics work and choose a character that I can remember reading when I was a kid and that’s The Sandman! So grab a glass of Warm Milk, Count Some Sheep and lets catch some Z’s and take a comic book superhero adventure with The Sandman, Jack Kirby and DC Comics.

The Sandman Kirby 1

Jack Kirby was a true legend at Marvel Comics as he has created many iconic characters for them along side Stan Lee like The Fantastic Four, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk to name a few, but in late 1970 after years of talking to them he made the jump to DC Comics as they wanted the creative mind of Kirby to help bring them new characters as well as his skilled art style. The contract was for three years with an option for two more years and would allow him to create multiple series and characters that would be blanketed under “The Fourth World” and would allow Jack to have his own say with his characters and build his own world within the DC Universe. And that brought characters New Gods, Mister Miracle and The Forever People to comic pages and all characters are still being used from time to time in comics for DC. During his early years he also worked on the comic Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. And Jack Kirby was loving working on his Fourth World comics and added touches of his own life into the books, as well as even his views of the youth at the time in The Forever People. At this point in time Jack Kirby had lots of bad feelings toward Stan Lee and Marvel Comics and even created a character called Funky Flashman that was a dig at Lee, and would also create during this time DC Comic’s biggest and more powerful super-villains Darkseid. But while DC Comics was hoping for that Kirby magic and help sales they also did some pretty crappy things to him like having fellow artists Al Plastino and Murphy Anderson redraw the faces of Superman in comics as they did not like his style of drawing The Man Of Steels face. Jack Kirby was so proud of his Fourth World books he even came up with the idea of putting several issues together aka the Graphic Novel and DC being goofy failed to do so, so those of you who love reading comics in Graphic Novels should thank Jack Kirby who came up with that idea. During his years with DC he would also go on to create such characters as OMAC, The Demon, Kamandi, Kobra, The Sandman and as well did a few characters for the “1st Issue Special” comic series like Manhunter, Dingbats Of Danger Street and Atlas The Great showing that the characters where flowing from his creative mind. He would also do work for the war comic “Our Fighting Forces” by doing the stories and art for The Losers. But by 1974 the honeymoon was over between Kirby and DC Comics as they started to make him work on characters he did not care for, the political games at the office was out of control and many of the classic DC Artists did not want Kirby at DC as they viewed him as an outsider and a threat to their position at DC. And by 1976 Jack Kirby and DC Comic split ways and he would return to work for Marvel for a short time, before becoming a gun for hire artist and working for Cartoons for Hanna-Barbara as well as would do spot work for indies like Topps Comics and Pacific Comics as well as even DC up until his passing in 1994. And while his time with DC Comics was not as grand as his time with Marvel he still made a great impact on that company given them some amazing heroes and villains as well as entertained readers with compelling stories. Jack “The King” Kirby really is one of the comic industries truly iconic and inspirational artists and creators.

The Sandman Kirby 2The Sandman Kirby 3The Sandman Kirby 4

I want to also take a moment to share a photo I found on the net that shows the art desk of Jack Kiby! This is a surreal image for sure as you realize that he had drawn so many comic pages at the desk, he created so many characters at the desk and he spent so much time being creative at that desk. The crazy part being is the chair, desk and his art supply cabinet was nothing overly fancy and his area he created in was near what appears to be a fire place. Imagine Jack Kirby sitting at the art table with a snow storm outside and a fire going in the fireplace as he drew a Fantastic Four page…its very inspiring as Jack really was one of a kind and a true artist who was to be looked up to and admired. I feel that Jack’s desk should be placed in a museum of art and young inspiring artists should be able to see it and get inspired by it.

Jack King Kirbys Desk

Now I want to talk a little about The Sandman a character created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in 1974 and was one of many characters Kirby created when working for DC Comics. The Sandman is a hero that lives in the Dream Dome alongside his two friends Brute and Glob who are nightmare creatures and are called in when The Sandman cannot right the wrongs that are going on in the dream world as well as reality. The Sandman can enter the dream world via a sled that takes him to the Dream Stream a place ruled by the Nightmare Wizard where all the creatures that make up Nightmares live. He can also slide into reality and can lend a hand to help during attacks and natural disasters. The Sandman wears a red and yellow costume and looks like a superhero and uses dream sand and his Hyposonic whistle to fight crime as well as to put people and things to sleep. The Sandman mostly watches over the nightmares of kids and will enter the dream if he feels the youngsters are in true danger. He is original portrayed as the mythical legend Sandman the watcher of dreams, but later in 1983 DC Comics and Roy Thomas tried to say the he was really Garrett Sanford a Professor at UCLA who was trapped in the Dream Dimension and even becomes a part time member of the Justice League, but this just is cheesy and shows once more that DC Comics had no respect for Jack Kirby’s creations. The Sandman is a character that never was used much by DC Comics and while he has his fans he never made an impact on the world of comics like so many other Jack Kirby creations.

The Sandman Kirby 5The Sandman Kirby 6The Sandman Kirby 7

It’s a shame that DC Comics treated Jack so badly when he worked for them in the 1970’s as I truly think that given more time and freedom with them who knows what kind of great reads and characters he could have given the world. And I am pretty sure that the cool art we all seen of Kirby drawing the Horror Movie character Dr. Phibes who was played by Vincent Price would have been a pitch that he would have made for DC…and I wonder why this comic was never green lighted and I would have loved to have seen what Jack had in store for Phibes! Well enough of what could have been for Kirby, DC and Phibes as we are now at the part of this update that is about the what was and for me when I think of DC and Kirby together three series come to mind New Gods, Mister Miracle and The Sandman, with the later being what I will be covering! And one reason I choose The Sandman is that Kirby teamed with Joe Simon on the book, and for those who don’t know that pair is who created one of my favorite superheroes Captain America! I want to thank Game Swap Kettering for having this series in stock and making this update possible. I also would like to say that I have read almost this whole series before this update and this makes me exited to reread them after all these years. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready lets travel to the land of dreams and see what DC Comics and The Sandman have in store for me.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 1

The Sandman # 1  ***
Released in 1974       Cover Price .20      DC Comics      # 1 of 6

On Dolphin Island young Jeb who has asthma and lives with his grandfather Ezra Paulsen is having a terrible dream about a man drowning in the ocean right in front of his home that is holding a strange doll. Meanwhile in another dimension The Sandman watches the dream and awakens the boy who runs outside with hid Grandpa and pull a dying sailor from the ocean who gives them the strange doll he calls the Werblink before he dies. Jeb, who is a lonely kid on the island, spends time with Werblink and the doll becomes his best friend. One night Jeb has a nightmare that Werblink is trying to kill his Grandpa and as Jeb gives chase he slips in his dream and is about to fall to his death…but The Sandman has seen enough and enters the nightmare and saves the boys life even though the creatures he keeps in glass tubes Glob and Brute tell him to let the child die! Once saved Jeb wakes up and falls back to sleep as his Grandpa grabs the doll and smashes it and then buries it on the beach. We cut briefly to the past and see that a rebuilt solider named General Electric was the man behind building the doll and he escaped a hospital and runs holding Werblink into the night. We cut back to Dolphin Island present time and a stray dog digs up the grave of Werblink and this causes Jeb and other kids around the world to have a four alarm nightmare and even an earthquake breaks loose in California and The Sandman leaves his Dream Dome in order to help the wounded using his sand to heal those in need and then rushes to Dolphin Island just in time as Jeb has found his broken doll and a group of Nazis have appeared and taken both The Sandman and Jeb hostage. While back on the mainland we find out that General Electric is in charge of the Nazis and they are collecting all the dolls he made as by linking them it will blow up the US Capital! And before they do so they beat up The Sandman and one of the Nazis finds his whistle and blows it freeing Brute and Glob who come to their friends aid, and Glob turns up the wave length of the whistle and this blows up the glass bowl on General Electrics head that holds his brain, ending the madman’s terror and with that Jeb is safe and The Sandman with Brute and Glob return to the Dream Dome.

The first issue of The Sandman was suppose to be a one shot comic, but due to good feedback from readers it would go one to have five more issues and The Sandman proved to be a minor creative hit for both Jack Kirby and DC Comics. The plot is pretty cool and has The Sandman watching the dreams and nightmares of sleeping kids via his Dream Dome and has to come to earth when the evil General Electric has a plane that will kill many and will bring back the alliance of Japan and Nazi Germany. The Sandman is a being that is humanlike in nature but has the powers to put people to sleep with his sand as well as enter your sleeping mind and cause and change the events that are taking place. His friends Brute and Glob are creatures of nightmares and while they look like monsters they are not bad. Jeb and his grandpa Ezra are also good people who live on an island and while it’s a lonely life they do have each other. The issues main bad guy is General Electric a Japanese kamikaze pilot who survived a crash and had his head and brain repaired and created by a doctor who cannot get over loosing World War II and is masterminding a way to strike at the US and once more have the Nazis rise to power. He is as scummy as they come, but do not threat cause as you see his head exploded and it appears he has truly died this time. The plot really does have that Joe Simon and Jack Kirby feel to it and during this time Kirby was very obsessed with other worlds and Simon loved telling stories of Nazis getting their butts kicked by heroes. The one odd thing about The Sandman as while he helps save Jeb from falling in a dream and helps injured firefighters he gets beat down by the Nazis and its his friends that really win the end fight as he is tied up on the floor and never even throws a punch. This is a comic I can remember reading at a young age and enjoying it, but I think now as an adult I found myself enjoying it more. The cover is awesome and eye catching as its classic Kirby stuff as is the interior art, but I will say that this is not some of Kirby’s best stuff as its pretty basic in look and lacks the Kirby detail on backgrounds. Over all the first issue of The Sandman is a fun read featuring a hero who has the powers of dreams, so with that lets see what issue two has in store for us.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 2

The Sandman # 2  ***
Released in 1975       Cover Price .25      DC Comics     # 2 of 6

On Dolphin Island Jeb is sound asleep in his bed when two hooded men enter his home knock out his Grandpa and kidnap him to take him to Dr. Spider a strange man who is using Jeb now to bring his nightmare creatures to life and they are under his control. While at the Dream Dome The Sandman notices that the youth of the world are not having nightmares and enters the dream stream to see what is blocking the nightmares from happing. While in this realm he tracks down the old man known as Nightmare Wizard who tells him that Dr. Spider has stolen all the creatures and is going to use them to take over the world, and he approves of this horrific plan! The Sandman is furious and heads to the real world to see if he can stop this sinister plan from fully being realized and with his hyposonic whistle and dream sand he is able to bring down a few of the creatures in front of the army, only to find himself attacked by one of the hooded goons of Dr. Spider and taken as a prisoner to their hideout with the idea of also using his powers to bring more nightmare creatures alive. While at the Dream Dome Brute and Glob watch as their friend is tied up and knocked out and Brute reveals that he has his own seceret whistle and they pair free themselves from the glass tubes and travel to reality and loosen the straps holding down Sandman and then wake him up before hiding and Sandman rushes to bring down Dr. Spider. The Hooded Men try and attack The Sandman who uses the hyposonic whistle to put them to sleep, but fails to capture Dr. Spider who uses Jeb’s nightmare creatures to attack him and if The Sandman kills one of the creatures then Jeb will die! The Sandman then uses his dream sand to put the creatures asleep, then uses his whistle to send them to the Dream Stream, he then destroys Dr. Spider’s machines and this wakes up Jeb that he send back home. In the end The Sandman is to late to stop Dr. Spider who uses a submarine to escape or does he as it blows up and this makes The Sandman wonder if he really has seen the last of this new foe.

The second issue of The Sandman is really good and still holds that classic superhero feel even though both Jack Kirby and Joe Simon had nothing to do with this issue as DC gave it to a new creative team, well I should at least say Kirby did the cover for this issue. The plot brings in a new foe called Dr. Spider who is a strange man who is just a torso that’s body in a metal frame and has mechanical arms that look like spider legs. He almost looks like a mutated melted cheese face version of Spider-Man villain Doctor Octopus and I am sure this really was a dig at Marvel Comics. A couple of things I do like about Dr. Spider is that he has a good idea of taking creatures from the nightmare world and using them to bring the world to its knees and allow him to take over, he also has hooded men who look like cultist as his henchmen and that’s also pretty cool. We also in this issue meat Nightmare Wizard a creepy old man who runs the realm of nightmares and who is very bitter about the real world. Jeb is around and is nothing more then a tool in the bad guys plans who spends almost the whole issue asleep and feeding them creatures from his nightmares, in other words he is the one that is feeding the evil doers with soldiers in order to take over the world. Plus we have zero clues if Grandpa Ezra is alive after his shock he received at the start of this issue, so Jeb could have been sent back home by The Sandman only to find the dead body of his grandpa! The Sandman once more is the hero of the day…but really does not do it on his own as once more Glob and Brute are the ones who really are the heroes as they once more free the captured hero that allows him to win the battle in the end. The Sandman really has only two weapons and tools to take on evil doers and that his Sand that puts people to sleep as well as his Hyposonic Whistle that can as well put things to sleep, send creatures back to the dream world and free his two friends that he keeps locked up in tubes. Now that I am thinking about it why in the world does The Sandman keep his two friend locked up in small tubes with him only letting them free when he needs help, seems pretty unfair and makes The Sandman come off as kind of a villain. The cover is great as its Kirby and eye catching for fans of his art as well as DC Comics from the 70’s and the interior art this time is done by Ernie Chan who was going by Ernie Chua and I will say while its not Kirby I would say that its still very good, but while the issues art and story are fun and good I still miss the Kirby and Simon touch as they where a iconic team that could make great art together. Well with that lets see what issue three has in store for us and if it holds up like the first two issues in the series.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 3

The Sandman # 3   **
Released in 1975       Cover Price .25     DC Comics      # 3 of 6

In Europe the people of a village storm a castle ran by The Count and his Zombie Gorillas as they want to hang him for the decades of abuse he has put them through, but he cheats them of revenge as he drinks poison just as they find him. Once “dead” his body is taken by the Zombie Gorillas to America as this was a plan by The Count to get his body to Professor Rundhaven so that he can remove it and allow it to live inside a tank that not only allows him to speak by also gives him mental powers. The Count uses his new mental powers to zap and kill Professor Rundhaven and then uses his mental link to get into the mind of the young daughter of Scientist Ralph Ervin who has been working on experiments dealing with the human brain. While The Count is in her dream The Sandman in his Dream Dome picks up on the intrusion and heads into the dream himself and foils the plot of The Count hypnotizing the young girl and causes The Count to have to retreat. As the young girl wakes up the hold on her mind is truly broken and The Count decides to send his Zombie Gorillas to the house the next night to steal the research papers and then to also steal medical equipment to free him from his glass prison. The Cops follow the Zombie Gorillas and gun them down, but not in time as they succeed and free The Count who is now a powerful floating Brain that kills the cops and then heads to the city where it drains all the power out of the power planet and The Sandman once more returns to reality and gets himself arrested before he can stop the blackout! He then uses his whistle to free Brute and Glob who once more rescues him this time from jail and The Sandman sends them back to the Dream Dome and the tracks down The Count and uses his whistle to blow up the villain ending the terror the giant brain caused New York.

The third issue as well cut Kirby from art (besides the cover) and Simon from story and delivered an ok read that has followed the same formula as the last two issues and that recycled tale is getting a little warn thin as each story has a kid in need, a new dream world entering villain, The Sandman being captured and having to have his friends save him and lastly the bad guys meet their end by explosion. The plot of this third issue has a bad guy entering the dreams of a young girls dreams in order to get her to steal the research papers of her father, and when that fails he steals them and becomes a powerful being that is exploded by The Sandman who was arrested and saved by his Nightmare friends in order to do so. The Sandman is a dream master who watches and monitors the dreams of kids that by all accounts tries his best to be a hero, but he really is just bad at it as he seems to always get captured and has to have his friends save him in order for him to take down the bad guy and take all the glory for the rescues and world saving missions. While I as a reader like The Sandman by this issue he should be better at being the Superhero he so wants to be. Brute and Glob we are miss treated and kept behind glass are the real heroes as they are the ones who seem to always get The Sandman’s fat our of the fire and even at times take down the henchmen of those who are keeping Sandman captive. The Count is a brain who grows in size and power and while he does kill a roomful of police officers, he really is not that big of a threat as he is blown up with a whistle with ease and once he becomes all powerful all he does is drain the electric power from The Bronx, New York. The Zombie Gorilla henchmen of The Count are pretty cool and they are very loyal to their master and even give their lives to protect him. Again I have to stress that DC Comics and the creative team they had behind The Sandman series really at this point needed to get past the same story format that they had followed for three issues as it really cheapened the character and really does make him look like a zero and not a hero. The few things that I did like about this issue was The Zombie Gorillas and the secret lab of Professor Rundhaven being in a old farmhouse, but to be honest this third issue is not very well done and is an average at best superhero romp. The cover done by Jack Kirby is great and the interior art by Ernie Chan is solid and good, just to bad the story by Michael Fleisher is so weak and had clearly places a bruise on the character as the series end will come just three issues later and would force them to bring back Kirby on art. Well with that lets see if Kirby’s return to art can pull this series out of the downward spiral.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 4

The Sandman # 4  **1/2
Released in 1975       Cover Price .25     DC Comics     # 4 of 6

An alien race is watching Earth and the dreams of Jeb as they are coming up with an idea that will allow them to take over the world and will use the dreams and nightmares of mankind in order to do so! They come up with an idea that will have them enter the Dream Stream and take Nightmare Wizard hostage as well as the creatures of that world and the Aliens would then enter people’s dreams and control or kill them. Brute and Glob are in the Dream Stream visiting family and becomes trapped in a dome dropped by the invading Aliens UFO ships, and worse the Aliens as well are able to sneak up on and take Nightmare Wizard down given them control to enter dreams! Meanwhile on Dolphin Island Jeb is showing his Grandpa how good he has gotten with his Yo-Yo before heading to bed, and its when the youngster falls asleep that The Sandman catches that the Alien starships have invaded the Dream Stream and uses his powers to wake up Jeb and then The Sandman enters the Dream Stream to stop the Alien plan that has them dropping bombs and killing many kids while they sleep! While wondering around The Sandman finds Nightmare Wizard but before he can free him the Aliens attack and knock out The Sandman and now have him as a prisoner, and this time he uses his whistle to bring Jeb to the Dream Stream and has the young boy unties the two dream masters and even uses his Yo-Yo to knock out an alien! Once free The Sandman, Jeb and Nightmare Wizard rush to the dome and the whistle is used to free the Nightmare Creatures and a clash with the aliens breaks out with The Sandman and the Creatures winning the big fight and sending the Aliens running back to space. After the fight is over The Sandman sends Jeb back to reality and best of all he is sound asleep and having good dreams.

The fourth issue of The Sandman brings back Jack Kirby on art but keeps Michael Fleisher on writing and while better then issue three it still has some of the same old same old moments that have plagued this character and the writing style of Fleisher as The Sandman once more finds himself captured and a friend having to save him and like fore the issues bad guys get into the dream world of a youngster with plans of world domination. It’s clear that Michael Fleisher just had no real ideas for The Sandman and was just retelling the same story over and over worse then a Joss Whedon and a part of me wonders if this was also the case cause Fleisher was placed on the book and he did not care for this Kirby creation so he put zero effort into the scripts. The bad guys for this issue was a race of fish looking Aliens who want to take over the world via the Dream Stream and has plans of using bombs to wound the youth of the world and come into the dream world in full force. But while they have the firepower they also had very little knowledge in combat as the Nightmare Creatures once freed make short work of them and send them running back home like chickens. Brute and Glob for once are free from their tube and are given permission to go on vacation by their “friend” The Sandman and while visiting friends and family they are captured, but once set free they fight hard. I also like at one point Brute uses the catchphrase “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” that was made famous by Fantastic Four member The Thing a character created by Kirby for Marvel. Nightmare Wizard makes an appearance as well and gets taken hostage way to easy, as you have to think he controls everything in the Dream Stream and seems to call on none of them to set him free once tied up and left in his cave home. Jeb and his Yo-Yo skills come in handy and he pops an alien in the eye with it and is able to free The Sandman, so keep that in mind a kid is the one who had to save The Sandman this time around cause like always he got himself beat up and caught. The Sandman and his whistle in the end is what breaks the dome that sets the creatures free and cause this ends the aliens packing. The Sandman really is a terrible hero and seems to walk into battles and gets himself captured every time this far! Also he finally see that Grandpa Ezra is alive after the shock from the stun gun from issue two and that he and Jeb are the only people that live on the island. The cover is great Jack Kirby stuff and his interior art is fantastic as well showing that Kirby is what’s keeping this comic series alive. I really think that in issue five they need to make The Sandman look stronger and more hero like and for the love of The King Jack not let him get captured and have to be saved by others as his track record right now is 4-0 on that! So with that lets see what The Sandman gets into for issue five.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 5

The Sandman # 5  ***
Released in 1975       Cover Price .25      DC Comics      # 5 of 6

Grandpa Ezra and Jeb are on a fishing boat looking to catch some big fish when they are attacked by a giant sea creature that crushes the boat and leaves them both in grave danger of not only being eaten but also drowning, in other words they need help! The Sandman watches this unfold from his Dream Dome and rushes to the world of reality in order to save them and after hurting the sea creature he gets Jeb and Ezra to shore and sadly Grandpa Ezra dies from this attack. The Sandman gives Jeb a whistle that will alert him if he needs help. Days pass and Jeb is living along on Dolphin Island when he gets a visit from his Aunt Clarice and Uncle Barnaby who get the youngster to come live with them at their farm. At the farm he meets his cousins Susie and Bruce and finds out that his relatives are lazy people and he is forced to do all the hard work and is being feed poorly even. After getting into a fight with Bruce over the whistle, Jeb is forced to chop lots of wood as his punishment and will not even get dinner until its all done! Jeb takes a nap and gets a visit from The Sandman who has him travel to the Dream Stream to help fight the Frog People who are attacking the Winged People and have kidnapped their Queen, and after saving her and returning back home Jeb wakes up to find the wood chopped and his aunt in shock as she invites him in to have dinner. As Jeb walks into the house we see that Brute and Glob chopped the wood for him while he was out with The Sandman.

The fifth issue of The Sandman is a really solid issue with a good plot that mostly focuses on Jeb and his life after loosing his Grandpa to a Sea Creature and his journey of leaving Dolphin Island and living on the mainland with his Aunt and Uncle who treat him oddly. Jeb does really well dealing with all the major changes in his life and while he misses his Grandpa he makes do with his situation. The Sandman who tries his best to save both Jeb and Ezra from the attack at sea is also the one who has to deliver the bad news to Jeb that his grandfather has died, then gives him a whistle before leaving a young boy alone on an island right after his only guardian has died…I will say it again The Sandman is not good at being a superhero! But I do have to give him credit this time around as he at least does not find himself being taken prisoner and he does but some heads with his fists this time around and not his sand or whistle. And this time around Brute and Glob take a back seat and while they help in the end they are not the heroes of saving the day like they normally are. The Frog Men are the bad guys but they are defeated easily once The Sandman and Jeb find their hidden kingdom. The Aunt, Uncle and Cousins of Jeb are all terrible people who use the young lad to do all the work around the farm and while they eat lamb chops they feed him oatmeal, showing that they do not care if he is blood as they just want someone to work hard and get the chores done. And I have to say that I think writer Michael Fleisher did a great job on this issue and it feels like a true classic superhero comic story even if the parts with the death of Grandpa Ezra are awkward and weird and the emotions of all seem very off. The cover and interior art by Jack Kirby is amazing and outstanding like always and some of his art for The Frog Men is fantastic and for some reason reminded me of Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES. Over all this is a great issue in the series and is a great lead up for the six and final issue that we will be taking a look at right now.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 6

The Sandman # 6  ***
Released in 1976       Cover Price .25     DC Comics      # 6 of 6

The Sandman is watching the dream monitors and notices that Jeb is having a bad nightmare about drowning and worse it seems as if this nightmare is being forced and is coming from an unknown source. The Sandman goes into the Dream Stream to save his young friend but soon finds out that the youngster is not real and is a bomb that blows up knocking him out, we then see the hooded henchmen of Dr. Spider coming for our hero and taking him away. Moments later an android version of The Sandman arrives at the Dream Dome and he tricks Glob and Brute into following him back to Dr. Spider’s ship, but Brute holds back for a moment and poor Glob is zapped and held prisoner. Dr. Spider alerts the real Sandman that he plans on taking over America and his sea ship that can go from the dream world to reality is the key to doing so as is the Hyposonic whistle that now is in the hands of Spider. Meanwhile back at the farm Jeb is once more being mistreated by his family and is forced to do all the chores at the farm while they go to a carnival, and that night Bruce sneaks in and steals the whistle and gives it a blow and Brute shows up and delivers some creepy crawlers to the brat cousin and then wakes up Jeb and says that they need to get ready as he thinks that The Sandman is in danger. While back on the ship Dr. Spider is set into a rage over The President and the News making a joke of his threat to use a magic whistle to bring down Washington, and at midnight now he plans on using the whistle to teach the Government a lesson! The Sandman uses all his strength and breaks free and takes out a few henchman before being zapped by a laser gun and then tied up and thrown into the ocean as Dr. Spider has no use for him. Meanwhile Jeb and Brute arrives at the base of Dr. Spider and are not sure what they are going to be up against, and soon find themselves the prisoner of Dr. Spider and are put in a cell with Glob and all will be forced to watch the destruction of the US Capital. The Sandman escapes his watery death and even punches a shark in the face to do so and then arrives at the base and frees his friends and the heroes take out all his henchmen but are too late to stop Dr. Spider from escaping on a rocket. In the end The Sandman, Brute and Glob return to the Dream Dome as Jeb is returned to the farm.

The final issue of The Sandman is a good issue but an odd ending for the series as I think that the sixth issue was not originally meant to be the final in the series as we have no real closure for any of the characters. And I think once more writer Michael Fleisher did a good job on the story for this issue as he brought back the sinister Dr. Spider who this time wants to take over America and is going to use the magical Hyposonic Whistle to do so! The Sandman in this issue shows more superhero tendencies than ever before as he not only saves the day he even gets himself out of danger twice and does not have to have his friends to be the true heroes of the day. The Sandman also shows that he is very skilled with his fists as he punches his way through henchmen and even shows that he is strong as he breaks a crystal cage and tosses people around like ragdolls. While most of this series The Sandman has been a dud of a hero, by this final issue he shows that he was becoming more and more one. Brute and Glob are nightmare creatures who are The Sandman’s friends and allies and while they spend most of their lives in glass tubes, when needed, they always come through and do the right thing to save lives. Jeb whose life is bad now that he has to live with his Aunt is also more then just a youth having nightmares by the end of the series as a few times he helps save the day and adds elements to the story, in fact by the end of the series its clear he is part of the team. The sinister Dr. Spider is as crazy as ever and wants so bad to become a ruler of something, but seems to never be able to get the chance, he is also the only villain to be used twice and is clearly the main baddy of the series. While Kirby draws him different then Ernie Chan I still think Dr. Spider looks life a mound of melted cheese in a metal body. While I think that The Sandman is a comic series that suffered from changing creative teams, a writer who seemed disinterested in the character at the start, DC Comics lack of respect for the creator and character and a handful of other issues, I for one have always found it to be a fun and simple read and while I think many readers enjoyed The Sandman I also thank that by the mid 70’s this type of superhero was dated and readers had moved based the simple nature of good vs. evil. The cover for this final issue is ok and the least impressive of the series, but does do a good job of building up the danger aspect of what The Sandman had to face. The interior art by Jack Kirby was great and he was also inked by Wally Wood and this was a great combo and these two are amazing artists and icons of classic comics. To sum it all up I would say that The Sandman is not a comic series for everyone and while super flawed its simple plots and classic style heroes are enjoyable and worth checking out if you like Kirby and those style of heroes in comics. Check out the artwork below as I think it showcases the work of Kirby as well as captures the over all vibe of this series.

The Sandman Kirby Comic Art 1

Reading The Sandman again after all these years I can say that I really did enjoy his adventures and the character was very interesting even if DC Comics truly didn’t believe in him. Jack Kirby really was a man with many ideas and The Sandman was one of them that I feel should have been bigger then what it was, and again I say the same thing about Satan’s Six. Also imagine if DC Comics, Jack Kirby and the other creators that helped on The Sandman explored the Nightmare World better and think of the creatures, monsters and madmen that could have made up that world. Well let’s not harp too much on DC Comics always dropping the ball with a cool character and let’s talk about what I have in store for you readers for the next for this 10 Year Celebration and that a new update theme that I will be calling “R.I.W Wrestling Legends.” I will be talking about the wrestler Missing Link! So I hope you are all looking forward to that one as this will be an update series that will be around for a long time just like my Horror Host Icon updates! So until next time read a Jack Kirby comic or ten, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you all next update at the Rotten Ink Arena as Missing Link is in the main event!

Missing Link Promo Preview 1

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: The Horror Of Party Beach

Summer is coming to an end, and I think that before we head into fall we should take one last trip to the beach and take a look at the Horror Movie “The Horror Of Party Beach” that had a photo comic magazine made about it for this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update. Remember when Horror and Sci-Fi Beach Party flicks were all the rage? Yeah, it’s hard to believe that this was a subgenre that delivered many titles to watchers and even chilled the blood of moviegoers of that time. So if you’re ready to head back to the beach and try our best to dance to hip rock n roll music all the while dodging radioactive sea creatures who crave human blood, we should start this classic spooky update to help build the mood for the upcoming Halloween season. So let’s start our From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: The Horror Of Party Beach!

So let’s take a moment to take a look at our monsters of this film that are a mutated human skeletons that are mixed with toxic waste and small fish causing these mutation-killing machines. The creatures all stand like humans do and even have arms like a normal man, but have skin and face is that of a sea creature! They are both skilled killers on land as well as in water making them a double threat. The Creatures uses their sharp claws to shred victim’s skin and can also use their odd mouths to gnaw as well. The Creatures can also use their weird and monstrous appearance to strike terror into the hearts of victims that will spark panic and cause them to make mistakes in their escape. The Creatures also kill in pairs and are not afraid of humans and will attack even groups showing they are fearless. They also drink the blood of their victims almost like a vampire, and they try to leave no one alive when they attack. They also give off a foul odor that acts as another way for them to distract and disorientate their prey and they can let out a horrendous scream that chills blood. Their body parts still live even when cut from their bodies making them even more dangerous. They are also pack killers much like zombies and will overwhelm their targets with numbers. But like all living things, these Sea Creatures do have weaknesses like their foul smell can also alert people to their approach. They can be hurt with brute force as they do feel pain. The main way to kill one of these Sea Creatures is with sodium as it dries them out and kills them almost instantly. While these creatures do have a way to be stopped, they are still very dangerous and have a bloodlust that will not stop until they are all wiped out.

So now that we know how the Creatures kill, we need to take a look at the film they are from and it’s The Horror Of Party Beach! For this look at the movie I will be taking the write up from our friends at IMDB and after I will write about the film’s production as well as my connection to it. So if you are ready let’s head to the beach and hope it doesn’t turn horrific!

The Horror Of Party Beach (1964)

“While the hot-rodders and motorcyclists are having a rock-and-roll beach party, a barrel of radioactive material is unloaded from a passing ship, plunges to the bottom, and splits against a jagged rock. A black liquid oozes out and covers a shapeless mass on the ocean floor, which suddenly moves and becomes an encrusted vicious monster. Soon there are several monsters who must have human blood to survive. Tina is the first victim, and football hero Hank Green and airhead Elaine Gavin enlist the aid of her science-professor father, Dr. Gavin, to find and capture the killer. Not working fast enough to prevent the attack on 20 teenagers at a slumber party or the killing of three girl motorists, Dr. Gavin finds an arm lost by one of the monsters and discovers that only sodium will destroy the monsters, whose composition is mostly water. Can they gather enough salt in southern California to put an end to this horror?”

The Horror Of Party Beach was produced and directed by Del Tenney and was originally called “Invasion Of The Zombies” when being developed. The film had a budget of $50,000.00 and was filmed in Black and White in order to save money. The film stars the likes of Alice Lyon, John Scott, Allan Laurel, Marilyn Clarke and the Charter Oak Motorcycle Club of Riverside, Connecticut! The film only had two creature costumes made, and legend has it, one of them shrunk during filming and they ended up putting a 16 year old kid named Charles Freedman in the costume as he fit, giving this kid major bragging rights at school as he played a monster in a feature film. The film was released to cinemas on June 1, 1964 and was paired with “The Curse Of The Living Corpse” another film Tenney made, and it was met with very harsh reviews and is considered by many critics and viewers to be one of the worst Horror/Sci-Fi films of all time! When released in 1964, it came out with other films like The Last Man On Earth, Two Thousand Maniacs, The Evil Of Frankenstein, At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, Face Of The Screaming Werewolf, The Earth Dies Screaming and Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster to name a very few. While this film might be considered a Golden Turkey, it did make its blood stained mark on the world of Horror.

Back in the late 50’s and early 60’s movies based on beach parties was a very popular genre of films and would bring young and hip viewers to their local cinemas, I mean even Elvis Presley made beach movies with his most popular being “Blue Hawaii”! But of course the Horror and Science Fiction genres had to jump on this trend, as they were easy and cheap to make and would bring youngsters to the Drive-Ins and Theaters. Growing up I can remember seeing this film on TV as well as on VHS, and to be honest it just blended in with all the other Beach Horror Films like “The Beach Girls And The Monster,” and while I enjoy them, they never stuck with me like other classic Horror Flicks of those decades. I have never really felt a major connection to this film and to be honest I didn’t even end up buying on DVD until Severin Films release it on August 28, 2018 and when I knew that I was going to cover this Photo Comic Magazine for this update. While I am sure you are thinking that I am not a fan of this film as what I have just written sound grim for it, but to be honest I do like this movie as I find it very cheesy and filled with laughable monsters who at times look like they have a mouthful of hotdogs who are amazing. It also features some lovely ladies and some rocking tunes! Over all this film is a great watch for fans that enjoy the beach and high dose of cheese inserted into their Horror Flicks that are made on a lower budget. I would say that this film is worth watching and worth having in your collection as fans of B-Movies will love this, and oh yeah Mystery Science Theater 3000 also hosted this film and that is another way I had seen this film.

So now that we have chatted about the mutated creatures of the sea and the cheesy golden turkey film they came from, I think we should now take a look and review the Warren Publishing Photo Comic Magazine adaptation of the film. This is one of the magazines I discovered the same time I did Mole People and Black Zoo, and I am very much looking forward to reading and reviewing this one. I want to thank Mile High Comics for having this issue on Ebay to make this update possible. I want to also remind you readers that I grade this on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you’re ready, make sure to cover yourself with some sunscreen and let’s avoid the monsters that attack on Party Beach.

Horror Of Party Beach # 1   **1/2
Released in 1964     Cover Price .35     Warren Publishing     # 1 of 1

Some boat workers are dumping toxic waste into the ocean, and one can springs a leak and the contents land on a skeleton on the ocean floor and when small fish gather around, a monster is created! While at the beach Tina and Hank are splitting up due to her drinking problem, but she needs not worry as she has caught the eye of a member of a biker gang who has also decided to have a day at the beach. When Tina makes a fool of herself, Hank and the biker get into a fight as Tina runs off to sun herself on a rock and feel good about her mission to make Hank pay, but she becomes the first victim of one of the Sea Creature that rips her to shreds! The news spreads fast in the papers, and Hank’s boss Dr. Gavin’s daughter Elaine gets a crush on him, and the two quickly start a relationship as the cops want answers to what killed Tina as scales are found under her nails! The next night while Hank and Elaine are on a date at a beach party, two more girls are killed by a Sea Creature filling the city with fear…and things get worse when the monsters attack again and kill a group of ladies having a slumber party! As Hank and Dr. Gavin try and figure out what the monsters are, they attack again, first a young woman swimming and later three women who have car issues, then a man in a truck all killed and making the these creatures body count rise as they have a true night of terror as the bodies pile up. As the creatures attack, one accidentally gets his arm cut off and Dr. Gavin and Hank are able to get it and find sodium is one thing that will kill the creatures. As Hank goes to the next town to get sodium, the cops along with Dr. Gavin and Elaine use geiger counters to find the main body of water hang out for the creatures. In the end Dr. Gavin and Elaine are surrounded by the Sea Creatures and Hank with the Police arrive with the sodium and fling it one tons of the creatures killing them off. After it’s over and all is safe Hank and Elaine share their love for each other.

The cheesy 1964 cult classic film comes alive in this photo comic magazine that does its best to bring Horror to a film that is filled with lots of dancing and music. The plot of the comic has Sea Creatures coming out of the water and killing people that cross their paths as two doctors try their best to figure out what they are and how to destroy them. In the end, the doctors figure out a way to save the day and kill the monsters once and for all, and thanks to basic science and elements a way is found and the creatures are killed. Hank Green is our hero who is a man who once wasted his life just partying on the beach who has now took a job in science and has outgrown is wild girlfriend and falls in love with his boss’ daughter. Hank is a man who wants to do his best to save lives as well as treat whomever lady he is dating right. Dr. Gavin is a scientist who the cops go to when this outbreak of creature killings start up as they are all unaware of what they are up against, and all faith is put into him and Hank. Elaine Green is a sweet girl who cares about her town, family and friends and is willing to risk her life to try and help end the rash of killings. The cops are pretty useless in this magazine as they do very little to keep people safe and mostly just wait until they are told what do by scientist. The Sea Creatures are blood drinking killing machines that mostly hunt for humans at night and are very dangerous, and yet the cops don’t even patrol at night nor put a curfew in effect. This photo comic magazine for the most part follows the events of the film pretty well, but does do a few out of place or even have a slightly different outcome. One main change in this magazine is that the Sea Creatures are given razor sharp teeth and not the cheesy looking hotdogs like in the movie. The comic keeps some of the blood and kills in place and plays up the spooky horror and cuts down the let’s dance on the beach while a band places surf tunes moments way down. The dialogue is written really well and while cheesy in spots its super fitting. I would say to be honest this is a really good photo comic magazine that does the film its based on justice and even in spots improves on the movie! To sum it up, if you like the movie, love photo comics and collect Horror Comics this is one you might want to get for your collection. Check out some panels below to see how this magazine looks.

So as you can see, the Sea Creatures who want to crash the Party on Horror Beach are pretty mean and want nothing more than to drink the blood of every living human they come across and this Photo Comic Magazine complements this cult classic film very well. So not only is this update coming to an end but so is Summer 2019 and that means fall and Halloween are just around the corner! And sticking with our Countdown To Halloween and From Horror Movie To Horror Comic Theme, I think the next comic we will take a look at is one based on the 2008 film Zombie Apocalypse! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your Local Horror Host! See you next time as we chat about a the undead.