By Jacobus Dixon

Superheroes and costumed vigilantes were the bread and butter of the comic book magazine industry. They were colorful he-men who took no guff from nobody but ddidn’tuse their abilities to abuse innocent people. They were like local sports stars everybody would cheer for. But as a group, they weren’t very diverse. Their costumes were different, but underneath they were all just a bunch of muscle-bound, wealthy white guys. This was the group that had the money, so popular art and commercial products were primarily aimed at pleasing them above everyone else (unfortunately this is still true for some products).  And if you weren’t one of these wealthy white guys, these products would make you want to adjust your aesthetic tastes to be accepted into their sphere of influence. However, some felt that this pandering was a little too exclusive. William Moulton Marston was one of those people.

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Superman Comics

By Jacobus Dixon

If you love comic books, then there’s a pretty good chance that you like movies as well. So isn’t it great when the powers that be decide to put the time, money, and effort into a motion picture that gives these characters a chance to jump off the page? Well…it can be when it’s done right. But while movies and comics are very similar, they do have their differences. With illustration, the only thing that can hamper the artist is a lack of imagination and/or a decent hard surface to draw on with good light. With cinema, you’ve got all these different lights, sets, props, actors, sound technicians, visual effects technicians, assistants, studio hands…woof, it’s a lot. And what’s happening is that you have this virtual army of people bringing to life something that took maybe one or two guys to create. So to say that things get messy is a bit of an understatement. Fortunately though, there are times when the planets align, and this army is able to adapt a piece just beautifully. But…like I said, it’s once in a blue moon.

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Remember our DC Bombshells Covers Guide? How about our recent DC Selfies Covers Guide? Well, DC is currently releasing an all new army of LEGO covers for its ongoing series! Read on for the complete guide and release dates of these wacky, fun-filled LEGO variants!

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By Jacobus Dixon

By the winter of 1940, superheroes were causing funny book magazines to just fly off the newsstands. They were an odd blend or mythology and athleticism wrapped in a brilliant package of primary colors. They often lived fulfilling lives as prosperous or wealthy men, but men still hungry for adventure. And almost all of their adventures involved finding the source of their problems and delivering a killer knockout blow to them. It was like watching a sports event with higher stakes and a team that you knew would win, but not how. And even though the hero’s tactics to triumph were often completely exaggerated and unrealistic, it didn’t matter! That was part of the fun. It would have been like saying Popeye was terrible because he misrepresents what spinach can do for you. But people didn’t read Popeye comic strips and watch Popeye cartoons because they wanted to see the effects of spinach on human physiology, nor did they read superhero comics for real solutions to the financial inequities of the Depression and American life in general. They wanted to be entertained, and seeing a colorfully clad athlete sock a local street tough or thieving businessman was just what they were looking for.  But what was the next step? How do you keep these characters from going stale? Well…grouping them together to form some kind of team seemed like a good idea. And that’s exactly what All-American Publications did.

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By Jacobus Dixon

Although All-Star Publications wasn’t in a complete rivalry with National Allied Publications or Detective Comics Inc. (due to the fact that they were all owned by Harry Donenfeld) they still didn’t want to sit out on the superhero craze that was transforming the publishing industry.  They had some success with the Flash, Hawkman, and Johnny Thunder in Flash Comics. And naturally that taste of success led them to produce more superheroes. The spooky Spectre had promise, but he may have been a little too supernatural to attract more average readers. While most superheroes were defined by their phenomenal abilities, it was that human appearance that made them so appealing to readers. So you didn’t want to step too far away from that (at least not in the late 1930s/early 1940s) if you wanted your character to be successful. People do like supernatural stories though, so where do you strike the balance?

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