Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Cool Stuff: Big Little Books!

coolstuff
Continuing my look at selected entries in the Big Little Book series, we're up to titles starting with "M"!
blb_mandrake
This first volume featuring Mandrake the Magician is kind of odd to me... why go for just the silhouette of the famed magician, and not an actual picture of him? I'm guessing the earlier installments of the BLB series focused on getting the words as big as possible...
blb_mandrake
You'll notice that this next one in the gallery not only features Mandrake in his full glory, but he's also using his abilities (which, depending upon the story, could be simple hypnotism, or full-out magic, but that's a discussion for another time).
blb_mandrakeflame
This third volume definitely has the "gesturing hypnotically" thing down, eh?

We'll definitely be jumping around a bit on this next title character... Micky Mouse was probably not as popular a subject as Donald Duck was, but he still had his fair share of volumes!
blb_mickeyadventureinouterspace
This one in particular is from towards the end of the BLB history. You can probably tell that the art was done by the same people who were doing art for the Gold Key comics by this time.
blb_mickeyduderanch
blb_mickeyjewel
I wish this last picture was much larger, as it has one of the nicer Mickey covers! When it was reprinted, the new cover wasn't quite as fun:
blb_mickeystolenjewels
blb_mickeylectrobox
blb_mickeymagiclamp
blb_mickeymousemail
This Mickey volume was likely one of the ones adapted from the newspaper strip, which was an adventure format, instead of gag-a-day! I'd guess the next one was, too!
blb_mickeysails
blb_mickeymystery

blb_mickeyfinn
Mickey Finn is more or less forgotten as a comic strip character these days, although his name lent itself to a slang term for a drugged drink, as in, "Slipped him a Mickey Finn," which was of course shortened to "Slipped him a Mickey."

blb_moonmullins
Moon Mullins was another comic strip that was very popular back in the day, but is mostly forgotten now. In fact, if it weren't for him being included on Filmation's Archie's TV Funnies in the 70s, I might've never heard of him!
blb_moonmullinsplushbottom

blb_ogsonoffire
I have to admit, I've never heard of Og, Son of Fire, no matter how famous his radio adventure series was supposed to be... then again, my Old Time Radio fandom is mostly limited to comedy shows! Still, it's a caveman, and worthy to be spotlighted!

blb_ourgang
I'll bet this one comes as a surprise to many of you... I certainly had no idea that Our Gang was ever done as a BLB entry! Heck, they had at least two:
blb_ourgangmarch

blb_phantom
An interesting thing about the Phantom BLB books was how much of a variance there was in the color of his costume!
blb_phantomdesert
blb_phantomgirl
blb_phantomreturn
blb_phantomsign
blb_phantomsky
Apparently the early Sunday comics were colored differently at times, so this could explain the variance from the standard purple... I know in some parts of the world, his costume is definitely not colored purple, but either red or orange!

blb_pinkpantheradventures
The Pink Panther came in at the tail end of the series.

Next, we have a whole mess of Popeye BLBs!
blb_popeyejeep
blb_popeyepoopdeck2
blb_popeyepuddleburg
blb_popeyequeenolive
blb_popeyesark
blb_popeyeseesthesea
I know there were a number of other Popeye books in the series, as well... I wish someone would get the rights to reprint these in collected editions!

blb_radiopatrol
Radio Patrol was a pretty popular radio show, probably due to the unique addition of radios being used in squad cars, something that was new at the time!

blb_redrydercircus
blb_redrydercode
blb_redryderrustlers
Red Ryder had his share of BLBs... as did fellow cowboy (but less fictional) Roy Rogers!
blb_royrogersrobbers
...although this is the only one I have a pic of!

blb_secretagentx9
Here's a Secret Agent X-9 volume, which should tell you that King Features had no problem getting their characters into the series!

blb_shadowmasterofevil
This may have been the only Shadow entry in the series... I'm guessing it didn't sell well enough to warrant further books, much less having a Doc Savage one!

blb_skeezix
Skeezix was a character from Gasoline Alley, a comic strip notable for the fact that the characters aged in real time!

blb_smilinjack
blb_tailspintommy
blb_tailspintommydirigible
As you can see, comic strip aviators Smilin' Jack and Tailspin Tommy also got the BLB treatment!

blb_tarzanantmen
blb_tarzanbeasts
blb_tarzanescapes
blb_tarzangiantapes
blb_tarzanjewels
blb_tarzanlord
blb_tarzanmark
blb_tarzannewadventures
blb_tarzanoftheapes
blb_tarzanofthescreen
blb_tarzanson
blb_tarzansrevenge
blb_tarzanterrible
blb_tarzantwins
Tarzan may hold the record of being featured in more BLBs than any other character! As you can see, not all of these volumes have ERB's byline (and even those are likely adapted from the newspaper strip adaptations of the original books).

blb_terry
blb_terrymystery
blb_terryplanetation
blb_terryshipwrecked
blb_terrywar
Terry and the Pirates had a fair amount of BLB volumes!

blb_timtylerivory
Tim Tyler's Luck was another newspaper strip, it was also made into a movie serial, if I recall correctly.

blb_tomjerryastronuts
blb_tomjerrybigtop
blb_tomjerryfingers
There were more Tom and Jerry BLBs than I would've expected... I didn't think they would work in the longer book format!

blb_tommixsinging
blb_tweetymagicvoice
blb_washtubbshunting
blb_woodysinistr
As you can see, the subjects of the BLBs were many and varied, although most of them tended to either be based on newspaper strips or cartoons!

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