Archive | 12:01 am

The Saturday Comics: Bob Hope

18 Aug

August 18, 2012

Last week’s installment, featuring Jerry Lewis, led me these Bob Hope comics.

From wikipedia, which I trust as much as I do any site which exercises no control over its content, i.e.: not at all.

The Adventures of Bob Hope is a comic book series that was published by National Periodical Publications (an imprint of DC Comics). The series featured stories based on comedian Bob Hope, as well as assorted other humorous stories. The series ran for 109 issues from 1950 through 1968

In the early 1950s, with sales for superhero themed comics on the decline, National Periodical Publications began licensing the right to use celebrity images, including Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Alan Ladd, and Bob Hope. Issue #1 (cover dated February–March 1950) set the tone for most of the 1950s. The lead story would feature Hope in a misadventure similar to his film roles; the back up stories tended to revolve around movie-related themes or characters. For example, issue #1 had a story on Rhonda Fleming, Hope’s co-star in the 1949 film The Great Lover.

By the 1960s, sales for the Hope series began to flag. The editors attempted to add some contemporary humor by introducing the character Super-Hip in issue #95.Despite the changes, the series was canceled with issue #109 (March 1968).

Super-Hip? What the heck is a Super-Hip?

Tadwallader Jutefruce (a spooneristic pun on “fruit juice”) is the crew cut and bow tie-clad ‘nephew’ of Bob Hope and a student at Benedict Arnold High School, an educational facility whose “Faculty of Fear” is made up entirely of Universal Horror-style monsters, including principal Dr. Van Pyre, German-accented science teacher Prof. Heinrich von Wolfmann, and coach Franklin Stein.

Whenever Tad loses his temper (usually at the instigation of a stupid prank by fellow students billionaire biker bully Badger Goldliver and his simple-minded stooge Doltish), the uptight mild-mannered boy genius turns green, starts to spin like a tornado and transforms into Super-Hip.

The long-haired Super-Hip’s outfit resembles a 1960s Carnaby Street Mod a la Austin Powers, complete with ruffled shirt, velvet jacket, and Chelsea boots with winged ankles that, similar to the Sub-Mariner, allow him to fly. He also magically acquires an electric guitar which causes whoever hears it to dance uncontrollably whenever he plays rock and roll, and he can, like Tom Terrific, change his form into virtually anything, limited only by his often surreal imagination.

Tad has no memory of his time as the obnoxious and egotistical “Sultan of Swingers”, and the only ones who know of his secret identity are his Uncle Bob and his highly educated talking dog, Harvard-Harvard.

Super-Hip’s battle-cry is “Down with/Blech to Lawrence Welk!”, as hearing the television bandleader’s schmaltzy music acts like kryptonite on him.

Ho boy, this is one series I’d gladly skip right over.

Click on the thumbnails belew for larger pics.

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