Comic book data, pt. 3

Continuing my trawl of Golden Age comic book data, here’s a breakdown of the strips in comic books by genre:

strips 1939-1942


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Comic book data, pt. 2

The following is a list of the number of strips of various genres appeared in comic books in 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1938. (Not counting comedy, reprints, and romance comics).

strips 1935-1938

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Comic book data, pt. 1



The following is a list of how many strips of various genres appeared in comic books from 1935 through December, 1941. (Not counting comedy, reprint, and romance comics, of course).


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Golems and sex.


I’m not gonna provide all the citations Idel does, because, well, who’s got time for that? But suffice it to say that GOLEM is pretty heavily sourced and looks to be quite reliable.


“The Aramaic term for an anthropoid used by the editors of the Sanhedrin passage is gavra’, literally, a man, and, more specifically, a male person. In Hebrew, on the other hand, an unmarried woman was considered to be, like an unmarried man, an imperfect being, and she was referred to in classical texts as a Golem. This designation implies her being an imperfect, hylic entity, prior to her becoming a vessel (keli) for her husband, so that she will attain her essential perfection as woman. In light of our previous explanations of the meaning of the Golem, it seems that in this case as well the term stands for a human body that did not receive its ultimate perfection. Moreover, the relationship between the woman, conceived of as a Golem, and the process of her becoming a vessel, keli, namely her reaching her “natural” goal, is reminiscent of other Talmudic discussion where Golem stands for the unfinished form of a certain vessel, which becomes that vessel when it is given the final touch. The penetration of the needle is paralleled by the Talmudic view of the husband as the maker of his spouse: bo’alaikh ‘osaikh.”

But what you’re interested in, I know, is not about early Jewish sexism, but about the good stuff: what are the rules about having sex with a golem?

It’s only in the 17th century, and that in Central Europe, that the rabbis begin to address this vital problem.

We begin with Genesis 37:3, in which “Joseph brought to his father an evil report.” What was it? Not specified in the Bible. Midrashic sources differ: eating the limbs of an animal before its death, having relations with Canaanite female, or behaving contemptuously toward brothers who were the sons of servants. But! There’s a different Jewish tradition: that Joseph accused his brothers of having incestuous sex with unspecified females.

Worse: “The occurrence of such an accusation against Joseph as a denouncer, raised serious questions about the veracity of the report? was it possible that Joseph, the symbol of the righteous in Jewish tradition, was a liar? And if not, did the sons of Jacob actually transgress these grave transgressions?”

So Rabbi Isaiah Horwitz, in his SHENEI LUHOT HA-BERIT (circa 1620), “adduced” a tradition (which is to say, made one up) to solve the problem: just as it’s written in the GEMARA that “a three-year-old calf was created on each and every eve of Shabbat, by the study of SEFER YEZIRAH, and by the combination of divine names,” so too did the brothers, *obviously* create a female using the same methods for the purposes of sex. Joseph thought the brothers were committing incest and moreover disregarding the honor of their brothers by preventing the sons-of-servants from having sex with the nice golem lady, so that’s why he did what he did. “Look how the tribes were righteous and Joseph was righteous too, being the foundation of the world and righteous in all his ways.”

Now, there was another issue. Halakha forbids close relatives (including brothers and sons and fathers) from having sex with the same woman. But this doesn’t apply to nice golem ladies. Who therefore can’t be considered human, as Rabi Zevi Hirsh of Munkacs ruled. Neither can golems be counted toward the minyan, because the golems are less than woman and are not required to conform to all the legal prohibitions.

Since you were wondering: “in another context, the version of Rosenberg indicates that the Golem did not have any sexual desire, otherwise it could have been dangerous as his power would have overcome everyone. In this context, the fallen angels are mentioned, obviously in order to compare the sexual liberties of these mighty angels with the possible danger of the Golem.”

Can a golem give consent? The rabbis differ. Some say golems have “rational power,” which would mean the usual rules of sex apply. Others say, no, they don’t have rational power, so not only would you be having sex with a lesser thing than a human, but one without the ability to give consent. But one thing everyone agrees on is that golems can’t be created with “procreative power,” since only God, May He be blessed, can bestow that on a creature.

Any questions?

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The Best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Harlan Dyce

dyceDyce, Harlan. Harlan Dyce was created by Arthur J. Burks (Professor Barter, Black Falcon, Duff Braden, Jack Brady, The Guillotine, David Haslup, Eddie Kelly, Josh McNab, Dorus Noel, Allan Swain) and appeared in “It Doesn’t Take Much Dynamite” (Clues, Nov. 1936) and “While Chinatown Slept” (Clues, June 1938). Harlan Dyce is a misanthropic and venomous private detective.

“Dyce had brains, taste, money, ambition, and a total lack of physical or spiritual fear. But—

“Dyce was thirty-three inches tall and weighed sixty pounds.

“That was all the world could ever hold against him. That was what had made the world, most of it, in all the countries of the world, stare at Harlan Dyce, billed in the big show as “General Midge.””

Dyce has an “amazingly handsome face,” and the aforementioned brains. But all anyone sees is his stature, and he hates that and turns his cold eyes and acid tongue on them. The only person Dyce likes and gets along with (besides his dwarf wife, a former client) is his assistant, Nick Melchem, a six-foot tall former p.i.’s assistant with bleak eyes and a strong body. Melchem ignores Dyce’s stature and treats Dyce normally, which Dyce responds warmly to.

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The Best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Paula Dupree

paula dupreeDuPree, Paula. Paula DuPree was created by Ted Fithian and Neil Varnick and appeared in the films Captive Wild Woman (1943), Jungle Woman (1944), and The Jungle Captive (1945). Dr. Walters, an ordinary, average Mad Scientist, is interested in using a gorilla for his work. He doesn’t have one at hand, so he steals one, Cheela, from a circus’ animal trainer. Walters injects hormones into Cheela and performs a brain operation on her, turning her from a primate into a human woman, who he names “Paula DuPree.” He teaches her to be a human, but when he brings her to the circus from which he stole her, he discovers that she has a Superhuman hypnotic ability over animals. She goes to work in the circus, and is attracted to Fred, the animal trainer from whom Walters stole her, but she discovers that Fred is engaged, and she reverts to being Cheela, leading to a violent ending. In the first sequel it is revealed that she was not killed in the first film, but was nursed back to health in a sanitarium, only turning back into a gorilla and killing people very occasionally. In the second sequel she is brought back to life by another Mad Scientist.

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The Best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Duende


Duende. The Duende was created by Rosalía de Castro and appeared in the Spanish novel El Caballero de las Botas Azules (1931). The Duende is a dashing hero of mysterious background, notable for his fabulous blue boots, who charms every woman he meets and creates fans of every male in he meets. At length he reveals himself to be an elf, “un duende—un mal espíritu,” and begins bedeviling those in a position of power. His ultimate goal is to purify Spanish literature, which he does by destroying every Spanish book which is unworthy.

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The Best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Nita Duboin

duboinDuboin, Nita. Nita Duboin was created by Kirk Mashburn and appeared in “Placide’s Wife” (Weird Tales, Nov. 1931) and “The Last of Placide’s Wife” (Weird Tales, Sept. 1932). Sometime during the 19th century, in New Orleans, there is a fetching, olive-skinned, black-haired “wench from a street-fair” named Nita Duboin. She beguiles Placide Duboin, a local Cajun, into marrying her–perhaps for his money, perhaps for something else. He doesn’t treat her well, and beats her, and she hates him. Her only companion in the marriage is her giant, yellow-eyed black cat, who also hates Placide. Placide shoots the cat, but it does not die. Placide then shoots and buries Nita, but she comes back. Placide dies, and then is found alive and well, and Nita reveals herself to be not just a Femme Fatale but a loup-garou and vampire.

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The Best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Sar Dubnotal

dubnotalDubnotal, Sâr. Sâr Dubnotal and appeared in Sâr Dubnotal, der Große Geisterbanner #1-9 (1909); the series was translated and then expanded by Norbert Sévestre in Sâr Dubnotal #1-20 (1909-1910). The series was reprinted in Spain and Portugal. Sâr Dubnotal is a Superhuman Occult Detective. He is the “Conquistador of the Invisible Ones,” the “Napoleon of the Immaterial,” “Great Psychagogue,” the “grand spirit guide”—in other words, a psychic investigator. Dubnotal also refers to himself as himself as “El Tebib,” “the Doctor,” to emphasize his learned nature; he is medically trained and is a top psychologist. He is also trained in the Lombroso method, and can recognize the criminal “type” by simply looking at them.

However, the Rosicrucian Dubnotal is better known as a master of “psychognosis.” He has a wide range of powers, including hypnosis, telepathy, and levitation. He is an expert, and there is “no phenomenon of somnambulism, of telepathy, of `telepsychics,’ of levitation, hypnotism, magnetism, suggestion and autosuggestion” which is beyond him. Though a Westerner Dubnotal was “instructed in the school of the brahmins and the most famous Hindu yogis” and has “victories without number over the battle champions of the invisible.” He is even capable of speaking to the spirits of the deceased.

Dubnotal, who wears a Hindu turban and affects a Hindu air, lives in a spacious apartment in the rooms below his laboratory. His best assistant is the delectable Gianetti Annunciata, a “petticoated” medium who combines, in her manner, the “gay working girl” and the “high priestess.” Annunciata translated the raps of the invisible world into French, and vice-versa, thus enabling Dubnotal to communicate with the dead. (Annunciata is assisted in this task by a small “spiritual telegraph” machine)

Dubnotal takes on a wide range of enemies, including Tserpchikopf the Hypnotist (who is actually Jack the Ripper) and Azzef, a Russian terrorist (very loosely based on Evno Azef). In Dubnotal’s final appearance he buries himself alive in order to dispel his lethargy. Dubnotal appears in stories with titles like “Dr. Tooth’s Turning Table,” “The Madwoman of the Rimbaud Passage,” “The Sleepwalker of the River of Blood,” and “Azzef, the King of the Agents Provocateurs.”

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The Best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Dr. Duarte

duarteDuarte, Dr. Dr. Duarte was created by José Bohr and Xavier Davila and appeared in the Mexican film Herencia Macabre (1939). Dr. Duarte is an Evil Surgeon. Dr. Duarte is a famous plastic surgeon with a theory: ugly people are evil, pretty people are good, so that when Duarte improves someone’s looks, their personality changes as well. Unfortunately, his wife cheating on him with his assistant makes him…tetchy…and he injects his wife with a disfiguring virus, and then keeps her prisoner in his lab. Duarte then gets vengeance on his philandering assistant before he dies.

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