Deadly Nightshade After Closing Time

Comic Cavalcade was an anthology series that ran from 1942 until 1954, publishing super-heroes and other adventures for the first six years. Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern were the headliners. Earlier this year, DC reprinted the first three issues as The Comic Cavalcade Archives, Vol. 1. (At 100 pages per issue, it’s still a pretty big collection!) I bought a copy a few weeks ago, mainly for the Flash stories, and it finally arrived yesterday.

I read a few of the stories this afternoon, and these panels from the Green Lantern story in issue 1, “The Adventures of Luckless Lenore,” made me laugh out loud.

Two panels from Comic Cavalcade #1

Green Lantern’s sidekick, Doiby, has been trying to romance Lenore, whose “bad luck” seems to be engineered. At this point he’s been captured. I didn’t even notice the name of the bar the first time through, it was the menu that caught me off-guard.

  • Whiskey
  • Beer
  • Whiskey & Beer
  • Whiskey & Milk
  • Whiskey & Egg
  • Whiskey, Beer, Egg & Milk

I rushed into the other room to show Katie, and she immediately said, “Spam, spam, bacon and spam!”

Comic Cavalcade ArchivesOn a related note, I recall reading somewhere that one of the reasons DC has released so few Golden-Age books in Archive Editions is that the original art is rarely available. In the 50s or 60s, they started keeping their own archives, but for the stuff from the 40s, they generally have to take an actual copy of the comic book—crappy printing, faded newsprint and all—scan it, re-ink it, and re-color it. This book actually has credits for “black-and-white reconstruction” and “color reconstruction.”

4 thoughts on “Deadly Nightshade After Closing Time

  1. Chris Arndt

    Part of the deal is that not only do they need an original copy (those are possible to find) one has to destroy that copy in order to make reprints. The process is called Theakstonization (I believe) and I recall first reading about it in one of the opening essays in an issue of Who’s Who.

    So part of the reprint process isn’t just finding a copy of an issue and/or having one on hand but finding someone with a copy who is willing to let their copy be destroyed.

    In order for the Superman Archives to be published a copy of Action Comics #1 was destroyed. The colors and details are recorded ahead of time so that stuff is restored in the final product, but in the original edition the colors are taken out entirely for the scanning process.

    Finding a copy is rarely the issue; it’s finding the second copy or a sacrifical soul.

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  2. Kelson Post author

    Ouch! I only remembered it was a more labor-intensive process! Destroying a rare collector’s item makes it a lot harder to do!

    I looked for info on “Theakstonization” and “Theakstonizing,” and I found a message board post [archive.org] saying, “As far as I know DC doesn’t use the Theakston process anymore.” Apparently the DC Archives are done digitally, though the article doesn’t exactly have much in the way of real information. The cool thing, though, is that I just discovered that the Golden Age Flash Archives #2 is finally coming out next year!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Going for the Golden Age | K-Squared Ramblings

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