|This installment of Williamson Collector is a potpourri of companies; the first work is from ACG, the second from Famous Funnies, and the third. Archie, as strange as that may seem.|
Forbidden Worlds #63 Feb.1958
”When Duty Calls”-5 pages
Reprinted in Adventures into the Unknown #128
Oct.-Nov. 1961 as “Idle Dreamer”.
“When Duty Calls” is a story about a college professor whose colleagues consider him to be an idle dreamer because of his advanced mathematical formulae. Professor Weaver receives a month’s leave from classes and continues to work on his formulae, which nobody understands, except, of course, him. Suddenly he is teleported to Pluto, where he is employed by the Plutonians to finish a time ray, devised by a scientist of their world who died before it was finished. The ray is needed to ward off the attacks of the Xenon raiders who are gradually working their way through other galaxies to ours. Weaver finds the Plutonians scientist was employing the same theories and formulae as he was. He finishes the future, and proving that Weaver was not a crackpot. Weaver is sent back to Earth, where he is scorned. But back on Pluto he is revered as a hero. This story is definitely made for Williamson, and he does come through. Fine line work (expertly done), futuristic buildings and grad, and even a miniature dinosaur- it’s all here. The reproduction is pretty good in the AITU reprinted and even better in FW. Considering the rather mediocre art there Williamson was doing in the late fifties. “When Duty Calls” was a welcome change of pace and, if it weren’t for minimal use of backgrounds, I would get a 5, but, as it is, this Willi story rates a VERY NICE:4.
Buster Crabbe # 3 March 1952
”The Ogre”-7 pages
“The Ogre” was Williamson’s only story contribution to Buster Crabbe, other than “The Maid of Mars” in BC #5. “The Ogre” concerns the appearance of Kagagaks, the evil spirits who inhabits the Forbidden Mountian. A Kagagak appears to two campers (who are actually Williamson and George Evans; they drew the story, Evans inking, so they drew themselves into it). Who hurriedly run to town and tell Buster and Whiskers, Buster’s sidekick, about what they saw. An old Indian verifies Al’s and George’s story so Buster and Whiskers go to investigate. They trail the Kagagaks to their cave, where there ensues a little fight. Busters scares off the ogres by firing his gun. After leaving the cave, Buster decides not to verify the Kagagaks’ existence, in order to preserve them, because they only fight when provoked. He tells Al and George that they were scared off by a “big, half-crazy hermit.” He neglects to say, though, which half is crazy (Yuk! Yuk!). Anyway, the art on “The Ogre” is really excellent due primarily to Evans’ tightening up of Williamson’s pencils. The story is well laid-out, the western atmosphere is well conveyed, and the fight scene is done nicely and without sound effects. The reproduction is a little scratchy, but the line work still comes through. To the right is page 6, which, ad you can see, has a little of the trailing of the Kagagaks and the beginning of the fight. It is truly fine work, generally on a higher level than the overrated “Maid of Mars”. Having had an opportunity to see one of the original pages. I can testify that it is a very clean job. This comic is good; besides, the cover is by Willi and Evans, too. Get it if you can. This story is close to a 5 but because of the meager reproduction, the rating is :4.
The Fly #2 September 1959
”One of our Skyscrapers is Missing!” – 4pages
This is the only costumed super-hero strip that Williamson has done to date and unfortunately it’s rather uninspired.
The story is very bland with the Fly (Tommy Troy) investigates a skyscraper that mysteriously sunk out of sight below the ground. He discovers a race of subterraneans, battles their most powerful warrior as well as “the large headed lizard” and of course defeats them both. Since the skyscraper they pulled down was empty (neat trick) the undergroundeans think the Fly is an average surface man. Therefore they call off their planned attack of the surface world. Hooray!
The art, although no bad, is very basic Williamson and except for a couple spots, it’s difficult to tell it’s his work. Overall it rates a rather uninspired :3.