Monday, November 30, 2009

The Steel Fist

From Blue Circle Comics # 4 (February 1945) comes The Steel Fist! This less-than-spectacular hero appeared in "Blue Circle Comics" 1-5, published by Rural Home. The Steel Fist, who appeared on the first two covers of Blue Circle Comics, may have also appeared in Green Publishing's "Roly Poly Comics" issues 6 and 15, published in 1945-46. That little tidbit of information comes from (most likely) the Overstreet Price Guide (which I never fully trust as being accurate to begin with, especially with an obscure title like "Roly Poly"), as well as The Standard Guide to Golden Age Comics.

According to, artwork on The Steel Fist was provided by Henry Kiefer, who also is credited for working on Hydroman. As luck would have it, I have this Steel Fist story, as well as the Hydroman story from Heroic Comics # 28, and yeah, it looks like it was done by the same guy, although neither story is signed and I'm not an expert on Golden Age artists.

As I'm sure you've noticed by now, I tend to use phrases like "according to", "so-and-so is credited to have done such-and-such" & "I read this-and-that somewhere" an awful lot. As annoying as it may be to read such statements, it's just as annoying to type them. Thing is, I don't like talking out my butt when it comes to information I'm unable confirm on my own, PLUS I like being able to say "this is where I'm getting my information from" so that if you doubt what I say, you can go double-check my sources and see for yourself if other people know what they're talking about OR I simply don't know how to read. I will never self-proclaim myself to be an "expert" on much of anything. Sure, I may know more about "whatever" than some people, but there's someone out there that knows more than me about whatever it is I think I know a lot about. It's like driving down the highway ... someone's always driving faster than you.

The "citing of sources" has become an issue with me recently. It's nice to read a well-written article about, for example, the history of a Golden Age comic book publisher, but why don't people say where that information is coming from? Did they have access to actual documents from the company? Did they read an interview with the owners or editors of the books? Were they talking to an old man who worked for the company 70 years ago, whose memory may never have been any good to begin with, and whose only reason for working on comics was to make a buck so he didn't really care about what he was doing at the time? Did they simply read a book that mentioned something without citing their source of information and now they're running with it?

What I end-up seeing a lot are things like "Bumble-Bee-Bob was drawn by P. Knuckle Jr and appeared in Wacky-Daffy Features, published by Uh-Oh Press", but when I go anywhere on the internet or page through any of the books on the history of comics that I own to verify those kinds of statements, I can't find anything to back it up. I could sit here and write about the history of Batman without ever opening a book or a comic, and I could , with some effort, make it seem real and legit and get people who didn't know better to think I know what I'm talking about. More than likely, half of what I'ld type would be wrong, but you get my point, right?. Is it really that hard to let people know where information is coming from? No, it isn't, and yet, I guess it's easier to be lazy than thorough ... but that's just My Opinion.

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