July 24, 2009

Comics... GOOOD!

Perfect pop culture bliss: Frankenstein reading comics!

Glenn Strange and comic Ole Olsen ham it up for Universal’s publicity department. That’s Batman No. 23, with a cover showing Batman literally checkmating The Joker, done in the Bob Kane house style by George Roussos. The comic, cover dated June-July 1944, hit the stands in April, which coincides perfectly with Glenn Strange’s two-week gig on House of Frankenstein. Olsen, of the comedy duo Olsen and Johnson, was busy shooting Ghost Catchers on an adjacent set.

Worth noting: Strange was paid a measly $500 for two weeks of work on the film. You couldn’t buy a copy of Batman No. 23 with that kind of cash today.

A year later, reclining in the makeup chair, Glenn Strange enjoys Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy. Look closely at the comic, there’s Flattop, the bizarre hitman character based on real-life killer ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’. Strange must have felt a certain kinship with the cranially-challenged character.

In another photo from the same Fall of ’45 session, Strange is reading Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates while makeup man Jack Pierce finishes up. The mud-splattered makeup was used when The Monster first appears in House of Dracula, stuck in dried-up quicksand.

The Monster: Glenn Strange


Christopher said...

lol.."Weeell lets see what ol' Flattops up to today.."

rob! said...

Glenn Strange sounded like a really fun guy.

High Power Rocketry said...


The Vicar of VHS said...

And prophetic too, as in a couple of years the OFM Boris Karloff would play Gruesome against Ralph Byrd's Dick Tracy.

Not that there's any real connection. I'm just OCD, is all. ;)

Christopher said...

I can just picture him in that chair laughing out loud at those comics while Jack Pierce grows impatient....Glen!..you gotta be still now!

Anonymous said...

To be fair, $500 in 1944 would be worth $6056.88 in 2008 (courtesy of the Inflation Calculator at http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi). You could probably pick up a copy of Batman 23 for that amount or less. (There's actually a copy on sale on ebay right now for $200.)