Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Adventures of Bob Hope #87

If you've been keeping up with my blog for a while, you will know that I am a consummate bargain hunter. I don't like to pay full price for anything. I've been known to wait months- years to read something if I can't get it on discount. 

Now there's a few exceptions to this rule. When it comes to Supergirl or Scooby-Doo Team-Up, I shell out the big bucks for a monthly fix. Holiday specials are the same. So when I saw this book at a local comic book store in Greensboro, NC, I had to do some quick math and weigh the pros with the cons. 

I've been wanting a copy- any copy- of this series since I started collecting comics again 10 years ago. My father had a couple of copies of this along with some Jerry Lewis comic books that got passed along to me before they were stolen in the early 90s. I got myself a Jerry Lewis issue for only a buck some time back. So, I felt that balanced out shelling a few extra dollars towards making this comic a part of my collection. Plus, from the cover, I felt that the book could make for a fun read this Halloween season. So, into my shopping cart it went...

This issue of Bob Hope has the comedian as some sort of con man. This was a typical character that he played in a number of his films in the 40s and 50s. Along with his dog Harvard Harvard, III, Bob is casing a carnival when he spins his last dime on a fortune teller. The clairvoyant tells the main character to find a castle with five steps in order to obtain his financial rewards. 

The only place Bob knows that there are castles is in England, so our hero and his dog embark on a cargo ship across the pond to Jolly Old England. There he finds a pretty girl that just happens to be going to a castle with five steps to claim her inheritance. Seeing dollar signs, Bob tags along only to discover that the castle is haunted and the spirits that inhabit it aren't very happy to see him there.

This was a very interesting look at DC Comics in 1964. I don't often get to read a book that old unless it's a collected reprint. So, I really enjoyed seeing all the great vintage ads and the smell of the comic- I don't need to take drugs. That old comic book smell is intoxicating enough!

One thing I thought was quite interesting was an interview with series artist Bob Oskner. In it, the artist states that he hopes his daughter becomes the first woman to break into comics. Excuse me, but what about Marie Severin (EC Comics) and Ramona Fradon (Metamorpho)? I'm pretty sure their roles on various titles beginning in the 1950s pre-dates Bob Oskner's little girl by almost 15 years!

The overall story was pretty funny. I laughed a few times. Though I have a feeling if I had read six of seven issues in a row, some of the gags would have gotten old pretty fast. Bob was portrayed in his typical smarmy and self-deprecating manner to a tee! And I really thought the new character of Harvard the Dog was a great addition. Too bad he didn't last more than about a dozen issues...

I did think it was quite funny in one segment when Bob Hope tells a policeman that he's an American. Very few people know that the US military's greatest supporter was actually born in London!

The scary aspect was about as scary as an old Abbott & Costello Meets (Insert Monster Here) film. A little spooky but nothing to keep you up at night. But it's a great read to conjure up a Halloween atmosphere. 

Worth Consuming!

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars.

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