Monday, August 5, 2013

Vintage Hollywood comic books, including Dixie Dugan and Buck Jones, at Digital Comics Museum

The Digital Comics Museum is a wonderful online resource. The site says it is "the best site for downloading FREE public domain Golden Age Comics," and it may well be true. To start downloading, register an account and enjoy reading a great assortment of vintage comic books. The Digital Comics Museum does not charge per download, with the stated goal of the project to archive these comic books online and make them widely available.

There are comic books dating, mostly, from the late 1930s through the early 1960s. Among them are a couple associated with the career of Louise Brooks, as well as many others relating to Hollywood and the movies.

The Digital Comics Museum has a couple of issues of the Dixie Dugan comic book. As fans of Brooks will recall, the actress was the inspiration for this long-running comic strip / comic book character. The early incarnation of the strip, circa 1930, featured a look-alike character, scenes set in the entertainment world, and even a few panels lifted directly from film stills. Follow this link to see these later-day Dixie Dugan comics - http://www.digitalcomicmuseum.com/index.php?cid=244

The Digital Comics Museum also includes a half-dozen issues of a Buck Jones comic book. As fans of Brooks will also recall, Brooks was featured in Empty Saddles, a 1936 Western starring Jones. He started in the silent era, a remained major star throughout the 1930s. Sadly, Jones was one of the 492 victims of the 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston, Massachusetts, dying two days after the November 28th blaze. For years, legend held that Jones's fatal injuries were the result of his going back into the burning building to save victims, but it is now known that he was one of many trapped in the fire. Follow this link to see the Buck Jones comics, which date from the early 1950s, a number of years after Jones' death - http://www.digitalcomicmuseum.com/index.php?cid=632

And speaking of Western films featuring Louise Brooks, the Digital Comics Museum also has issues of John Wayne Adventure Comics. As fans of the actress will recall, Brooks was featured in an early John Wayne film, Overland Stage Raiders (1938). These comics date, I think, from the early 1950s.

The Digital Comics Museum has numerous other Hollywood-related comic books from the 1940s and 1950s, some of which harken back to the silent and early sound era.

They have runs of Johhny Mack Brown, Bill Boyd Western, Motion Picture Comics, Tom Mix Western, Hollywood Diary, Hollywood Secrets, Abbott and Costello Comics, Three Stooges, Famous Stars, and others. And of course there are many non movie or celebrity related comics.

But wait, there is more! The Digital Comics Museum also has very early issues of Little Nemo (circa 1906 - the year Brooks was born) and Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang (from the early 1920s). As fans of the actress will also recall, Brooks appeared in the cover of this humor journal in the late 1920s.

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