Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Coming Soon:
'Complete Golden Age Oddballs:
Angela & Miss Espionage'!

The fourth volume in NUELOW Games' "Complete Golden Age Oddballs" series is pretty much finished. I'm just having another set of eyes review one of the pieces slated to go in it, because I'm feeling a little insecure about its quality even though the editor has said "Oh, for the love of Jesus, it's fine!" (in an exacerbated tone and British accent).

This volume is focused entirely on female characters, and the bulk of it was drawn by one of comics industry's first full-time professional woman artists, Ruth Atkinson. She is best remembered for creating "Millie the Model" and "Patsy Walker" for Marvel Comics precursor Timely Comics, but even before that she had worked at industry giant Fiction House on numerous adventure series in anthology titles like "Jungle Comics", "Ranger Comics", and "Wings Comics."

But NUELOW Games being NUELOW Games is collecting for the first time anywhere what is perhaps Atkinson's most obscure work. In 1947, she created the high school comedy series "Angela" for Eastern's "Club 16." The series lasted four episodes, vanishing when Eastern pulled the plug on this attempt at cashing in on the teen comedy craze that "Archie" had started shortly before.

But as obscure as "Angela" is, "Miss Espionage" may be even more so. It appeared in two issues of "Power Comics" (#3 and #4) in late 1945 from Holyoke imprint Narrative Publications. This brief series is interesting, because it's may have been the first to use a post-World War 2 world as the backdrop for its action. The first story deals with a Nazi underground trying to lay the foundation for the return of the Third Reich, while the second deals with villains trying to rekindle hostilities between the United States and Japan. (It may also be of interest as it was written by the prolific and celebrated Bill Woolfolk and drawn by Rudy Palias and Maurice Whitman.)

And, of course, the book features a smattering of roleplaying game material inspired by the comics, as well as a text piece that brings the featured series together in the same universe... and that's the text piece I'm feeling a little insecure about. As I said up top, we'll see what the reader has to say.

In the meantime, here's a preview of "Complete Golden Age Oddballs: Angela & Miss Espionage" in the form of selected splash pages from the book.

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