We’re inching along with 3 more pages as we hit up two more fillers from Not Brand Echh #13.
We begin with a two-page spread by Arnold Drake, Roy Thomas, and Marie Severin. If you look at the image accompanying this review, you will see the first page, which will give you a pretty good idea of what the other page looks like. As you can see, Spidey is on the first page, balancing with one finger on a tight rope while he holds a green and yellow parasol in his free hand. “This’ll teach me not to read the fine print in my contract,” he says. Aunt May is right below Spidey, coming out of Dr. Strange’s tent which says on it, “Palms Read – 12¢. (Blue – 5¢ Extra).” Get it? Palms red? May says, “Imagine that fool fortune teller saying I have a dark, buggy man in my future!” From the looks of the bump on Strange’s head and the condition of May’s umbrella, I’d say she clonked him on the noggin with it.
(By the way, one of the running jokes of this spread is that everything is 12¢, which was still the price of a regular comic at this time but, unfortunately, Echh’s price of 25¢ kind of ruins the joke.)
Now that we’ve done our Spidey duty, what else can we find that’s worth mentioning? Well, not much. There’s Cyclops talking to Angel, saying, “When Spidey gets halfway across, watch me slice the tight-rope in two!” There’s Hulk sitting in a wrestling ring beneath a sign, reading, “Stay 2 minutes in ring - - win 12¢.” Hulk is reading “Madd” and says, “I don’t get it.” Is he referring to the “Madd” parodies, the staying in the ring (since the sign clearly means you have to fight Hulk for two minutes but maybe he thinks he is winning 12¢ because he is staying in the ring…or am I putting too much thought into this?) or both? There’s a sign reading, “See the Sunk-Mariner Dive 50 Feet into a Teacup” with “No-More” diving past it. Iron Man is running up, yelling, “Hey No-More - - they forgot to put tea in your cup!” and No-More replies, “Never mind that! What schlump left in that spoon?” There’s Thor sitting at a booth labeled “12¢ a ride!” with an empty stool next to him, because the Silver Surfer has flown off with a little kid hanging for dear life onto his leg. At the booth, a woman is shrieking. Thor tells her, “Tis safe, fair damsel - - he always stays in this galaxy!” There’s Nick Fury telling Sgt. Fury, “I don’t care what you claim my eye-patch is doing to your image - - I like it and it stays!!”
That’s the good stuff, such as it is. There’s also some bad stuff, including a bit with the Mandarin that just reads these days as racist. But, let’s see what Roy Thomas has to say about this in Alter Ego #95, July 2010: “Since I wouldn’t have written myself a credit into the introductory caption unless I had done quite a bit of rewriting and/or added gags, I can only presume that’s what happened. Since Marie doubtless contributed a few visual or verbal jokes herself, that means this two-page spread had, in effect, no less than three writers! Once again, the Fawcett Captain Marvel made an appearance – side by side with Marble’s own Captain Marvin, in all his green-and-white splendor.” Yep, there they are, Marvin leaning on Captain Marvel, neither one saying a word, watching Prince No-More diving into that cup with a spoon in it.
Next up is Pulse-Poundin’ Pin-Up Dept.> It doesn’t have Spidey in it but, then again, it doesn’t have anyone in it. Here’s the whole bit. A caption reads, “In answer to an avalanche of requests (mostly from Stan and Jack), Brechh boldly presents its first true pulchritudinous pin-up…a candid cheesecake photo of one of Marble’s most popular, eye-catching lasses…demonstrating her own special super-powers for one and all…!” The page is blank because the pin-up is supposed to be of Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl…or in Brand Echh terms, Shrew Storm, the Inevitable Girl. The blank page is signed, “Here’s Lookin’ at You! - - Shrew Storm” and a final caption reads, “Enjoy, Pilgrim!”
Now, if that feels like the epitome of a filler, you’re not wrong. Here’s Roy from A/E #95: “We probably had a page to fill – so I wrote an intro caption atop a blank sheet of art paper, signed it, “Here’s LOOKIN’ AT YOU! – Shrew Storm,” had Sam Rosen letter it up – and probably vouchered a fast $12 or $15 or whatever my going page rate was at the time. Actually, there virtually is art as well as writing on the page – ‘cause the pulpish paper on which comic books were then printed was so porous there was often a bit of bleed-through from the art on the other side of the page. Marv Wolfman used to say you could save time by reading two pages at once!”
Not much here this time. A few nice bits in the Carnival spread but not enough to spend much time with it. And the Pin-Up is, well, a blank piece of paper.
It’s not really fair to give these “fly-over” pages their own review but since I have…I’m giving them one web.
Next: Another Brand Echh movie parody, this time of a landmark film that is mostly forgotten 50-plus years later. It’s Not Brand Echh #13 (Story 5).