Sunday 22 November 2015

My What a Whopper!

Today's post showcases some encounters with particularly big sharks.

Once again I'd like to thank Chris for these first two covers (Click for larger images).

Cold Blue Death (1970) was the first adventure featuring William Martin, codename Tiger Shark, an agent of The Secret Underwater Service. I think this one definitely wins the prize for biggest shark!

Judging by this review (scroll down), the cover is probably the best thing about Rip Tide (1984).

1953. Painted by Fred Freeman. I'm not sure my trunks would still be white in those circumstances!

Ironically given the title of this post, I'm afraid I only have small scans of the next two covers.

1957. This is the odd one out as it features a Whale Shark. Being a plankton eater it would be no danger to divers.


Monday 16 November 2015

Two of a Kind - De Kiekeboes

I'd like to thank Chris for bringing the subject of today's entry to my attention and for sending me the images.

De Kiekeboes (originally just Kiekeboe) is a comic strip created by Belgian artist Robert "Merho" Merhottein. It follows the adventures of the Kiekeboe family - Marcel, his wife Charlotte, daughter Fanny and son Konstantinopel. Running since 1977, the Dutch (Flemish) language strip appears in two newspapers with album versions following later. A new volume appears every three months and they sell over 100,00 copies each. As of August 2015, 143 albums have been published. Despite its domestic success, various attempts at publishing the strip in other languages have proved short-lived.

Volume 49, De Medusa-stichting (The Medusa Foundation), was originally published in 1990.

Current editions of the album carry the De Kiekeboes branding, as do those of volume 58, Haaiman (Sharkman), which first appeared in 1992.

The stories sometimes feature science fiction or fantasy elements, in this case a man who turns into a shark. Or possibly vice-versa! I plan to look at the stories and their diving sequences in more detail in future entries.


Saturday 7 November 2015

The Gang-Busting Art of Diving

Gang Busters (called G-Men for the first six months) was an American radio show that ran from 1935 - 1957. There was also a 1942 movie serial and a short-lived TV show in 1952. National (DC) produced a comic version from 1947 - 1959 with 67 issues published. The story below comes from issue 47 (1955) and is illustrated by Rip Kirby artist John Prentice.

The underwater action in this tale doesn't stand up to close scrutiny. The depths involved mean the divers, including the police hard-hat diver, would have been badly affected by nitrogen narcosis as well as needing lengthy decompression stops. Still, I'm sure this didn't stop readers enjoying this nicely illustrated story. (Click for larger images).