Friday, March 18, 2016


Fittingly enough, Sarge Steel first appeared in his own title, Sarge Steel #1. His title would last until issue #8, at which point it was retitled Secret Agent and cancelled with issue #10. After that, his series continued in  Judomaster #91 through #98 (the stories in #91 through #96 fit in the year-long hiatus between Secret Agent #9 & #10. He also appeared in short features on self-defense in Fightin' 5 #34 & #37 and in the Sentinels stories from Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt #57 & #58, as their CIA contact.

Sarge Steel #4
"File 104 Case of the Kill of the Cat"
An international gang of thieves, headed by the most dangerous, beautiful feline-like femme...The Lynx. I didn't know what trouble was.  
Written by Joe (Doomsday+1) Gill with art by Dick (Stephanie Starr) Giordano.
Told in three parts. 
"P is for Parachute"
Text feature. 
"Sport of Judo"
Three page Judo feature by Frank (Judomaster) McLaughlin.

Tomorrows published Comic Book Artist #9, featuring the Charlton Comics Action Heroes.
Unfortunately, the Sarge Steel & Secret Agent series have yet to be collected in a nice hardcover edition they deserve. I still hold out hope, would be a nice tribute to Dick Giordano. 

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!
Prolific Charlton Comics writer Joe Gill featured in Charlton Spotlight #5.

Sarge Steel's cameo in the Sentinels story in Thunderbolt.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


I Spy was an secret-agent buddy adventure television series. It ran for three seasons on NBC in the mid to late sixties, teaming up Robert Culp (who wrote seven & directed one I Spy episodes) as international tennis player Kelly Robinson with Bill Cosby as his trainer, Alexander "Scotty" Scott. The characters' travels as ostensible "tennis bums", Robinson playing talented tennis as an amateur with the wealthy in return for food and lodging, and Scott tagging along, provided a cover story concealing their roles as top agents for the Pentagon. Their real work usually kept them busy chasing villains, spies and beautiful women.

The TV show had a great intro & theme song!
Executive Producer Sheldon Leonard hired Bill Cosby to play opposite Robert Culp after seeing him performing a stand-up comedy show. Originally, an older actor was slated to play a fatherly mentor to Culp's character.
Kelly and Scotty don't like to use guns. Their chief weapons are brains and ingenuity and their camouflaged identities. But when the enemy peels away their cover and pushes them to the end of their wits, they're often at the end of pistols - and hope it's the right end!

For me, McWilliams had a good handle on the likenesses of Culp & Cosby.

I Spy #5  Scotty and Kelly learn about guerrilla warfare...from a terrorist anxious to give them the final lesson!
"At The End Of Their Wits"
Inside front cover photos of Kelly & Scotty.
"The Maximum Guerrilla Part I - The Rebel's Trail"
Caracas, Venezuela's cosmopolitan capital lies beneath a chain of mountains in the long shadow of the setting sun and the brilliant flash of a lethal explosion. The subsequent investigation leads to the work of a professional, an American renegade.
"The Maximum Guerrilla Part II - the Last Resort"
Still a step behind, Scotty & Kelly desperately check out leads on the vanished terrorist, leading toward his new hiding place in the beautiful, beach-fronted, populous city of Rio De Janeiro.  
Written by Paul S. Newman and the last issue with art by Al McWilliams. Mike Roy takes over the artistic chores for the last issue.
Last 12 cent issue. I've also seen 15 cent prices on this issue.  

I Spy was also a trailblazing television series in its use of exotic international locations, in an attempt to emulate the James Bond motion picture series. This was unique for a television show, especially since the series actually filmed its lead actors at locations ranging from Spain to Japan, rather than relying on stock footage.
Despite being budget priced, the DVD sets are fabulous. Nice to have them.
Popular Library's I Spy #2, of seven in the paperback series. Written by Walter (Telefon) Wager as John Tiger. He also wrote two Mission: Impossible tie-in novels as well. His novel 58 Minutes, was the inspiration for the second Die Hard movie.
I Spy: Mission from Moscow was written by Brandon Keith, who also wrote the two Man From U.N.C.L.E. Whitman books.
The soundtrack had a superb flair for the international, from the great composer Earle Hagen. I still cherish my LP.
Fortunately, we can live on with the I Spy mythology through the 3 season series of DVDs, Gold Key comic books, the Popular Library paperback book series, a Whitman hardcover & a Capital Records LP soundtrack. You can even find some of them out there on VHS as well, if you're so inclined. I still have some. 

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!
Favorite of mine, a painting done which was published as a poster and on the cover of TV Guide.

The pair looking quite dapper!