Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, October 5, 2019


The cover of this Toby Press publication proclaims it to contain "Combat Stories of the U. S. Marines."  It lies.  Maybe.  There's only one combat story in the issue, unless you count the two-page text story inserted to get around postal regulations (which few people bothered to read because, like with a Bizarro world Playboy, readers were there for the pictures and not the articles).

"The Case of the Missing Dog Tags" is an adventure of Monty Hall of the Marines (Halls of Montezuma, get it?).  Monty and his buddy Graf Spinner were taking a well-deserved break swimming in a river when a group of North Korean soldiers broke through the line. The two marines rushed to shore, grabbed their clothes, and went to join the fray.  In his haste, Graf grabbed Monty's jacket instead of his own.  Monty's jacket held his dog tags, which he placed there lest he lose them in the fast-moving water.  That was the last Monty saw of Graf.

Fast forward a few days.  Marine command got a list of prisoners of war and Graf's name was on it -- and so was Monty's!  A noted scientist had gone missing and Command was convinced he was captured by the enemy; but his name was not on the list.  The most logical explanation was that Graf had given the scientist Monty's dog tags to help hide his identity.  Monty is told to recover the scientist.

The prisoners were being held on a remote volcanic island, riddled with tunnels built to protect the natives from the volcano.  Monty finds the scientist and Graf, but a stoolie informs the guards before they can escape.  They take to the tunnels, followed by enemy soldiers, setting things up for the explosive climax.  (Explosive, volcano, get it?  Should I have included a spoiler alert?)

There are two other main stories in this issue, neither of which involve combat but tell of rivalry among the leathernecks.  In the first, features PFC Patrick Michael Quigley ("Quig") and his arch-enemy Corporal Marmaduke Beals ("Duke").  The USO is sponsoring an exhibition of Japanese Suml wrestling and Duke manages to get Quig to sign up for match.  The is nothing for Quig to worry about, is there?  Quig had been a professional wrestler back in the States and the Japanese are all tiny people, right?  Quig had never heard of sumo wrestling but it couldn't be much differest from American style rasslin'.  Duke's plans go awry when Quig, upon learning what we was getting into, fakes an illness and Duke has to take his place in the ring.  The match turns out to be unlike any sumo match in history, most likely because the writer and artist knew nothing about sumo wrestling.

The other main story pits frenemies Bat and Spike against each other.  Fed up with Spike's antics that constantly leave Bat holding the bag, Bat decides to use psychology the get back at Spike.  It works... for a while.  But Bat was unfamiliar with the concept of "the biter bit".

Of the four fillers in this issue, only two involve Marines; to others are about a hobo and a talking pig family, respectively.  All four -- like much of the rest of the issue -- are predictable.

Rad it for Monty Hall.

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