Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, June 20, 2020

VIC VERITY MAGAZINE #1 (undated, 1945)

How about something "AMAZINGLY NEW AND DIFFERENT!!"?  Well, at least a comic book that strains to be educational.  How educational?  Hey, the publisher claims that the Vic Verity stories were written by an actual high school teacher,,,so, that educational.  To be frank, I'm not sure that high school teachers in 1945 were that tuned into their students.  Vic Verity Magazine might be as science-based as a 1926 edition of Amazing Stories, with just a modicum of knowledge squeezed in to a hodge-podge of illogic to please parents.

From the inside front cover:



"VIC VERITY MAGAZINE is something new in comics.  The stories are fiction, but they are based in reality, and told in a dynamic entertaining way.  'Vic Verity," himself, is a typical high school boy whom you might find in your own homes and schools.  In order to keep these stories true to actual high school events and characters, the editors of VIC VERITY MAGAZINE have selected an actual high school teacher, Mr. Ellis D. Brown, to write them.

" 'HOT-SHOT GALAVAN,' the mighty electronic mite, is a live-wire character taken from the world of Science.  He is a cartoon characterization of the electron -- one of the fundamental parts of the Universe.  In charming little adventure stories, this amusing character interprets the basic laws of electricity simply, humorously and accurately.  These stories are supplied us by by a recognized author of technical books which have been used by the U. S. Army and Navy in their training programs, Mr. Colin H. McIntosh, Assistant Superintendent of Flying School Operations, American Airlines, Inc.

"Perhaps the most fantastic appearing characters in VIC VERITY MAGAZINE are 'Tom Travis and the Tiny People,' but they are not merely a wild flight of the writer's or artist's imagination,  The characters and stories all have their setting in that world of smallness in Nature that exists right in your own, or anyone's, back yard.  The huge plants, the giant insects, the strange-looking backgrounds that you will discover in these stories are all drawn from actual objects as seen under a microscope.  Much research, field trips to collect specimens, and several volumes of technical reference books are used in the preparation of each 'Tiny People' story.

"We hope all of you will enjoy reading the stories in VIC VERITY MAGAZINE as much as pur writers and artists have enjoyed creating them for you.

"The Editors"

The Vic Verity story in this premiere issue has Vic's pals trying to save his Uncle George's hotel when his chef suddenly left in the middle of the tourist season.  Educationally, we learn how not to cook things.  We also learn that American citizenship can only be issued by the government.  And it's good that high schools offer a course in commando tactics.

I suppose the Hot-Shot Galavan story has some fundamental of electricity in it, but the lesson is lost among a muddled story, overly-simplified and cartoonish particles, and the fact that the protons were all sexy babes.  Ptah!

As for Tom Travis, the story is about a race of half-inch tall people who live in our lawns.   Tom himself is a Tarzan-like character who does the right thing although it earns the wrath of his tribal chieftain.  Nothing portrayed is what is seen under a microscope, all is available via the naked eye.  We do learn, falsely, that the surface tension from a drop of water might drown a half-inch fellow.  Also, that the Tiny People reflect the sexism of the time.

Also included is a one-page humorous splash of "farm cartoons," a one-page text story where Vic and pals explain the importance of staying in school, and a two-page text story by Chicago-based pulp writer Carl G. Hodges.  (Off topic, I really enjoyed his 1951 paperback novel Naked Villainy, which combined murder with a lot of naked ladies and the "Tuckerizing" of a number of Chicago pulp writers.  I wouldn't mind re-reading that one again.)

Vic Verity Magazine managed to squeak by seven issues, ending in September 1946.  Wonder why?

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