For today’s RETRO REVIEW I have pulled out my copy of The Adventure Of Jerry Lewis # 83. It is cover dated August 1964 and is published by DC Comics (though at the time they were still called National Periodical Publications). The cover is both pencilled and inked by Bob Oksner and it features Jerry Lewis meeting Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolfman. In fact this was the first use of the three monster characters by DC, as far as I know. They proved popular and were brought back again and again, within the pages of Jerry Lewis and the DC companion comic; The Adventures of Bob Hope.
Let’s take a look at the cover, shall we?:
The story within the comic is entitled; “Scared Silly!” and it is written by Arnold Drake and is illustrated by cover artist Oksner (again he provides booth pencils and inks). It’s a full length story told in three parts. I begins with Jerry deciding to rent a house of his own. He only has limited funds though, $12.00 to be exact, but Mr. Rentit has just the house for him at that exact price!
He drives Jerry there and drops him off at a large mansion behind high walls and a set of large gates. As Jerry walks in from the street he encounters bats, which he thinks are pretty birds, then a man-eating plant and finally an octopus in the swimming pool. Once he reaches the house itself, the front door creaks open and Jerry enters the dark house to be met with a shadowy butler who says he’s expected. He then encounters a gardener and even his dog.
Then the lights come on and Jerry sees Count Drinkula, Krankenstein and Dog-Boy! A very scared Jerry leaps up and grabs the chandelier. But the dog-Boy removes his mask and reveals he’s just an out of work actor, as are the other two, as well. They tell Jerry they need his help regaining their lost careers. They introduce themselves as Boris Killoff, Bela Le Ghouli and Peter Leery. They share there story of once being stars of great horror movies but that horror movies went out of fashion ans so did their careers. But now horror movies are coming back and they just want a chance to contribute their talents once more to the genre.
They are having Jeri Coe, the daughter of famous producer Cy Coe, bring him to meet with them. They convince Jerry to play a dead body during their planned surprise audition. As they ready themselves, they bring out a robot Bride of Krankenstein, who instantly falls in love with Jerry! Thus ends part one.
The second chapter opens with the the producers arrival and the actors going into their routines. Jerry does his part by falling out of an opened door, but adlibs a line, saying he’s been waiting seven years for an ambulance to arrive. The actors and Jerry are trapped outside by the scared producer but re-enter the house through the cellar door. And the second part ends with Jerry and the producer’s daughter meeting and entering the house though the front door.
Chapter three opens with three actors tied up in the cellar and the real characters, that they portray, climbing the stairs from the cellar to the main floor of the house.Hijinks ensue as Jerry interacts with the three monsters thinking that they are the three actors. Confused yet? Don’t be, Jeri Coe discovers the tied up actors and rushes to let Jerry know that he’s dealing with the real thing and not actors. Once again Jerry ends up hanging from the chandelier in fright.
It’s at this moment that the robot Bride of Krankenstein appears, sees that the real monsters are terrorizing Jerry and defeats the monsters to save “her Jerry” The producer gives the three actors a role in his next picture and Jerry is carried away by the robot Bride of Krankenstein. And everyone lives happily ever after, I’d guess.
As I said at the top of this column, I believe this was the first use of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman by DC. They proved popular enough that they were brought back in the Jerry Lewis comic book in issues; 90, 93, 96, 98 and 101. Plus they became regulars in The Adventures Of Bob Hope comic, as well. But they didn’t appear within those pages from another year, in issue # 95, cover dated November 1965. The monsters appeared in every issue of Bob Hope til the end of it’s run with issue # 105. They often were pair with the Bob Hope Character, Super-Hip.
It is interesting to note that artist supreme, Neal Adams, did quite a few covers for both the Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope comics and also did some interior artwork, as well. The monster issues, as well as, the Adams art issues are well worth your collector’s dollars.
Which brings us once again to the close of another RETRO REVIEW, but please stop be next week for a new FABULOUS FIND and be sure to be back in two weeks for a new RETRO REVIEW. Till then enjoy life and enjoy this hobby of ours!