Sunday, January 06, 2019

Tauy Creek Digest #52: Will O' the Wisp

Key Comics was published by Consolidated Magazines out of Springfield, Massachusetts. It only lasted for five issues between January 1944 and August 1946 and went through 4 logo changes in those five issues. I'm guessing because there was so much between each issue. The first issue featured The Key, a superhero detective who had a special key and not much else. He did have kind of a Native American sidekick who everyone called a "redskin" so the 1940s casual racism shines through brilliantly. The next story features Dick Dash, an American schoolboy who is being schooled in France as it is being bombed by Nazis. After that is our featured story but after that is The Curse of the Fortune Teller, vhich features bad eastern European accents sprinkled all though ze comic. Oh, and the last story, Mascot Monkey Shines features a Japanese man colored in the brightest yellow I've ever seen and whenever he talks, they draw little faux-Japanese symbols in front of each line. It's wholesome entertainment.

Gale Leary, the Will O' the Wisp, was featured on the cover of the first two issues of Key Comics while The Key was featured on the last three. The idea of Will O' the Wisp was kind of strange. The criminals that killed her mother and crippled her father gave her a willow tree branch to shut her up when she was a baby. She kept that willow branch for 20 years and it gives her powers, the power to make criminals do themselves in. In her first adventure, she is able to do in one of the criminals and takes care of the other one in the following issue.

What's interesting is Boss Evans believes he can ruin Leary's career by shattering his legs. It's not like he's a police officer or a detective. He's a lawyer. I guess this was before the Americans With Disabilities Act so getting inside the courthouse might have been an issue.

The credits on Gale Leary: The Will O' the Wisp are listed as Chu Hing as both writer and artist. You can read more about Chu Hing here.