While rummaging through my record collection, I managed to come across a copy of what many people consider the best live Blues album ever recorded, a copy of B.B King’s classic album Live at the Regal (ABC-Paramount ABCS-509). While listening to that LP, I’ve also decided to see if I could review a book while listening to this classic LP. Fortunately, I found that book in the form of Blue Ribbon Comics (or if you prefer Blue Ribbon Mystery Comics) #14. So if you could imagine hearing some great guitar solos played by Mr. King on Lucille while reading this review (and could get past a great Sam Cooper cover), here was what you might have found on the inside:
MR. JUSTICE: In the second of a series of duels with the Devil (in the guise of a certain ex-paper hanger), Mr. Justice finds out how the Dictator controlled his men and tries to free them from his control. This was the first story in which the Royal Wraith’s weakness (his powers are useless if his foes surround themselves or surround him with a ring of fire) was shown. Once again the team of Joe Blair(story) and Sam Cooper (art) contribute another memorable story to this classic feature.
RANG-A-TANG: In the last of a series of stories that showed them traveling with a circus, Rang-A-Tang and his human masters Hy Speed and Richy Waters find themselves investigating a murder and a robbery on the Midway. Another tale from the team of Joe Blair and Ed Smalle.
THE FOX: In this story photographer Paul Paxton and reporter Ruth Ranson cover the escape of a gangster which leads to Paxton- as The Fox – going after the ganglord who masterminded the escape. Featuring artwork by Warren King.
PENNY PARKER: In a story that could have easily inspired the episode of the TV series The Avengers titled “The Thirteenth Hole”, Penny Parker investigates a murder that occurred on a golf course. Featuring artwork by Irv Novick.
CORPORAL COLLINS: It seems that even in the Agean Sea, Corporal Collins and Slapsie can’t keep out of trouble. Here they end up trying to help smash a potential Nazi invasion of the island they are stationed on. Once again Charles Biro contributes another one of those tales that mix adventure and humor.
INFERNO: How does one manage to steal a freight train? That is what Inferno tries to find out in this interesting adventure from the team of writer Joe Blair and artist Paul Reinmann.
LOOP LOGAN: While stationed in Libya, Loop Logan and his aide Clatra team up with a group of Arab tribesmen to fight an advance by an Italian armored division.
THE GREEN FALCON: After one battle with the minions of Prince John, the Green Falcon and his band meet up with one who could be a potential ally against Prince John. Another tale from writer Harry Shorten and artist Ramona Patenaude. (SPOILER ALERT: if you are familiar with the 1938 film The Adventures of Robin Hood, what happens in the story might look familiar.)
I might also add that there were two excellent house ads as well one for Top-Notch #16 and one for Pep #17 which introduced a new character called the Hangman.
So looking at the contents of Blue Ribbon #14, you’ll find a book that was arguably as much of a great read as Live at the Regal was as much of a great listen.