Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Golden Age Catholic Comics



First of all, I'd like to thank Opinionated Homeschooler for bringing the phenomenon of Catholic comics for parochial school kids to my attention. These are just too cool! (Michigan State has a lot more issues, but they didn't digitize 'em.)

There's a lot more information about Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact at Toonopedia, which notes that this monthly comic was all part of Pflaum's publishing line of church bulletins, religious magazines, and a Weekly Reader-like weekly newspaper for parochial school kids (kindly recalled by my mother).

Now, what I noticed was that Pflaum was from Dayton (which is why I asked my mother about the comics -- she didn't remember them). What I didn't realize is that I was about to receive an answer to a long-standing question in my mind.

The late Lloyd Ostendorf was a Lincoln expert and collector of Lincolniana. He also was the guy who came up with the infamous Lincoln-Kennedy parallels. (He was a total Lincoln geek. Of course he would make the connections. He said he wrote the thing up just for filler, and in a very short time. He didn't take them seriously at all.) For proof, he had a copy of the parallels' publication as part of a comic. But I never got to ask him which comic. I had assumed he'd lived in New York if he was working in comics at all; and yet later, I found out he lived in Dayton all his life. So how had he worked in comics at all?

Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact, my friends. Check out his work on this story: "Passports to Paradise: Extreme Unction".

Unfortunately, CUA's collection of Treasure Chest only goes up to 1960, whereas Toonopedia says it survived until 1972. Mr. Ostendorf's Kennedy parallels couldn't have appeared until 1964, at least. But now I think we know.

Internet info about Mr. Ostendorf:
-- His last appearance before the Surveyors Historical Society, and a sketch of Washington and Lincoln as young surveyors
-- His painting of George Rogers Clark
-- An old picture of him
-- A story about his Lincoln collection
-- An explanation of Ostendorf's catalog system for Lincoln photographs
-- OTOH, experts can be fooled. (I regard Mariah Vance/Adah Sutton as a fanficky sort of history source.)
-- A nice plug from him for a sculptor.
-- A student and friend's reminiscences and Ostendorf sketches.
-- Article containing a spooky Ostendorf daguerreotype-like sketch of Nancy Hanks Lincoln.
-- A guy who wants a giant Lincoln statue made from an Ostendorf painting, with an Ostendorf gallery inside the giant barrel behind him.

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