Sunday, February 25, 2023

Flopcast 616: Ramona and Topo

Kevin and the Mayor of Chickentown are celebrating the career of comic book artist Ramona Fradon, who died this week at the age of 97. Ramona was one of the only women drawing comics way back in the early 60s, when she was the premier Aquaman artist for DC Comics, and co-created Aquaman's teen sidekick, Aqualad. Later in the 60s, she also co-created one of DC's oddest heroes, Metamorpho the Element Man. Ramona's 70s comics work included Freedom Fighters (with Doll Man, who wishes you'd stop giggling about his name), Plastic Man (Ramona's art was even seen on the Plastic Man cartoon series), and Super Friends (with your favorite space monkey, Gleek). She then jumped from comic books to comic strips with an impressive fifteen year run on Brenda Starr. And even in recent years, Ramona kept busy with convention appearances and commissions. So we spend the show flipping through a pile of old comics and admiring Ramona's art, but we're occasionally distracted by the ads for Hostess Fruit Pies, Mego action figures, Big Jim's P.A.C.K., ugly Barbie doll knock-offs, and Crazy Crabs. (Yes, back in the day, you could buy actual live crabs through mail order comic book ads. But what we really wanted was Aquaman's octopus pal, Topo...)

Show Notes

Author Mark Evanier wrote a nice remembrance of Ramona Fradon on his blog.

Alter Ego No. 69 from June 2007:

Three titles illustrated by Ramona, including a signed Plastic Man No. 11:

Two fun tie-ins from Bongo Comics:

Original art:

Dusty will now haunt your nightmares! It's hard to capture her hideousness in just one photo, so here's a relatively well-preserved doll and a badly discolored one.