Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Crossover Cover: It's That Time Again 3
The It's That Time Again anthology series consists of new stories of old time radio characters. Volume 3 is all crossovers. Jim Harmon's "Jack Armstrong and the Hoard of Montezuma" has the main character of Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy meeting the fictionalized radio version of Tom Mix. Richard A. Lupoff's "Streamliner" has the Mysterious Traveler meeting the Whistler. In Jon Swartz, Ph. D and Jim Harmon's story "On the Trail of Professor Proteus," the title character of The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen meets Gene Autry. Gareth Tilley's "The Singular Affair of the Gentleman Cracksman" has Sherlock Holmes matching wits with Raffles. Steve Kallis' "Any You Walk Away From" teams Captain Midnight with Sky King. Martin Grams, Jr.'s "Hold the Press: Paladin vs. Dillon" features the main characters of Have Gun - Will Travel and Gunsmoke. In Rick Phillips' "War Between Two Worlds," an unnamed Man of Action (implicitly Superman) becomes involved in the events of Orson Welles' version of the War of the Worlds. Win included all of the above stories in the first two volumes. I will include the following in the new volumes. In Steve Thompsen's "The Duffy's Tavern Matter," insurance investigator Johnny Dollar looks into the case of a car that crashed through a window of Duffy’s Tavern. Dollar, from the 1949–1962 radio series Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, is in the CU through C. J. Henderson and Joe Gentile’s novel Partners in Crime. Therefore, this crossover brings in Duffy’s Tavern, from the 1941–1951 radio show of the same name. In Michael Leannah's "Vacation in Hollywood," Jack Benny hires vacationing private eye Richard Diamond to protect his fortune when several of his fellow comedians are robbed. In Barbara Gratz's "Marriage and Love," Fibber McGee and his wife Molly attend a marriage encounter group. The other couples present are John and Blanche, Ronald and Benita, George and Gracie, and Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead. The McGees are from the radio series Fibber McGee and Molly. By extension, that show’s spin-offs The Great Gildersleeve and Beulah also take place in the CU. The Great Gildersleeve, which began in 1941, had Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve moving into his deceased brother-in-law’s estate. Since Gildersleeve is still Fibber’s next-door neighbor in this story, it must take place before he moved. John and Blanche are the title characters of another radio show, The Bickersons. Ronald Colman and Benita Hume were a real acting couple that played fictionalized versions of themselves on the radio series The Jack Benny Program. George Burns and Gracie Allen were also real, but played fictionalized versions of themselves on the radio show The Burns and Allen Show. Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead are from the radio show Blondie, based on Chic Young’s comic strip. Since Blondie and Dagwood are in the CU via Win's story "Happy Death Men," so are the other couples. In John Leasure's "Mary Noble: A Backwoods Life with Lum and Abner," actor Larry Noble is tricked into taking a role in a play in Pine Ridge, Arkansas, preventing him from auditioning for the film Gone with the Wind. While in Pine Ridge, Larry and his wife Mary meet store owners Lum Edwards and Abner Peabody. The Nobles see a sign saying Bug Tussle is 50 miles aways, and Pine Ridge 10 miles. Lum and Abner, from the radio, film, and comic strip series of the same name, are in the CU through an appearance in a 2014 Dick Tracy storyline. The town of Bug Tussle was the original home of the Clampett family on the television series The Beverly Hillbillies, which is also in the CU through a reference in Erwin K. Roberts’ Jim Anthony story "The League of Dead Patriots." Therefore, this story brings in Mary Noble from the radio show Backstage Wife. In Justin Felix's "Saturday Morning Paper," Gildersleeve allegedly meets the title character of Honest Harold. However, Harold's role in the story is unclear; the only person who could be him in the story is a barbershop customer who isn't described or named, and doesn't have any dialogue. In George Fowler's "House Painting - Lodge Style," Vic and Sade Gook briefly meet Aunt Fanny, Lum, and Abner. Since, as previously stated, Lum and Abner are in, this crossover brings in their fellow radio characters Vic and Sade Gook (from Vic and Sade) and Aunt Fanny (from the variety program The Breakfast Club).