Kosher Comics #1, 1966, Parallax Publications

"The Lone Arranger" finds his skills as a marriage broker tested as he visits the Moscowitz Ranch, by their daughter, Annie Ugly (the strip's sexual politics are hardly the most enlightened). Despite her hideous appearance, Annie is the greatest sharpshooter in the West. She's also not desperate: she rejects every one of the Lone Arranger's prospects ("All fine cattle men -- kosher beef only of course!") in favor of Ringo Rubenstein, a bank robber/gunslinger/horse thief whose 'Wanted' poster (for '"murder, arson, robbery, and talking fresh to his mother") somehow got mixed in the Lone Arranger's files. The masked marriage broker is reluctant to go after Ringo -- he's not a lawman -- but faced with a generous offer of payment he feels he has no choice, so he (atop his steed Silverberg) and his faithful Indian companion Tante (atop his steed Scout) head off to capture the bandit (Scout: "How come *I* don't get a funny name?").

They soon find -- or are found by -- Ringo Rubenstein. They fail however to entice him with a pin-up poster they claim is a representation of Annie, as Ringo isn't marrying anybody for her looks: the woman has to cook as well as his mother did. The Lone Arranger assures him that "Annie Ugly makes the best matzohbrei west of the Panhandle" (for those of you not in the know, matzohbrei is essentially Jewish french toast: matzoh soaked in eggs and fried). Unfortunately, the yenta's timing is bad, and at that very moment a posse turns up and assumes that the masked man and his companion are Ringo's associates, and make plans to string them up.

Just as the Lone Arranger is about to be hung, a bullet breaks the rope! It's Annie Ugly, of course, who isn't about to let her betrothed be hanged. Ringo is less than impressed by her physical appearance or her admittedly poor cooking skills (her attempts at baking some rolls are hard as a rock), the two soon fall into an argument over who is the best sharp-shooter, the Lone Arranger suggests a sharpshooting contest -- if Annie wins, Ringo has to marry her. One byestander even agrees to donate his bay horse to the winner, just to make the contest more interesting.

Ringo wins, barely, but discovers that after Annie has shot holes in her rolls they're delicious. He changes his mind, and decides to marry her. "Congratulations, Annie," he says, putting her on the horse, "and since you're engaged, I want you to have this bay, gal!"

Naturally, the Lone Arranger announces, "*That's* what we'll call Annie's new culinary discovery! The bay-gal!"

=============================================================

"Dick Shamus" and his assistant Muttle are summoned via their two-way wrist radio to investigate a safe robbery and Minnie Greenspan & Her Darling Son's Millinery Company. The one clue at the site: a half-eaten bagel! From examining the toothmarks under a microscope, "enlarged such a much of times," Dick Shamus discovers the man was "5'11", had brown hair, and a bagel-shaped scar on his right leg!" The villain is revealed to be none other than the criminal mastermind, 'Bagels'.

After another half-eaten bagel is found at the scene of a crime, Dick Shamus sends his description to every bagel outlet in the city. When Bagels unsuspectingly enters an outlet ("Gimme five pounds Philadelphia cream cheese and three dozen bagels. I'll eat 'em here."), the vendor spies his similarity to the released Wanted poster ("Funny -- he doesn't *look* Jewish") and calls the police, who soon have the store surrounded. But Bagels isn't through yet! He draws a bagel bazooka out of the trunk of his car; stale bagles, harder than bullets, demolish the police lines. Dick Shamus is hit, though fortunately he was wearing a bagel-proof vest.

Dick Shamus plans a different tactic: he calls his friend Clark Kantor, reporter of the _Daily Foreward_, and plants a story about a city-wide bagel strike. According the story, an emergency truckload of fresh bagels is being rushed in from New Jersey; Bagels and his henchman plan a hijack ... falling right into Dick Shamus' trap.

That night, a truck roars across the Jersey turnpike, a disguised Dick Shamus at the helm, and the only cargo it carries is a contingent of policemen. Bagels manages to gas the police with a bermuda onion, and escapes with the empty truck under a hail of gunfire ... and then uses the truck to holdup the Pisk Bagel Company. Unfortunately for him, Dick Shamus had shot holes in the back of the truck, and the bagels were leaking out. Following the bagel trail, Dick Shamus' car crashes into the truck in an attempt to pull alongside, and the whole vehicle goes careening down the road, out of control ... finally managing to collide head-on into a lox truck. The resulting wreck litters the road with bagel-and-lox sandwiches. "Poor Bagels," says Muttle, "He'll never live to enjoy them." "It just goes to prove that old saying," replies Dick Shamus, chowing down, "crime doesn't! >munch<"

=============================================================

"Supermax" has his origin on the planet Tsoress (tzuris ... Yiddish for 'trouble'; 'tzur' means rock; take it as a 'rocky situation.'), fifty million miles from Earth ("give or take a couple million"). One couple takes action in response to a newspaper headline ('Big Bang Tomorrow') by rocketing their son to New York City. Their child, Max, lands in the Bronx, where he is adopted by a kindly couple named Kantor and given the name Clark. He discovers his amazing powers as he grows to adulthood, and grows to become Supermax, the Man of Iron. He travels to the big city and takes a job under Perry Weiss, editor of the Daily Forward, and works alongside the lovely Lois Lieberman.

One day, a rocket ship lands. "Don't be afraid, Earth people!" says the alien, "I am not a monster -- I'm a momser (mamzer ... roughly, a bastard, both in the denotative and connotative sense)! I come from the planet Blech! Take me to your rabbi!" That night, on world-wide tv, the alien announces, "The people of out planet love matzoh balls! We will pay one pound of gold for every pound of matzoh balls!"

As the whole world becomes devoted to making motzah balls (despite concerns by those such as Clark Kantor that this could ruin the nation's economy), Meanwhile, on the planet Blech, a terrible plot is revealed, whereupon the inhabitents aim a matzoh-ball ray on Earth to create Matzoh-Ball Monsters, so that soon they'll be able to eat every Earthman! (why this necessitated the previous scheme is unclear to me).

Clark Kantor changes to Supermax, but even his mighty muscles can't stop the terrible power of the Matzoh-Ball Monsters. He soars off, collecting thousands of chickens and a huge kettle ... the world appears doomed until Supermax returns, pouring a billion gallons of hot chicken soup over the Matzoh-Ball Monsters, causing them to drown (the fact that the monsters are innocent, transformed human seems neglected at this point)!

The menace defeated, the President presents Supermax with a medal: the Mezzuzah of Honor! Lois Lieberman can only sigh, "Supermax! I'd marry him in a minute if Mama would let me. Too bad he didn't become an accountant!"

=============================================================

Kosher Comics is *trying* to be funny, it's just more interesting as a sociological document ... more interesting that someone would find this funny, than funny in itself. It's more pathetic than offensive; actually, it's probably more offensive on feminist than racial grounds, at least in the "Lone Arranger" story (it's certainly lacking the more offensive Jewish sterotypes such as the moneylender, etc). The writing is credited to 'Henry Slesar', a mystery writer whom Rich Morris informs me has a story in the Martin Greenberg anthology The New Adventures of Superman and who also wrote at least one episode (or pair of episodes) of the 1960's Batman TV series. The artist is credited as Mel Crawford, who drew a variety of animated features for the Western Comics line from 1949-1967, including Andy Panda, Howdy Doody, and Mister Magoo. He also drew "Professor Harbinger", which if Tony Isabella's memory serves, was a feature in the Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom title. A lot of the Jewish words in the comic have non-standard spellings; if the creators are Jewish it might've been written by Jews who had never seen the words written down, or who weren't all that educated about their own Jewish subculture (although, I don't know what was considered standard in 1966, or what local Yiddish varients might exist).