“The Mirror Man” (Tip Top Comics 89, October 1943, p 7)

“The Mirror Man” (Tip Top Comics 89, October 1943, p 7)
by Fred Methot and “Sam Singer” (attributed)
13 x 20 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

The Mirror Man was a super-hero series introduced in the Tip Top Comics anthology in issue 54 (October 1940), by writer Fred Methot and artist Reg Greenwood (who also introduced The Triple Terror characters in this same issue).

As Mirror Man, Dean Alder possesses the Mystic Garment, a robe that permits him to use mirrors and other reflective surfaces as his transport, and he uses this to fight crime and evil.

Soon after WWII broke out, both the Mirror Man and Triple Terror characters hung up their spandex and enlisted in the army, becoming military warriors fighting the enemy overseas. The first Mirror Man war story was in Tip Top Comics 71 (March 1942), and the Triple Terror triplets had a spy-adventure and decided to formally enlist at the end of their Tip Top 72 (April 1942) story.

Methot and Greenwood (1899-1943) are credited with The Mirror Man stories through Tip Top Comics 87 (August 1943), which was presumably Greenwood’s last story because he is listed as dying in 1943. The more noted Paul Berdanier (1879-1961) took over The Triple Terror and did one Mirror Man story (TTC 88, September 1943). The rest of the Mirror Man series, which lasts about another year, is not credited except for a couple of stories signed “Singer.” Methot is still thought to have written these, and the artist is referred to as Sam Singer in some places.

This 6-page story, from TTC 89, is signed and is Singer’s first one. I have all 6 pages, as well as the 6-page Triple Terror story from this same issue, in addition to the stories from both series that appeared in issue 90.


Bactrian Ring with black/brown stone (ca. 1600 CE)

Bactrian Ring with black/brown stone (ca. 1600 CE)
Silver and Gold, 19.4 mm diameter
Carved intaglio stone with Pegasus; bezel 24.1 mm x 20.6 mm x 12.4 mm
26.00 grams weight
Coppola Collection

Bactria was a province of the Persian empire located in modern Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, historically prominent between about 600 BCE and 600 CE. The two-humped camel is called the Bactrian Camel.

signet pressed into wax

“Daredevil #37 p 15” (February 1968)

Daredevil 37 p 15 (February 1968)
by Gene Colan (1926-2011) and John Tartaglione (1921-2003)
13 x 20 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

I like pages, such as this one, on which there are recaps from classic stories, particularly when they appear in a different title than the one in which the original story appeared. Here, Daredevil is taking on the Fantastic Four’s nemesis, Dr. Doom, and the story recap is  about how Doom stole and then lost the Silver Surfer’s powers in the classic FF 57-60 (Dec 1966 – Mar 1967).

 “Don’t Look Now, But It’s Dr. Doom!”

Daredevil fends off the Dr. Doom, who plans to use Daredevil as his catalyst for revenge against the Fantastic Four. Daredevil is captured, and while trying to get to freedom, Doom gloats over how he manage to cheat death during his last encounter with the FF, in which he had stolen the power of the Silver Surfer and attempted to pierce the barrier around Earth put in place by Galactus to keep the Surfer on the planet.

“Captain America Annual 3 p 14” (January 1976)

Captain America Annual 3 p 14 (January 1976)
by Jack Kirby (1917-1994) and Frank Giacoia (1924-1988)
13 x 20 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Early in the return run that Kirby had on Captain America. His first issue was #193 (January 1976), and this Annual also carries that publication date.

“The Thing From the Black Hole Star”

Cap meets the pilot who calls himself ‘the Captive.” He explains that he escaped from a black hole after a million year effort and that Galactic warships were sent to retrieve him. Soon after, outside, Cap battles the arriving Combatron, holding it off so long that the frustrated Commander ignites its self-destruct with a heat ray, then sends Magnoid robots instead.

“Twenty-Five Views of the Capital” No. 18 (1895 Woodblocks)

“Twenty-Five Views of the Capital” No. 18 (1895 Woodblocks)
Art by Morikawa Sōbun (1847-1902)
5 woodblocks complete (9 printable segments)
39 x 28 cm, double-side carving on 4 of 5 blocks

These are the carved woodblocks, based on the original art of Sōbun, that were used to create Image #18 from the Book: Miyako meisho nijyugokei
Published by: Tanaka Jihei (1895)
Accordion album of color woodblock prints
9 9/16 x 6 1/2 x 9/16 in. (24.29 x 16.51 x 1.49 cm)

Sōbun liked to depict well-known places around Kyoto. He is know for his original painting of nature scenes on silk.

The many international expositions in which Sōbun and the contemporary artists participated were encouraged by the government as it was a way for Japan to display unique products and break into foreign markets. The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878, the 1873 Vienna World Exposition and the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 featured a growing number of Japanese exhibits. Morikawa Sōbun was represented in the Paris exhibitions and was awarded a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1900.


“Maybe Next Time” (2018)

“Maybe Next Time” (2018)
by Barbara Kacicek (1957-)
6×8 in., oil on cradled panel
Coppola Collection

Unrequited love… here the two players are both linked by their “heart line” and yet wholly separated and moving as yin-yang opposites.

Near the end of the “Firefly” series, Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion’s character) makes the blanket declaration that “All Love is Unrequited.”

In giving the title, I drew from three sources that all have a combination of melancholy and hopeless optimism.

There is a great and mournful old guitar piece called “Maybe The Next Time” (“Vielleicht Das Nachste Mal”) (1981) by Rainbow, as well as a 1991 ballad by Sue Medley titled “Maybe The Next Time.”

I hybridized these titles with a terrific musical number from “Cabaret” called “Maybe This Time” (which did not appear in the original 1966 musical, but was integrated into the stage play after its inclusion in the 1972 movie version; it was not written for the musical, it is a song that existed)… it’s Sally’s last desperate plea for a second (third, fourth…) chance before things turn dark and she self-destructs (again).

so… maybe next time

This gives me a trifecta of these stone pieces.

“Heartline” (2018)
by Barbara Kacicek (1957-)
6×24 in., oil on 2 in. cradled panel
Coppola Collection

“Stone Circle” (2014)
by Barbara Kacicek (1957-)
8×8 in., oil on cradled panel
Coppola Collection