DigestCast #11 – Sgt Rock’s Prize Battle Tales

In honor of Veteran's Day 2019, DIGESTCAST is back with a look at DC SPECIAL SERIES #18: SGT. ROCK'S PRIZE BATTLE TALES, featuring stories by Joe Kubert, Alex Toth, Russ Heath, Mort Drucker, John Severin, Bob Haney, Archie Goodwin, and more!

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25 responses to “DigestCast #11 – Sgt Rock’s Prize Battle Tales

  1. Top episode, nice one, boys. I think I’d like this digest. I did look up the ghost story, and read it online. Loved it, I thought its twists and turns were terrific. It’s a truly charming piece. I especially liked the bit about ectoplasm,it explained why the spooks could click glasses.

    We used to play in an old underground gun emplacement/pill box in a local cow field as kids, such fun!

    I never realised the Unknown Soldier had an origin. I’ve never seen such intense work from Jack Sparling. I definitely like his art, hey, he used to draw Eve Doremus! I also love the use of photographs on that splash.

    Fab to hear Shagg mention the blog Too Busy Thinking About My Comics, Colin
    Smith’s worth reading on any comic you care to name.

    I’m also with Shagg on adoring the genre anthology DC Digest issues. I’m especially looking forward to the UFO one – if anyone is unavailable for that…

  2. Shag can keep making the Laura Gemser jokes but I would 100% love Rob talking about Laura’s films and will always comment about it. This is at least the second time! All hail Laura!

    (I just watched a bunch of her films and even non Emanuelle films like THE ALCOVE and EMANUELLE ON TABOO ISLAND so my love is perfectly timed and primed right now. :P)

          1. Fire & Wa**er. Good idea. I’m seeing crossover possibilities with the Eat It & Beat It podcast over at 2 True Freaks.

      1. Rob has finally been worn down to covering all things TRANSFORMERS so it’s only a matter of time until he caves over Laura. Stay strong brothers, I will get him eventually!

        XD XD XD

  3. Fun episode guys, even with Shawn being replaced by this new guy.

    I have this one at home, so I need to re-read it, especially that ghost one, because it’s right up my alley!

    And all this Marvin support… oy. I can get behind Wendy, and even Wonder Dog. But not Marvin. I won’t abide him, and his squeaky voice. I love Frank Welker…but just NO.

    Speaking of Frank Welker…Transformers next time, huh? Good luck reading that. As I have lamented before, those 80s Marvel digests look like Charlton’s third shift printed them in the dark on cereal box day.

    But I look forward to the discussion, either way!


  4. Hey, I think I started the whole Laura Gemser ball rolling when Rob and Shag said they liked….well, I don’t remember who they liked, but it wasn’t Laura. Anyway, Rob since my thick Jethro Bodine twang prevents me from entering the podcast universe, you have my permission to take over and Podcast about Laura. Just make sure that you tackle the weighty issues in Laura’s movies like : Is Laura too hot to drive around in a 1976 Dodge Aspen in Emanuelle in New York? or what is the meaning of the class struggles in L’Alcova? or what comic book characters do you wish Laura had played? If you’re just going to spend an hour and a half going, “Damn, was Laura fine!” or “I wish Laura had done a love scene with (insert hot B-movie actress here)”…Well, I hear the every time I watch one of her movies.

    1. Oh, and I forgot…Shag is always mentioning women being hot. Is Laura the only woman he doesn’t think is hot?

      And sorry not to talk about the digest, but I haven’t read this one.

        1. I can’t see Laura getting freaky with Alfred. You know, Mlle Marie was the mother of Alfred’s daughter, Pre-Crisis.

          I suggested Laura for Zatanna. We’ll keep Lynda Carter for Wonder Woman. The movie can feature only the female JLAers and Andy Sidaris can direct.

  5. I listened to this yesterday as part of my Veterans Day celebration. My own experiences on active duty were neither as harrowing nor as bizarre as those detailed in this digest, but the themes and the dilemmas still resonate across the generations.

    When I read these, I’m always reminded that many men of the generation that created these stories had served in the military and even seen combat. I think Rob’s guess that Bob Haney was employing insider knowledge was probably valid.

    Thank you for this — not just finding your joy, but sharing it with us, too.

  6. Great show, guys, as usual – is that because, or in spite, of Shagg’s triumphant return? 😛
    You did a really good rundown of this one – I never had it, but now wish I had, as it contains a great selection of stories, with some top-notch art.
    I had the other three digests released under the DC Special Series umbrella: Secret Origins of Super-heroes (#19), World’s Finest (#23) and Flash and His Friends (#24). That series really was a strange beast: the first 17 issues were regular comic books, albeit with a higher page count, so that the later issue even had the dollar comics logo on them, then two digests, then three more dollar comics, then back to digests, and then the last three were treasury sized – all of which you’ve covered in the excellent Treasury Cast. So yeah, if anyone has the entire set, there’s no way to logically store them – whether in a long box or on a shelf – all in one place.

      1. Hmmm, that might work; I’m thinking something like arranging the regular-sized issues as a big Pac-man-like head that’s about to eat the digests – just can’t figure out what to do with the three treasuries. Or maybe some kind of Tetris motif…

  7. Great show, guys! I’m happy to see DigestCast back and it was a nice tribute to Veteran’s/Armistice/Remembrance Day. I really liked your observations because, as a kid, I never did like any comics about war. I was reading fantastical superhero stories to get away from real life and war comics (even “silly” ones like Haunted Tank) were just too much for me. Too real and too graphic that it kind of scared me. Chris Franklin wasn’t the only weenie as a kid!
    But hearing this episode and seeing the scans has given me a better appreciation of these stories. Just form the art standpoint alone, these all look fantastic! And the Toth/Mayer story certainly gave you value per word.
    Though I do still have a couple of digests from when I was a kid (mostly those Superman themed and Year’s Best mentioned), this makes me want to hunt down the ones I passed on like this war-centric one to find out what I was missing.
    Keep up the great work!

    P.S. – I’ve never heard of (or seen a movie with) Laura Gemser so maybe a GemserCast would be a great way for me to learn of her….. can I call it “oeuvre”?

    1. Mike, I appreciate your youthful self’s sensitivity to war stories. I have a similar problem even now enjoying horror movies where the “monster” is just another murdering human. That said, I wouldn’t have expected it from the travel-size Hobgoblin himself. [See this week’s OHOTMU or Not gallery for the impressive costume, DigestCast readers!]

      1. Heh heh, I do like the thought of “travel-sized Hobgoblin”! That’s what I should have said I was when trick-or-treating.

  8. Hey Rob and Shag, listened to the episode during a long drive this past weekend and it really made the time fly. I have this digest along with two other DC War digests. I really dig this one for the depth and variety of different stories it presents. We range from the regular features like Rock, Unknown Soldier and Enemy Ace, to short strips akin to the backups common to the War titles, and even a Weird War Tale. So this digest does a great job of presenting a cross section of the type of stories one might find in the DC War Comics line at the time.

    Thank you also for your kind words about our men and women in uniform. I was struck with the idea for War Comics Month several years back as a way to honor and celebrate the service and sacrifices of our veterans as well as shine a light on the War Comics I have come to really appreciate over the last decade or so of my life. When one considers that many of the creators of War Comics (especially in the Silver and Bronze Age) were in fact themselves veterans, I think it becomes even more fitting.

    I would invite any F&W listeners out there to please use #WarComicsMonth on social media to talk about your favorite War Comics in the month of November. I use Twitter but of course you can post on whatever platform you wish. My only goal is to celebrate our veterans through War Comics.

    Thanks again for another great episode of DigestCast fellas!

  9. I’m with Shag about the love the Unknown Soldier. But perhaps the most nuance version of that character was the Vertigo series that was written by Josh Dysart. i recommend it highly.

    Also, you can’t be Toth. Ever. EVER. He’ll tell you himself!

  10. Even those of us who don’t regularly read war comics must acknowledge a truth. Any exploration of DC’s various “war” books will yield an amazing variety of excellent comic art!

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