Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Fun REX DEXTER "To Mars...and Back Again!"

You may have noticed that the Friday Fun series features strips which have a distinctive "flavor"...
..usually attributable to a creative (writer, illustrator or writer-illustrator) who remains constant through the entire run!
Starting today, we're re-presenting another never-reprinted series with a unique style...Dick Briefer's Rex Dexter of Mars!
Remember the interplanetary rocket that took off during the New York World's Fair of 1939?
No?
Me neither.
But it occurred, because in 2000, this happened...
Wow, that's a helluva lot for only six pages in the back of Fox's Mystery Men Comics #1 (1939)!
Today, it'd be a four-issue mini-series!
Writer-artist Dick Briefer ended up creating a rather kool sci-fi character who became one of the longer-lasting strips of the Fox Comics line, lasting the entire run of Mystery Men Comics as well as his own one-shot title, and as one of the features in Victor Fox's proposed newspaper strip booklet (predating Will Eisner's Spirit inserts by a month or so in 1940).
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Steven Spielberg Wants to Adapt BLACKHAWK...Again!

In 1982, fresh off the success of...
 ...Steven Spielberg announced he wanted to adapt DC's Blackhawk...into a feature film!
Problem was that DC wasn't currently publishing a Blackhawk comic!
In fact, the series had been cancelled (for the second time) in 1977!
DC not only revived the series in 1982...
...re-setting it back in the 1940s, but they also commissioned a prose novel based on the comic!
Bookstore managers didn't put the novel with other comics adaptations!
(Both DC and Marvel were doing prose series in the late 1970s-early 1980s)
Instead, the book was racked with the military/war fiction titles, where it sat...and sat...and sat...making it a pricy HTF collectible today!
The comic, despite not being promoted by DC, actually sold well enough to stave off cancellation until 273 in 1984, by which time, Spielberg was already working on other projects!
It was the last time the original group appeared intact in comics.
Since Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1984, there have been various revamps and reboots of the Blackhawk concept, none of which would, I think, appeal to Spielberg.
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The only novel based on the comic book!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder CARSON OF VENUS "Gathering Tarel"

...he apparently was getting rather, well...horny (in a Comics Code-approved way, of course)!
Talk about going from bad to worse!
While this chapter from DC's Korak: Son of Tarzan #49 (1972) doesn't end promisingly, trust us, it's going to get better...next week!
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Reading Room BLUE BEETLE "Lost City"

Before Steve Ditko revamped the Blue Beetle at Charlton...
...there was a short-lived, never-reprinted, campy version in his own book, which also featured 3-page sci-fi/fantasy backups like this one!
"What is this singular pronoun that you use? 'I', you say...not 'we'!"
The writer is unknown, but clearly not Charlton mainstay Joe Gill, who penned far more naturalistic dialogue than that!
Who drew this never-reprinted tale from Charlton's Blue Beetle V2#2 (1964)?
The Grand Comics DataBase speculates it was Bill Montes, Jon D'Agastino and/or Vince Alascia.
But I can also see some Matt Baker, Joe Sinnott and/or Vince Colletta stylings on these pages!
We may never know the answer...
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Monday, April 16, 2018

Reading Room "COMIC BOOK" McFIEND "Collector"

We've presented stories featuring fanboys SuperSnipe and "Comics" McCormick...
..now we present the too-brief run of DC's Bronze Age fanboy, starting with his second tale, which was published first!
Appearing in DC's b/w magazine, Amazing World of DC Comics #6 (1975), this piece was meant to show off cover-featured creator Joe Orlando's editorial skills.
(Exactly how, I have no idea!)
Written by Don Ewing and rendered by Dave Manak, this was the second in a series of fanboy misadventures featuring the character, who was meant to be a semi-regular feature in Plop!
Oddly enough, the book was still going strong at this point, and there was no room for this particular strip.
A year later, the book was being cancelled, and the first McFiend story (his origin) was used to fill out the final issue.
You'll see that one next Monday!
Trivia:
1) there were few comic shops in 1975, so this ongoing magazine was available by subscription from DC or at conventions.
They're HTF and expensive!
2) neither of the Comic Book McFiend tales have been reprinted since their initial appearances in 1975-76!
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