Friday, February 5, 2010

Design of the Week--Dante's Inferno

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another!
This week...Youse tink just because we're pop culture aficionados, we ain't got no class?
Youse tink just because we're inta video games, that we're uncouth?
Hell, we got couth comin' out the wazoo, pal!
Youse want proof?
Look here!
We have whatcha call your classic Dante Alighieri image right outta da Middle Ages (like around 1900 or so)
And, it was originally cigar box label art, so you know it's classy! Not like a cigarette package! (Cartoon camels? Gimme a break...)

Now, Dante wuz one o' da greatest writers of all time!
He wrote BOOKS, some of 'em witout pictures, even!
He wrote The Divine Comedy (I ain't sure why he called it dat, 'cause it sure ain't funny!), which described what Hell would be like (sorta like Staten Island witout da cute chicks you see on da ferry dat never talk to ya!)
And now it's been made into both a video game and an animated flick!
(Dey don't do dat for just ANY book, youse know!)

So pick up a t-shirt or mug wit Dante's mug on it!
Impress yer buds!
Impress da ladies!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Give True Love (Comics Tales) to YOUR True Love!

Comics aren't just about spandex-clad heroes and heroines in battles of cosmic import!
They also tell intimate tales of heartbreak and true love, betrayal and redemption, and misery and sheer joy!

With than in mind, Valentine's Day is coming!
And what says "True Love" better than a kool, kitchy gift from True Love Comics Tales™? (Plus, it's both longer-lasting AND cheaper than a dozen roses!)

Choose from over 50 heart-rending designs in nine categories including...
(The ORIGINAL LonelyHearts Columnist)
(or is that Love in School?)
on greeting cards, teddy bears, calendars, shirts/tops/intimate wear, diaries, and many other kool kollectibles!

A public service announcement for all lovers and would-be lovers from your BFFs at Atomic Kommie Comics™

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The FIRST Black Comic Strip Heroine: Friday Foster

On January 18, 1970, Friday Foster became the FIRST mainstream syndicated comic strip to star a Black woman as the title character.
(Jackie Ormes' legendary Torchy Brown was, unfortunately, limited to black-owned newspapers which had relatively-limited circulation.)
It was also the FIRST mainstream comic strip to star a Black title character, male OR female!
(The humor strip Quincy by Ted Shearer debuted later in 1970!)

Writer Jim Lawrence was no stranger to adventure strips, having previously written Captain Easy and Joe Palooka.
(After his stint on Friday, he scripted a revived Buck Rogers comic strip based on the 1980 tv series!)
And, he penned a 1970s paperback novel series,
Dark Angel, about a Black woman private eye!
Artist Jorge Longaron had done a number of comic strips in Europe, but was unknown in America. Friday was his Stateside strip debut.

The series was a combination of adventure, soap-opera, and social commentary, about former fashion model-turned-photographer's assistant (and later professional photographer) Friday Foster.
Supporting characters included photographer Shawn North
(her boss and later business partner) and millionare playboy/romantic interest Blake Tarr.

The strip lasted until late 1974, with some of the final sequences illustrated by DC Comics legend Dick Giordano and a then up-and-comer named Howard Chaykin (American Flagg, The Shadow)!

Besides the strip, there was a one-shot comic book in 1972, and a feature film in 1975 (a year after the strip was canceled) starring action-movie goddess Pam Grier as Friday,
Thalmus Rasulala as Blake Tarr, Yaphet Kotto as Detective Colt Hawkins, plus Eartha Kitt, Jim Backus, Godfrey Cambridge, and in one of his earliest roles, Carl Weathers, as an un-named assassin!
While there was a soundtrack album, curiously, I've never seen a novelization (and, in the '70s, they did novelizations of movies that weren't even released in the US, just shown overseas)!

If you're looking for a cool gift for the Black History aficionado or grrrl hero fan in your life, you can't go wrong with a Friday Foster mug, bag, shirt or other goodie from Atomic Kommie Comics™!

Note: only the comics graphic at top is available on products from us. The poster isn't.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Meet the FIRST Black Comic Character with His OWN Book--LOBO!

Celebrate Black History Month (and show off your pop-culture knowledge) with kool kollectibles from Atomic Kommie Comics™ featuring comics' FIRST Black cowboy!

Created the same year (1966) as Marvel's Black Panther (who guest-starred in Fantastic Four, Tales of Suspense, and The Avengers, but didn't get his own series until 1973, or his own comic until 1977), Lobo was the FIRST Black character with HIS OWN BOOK!
(Other Black characters had their own series in anthology books, but Lobo was the first to have his name AS the comic's title!)
Lobo combined several popular concepts...
Man on the Run for a Crime He Did NOT Commit
Exemplified by then-hit tv series The Fugitive, Lobo was framed, but couldn't prove his innocence.
Lone Western Hero
A loner wandering the Old West, righting wrongs was an especially popular genre in tv Westerns.
Variations on the theme included gamblers (Maverick) and martial-arts experts (Kung Fu)
Note: the tv series Branded combined both the Loner and Man Framed themes!
Prominent Black character
Black characters (except for sterotypes like Amos 'n Andy) were few and far between on tv until the mid-1960s, and even then only as supporting characters (usually servants).
1960s urban dramas like Naked City and East Side, West Side, which dealt with current social themes had Black guest stars including James Earl Jones and Diana Sands, but no Black regulars.
Star Trek (1966) had both a Black regular character (Lt. Nyota Uhura) and Black actors in prominent roles as scientists and high-placed officers (admirals, etc,).
But, at that point, there were no tv series with a Black lead or Black title character!
(Diahann Carroll's groundbreaking series Julia didn't debut until 1968!)
So, Lobo was, to say the least, a daring experiment, albeit one with as many popular themes as possible to maximize sales potential!
Unfortunately, it didn't work.
Lobo the comic only ran two issues, but now you can have the collectibles like t-shirts, magnets, mousepads, etc., they never made during his title's too-brief run!
Our Lobo page...
Our entire Western line (including Lobo)...
Western Comics Adventures™

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kool New Blog: Comic Twart

There's a very kool blog I'd like to point out to all comics fans...Comic Twart!
The concept is an artists' jam (both pros and very talented amateurs who could turn pro) with a different character or series each week! (Among them is Francesco Francavilla of Zorro and, soon, Green Hornet, fame!)
So far they've done spectacular jams on Zorro and The Rocketeer.
(both pulp/Golden Age comic/retro-themed subjects! Our favorite!)
Who knows what they'll do next?
I'll be watching!
Will you?
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