Saturday, September 4, 2010

Halloween Goodies for Young and Young-At-Heart!

September is here, school has started, the leaves are turning orange and brown, and already our somewhat- warped thoughts naturally turn to...HALLOWEEN, the koolest holiday of all!
We at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have told you about our Horror Comics of the 1950s™ and Seduction of the Innocent™ sections, PLUS the Martians, Martians, Martians™ category of The Future WAS Fantastic™, all of which have kool retro horror-oriented goodies year-round for the older kids.
But what about something for the younger crowd, the tweens and pre-teens, the toddlers and babies?

Well, never let it be said we ignored a target demographic!

We have a kool Haunted Halloween collection specifically-for those little ones who want a slightly-scary take on the spectral and spooky, as well as one for the 7-13 category who want a bit more meat on the bone (as it were).
Plus were offering, Yard Signs and Banners, plus; invitation cards, and greeting cards!
Note to the older crowd, sorry, but the shirts 'n stuff are kid-sized only!
Have a look and order now, before the late-October rush!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Design of the Week--Sheena in 3-D Redux!

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another!
This week...
Both our recent 3-D offerings have done well enough to warrant being held-over for a second week!
As you may have noticed, we're in the midst of the third cycle of 3-D media, which, oddly enough, seem to occur in 30-year cycles!
(The first was in the early 1950s, the second in the early 1980s.)
With James Cameron's Avatar back in movie theatres this weekend, we thought, why not present a cover image from a 3-D book featuring a beautiful woman in a technologically-primitive, exotic jungle environment? It's what I'll be wearing to the movies this weekend!
OK, so she's not blue, and she's not Zoe Saldana, but hey, you work with what you've got!
(Sheena has appeared in pulps, several different comic book series, a feature film and two different tv series, so it's not like she has no name recognition...)
Besides t-shirts & hoodies, the art adorns messenger bags, mugs, and other tchochkies!
(BTW, the cover is also available as a spectacular limited-edition print!)
Sheena will be around for one more week. After that, she returns to the jungle, perhaps never to be seen again...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beware...the Black Bat!

It's interesting to see how there are no new ideas in fiction, just innovative ways to combine existing ideas...
Take The Black Bat.
(Actually, Black Bat II. The first Black Bat was a gentleman detective similar to The Saint, who ran around town leaving calling cards with a bat. He didn't wear a costume, use gimmicks or have enhanced abilities.)

The Black Bat we're talking about was two-fisted, hard-fighting DA Tony Quinn, who got hit in the face by acid thrown by criminals.
It didn't disfigure him, but it did blind him!
Quinn learned to function without sight, slowly enhancing his other senses and even returning to practice law!
Then, an extremely-risky eye-transplant operation not only restored his sight, but actually enabled him to see in total darkness!
Quinn decided to keep his restored / enhanced sight from the world, pretending to still be blind, and using his connections in the police department and DA's office, to secretly battle criminals who evade capture and prosecution!
Donning all-black garb which incorporated a bat-like motif (to frighten criminals who are, after all, a cowardly, superstitious lot.), a pair of .45 automatics, and assorted low-tech gimmicks like smoke bombs and grappling hooks, Quinn took on spies and gangsters, not hesitating to kill when necessary.
Like most pulp heroes,  The Black Bat is assisted by a team of plain-clothes aides with specialized skills whose main function in the story is to discover plot elements and be caught by villains, requiring dramatic rescue by the hero.
Considered a vigilante, The Black Bat is hunted by the police, especially Captain McGrath who believes that "blind" Tony Quinn not only can see, but is The Black Bat!

As you can see, the character is a real amalgamation of elements of everything from Zorro to The Shadow to The Green Hornet.
But, ironically, NOT The Batman!
In one of those weird coincidences that occur in media (print/radio/tv/movie) production, The Black Bat and The Batman debuted almost simultaneously!
Black Bat's debut in Black Book Detective #1 was cover-dated July, 1939. (BTW, The Black Bat never had his own title! He only appeared in Black Book Detective!)
Batman's premiere in Detective Comics #27 was listed as May, 1939.
However, cover dates varied from 3-5 months ahead of actual on-sale date, so there's a potential overlap of at least a couple of months, and since conception and preparation of material for print took anywhere from three months to a year, deliberate copying was highly-unlikely.
That didn't stop their publishers from suing each other, claiming plagiarism!
Luckily, editor Whitney Ellsworth, who had worked for both publishers, created an out-of-court deal so that the two characters could co-exist on the newsstands.
One of the provisos was that each character would stay within their respective pulp version of The Batman, no comic book version of The Black Bat.
There was a slight problem there, since The Black Bat's publisher (who also published Captain Future) was incorporating his pulp characters (including The Black Bat) into his new comic book line (which also featured original-to-comics characters like The Fighting Yank!
With a few minor changes, Tony Quinn aka The Black Bat, became Tony Colby aka The Mask (with an owl-motif garb) who appeared in the first 20 issues of Exciting Comics (but never made the cover)!

Interest in The Black Bat continues to this day, with both reprints and new tales currently in print!
And we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have decided to incorporate The Black Bat into our retro-kool collection on t-shirts, mugs, and other collectibles.
Why not combine one (or more) of our goodies with either the reprint or original tales for a pulp aficionado's dream-come-true gift set?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Funky 3-D Film for Back to School / High School / College!

As you trudge back to school, why not at least look like you're having fun?
With 3-D movies the big thing this year, go retro with clothing and collectibles featuring vintage art from the FIRST 3-D films (we're talkin' the 1950s here!)
It ain't Avatar, but it is kitchy / campy fun!
Available on t-shirts, mugs & coasters, messenger / iPad / Kindle bags, and a host of other goodies!
Have a look!
Have some fun!
Have a great semester!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hottest Women of MACHETE!

The new movie opens Friday!
Whatta way to spend Labor Day weekend, eh?
Jessica Alba as

Michelle Rodriguez as
 Luz aka Shé
Cheryl Chin
Torrez' Henchwoman

Electra & Elise Avellan as
 Nurses Mona & Lisa
NOTE: Links connect to our "sister" blog, Femmes Fantastique, which has updated credits and links.
Cheryl Chin and the Avellans will be getting their own entries shortly.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Preview: KATO: Origins #7 Cover

Moody cover by Francesco Francavilla for #7 of the companion comic mini-series to Green Hornet: Year One, detailing the 1940s origins of The Green Hornet & Kato.Of all the Green Hornet series from Dynamite, these two are easily the best!