Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reading Room: Alien Invasions: SpaceBusters "Victory on Valda"

You can read the Mars Campaign stories HERE!
In the second, and final issue of SpaceBusters, the action moves outside the Solar System as the war against Belzar escalates...
BTW, you'll notice that April is wearing considerably less on the cover, shown below.
Art by Murphy Anderson, who was also doing the Buck Rogers newspaper strip at the time.

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 SpaceBusters
which also features SpaceMan Jet!
plus these kool space-war items from Amazon!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Reading Room: THE MEAN HORNET!

Since it's April Fools Day, it's only appropriate we present a kool spoof/satire.
And since we've been on a Green Hornet binge, why not run the only spoof done (until the 2011 movie) of The Green Hornet and Kato?
Even though Mad (either comic or magazine incarnation) ran numerous parodies of everything from Superman (comic and movies) to Batman (comic, tv show, and movies) to Blackhawk, they never did any of the various incarnations of The Green Hornet! (If Cracked or Sick did tales, I never saw them.)
There's only this never-reprinted six-pager from Marvel's Not Brand Echh! #9, 1968.
Written by Roy Thomas, Illustrated by Tom Sutton.

Here's a bonus: the original art to page 1!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

YouTube Wednesday: Little Shop of Horrors...the ORIGINAL Ending!

In the film's original ending, like the stage play...everybody DIES, and Audrey II's spawn conquer the world!
Test audiences found it too depressing, so a new ending (with a possibility of a sequel) was filmed.
Here is the complete original ending from the point when Audrey (Ellen Greene) realizes Audrey II is sentient...
NOTE: this is a combo of final footage and a colorized b/w "workprint", so things go from clean to rough, indicating what's the "never seen-before" material!



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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CatMan...nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah...CatMan...

Welcome to ENHANCED Hero(ine) Histories!
As of this entry, we'll be presenting the actual origin stories (many never reprinted), whenever possible.
In addition, we'll be "retrofitting" our already-existing entries on our brother-blog Hero & Heroine Histories with re-presented origin stories as they are digitally-prepped.

Debuting in Crash Comics #4, "The Cat-Man" as he was initially-known, had an amazingly-detailed (and politically-incorrect) origin crammed into only six pages...
Now, it would be a six-issue mini-series with at least two tie-ins with other books...
After the next (and last) issue of Crash Comics, the character was revamped and given his own book.
(Crash wasn't cancelled! It was simply retitled Cat-Man Comics*.)
David Merrywether doffed the furs and picked up a more traditional costume.
Somebody realized that the "nine lives" gimmick would only work for nine issues, so Cat-Man apparently became more cautious, since he wasn't killed and ressurected on a monthly basis after his first issue (which left him with six lives)!
He retained his other cat-powers.
Initally a private investigator, Merrywether made two major changes as of #5.
He joined the Army, and due to influental connections, was immedately made a lieutenant and given Stateside duty.
And his costumed alter-ego acquired a kid sidekick, when he rescued young Katie Conn, whose circus acrobat parents had been killed in an accident, from a life of crime with her criminal uncle.
Nobody minded bachelor Merrywether "adopting" the girl, nor did they notice that Cat-Man suddenly acquired a girl crimefighting partner who went from about 12 (see top of page) to a rather voluptuous 18 (see left) in a year!
The series continued until #32 in 1946, when the publisher went out of business.
An Australian publisher did several new stories after the supply of American-produced material dried-up, but that didn't last long.

Alex Ross has included both Cat-Man and Kitten in his Project SuperPowers series which utilizes forgotten characters from defunct publishers, with Cat-Man becoming a feral cat-creature now called "Man-Cat".
Kitten, thankfully didn't share that fate.

We've also revived the originals on a line of kool kollectibles including a 12-month calendar, t-shirts, mugs, and other goodies!

Cat-Man's got a new lease on life! Let's see how long it lasts.

*While the renamed book carried a cover numbering from #1 on, the indicia listed it as #6 on, continuing the Crash Comics numbering so the publisher could continue to use the 2nd Class Mail license issued for Crash! (The licenses were expensive, and publishers had to purchase a new one for each new title they published!) It's also why Amazing-Man Comics, began at #5, continuing the numbering from it's predecessor, Motion Picture Funnies Weekly!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

NY Times Covers Marvel Comics...

Axel Alonso, Tom Brevoort, Joe Quesada and Dan Buckley. Photo by Robert Wright for NY Times
Fascinating front page feature about Marvel's future in print and media in the Sunday NY Times' Arts & Leisure section.
Catch the web version HERE!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Comparison Pix--Man from U.N.C.L.E.

In a Reading Room post several weeks ago, I commented that the Silver Age Green Hornet had the unique situation that only one illustrator handled all his stories, as opposed to the artistic round-robin that tended to be the norm for Gold Key tv/movie titles.
Looking back over one Gold Key tv title, Man from U.N.C.L.E., we see a number of artists during it's almost two-dozen issue run, each with their own unique way of rendering Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum)...
Don Heck
George Tuska
George Tuska and???
Unknown
Werner Roth and ???
Unknown
Mike Sekowsky and Frank Giacoia
Sekowsky also did "Solo" and "Kuryakin" in the first issue of The Inferior Five...
Sekowsky and Mike Esposito
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