Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gene Colan's KEN BRADY: ROCKET PILOT in "Pirates of the Airways!"

Gene Colan 
(September 1, 1926 – June 23, 2011)
In tribute to the passing of a comics legend, we're going to run both appearances of the first ongoing character Gene Colan co-created (with Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel)
From Lars of Mars #10* (1951).
We'll be running the other Ken Brady: Rocket Pilot tale tomorrow.
*Though it's #10, this was actually the first issue of Lars of Mars.
We're not sure which other Ziff-Davis title's numbering this run continues from.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Reading Room: "Invasion"--the Original, SCARIER Story!

Yesterday. we presented this tale...
Edited version
...and then we discovered it had been radically-altered from it's first appearance, and that the original version had never been reprinted!
We will now correct that mistake and present pages unseen in over fifty years!
(You can click on any of the pages to enlarge them.)
We'll present the toned-down version first, then the original, scarier version...
Original version
 Note in the original version, both the wife and singer on tv show a lot more cleavage!
Edited version
Original version
Again, more cleavage in the original version...
Edited version
Original version
Oddly enough, the wife's cleavage is unchanged, but the look of terror in the last panel is toned down!
Edited version
Original version
Panel four in the original version is much more gruesome than the edited version.  Note the dialogue balloon is unchanged, even though there's no actual weapons fire in the edited version!
Edited version
 This last page is radically-different! Prepare yourself!
Original version
The edited pages were from Race for the Moon #1 (1958)
The original story was from Witches' Tales #21 (1953)
As you can see, the Comics Code Authority insisted on some major redos, including most of the last page!

Whenever possible, we'll present examples of similar "reworking" of stories pre and post-Comics Code!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reading Room: RACE FOR THE MOON "Invasion"

Some people called early television "just radio with pictures"...
Click on the art to enlarge
...a premise taken to an obvious extreme in this tale...
Unfortunately, the technological level of tv fx in 1958, when this story was published in Race for the Moon #1, make the events of the story highly unlikely.
The primary reason the inspiration for this story, the 1938 War of the Worlds radio hoax by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre of the Air, worked was because peoples' imaginations ran wild, fueled by sound effects and well-written dialogue!
The "visuals" were in their heads!
Nonetheless, the unknown writer and artist Bob Powell did their best in only five pages.
And, the comic's intended audience, kids aged 9-15, could accept the premise, especially if they had no knowledge of the Welles radio show, which wasn't often rebroadcast until old radio show reruns made a comeback in the mid-1960s on college radio stations and lp albums.

NOTE: We've just discovered that this story is a radically toned-down version of a tale that appeared a decade earlier!
Tomorrow we'll show you how it ORIGINALLY looked...pre-Comics Code, which has NEVER been reprinted!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

YouTube Wednesday: Go APE!

The Apes return with a vengeance...

After a failed attempt in 2001 by Tim Burton to revive the franchise, a new take on the premise is due this summer.

Before that, the last attempt was a one-season animated tv series that hewed closer to the concepts of the original novel than any other version.

The live action tv series that preceded it was limited in being able to show adult themes or violent action by being a "family hour" show.
Yeah, it was dull!
So here's a clip from the Japanese tv movie Time of the Apes, also done in 1973, which was a helluva lot more fun! Condensed from the 26-episode tv series Saru no Gundan (Army of the Apes) which lasted longer then the actual Apes series (which was canceled after only 14 episodes).

We'll end this entry with the promo reel for the first (1968) Planet of the Apes, featuring great concept art and a primitive makeup test starring Edward G Robinson as Dr Zaius, James Brolin as Cornelius and Linda Harrison (Nova in Planet and Beneath) as Zira!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sit on It! THE "Must-Have" Item for the Comic Convention Season!

Remember San Diego on July 24th, 2010?
When reality became MORE frightening than a horror comic!
Holy Injury to the Eye Motif!
Commemorate one of the most infamous events in comiccon history in comfort with this cozy convention blanket that'll keep your butt warm on the cold hotel or convention center floor while you're waiting in line for a panel or autographs.
A generous 50" x 60" (over 4 feet by 5 feet) with a totally machine-washable vintage four-color horro comic image, this conversation-starter is big enough to share with a cute cosplayer (or two)!
Order now, before New York, San Diego, or Chicago!  They're coming up fast!
BTW, the art is also available on t-shirts, mugs, and other kool kollectibles!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Reading Room: SPURS JACKSON "Outlaws of Mars"

You just can't get enough of Space Western Comics... here's another tale from #42, featuring the return of Queen Thula and the Martians!
Politics is the same, no matter what planet you're on...
While the writer is unknown, the artist is Stan Campbell, who did almost all the stories (both Spurs' and his Space Vigilantes' solo tales).

We'll be presenting more of these tales during the lead-up to the opening of the summer flick Cowboys & Aliens.

We're offering a line of Space Western collectibles, perfect for summer wear at the beach, or the movie theatre when you go see Cowboys & Aliens. (C'mon, you know you're going!)
and have a look below at some Cowboys and Aliens movie tie-ins from Amazon!