Saturday, November 26, 2011

Look What's Coming....

 Atomic Kommie Comics™ has firmed up our RetroBlogs™ plans for the Christmas season...
...the week before Christmas, each blog will feature a Christmas-themed tale including...
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians on Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™
Note: some of these stories have never been reprinted since their original appearances from 40 to 60 years ago!
Bookmark us and enjoy!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gone Shopping

It's Black Friday.
I spent all days fighting crowds to score bargains on stuff for those I love.
Now I'm going to pass out.
See you tomorrow, which, by the way is... please patronize small businesses...including us!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Going to the relatives' for dinner and probably lots of arguing and fighting.
I love this time of year!  ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

YouTube Wednesday: "Curious Case of Santa Claus" with Jon Pertwee

My favorite Dr Who is #3, played by Jon Pertwee...
Jon as The Doctor with Eizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, his final companion when this documentary about Kris Kringle, packaged as a tale featuring Pertwee as a psychiatrist with a patient (James Coco) who thinks he's Santa Claus, ran on A&E in the late 1980s, I taped it and showed it every Christmas...until the tape jammed!
Now I (and you) can enjoy it again...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Dearth of Ditko!

The career of the co-creator of Spider-Man, Dr Strange, Captain Atom and The Question began here...
Click on art to enlarge and read
...with this sinister story, written by Bruce Hamilton, from Fantastic Fears #5 (1953) which was Steve Ditko's first assignment, but his second published work!
This week and next, RetroBlogs™ are featuring the early (pre-Marvel/DC) work of Steve Ditko!
Western Comics Adventures™ offers one of his Black Fury stories (He did several)
Tomorrow, True Love Comics Tales™ has his second assignment (but first story published), one of the few romance comic jobs he did!
On Friday, War, Past, Present & Future™ has a rarely-seen Civil War story!
Next Tuesday, Crime & Punishment™ will relate Ditko's contribution to Radio Patrol!
Next Thursday, a startling reworking of the Cinderella story will appear in Seduction of the Innocent™.
And, sometime next week, we'll present a superhero surprise at Hero & Heroine Histories™!
Don't miss a single Ditko!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving Turkey: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

He's the Jolly Old Elf in a red suit!
They are BIG Green Men from Mars with an even BIGGER robot!
Before Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, they were the ingredients for the weirdest Christmas movie ever!

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians was filmed in 1964 in that bastion of cinema, Long Island, New York (in an unused aircraft hangar).
Starring a host of tv and b-movie actors including handsome-but-stiff Leonard Hicks as the good Martian leader Kimar, 60s villain/voiceover artist Vincent Beck (who did lots of work for Irwin Allen's sci-fi shows) as the film's mustache-twirling Martian villain, Voldar, and John Call as a pretty damn convincing Santa Claus, the flick is touted these days as the debut of future talentless chantuse Pia Zadora as Martian Kid Girmar. (Thankfully, she has rather limited screen time.)

The plot's pretty simple.
The children of Mars are in a funk.
The adult Martians deduce it's due to the childrens' strict and sterile upbringing, and that to "normalize" them, the kids must have fun!
And what could be more fun than celebrating Christmas?
But, to do a proper Christmas, you need a Santa Claus!
Thus, the Martians journey to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus and force him to create a Christmas celebration on Mars!
Then, as they say in TV Guide, hilarity ensues! (well, sorta)

As an example of low-budget filmmaking, it's actually pretty effective.
Every penny (what few of them they had) is up on the screen.
The costuming and Santa's Workshop and Mars sets are as good as those of tv shows of the period.
(The Martian robot is probably the weakest element from a design and execution standpoint, but nobody's perfect!)
There's extensive use of stock footage (from Dr. Strangelove, no less).
And, the idea to utilize the then-popular Wham-O Air Blaster toy guns as Martian weapons was either a stroke of marketing genius or clever use of limited funds. Either way, sales of the guns shot thru the roof after the film hit the kiddie matinee circuit!

If you're between 3-9 years old, the flick's a lot of fun.
If you're between 10 and whatever the local drinking age is, it'll drive you nuts, especially the theme song!
If you're over the local drinking age, do so before watching! It's available on a host of public domain dvds as well as one of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 snarkfests.

And you just knew we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ were going to include Santa Claus Conquers the Martians in our Cool Christmas collection on stuff including kid and adult sweatshirts, hoodies, mugs and coasters, tree ornaments, throw blankets and snugglies, and greeting cards!
BTW: The image is from the comic book tie-in. There was also a 45 single of the theme, a spoken-word LP album of the movie's dialogue, and a novelization, all of which are HTF and expensive when you do find them!
Now I can't get that damn theme our of my head..."Hoo-ray for Santy Claus..." AARRRGGGHHH!

FREE: an early holiday gift from us to you: a link to a download the film itself in various formats!
Now it can drive YOU nuts, too!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reading Room: RACE WILKINS "Locking Horns with the Minotaur"

This is the 4th or 5th story in this lost comic book series...
...from Captain Wizard #1 (and only) in 1946.
The first two stories were presented (along with some background on the artist) by Staq Mavlen at  Atomic Surgery HERE and HERE.
This particular comic publisher, Enwil/Rural Home/Orbit/Universal/Croydon, was a bit...disorganized.
Stories were tossed into comics (which were mostly one-shots) to fill page count without much thought as to how anyone would follow the plotlines.
Astonishingly, most of the strips had continuing storylines!
Another of their characters, Hugh Mann the Impossible Man appeared in three different comics, with the third story printed before the second.
(You can read the Impossible Man stories [in correct order] HERE, HERE, and HERE.)
Judging from the fact that the plotline has obviously progressed from the end of his second appearance when we begin this tale, it's safe to speculate that this is the 4th or 5th story in the series.
Are there any more?
Perhaps Staq can get the Time Bubble working and track them down...  ;-)