Saturday, March 24, 2012

1950s Space Heroes!

Discussing Major Inapak made us reflect back on the sci-fi tv shows of the early 1950s...
Space Patrol (1950-1955)
Rocky Jones: Space Ranger (1954-1956)
 Tom Corbett: Space Cadet (1950-1955)
and the original space hero...
Captain Video and His Video Rangers (1949-1955)

Ironically, Captain Midnight, who ran on tv from 1954 to 1956, making him the last survivor of the genre, didn't have a comic book adaptation of his tv series! (His original comic book, based on the radio show, ended in 1948!)
Our "brother" blog, Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™ has been running the comic book adaptations of both Captain Video and Rocky Jones, and will shortly be adding Space Patrol and Tom Corbett to the lineup!
Don't miss 'em for a dose of kool retro sci-fi action with art by greats like Mort Meskin, George Evans, Dick Giordano, Bernie Kreigstein, and Norm Saunders!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Was INAPAK the Chocolate Drink That NEVER Existed?

Yesterday, we presented the miracle chocolate drink Inapak...
Now here's an interesting point...
It apparently didn't exist!
From extensive research (we're talking off-line and on-site) thru the archives of several dealers and collectors who handle related food ephemera like Ovaltine and Quik (now Nesquik) packaging and advertising, I've yet to come across anything (besides the comic book) relating in any way to Inapak!
Could it have been a proposed project that never got off the ground, like Victor Fox's Kooba Kola?
If so, who was behind it?
Magazine Enterprises, the publishers of the The Avenger, FunnyMan, and original Ghost Rider, produced the comic, and it's copyrighted in their name, not an outside corporation, as most licensed comics are!
Bob Powell is obviously the artist, though the writer is unknown.
It's theorized on the Grand Comics Database that Gardner Fox scripted the two stories in the book.
Speaking of which, here's the short tale from the back of the book...
Now, here's my theory about who Major Inapak is and how he came to be...
At this point (1951), there were a number of kids' sci-fi tv shows like Captain Video, featuring characters who also promoted their sponsors' products...

...and there was talk of a tv version of Captain Midnight (which was still owned by Ovaltine) with a heavier sci-fi flavor to compete with Captain Video, Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, Space Patrol, et al.
(A Captain Midnight show eventually aired in 1954-56, with some sci-fi elements, but set present-day to keep the budget down.
And of course, it had lots of promotion for products...)

Could this book have been a tryout with the original, futuristic, format for Captain Midnight?
And, when it didn't sell, the story was reformatted for a non-existent product to demonstrate what Magazine Enterprises could do for potential clients, and used as a trade-show giveaway to drum up business for a licensed-comic line (like both Marvel and DC have today)?
Think about it...

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

INAPAK: The Ultimate Chocolate Drink!

You want serious chocolate flavor in your milk?
It must be true!
Major Inapak says so!
And Major Inapak wouldn't lie!
In fact, he uses science to prove his point...
Major Inapak returns to tell the Youth of America what to do...
You'll pardon me while I run out to the supermarket to get a box!
Be back tomorrow for more on...Inapak!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

YouTube Wednesday: JOHN CARTER...Hit or Disaster?

Don't worry, John! We'll dig our way out of this hole!
The BBC's news/entertainment division did this piece about John Carter's less than stellar box-office... it a less-than stellar future.
Odd since JC has done over $125 million overseas, opened with over $10 million in China, and has yet to open in Japan, a strong market for films featuring sci-fi/fantasy and retro high-adventure (the two themes of JC)!
Personally, I think it'll end up doing very well on DVD/Blu-Ray, PPV, and 'net streaming, picking up the audience it didn't get in theatres.
Personally, I blame the marketing; terrible posters, trailers and commercials that didn't play up the "Carter was the FIRST!" concept and the whole "this is kool" idea, and, stupidiest of all, naming the flick the almost-useless "John Carter" instead of "John Carter and the Princess of Mars".
(Hey, "Hero and Plot Element" titles worked for Harry Potter and Indiana Jones!
Why not here?)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Shadow Returns...

With our favorite retro publisher, Dynamite Publishing, returning The Shadow to action...
...we thought we would re-present some of the earlier versions of He Who Knows What Evil Lurks... check out Crime & Punishment™ for the 1970s version in a never-reprinted tale, as well as other Bronze Age stories of the original Dark Knight...

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for goodies featuring other Silver Age heroes, besides The Batman and The Shadow!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nerdist SpaceMan Stuff Sale!

With the creation of the Nerdist YouTube Channel...
...we're celebrating with a sale on collectibles featuring the most interesting visual on the set of their new BBC-TV series The Nerdist.
Like it's counterpart on the wall of Sheldon and Leonard's apartment in The Big Bang Theory (Click HERE for that art), it's based on a classic cover from the Golden Age.
This particular image is from Ace Comics' Space Action #2, published in 1952, 60 years ago!
And here's the really weird has nothing to do with any of the stories in the comic!
Yes, it's the old "this scene on the cover does not occur on the inside" trick!
As to who the artist is, there's speculation it's either Lou Cameron or Matt Fox, both of whom had considerable sci-fi experience.

Choose from iPod,  iPad, and iPhone cases, t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, and other goodies by clicking HERE!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

John Carter & Gullivar Jones...TOGETHER..sorta!

Though they worked together in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 2...
...a new mini-series, Warriors of Mars, pits John Carter and his predecessor on Mars, Gullivar Jones, against each other (at least initially)!
The two end up working together (and sharing the same tailor)... the mini-series attempts to combine the two different versions of Mars into one coherent world!
Will they succeed?
I'll tell you after #5.