Thursday, September 26, 2013

Reading Room: LARS OF MARS "Villain or Hero?"

What if 1950s sci-fi shows like Captain Video or Space Patrol were real?

Or if the "aliens" shown on the screen were real aliens?
As you've just read, that was the premise of the short-lived (two issues) 1951 Ziff-Davis series Lars of Mars!
Created by Jerry (Superman) Siegel and Murphy (Buck Rogers) Anderson, this story from the first issue of his own title (which was #10!) established the somewhat-silly premise.
During his run, Superm...ahem Lars battled Commies, crooks, and other aliens while protecting his "secret identity" from Lo...ahem June, his nosy producer.
(But then what would you expect from the guy who co-created Superman? )
You'll be seeing all of Lars' stories here over the next few months.
Watch for them!
The cover paintings for both issues of Lars of Mars were painted by Allen Anderson, who was not related to interior artist Murphy Anderson!
Here's a "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"-style fact (done in four degrees)...
1) Ziff-Davis also published a short-lived adaptation of an actual sci-fi tv series, Space Patrol, illustrated by Bernie Krigstein.
2) Krigstein illustrated the first issue of another Ziff-Davis sci-fi series: Space Busters!
3) Bernie was replaced on interior art for the second (and final) issue of Space Busters by...Murphy Anderson!
4) Allen Anderson did the painted cover for the Space Busters issue illustrated by Murphy! (Norm Saunders had painted the first issue's cover!)
Truth is stranger than fiction!
featuring the covers of both issues of Lars of Mars!

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