Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holiday Reading Room: PICTURE STORIES FROM THE BIBLE "New Testament: Story of Jesus Part 2" Betrayal on Good Friday

Now that's a long title...
Art by Don Cameron
...for the most unusual comic to ever come out of DC/AA/EC Comics stable!
We're starting in the middle of the book, the Tuesday before Good Friday...
Written and edited by Montgomery Mulford, illustrated by Don Cameron.
Initially-published under the All-American Comics imprint, Picture Stories from the Bible was carried-over to publisher Max Gaines' new company Educational Comics, when he sold All-American outright to Detective Comics (which became National Peroidical Publications after the merger) in 1946.
EC Comics continued to reprint the Bible series both as single issues and as hardcover compilations of the complete seven-issue series and separate Old and New Testament editions.
The series inspired a host of copycats from other publishers including Atlas (Marvel), Living Bible Corporation, Nedor/Standard. and Eastern Color Corp, none of which lasted as long as EC's series.

Friday, March 29, 2013

King of Kings

Did you know the first Captain of the USS Enterprise was Jesus Christ?
Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus Christ in King of Kings (1961)
 Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike in "The Cage" (1964)
You can see the comic adaptation of King of Kings at our "brother" blog Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™ NOW!
PLUS: King of Kings airs on Turner Classic Movies this Sunday at 11:30am (Eastern)!

Some cool "six degrees of separation" trivia:
  • John Huston, who later did a prequel movie, The Bible: In the Beginning, directed Moby Dick, using a screenplay adapted by Ray Bradbury from the Herman Melville novel.
  • Ray Bradbury wrote the voiceovers in King of Kings spoken by Orson Welles.
  • Welles' The Shadow and Mercury Theatre co-star Agnes Moorehead served as dialogue coach to  Jeffrey Hunter (Jesus Christ).
  • Jeffrey Hunter later played Christopher Pike, the first captain of the Starship Enterprise in the pilot episode of Star Trek, "The Cage".
  • Star Trek did an episode, "Bread and Circuses", about a planet where parallel evolution produced a society that resembled a 20th Century version of the Roman Empire, complete with it's own Christians and Jesus Christ (who doesn't appear on-camera, but is mentioned in dialogue)!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Reading Room: BRANT CRAIG "Deadly Dwarfs of Deimos"

Why would a private-eye have an unlisted phone number!
...even if he's Brant Craig, Interplanetary Detective, and his device is a "space-o-phone"?
We never learned why Brant's "space-o-phone" is unlisted...
This never-reprinted tale from Youthful's Captain Science #3 (1951) was probably illustrated by Moe Marcus and Bill Molno.
The writer is unknown.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holiday Reading Room: TICK-TOCK TALES "Koko & Kola Meet the Red Easter Bunny""

Walt (Pogo) Kelly didn't have a monopoly on Easter-themed stories...
...in fact, Magazine Entertainment's Tick Tock Tales #4 (1946) presented both a cover and several stories (including this one) featuring it's ongoing characters teamed-up with the Easter Bunny!
The artwork is by Leon Jason Comic Art Studios who supplied funny-animal art to numerous publishers including Magazine Entertainment, Spotlight Publishing, Novelty Press and EC Comics (before they did horror) during the 1940s and '50s.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Reading Room: "COMICS" McCORMICK "Say KA-BANG!"

Say a magic word and become a superhero...
...it was an old trope in comics even during the Golden Age, as shown in this tale that combines several different heroes' shticks into one!
Is it just me or does this story from Holyoke's Terrific Comics #5 (1944) hint that the boy heroes of the Golden Age were less..."heroic" than their adult counterparts?
Written and illustrated by Ed Wheelan, who did over 300 stories during his career from 1938-1949, almost all of them as both writer and artist, it presents a number of typical cartoon stereotypes of the period including the "old maid" schoolteacher and the extremely-caricatured Black kid Ajax Johnson (though, to be fair, Ajax is shown as an equal to the other comic-loving boys in the story).
The main difference between "Comics" McCormick and it's rival series, SuperSnipe, is that "Comics" daydreams about interacting with comic characters, but SuperSnipe actually tries to do heroic deeds like capturing spies or rescuing kittens, but invariably screws up and ends up being grounded (or worse).
Written and illustrated by Ed Wheelan, who did over 300 stories during his career from 1938-1949, almost all of them as both writer and artist, it completes our run of Comics McCormack's adventures in Terrific Comics.
But it's not the final chapter in Comics' saga, as you shall soon see...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Reading Room: WEIRD TALES OF THE FUTURE "Beginning or the End!"

Let's start with ACTION and LOTS and LOTS of SPACESHIPS...
Is that an opening splash page or what?
The rest of the story isn't quite so frantic, but it is interesting...
Oops!
The writer of this never-reprinted story from Key's Weird Tales of the Future #6 (1953) is unknown, but the artist is Eugene E Hughes, who had a brief career in comics working exclusively for Key Publications, then disappeared from the art world (comic books/strips/commercial art) entirely!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Holiday Reading Room: EASTER WITH MOTHER GOOSE "Ten Little Easter Eggs"

Here's a perfect rhyme for the little ones...
...from the typewriter and brush of legendary comic creator Walt (Pogo) Kelly.
Published in Dell's Four Color Comics #103: Easter with Mother Goose (1946), this gentle little piece is a classic example of kid-friendly material rarely-seen today.
(And please, no politically-correct comments about the "Two little Easter eggs playing with a gun" rhyme.)
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