Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best of Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "Tale About Time: There Shall Be an Ending!"

Art by Pat Boyette (left) and Jim Aparo (right)
...reporter Paul Mann is plucked from 1967 by the Esroms, peaceful humans from the year 4000 AD who travel in time machine/spacecraft that are mistaken for "flying saucers".
Mann and the Esroms pursue the Honjnosians (evil humans also from 4000 AD) to the time before the Big Bang when Paul falls out of the ship into the ether of the pre-universe...
You'll note the use of the "breaking the fouth wall" storytelling technique with Mann addressing the reader in several panels, (with one panel of other characters thinking Paul's a bit looney).
Denny O'Neil using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom scripted this conclusion to the book-length tale from Space Adventures #2 (1968).
The art is by the highly-underrated Pat Boyette with what looks like minor redrawing by Jim Aparo in several panels featuring Paul Mann to maintain visual continuity.
Sadly, there were no further adventures of Mann and the men from 4000 AD...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best of Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "Tale About Time: Race to the End of Time"

...actually, the characters are handling the plot synopsis shtick pretty well, so I'll just let them explain...
Not to be negative (ouch), but things aren't looking good for Paul Mann.
If you want to see how he escapes from the edge of Time and Space, be here tomorrow!
Denny O'Neil (using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom) scripted this "part 2 of 3" in Space Adventures #2 (1968).
The amazing art is by none other than Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange!
At this point, Ditko had left Marvel and was freelancing for Charlton, Tower, ACG, and Warren, working in every genre imaginable, producing some of the best work of his career, much of which has, sadly, not been reprinted!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best of Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "Tale About Time: The Quest Begins"

Remember the phrase "Everything you think you know is wrong!"...
...because this sequel to the three-parter we just ran HERE, HERE, and HERE will define the concept!
The questions continue to pile up, and one of the most famous artists of the Silver Age takes over the storytelling....tomorrow!
(Not that Jim Aparo was any slouch, but this guy is known even outside comics!)
This sequel to the story from Space Adventures #60 (1967) was by the first story's scripter, Denny O'Neil using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom, and appeared almost a year later in Space Adventures #2 (1968).
No, that's not a typo.
This is "Volume 2" of Space Adventures, which had been cancelled the year before with #60!
However, while this is Vol 2, #2, it's the first issue of the revival since there was no Vol 2 #1!
Geez, the time travel paradoxes in this story are easier to explain than comic book numbering!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Best of Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "U.F.O.: Secret of the Saucer"

...now he's encountered an alien who saved him (and the town) from a biolgical weapon stolen by a Communist spy.
Now,  Mann is taken into the flying saucer where he's about to (as we said in the 60s) "blow his mind"...
The finale of this book-length tale from Charlton's Space Adventures #60 (1967) was deliberately left open-ended.
A sequel, also using the artist "round-robin" concept, and also written by Denny O'Neil using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom, appeared almost a year later.
Luckily for you, it'll be here tomorrow!
The art for this chapter was by up-and-comer Jim Aparo, who started at Charlton and went to DC when editor Dick Giordano moved there and offered him, Pat Boyette, Steve Ditko, and writers Denny O'Neil and Steve Skeates work after Charlton cancelled all their super hero and adventure/sci-fi titles in 1968!
Aparo became DC's primary Batman artist during the 70s and 80s as well as handling other series like Aquaman and Phantom Stranger.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Best of Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "U.F.O.: Plague"

Cover art by Rocke Mastroserio
Newspaper reporter Paul Mann researches a story about how, 100 years earlier, a flying saucer landed and aliens cured a local boy, ending a feud between two families that had gone on for generations.
With saucer sightings recently on the increase, Mann wonders if he'll encounter one...
 
But how can Mann be prepared for the senses-shattering Secret of the Saucer?
Find Out Tomorrow!
The second part of this book-length tale from Charlton's Space Adventures #60 (1967) was illustrated by artist Pat Boyette, an artist who usually did his own penciling, inking, and lettering, giving his work an immediately-distinctive visual style.
There's a kool tribute page to Boyette HERE.
BTW, all three parts of this story (and the sequel) were written by Denny O'Neil using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Best of Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "U.F.O.: Healers from Nowhere"

With New Year's Day coming up, why not re-present a time-travel tale?
...especially one with an amazing assortment of contributors!
Sooner than you think, Mr Mann...like Tomorrow!
This rather low-key story from Charlton's Space Adventures #60 (1967) was the first part of a three-part book-length tale that gets wilder as it goes on.
Not that unusual for comics of the Silver Age...except for three things:
1) It was a full-length story in an anthology title.
Anthology books usually had two or more stand-alone stories.
2) The story produced a sequel, which was published a year later!
3) Most importantly, each chapter of this tale was illustrated by a different artist!
This premiere chapter was rendered by "Melonius Thonk" (a play on popular jazz musician Thelonius Monk) a pen-name used to cover an apparent artist jam since every page has different stylistic elements.
The remaining two chapters were rendered by artists who penciled and inked their own work, as you'll see over the next two days.
BTW, the entire story from the final issue of this book's first run was written by Denny O'Neil using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom.
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