Saturday, January 11, 2014

Reading Room COSMO CORRIGAN "and the Space ShowGirls!"

What do you do when you want to heat up a planet that's colder than the Polar Vortex?
Cosmo Corrigan has the answer...cosmic chorus girls!
Sady, Cosmo never got back to Pluto.
He wasn't in the next issue of Planet Comics, nor would he reappear anywhere else in the known universe.
His fate remains a mystery...

Written and illustrated by Seymour Reit (who co-created Casper the Friendly Ghost), Cosmo's final tale appeared in Fiction House's Planet Comics #11 (1941).
But don't think that's the end of our Polar Vortex-inspired posts!
There's more frigid fun to come!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Reading Room COSMO CORRIGAN "Martians, Mercurians and Money!"

Yeah, I know the logo says "Cosmic", not "Cosmo"...
...but he's called "Cosmo" in the story itself, as well as the next (and final) tale, so I conder the logo to be a typo!
Now, back to Pluto, the world that makes the Polar Vortex look like a balmy summer day!
Be here tomorrow for Cosmo's frigid final adventure!
Illustrated by George Tuska (who would handle the Buck Rogers newspaper strip in the 1950s, as well as become Iron Man's illustrator when he received his own book in the 1960s) the scripter for this tale from Fiction House's Planet Comics #10 (1941) is, regrettably, unknown.
("Ray Alexander" was a Fiction House pseudonom.)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reading Room COSMO CORRIGAN "Exiled to Pluto"

Like Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and many other space heroes...
...Cosmo Corrigan had a weird first name.
Unlike them, he was a bit of a screw-up and wise-ass...
...so he was sent to the Solar System's equivalent of Siberia...the frozen planet Pluto, thereby qualifying his strip for inclusion during our week of Polar Vortex-related posts!
Planet Comics was noted for its...well...lack of scientific accuracy, being much more "science fantasy" than hard science fiction (which at least tried to apply known scientific facts to the storytelling).
But this series seems almost like a space opera sit-com, featuring a slacker as the hero!
Sadly, it only ran for three installments...which you'll see tomorrow and Saturday!
Illustrated by George Tuska (who would handle the Buck Rogers newspaper strip in the 1950s, as well as become Iron Man's illustrator when he received his own book in the 1960s) the scripter for this tale from Fiction House's Planet Comics #9 (1940) is, regrettably, unknown.
("Ray Alexander" was a Fiction House pseudonom.)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Reading Room PLANET COMICS "Life on Other Worlds: Pluto"

You think the Polar Vortex makes things cold here on Earth?
Then visit the cold planet that's no longer a planet (at least officially)...Pluto!
Mind you, Pluto was a planet when this chapter of the ongoing feature Life on Other Worlds appeared in Fiction House's Planet Comics #45 (1946).
In fact, it had only been discovered 16 years earlier and little was known about it beyond the fact that it was out there at the edge of the Solar System!
So, it was a blank slate for sci fi writers to play with, as artist Murphy Anderson and the unknown writer did in this "cool" 2-pager!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reading Room WILD! "Frozen North"

A never-reprinted story from one of Atlas Comics' many MAD clones...
...is our snowbound story for today!
Did you catch the cameo by the Golden Age Human Torch on page 3, asking if this book was Young Men Comics (where he was appearing in 1954)?
This tale from Wild! #1 (1954) was illustrated by Sol Brodsky, who, while better-known to aficionados as Atlas/Marvel's production manager than as an artist, actually had over 1,000 stories and covers to his credit!
(He inked Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four #3 and #4 as well as Kirby's iconic cover for Avengers #16!)
Sadly, little of the material from Atlas' four humor titles from the 1950s has been reprinted, despite the fact that some of their "big names" like Bill Everett, Joe Maneely, Gene Colan, and Russ Heath all contributed stories that went far afield from their usual "realistic" styles with amazing results!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Reading Room STRANGE WORLDS "I Captured the Abominable SnowMan"

From the epic story of an underground civilization by Jack Kirby, we go to...
...this rather intimate story of one man's obsession with Yeti, illustrated by Steve Ditko!
Like the Abominable SnowMan story we ran for the past couple of days, no one (including Marvel) is certain who scripted this tale from Strange Worlds #1 (1958).
And, you'll note that neither tale shows the "real" Yeti, just people or other creatures mistaken for it!
BTW, this was the second comic with the Strange Worlds title.
The first one was published by Avon Comics from 1950 to 1955.
This series ran for five issues in 1958-59.
Since then there have been several one-shots from various publishers, usually reprinting stories from the Avon series.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reading Room TALES TO ASTONISH "I Found the Abominable SnowMan" Conclusion

Art by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers
...reality TV show producer Victor Cartwright stops at nothing to get ratings, even faking some of the wonders he shows on the cathode screen!
When he publicly promises to deliver film of the legendary Abominable SnowMan, Cartwright dons a furry costume to fake some footage.
But things go terribly wrong when a huge furry creature captures him and takes him via an advanced drilling ship into the depths of the Earth, where Victor discovers...
Whatever happened to the stranded lizard-man?
The cover art above was reused, but not for a reprint of the story you just read!
When it appeared on the cover of Marvel's Where Creatures Roam #5 (1970)...
Art by Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers with additions by Marie Severin
..it was to cover-feature a reprint of a different furry character (also drawn by Kirby and Ayers) that had it's own cover when it appeared in Tales to Astonish #18!
Why didn't they use that art?
Most likely, the original photostats and printing films of that cover had been lost, so Marvel decided to modify the art for TtA #24 that they did have stats for!
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