Friday, January 24, 2014

I, Frankenstein Opens Today

Based on an unpublished graphic novel written by Kevin Grevioux...
BTW, there is a FREE prequel comic available on Comixology HERE!
And you can read a "motion comic" version of the prequel comic HERE!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reading Room MENACE "Your Name is Frankenstein"

Besides the new movie I, Frankenstein, there have been numerous updatings of the tale... fact, even the co-creator of the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee, took a shot at the character!
With a script by Lee and moody art by Joe Maneely, this tale from Atlas' Menace #7 (1953) isn't as graphically-grotesque as most of the horror comics of the era, but it was not reprinted until 2005, when the Comics Code Authority was in its' death throes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Reading Room FRANKENSTEIN "Meets Boris Karload: Master of Horror"

For decades, he was the actor you thought of when you heard "Frankenstein"... it seems obvious that this was a team-up waiting to happen!
Of course, they had to use a variation of his name, but we know who he is...
Now, on with the show...
Believe it or not, the writer/artist of this version of Frankie (call him "Mark 2") is the same guy who did the later, horrific, version ("Mark 3") you saw HERE yesterday!
This tale, from Prize's Frankenstein #11 (1948), shows not only the now-friendly Monster, but members of his supporting cast.
Makes you wonder if the creators of The Munsters didn't read this book when they were kids...
Tomorrow...MORE Frankenstein Fun!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reading Room FRANKENSTEIN "Return of the Monster"

The new movie, I, Frankenstein, is not the first updating of the Monster's story... fact, this is the second reboot of an updated Frankenstein series by the same publisher!
Written and illustrated by Dick Briefer, who did all three versions of the Monster of Frankenstein for publisher Prize Comics, this story in Frankenstein #18 (1952) was the lead tale in the series' revival since the book's cancellation three years earlier!
As you might have guessed by the date, the book was revived to capitalize on the popularity (or notoriety) of horror comics during this period, resulting in the darkest, scariest, version of the Monster up to that point!
It sold well, but the national panic produced by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham (who claimed comics caused juvenile delinquency) forced comics publishers to drop the horror genre entirely!
Note: Issues 1-17 were based on the first rebooted version carried over from the publisher's flagship anthology Prize Comics.
That version was a humorous take on the character, similar to The Munsters, complete with a supporting cast of various monsters and ghosts.
Be here tomorrow for the best-known story from that run, involving the monster meeting!
Then, on Thursday, we'll show you a tale from the very first version, which was an action/sci-fi strip set during World War II!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Reading Room WEIRD FANTASY "Judgement Day"

As Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, and Al Feldstein could tell you... of the best aspects of science fiction was the opportunity to present commentary on social issues that you couldn't otherwise show due to censorship.
Most of this blog's audience is too young to know, first-hand, that the societal conditions shown on Cybrinia were, in fact, the way American society was structured up to the mid-1960s.
This story originally-appeared in EC's Weird Fantasy #18 (1951) to mostly-positive feedback.
But that was pre-Comics Code!
When it was scheduled to be reprinted in Incredible Science-Fiction #33 (1956) it had to be submitted to the newly-created Comics Code Authority.
As explained in the superb book Tales from the Crypt: the Official Archives by Digby Diehl...
This really made ‘em go bananas in the Code czar’s office. 
“Judge [Charles] Murphy was off his nut. He was really out to get us”, recalls [EC editor Al] Feldstein. “I went in there with this story and Murphy says, “It can’t be a Black man”. 
But … but that’s the whole point of the story!” Feldstein sputtered.
When Murphy continued to insist that the Black man had to go, Feldstein put it on the line.
“Listen, he told Murphy, “you’ve been riding us and making it impossible to put out anything at all because you guys just want us out of business”.
[Feldstein] reported the results of his audience with the czar to [EC publisher Bill] Gaines, who was furious [and] immediately picked up the phone and called Murphy.
“This is ridiculous!” he bellowed.
“I’m going to call a press conference on this. You have no grounds, no basis, to do this. I’ll sue you”.
Murphy made what he surely thought was a gracious concession.
“All right. Just take off the beads of sweat”.
At that, Gaines and Feldstein both went ballistic.
“Fuck you!” they shouted into the telephone in unison.
Murphy hung up on them, but the story ran in its original form.
It was the final comic book EC Comics published.
MAD was converted into a b/w magazine, removing it from Comics Code approval, and reprints of EC's comics were published in paperback format, also exempting them from the Code.
Think of how racial attitudes in America have changed...on the day celebrating Dr Martin Luther King, Jr's. achievements in civil rights.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What Should You Get for the Pop Culture Lover in Your Life on Valentine's Day?

Comics aren't just about spandex-clad heroes and heroines in battles of cosmic import!
They also tell intimate tales of heartbreak and true love, betrayal and redemption, and misery and sheer joy!

With than in mind, Valentine's Day is coming!
And what says "True Love" better than a kool, kitchy gift from True Love Comics Tales™? (Plus, it's both longer-lasting AND cheaper than a dozen roses!)

Choose from over 50 heart-rending designs in eleven categories including...
(The ORIGINAL LonelyHearts Columnist)
(or is that Love in School?)
on greeting cards, teddy bears, calendars, shirts/tops/intimate wear, diaries, and many other kool kollectibles!

A public service announcement for all lovers and would-be lovers from your BFFs at Atomic Kommie Comics™
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