Saturday, November 22, 2014

Reading Room THE FIRST SPACESHIP

Here's a curious, never-reprinted, one-shot...
..."based on scientific facts from the Hayden Planetarium" as well as the plot of the then-current movie Destination Moon, whose comic adaptations (yes, there were two of them) can be found HERE and HERE.
From Harvey's Flash Gordon #1 (1950), writer and artist unknown.

Friday, November 21, 2014

G-Men, T-Men & Spies Lurk under the Christmas Tree!

In our continuing quest for cool Christmas presents for the pop culture aficionado in your life, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ wish to offer you yet another exciting possibility for gift-giving...Secret agents have been a part of pop culture for centuries, but spying didn't really become a glamorous profession until World War I.
Since then, the image of the spy has been of a heroic figure fighting off foreign evildoers while holding a girl in one arm and a martini (shaken not stirred) in the other...
In that stylish vein, we offer a line of collectibles that present our government's heroic G-Men, T-Men & Spies on classic comic covers in our Crime & Punishment™ collection.
Note: "G-Men" is slang for "Government Men" or F.B.I. agents. "T-Men" were Treasury agents.
Protecting us from threats both internal and external, these brave fictional American men (and women) fought enemies ranging from Communists, to the Mafia, to Iranians (perceived as a threat even in 1955!), and looked good doing it! (The most famous spy in fiction, James Bond, isn't American! He's a member of MI-6, the British Secret Service!)
Choose from 9 different designs including Cloak & Dagger, Date with Danger, Atomic Spy Cases, Al of the F.B.I. (later Al of the Secret Service), T-Man, and GangBusters!
Make it a Merry Christmas for your loved one...and the entire Free World!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Reading Room "The World You WILL Live In!" Part 4

Let's take one final look at this never-reprinted series from 1950...
Of the five predictions in this one-pager from Harvey's Flash Gordon #4 (1950), the first is a possibility, the second and fifth have yet to occur, and the third and fourth have come true.
Both the artist and writer are unknown.
This was one of three different new one-page features that appeared in all four issues of the series which reprinted the classic Flash Gordon Sunday newspaper strip by Alex Raymond, reformatted for the comic book page, and with new covers (not by Alex Raymond).
The others were "Stories Behind the Stars" (about the myths behind constellation names) and "Know Your Planets" (about the other worlds in the solar system).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Reading Room RADIO BOY Conclusion

What do you do when giant monsters attack?
If you're the Electric Patrol, tasked with guarding the globe, you throw up your hands and call upon that tiny triumph of technology, Radio Boy!
Eclipse's never-reprinted Radio Boy #1 (1987) one-shot is loosely-based on Osamo Tesuka's Astro Boy, which had achieved success as a translated anime in the early 1960s and opened the door for a flood of Japanese cartoons on American TV that continues to this day.
Note: Though Astro Boy is best-known in the US as a tv cartoon series, it began as a wildly-successful manga in 1954.
The premise of Radio Boy is that the creator himself did the translations for this American edition, resulting in a mish-mash of syntax and tenses as well as some literal translations of Japanese phrases.
As a collector of foreign videos (including Japanese and Chinese DVDs), I can attest that the English subtitles on them often do read like the captions and copy in this spoof.
I suspect writers Chuck Dixon (yes, that Chuck Dixon) and Jim Engel had also seen some mis-translated films/videos, and wanted to re-create the experience on the printed page.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Reading Room RADIO BOY Part 1

Here's a never-reprinted 1987 manga/anime spoof...
...in, of course, glorious black and white!
To be concluded and finished...tomorrow!
Loosely-based on Osamo Tesuka's Astro Boy, which had achieved success as a translated anime in the early 1960s and opened the door for a flood of Japanese cartoons on American TV that continues to this day.
Note: Though Astro Boy is best-known in the US as a tv cartoon series, it began as a wildly-successful manga in 1954.
The premise of Radio Boy is that the creator himself did the translations for this edition, resulting in a mish-mash of syntax and tenses as well as some literal translations of Japanese phrases.
As a collector of foreign videos (including Japanese and Chinese DVDs), I can attest that the English subtitles on them often do read like the captions and copy in this spoof.
I suspect writers Chuck Dixon (yes, that Chuck Dixon) and Jim Engel had also seen some mis-translated films/videos, and wanted to re-create the experience on the printed page.

Monday, November 17, 2014

RADIO BOY by Chuck Dixon & Jim Engel

In the 1980s, manga finally gained a foothold in the US...
...and American creators began doing their own manga-style material.
Some, like this never-reprinted one-shot title from Eclipse Comics (the first major American company to publish translated manga), were parodies.
This particular spoof was loosely-based on Osamo Tesuka's Astro Boy, which had achieved success in as a translated anime in the early 1960s and opened the door for a flood of Japanese cartoons on American TV that continues to this day.
Note: Though Astro Boy is best-known in the US as a tv cartoon series, it began as a wildly-successful manga in 1954.
The premise of Radio Boy is that the creator himself did the translations for this edition, resulting in a mish-mash of syntax and tenses as well as some literal translations of Japanese phrases.
As a collector of foreign videos (including Japanese and Chinese DVDs), I can attest that the English subtitles on them often do read like the captions and copy in this spoof.
BTW, if you don't have a multi-region DVD player, get one.
Much of the Asian material released by Dimension (especially their Jackie Chan catalog), Buena Vista, and other mass-market companies is butchered beyond belief, and seeing the originals (even with bad sub-titling) is eye-opening!
I suspect writers Chuck Dixon (yes, that Chuck Dixon) and Jim Engel had also seen some mis-translated films/videos, and wanted to re-create the experience on the printed page.
You'll have the chance to judge for yourself...tomorrow.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Reading Room "The World You WILL Live In!" Part 3

In 2014, we do have laser scalpels (in limited use, mostly for eye surgery) and lasers are used to remove tattoos.
The mobile telephone one can be interpreted as cell phones, but radiophones in cars were a popular item among the rich (and spies/superheroes) in the '60s to early '80s.
(Batman, James Bond, Honey West, Matt Helm, The Avengers [Steed and Peel, not the superheroes] and The Green Hornet all had them!)
Extensive mining of minerals from the ocean floor has yet to occur, and the sun's going nova billions of years from now has been predicted since the 1800s.
So, 4 out or 5 for this never-reprinted feature from Harvey's Flash Gordon #3 (1950) is pretty good, eh?
Both the artist and writer are unknown.
This was one of three different new one-page features that appeared in all four issues of the series which reprinted the classic Flash Gordon Sunday newspaper strip by Alex Raymond, reformatted for the comic book page, and with new covers (not by Alex Raymond).
The others were "Stories Behind the Stars" (about the myths behind constellation names) and "Know Your Planets" (about the other worlds in the solar system).
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