Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reading Room PLANET OF VAMPIRES "Long Road Home" Conclusion

Art by Pat Broderick and Neal Adams
...well, that kool cover says it all, doesn't it?
BTW, though the cover says six astronauts, we only see five, including Dr Ben Levitz, who was killed by savages when the crew first reached shore after crash-landing off Coney Island!
The "sixth astronaut" is never mentioned by name...or even shown in the background...anywhere in the issue!
In 2008, a team of astronauts exploring Mars lose contact with Earth.
After a two-year voyage, they return to find most of the planet devastated and the survivors apparently devolved to primitive savages!
However, some people in Manhattan managed to keep technology functioning and a relatively-civilized society going under an impenetrable dome...but at what cost to their humanity?
This never-reprinted first issue of Atlas/Seaboard's Planet of Vampires (1975) was Larry Hama's intro to comic scriptwriting.
Hama had been a penciler/inker apprenticing under Wally Wood before landing his first ongoing gig; penciling Iron Fist in Marvel Premiere.
But when John Byrne was given Iron Fist (which moved into it's own comic), Hama was without steady work.
The brand-new Atlas/Seaboard company welcomed the young creative with open arms, giving him two books: Planet of Vampires, which he scripted, and Wulf the Barbarian, which he both wrote and penciled.
Larry ended up leaving both the books (and the company) when the publisher refused to allow leeway on the deadlines when Hama's mother was dying, forcing the young writer/artist to bring in a host of pro friends to meet the deadlines while he dealt with the personal loss and handled funeral arrangements.
Hama went on to much bigger things like GI Joe, while Atlas/Seaboard went out of business within a year.

1 comment:

  1. I did not know most of that about Hama. Thanks for the some insightful info about one of my favorites from Atlas-Seaboard, the little company that thought it could but couldn't.

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Thanx for posting!

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