Saturday, May 30, 2015

Design of the Week Redux "United We Stand"

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another...unless they sell really well, like this one!
A vintage painting showing the WWII-era 48-star flag with a sunrise in the background.
A tad kitschy, but stirring, and a reminder of an America that once stood for Truth and Justice.
The perfect gift for Flag Day (June 14th)!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Reading Room: CAPTAIN AERO "Moon That was Motionless"

 In the case of fighting aviator Captain Aero, you make him into a shirtless extraterrestrial fighter!
Art by Rudy Palais, writer unknown.
Captain Aero was one of numerous costumed aviators who fought the Axis in comic books during World War II.
His distinctive traits included a mustache that came and went depending on the artist and an aircraft that could use its' propeller like a buzz-saw.
In his early days he was assisted by the Sky Scouts, a gang of kids who wanted to be aviators, and who were popular enough to have their own backup strip.
By the time of this never-reprinted story's publication in Captain Aero Comics #26 in 1946, WW II was over, and sales on military-themed comics were dropping.
A number of them, like Blackhawk, shifted to battling criminals and/or Communist spies.
But not Captain Aero!
He was destined for bigger things...like battling Nazis on the Moon, a concept which survives to this day in the recently-released movie Iron Sky!
BTW, this was Captain Aero's final issue, and his last appearance in comics.

Support Small Business
featuring the cover art from this issue of Captain Aero Comics by LB Cole!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Reading Room: CAPTAIN AERO "Alien Invasion"

What do you do with a wartime character after a war?
In the case of fighting aviator Captain Aero, you make him into an extraterrestrial fighter!
Art by Rudy Palais, writer unknown.
Captain Aero was one of numerous costumed aviators who fought the Axis in comic books during World War II.
His distinctive traits included a mustache that came and went depending on the artist and an aircraft that could use its' propeller like a buzz-saw.
In his early days he was assisted by the Sky Scouts, a gang of kids who wanted to be aviators, and who were popular enough to have their own backup strip.
By the time of this never-reprinted story's publication in Captain Aero Comics #25 in 1946, WW II was over, and sales on military-themed comics were dropping.
A number of them, like Blackhawk, shifted to battling criminals and/or Communist spies.
But not Captain Aero!
He was destined for bigger things...like interplanetary conflict!
The series' change of concept was taken even further in the next issue...as you'll see tomorrow.

Support Small Business
featuring the cover art from this issue of Captain Aero Comics by LB Cole!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reading Room: CHILDREN OF DOOM Conclusion

Cover of the 1978 reprint which left out one page. Which one?
Returning to an Earth already devastated by man-made disaster, a pair of astronauts inadvertently doom the entire planet by using their atomic engines to land safely, causing a Doomsday Weapon (which activates when it senses any uncontrolled radioactivity) to awaken and begin it's lethal countdown...
Shortly after this issue came out, editor Dick Giordano went to DC Comics, taking a number of people including Children of Doom creators Denny O'Neil and Pat Boyette with him.
O'Neil stayed at DC, helping to revitalize several series including (with Neal Adams) Batman and Green Lantern, and carving out a long, multi-award-winning career as one of comics' best writers.
Boyette did several stories at DC, then returned to Charlton, where he continued to be one of the mainstays of the art staff until the company shut down.
For more about the highly-underrated Pat Boyette have a look HERE!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reading Room: CHILDREN OF DOOM Part 2

The world ended.
But not by nuclear war, since a Doomsday Machine that would destroy the planet if any atomic explosion was detected, ended even testing of nuclear bombs!
Instead, a European power (implied to be Communists) manage to re-direct two meteors to strike Earth, ideally affecting only the USA!
Unfortunately, an attempt to divert the meteors using missiles results in the space rocks fragmenting and hitting all over the planet, creating devastation on an unparalleled scale!
With the Earth apparently doomed, a pair of astronauts in orbit, believing themselves the only survivors, decide to head for the nearest habitable planet...Venus!
But they don't know people have survived...but not unscathed!
Scientific note: In mid-1967, it wasn't yet known that Venus was covered with clouds of sulfuric acid and the surface was barren, so heading for it instead of Mars wasn't unreasonable.

As this issue’s “Postscripts From The Editor” (Dick Giordano) explains: “This issue may reach the stands a little late.
We had an entirely different issue ready for press, cover and all, and lost it on a legality.
We then had to get this one together in a big hurry.
We’ve always liked the idea of a black and white comic book but have been afraid of doing one in a format where everyone else is in four color.
So we mixed it up in this one! Some four color, some black and white. We like it…do you?"
The “we” was writer Denny O'Neil (under a pseudonym) and artist Pat Boyette, who produced the entire 25-page tale from concept to script to camera-ready art and color guides in less than a week!
Boyette did all the penciling, inking and lettering.
Rumor has it that O'Neil also assisted with the color guides.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Reading Room: CHILDREN OF DOOM Part 1

Presenting a comic the legendary Alan Moore considers "wonderful"...
Quoth Alan Moore from the ninth issue of the must-read mag, Comic Book Artist...
"There's still one of the books, Charlton Premiere—sort of a Showcase title—and I remember in the second or third issue of that, there was this wonderful thing called "Children of Doom" by Pat Boyette, who died recently (in 2000).
It was an incredibly sort of progressive piece of storytelling.
He was obviously, I'd imagine, looking at artists like Steranko that were coming up and messing around with the form and sort of experimenting. 
Pat decided to pitch his own hat into the ring, apparently."
 The story continues tomorrow...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Aviators of the Golden Age of Comics Cover Gallery

An amazing assortment of aviators who flew thru the four-color pages of the Golden Age of Comics including AirBoy...
...The Black Commander (who appeared with AirBoy in Air Fighters Comics!)
...Captain Aero...
...Captain Flight...
...and Captain Wings!
BTW, did we mention that ALL these covers (and seven more including Captain MidNight) are available on our Aviators of the Golden Age of Comics 2015-2016 12-Month Calendar? ;-)
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