Saturday, June 20, 2015

Design of the Week Redux: DINOSAUR!

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another, unless it sells really well, as this one is doing.
Once more, we ask the question: What kid doesn't love dinosaurs?
The idea of being a huge, unstoppable creature rampaging, devouring, and stepping on everything and everybody in your path has an undeniable appeal to little ones, who usually feel helpless in a world too big for them! (Why do you think the new Jurassic World flick had such a great opening day or that Godzilla is still going strong after 50 years?)
This week we say...
Dinosaurs!
Once they ruled the planet!
Now they'll dominate your wardrobe!

Snap them up...before they snap you up!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reading Room XENOZOIC TALES/CADILLACS & DINOSAURS "Archipelago of Stone"

Considering how popular post-apocalyptic Earth stories and dinosaurs are...
...why hasn't this 25-year old series, which combined the two concepts with excellent writing and art, ever been a multi-media, mass-market favorite like Walking Dead or Game of Thrones?
How did all this come about?
This video, ironically, from the video game, explains it quite succinctly.
Plotwise and chronologically, this story from Kitchen Sink's Xenozoic Tales #1 (1987), written and illustrated by Mark Schultz, is the first story in the series, featuring Hannah Dundee's introduction to the people of the City in the Sea.
Note: A tale (entitled "Xenozoic") introducing the series to the public, but published a couple of years earlier in Kitchen Sink's Death Rattle #8 (1985) takes place after this story.
When the entire series was reprinted in story-chronological order in Dark Horse hardcovers in 2003, the Death Rattle tale was placed between two stories in Xenozoic Tales #2.
The comic inspired a video game and well-done, but short-lived, animated TV series.
Despite those successes, it still has yet to hit the public consciousness the way other graphic novel properties have.
Perhaps now's the time to revive it?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Reading Room STUART TAYLOR IN WEIRD STORIES OF THE SUPERNATURAL "Waterloo"

We presented another tale of time traveler Stuart Taylor a couple of years ago...
...today, on the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo, we see how Stuart and his mentor, Dr Hayward, changed the course of history!
Bet you didn't know time-travelers with ray guns helped defeat Napoleon!
That's just one of the time-lost secrets found in this Sy Reit-illustrated tale from Fiction House's Jumbo Comics #25 (1941), published almost a year before we entered an already-ongoing World War II!
At that time, almost everyone felt we'd be entering the war sooner or later.
The only questions were "when?" and "why?", which were answered on December 7th, 1941, when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor.
The rest, as we say, is history...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, EVERYWHERE!

Jurassic World ain't the only movie to feature dinosaurs, y'know...
...there was One Million Years, B.C., as we showed HERE!
The dinosaur is behind Raquel Welch (like you're complaining???), and he was animated by no less a genius than sfx legend Ray Harryhausen!
For those who wanted cowboys with their dinosaur, there was Valley of Gwangi (as seen HERE), also featuring the animation work of Ray Harryhausen!
(Before CGI, Ray was the go-to guy for this sort of thing.)
And, if you like your dinosaur to be something totally-new (like the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World), there's Gorgo (as shown HERE)!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Best of Reading Room: WEIRD THRILLERS "Cycle of Time"

With the revived popularity of dinosaurs due to the new movie Jurassic World...
...we're re-presenting one of our favorite stories; a sci-fi triple-treat: time travel, aliens, and dinosaurs!
Illustrated by Murphy Anderson, who was doing quite a bit of work for ZD including the second issue of Space Busters and both issues of Lars of Mars as well as various one-shots like this one from the HTF Ziff-Davis' anthology Weird Thrillers #2 (1951)!.
We don't know who wrote this tale, but it might be series editor Jerry (Superman) Siegel.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Reading Room KIDNAPPED BY A SPACE SHIP "Part 2 - Red Menace!"

Despite the miscolored hair and clothing, this is Jean Martin and Tom Pratt on the cover.
...in the far-flung future of 1970 (Well, it was "far-flung" when this story was published in 1959!)
Tween-ager Jean Martin and her friend, Tom Pratt, are given a tour of experimental spaceship "Starlight II" by Jean's father, Colonel Martin, the ship's pilot.
The doors suddenly snap shut and the shop lifts off!
(Note: this is one time the kids didn't accidentally hit a switch or button, as usually happens in these stories!)
So why is this chapter called "Red Menace"?
Since there aren't any Communists in this tale from Treasure Chest V14N12 (1959), I'm presuming that one of the two celestial bodies they're approaching is red!
We'll see which one they land on when the story continues next Monday!
Writer Frances Crandall followed the accepted concepts of space travel postulated by scientist Wener Von Braun and, illustrated by Chesley Bonestell in various books and magazines like Conquest of Space, and popularized in numerous 1950s movies like Destination Moon and Angry Red Planet!
Artist Fran Matera was also the art director/art editor for Treasure Chest, but is best known for his long run on the Steve Roper and Mike Nomad newspaper strip.
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