Saturday, June 27, 2015

Coming Monday...the Return of MANHUNTER 2070 in "Never Trust a Red-Haired Greenie"!

The third (and final) tale in his never-reprinted Showcase run...
...with an ending you won't believe they dared publish!
To entice you further, here's a never-reprinted extra, which we forgot to run when we re-introduced the character HERE...the very first appearance of Manhunter 2070 from Showcase #90 (1970) which also synopsizes the series' concept...
See you 55 years from now on Monday!

Friday, June 26, 2015

RIP Patrick Macnee (1922-2015)

Remember the kool British spy tv series The Avengers and the team of Steed & Keel?
"Wait, you mean 'Steed & Peel', right?"
Nope, I meant "Steed & Keel"!
That's how the series was meant to be!
Read about how the show would never have "crossed the pond" if it had stayed with it's original, somewhat dull, concept HERE.
If it hadn't, we wouldn't be mourning the passing of actor Patrick Macnee, who made the somewhat stereotypical character of John Steed the distinctive cult icon he is today...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Reading Room COLOSSUS COMICS "Colossus A.D. 2640" Conclusion

Note; Colossus never wears this garb in the story. 2640, Plantaliens invade the Solar System, heading for Earth.
Meanwhile, Dr. Blitzmann claims to have perfected a growth hormone safe for humans and injects volunteer test subject Richard Zenith with it.
Unfortunately, Blitzman's lab assistant (and daughter) Eve mis-computed the dosage, making it 200 times stronger than planned.
Zenith grows to a height of over 2,000 feet, but the injection has also mentally-unbalanced him.
Proclaiming himself "Colossus", Zenith heads for Urbania, the capital of United Earth (as well as the Tri-Planetary Federation), to make himself the planet's ruler.
Meanwhile, the Plantalien fleet draws closer...
There was no second issue of Colossus Comics.
Pulp magazine company Sun Publications (whose titles included Golden Fleece Historical Adventures and 10-Story Book), abandoned their attempt at a comic book line after publishing this and one other title, Sun Fun Comiks.
Sun Publications went out of business two years later.
According to the blurb at the end of the story, Reinsberg (no first name known) and Bernie Wiest intended a sequel (where, presumably, Colossus would don the armor shown on the cover), but it's unknown as to whether the tale was ever drawn...or even scripted.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reading Room COLOSSUS COMICS "Colossus A.D. 2640" Part 1

When you see how sophisticated (in terms of story and art) most of today's "graphic novels" are...'s hard to believe this is how the format began!
Published in Sun Publications' Colossus Comics #1 (1940) and produced by Reinsberg (no first name known) and Bernie Wiest, it reads like a dream as told by a third grader!
Tomorrow: things get weirder (really)!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

RIP Earl Norem (1924-2015)

One of the prolific, yet unsung, painters who helped define the visuals of sci-fi/fantasy of the 60s-2000s...
...whose true genius in design and illustration was often obscured by poor design work.
(They really couldn't have put the lightsaber in front of the logo?
The printed cover looks like he's holding up a sign, for chrissakes!)
Besides numerous romance and "mens' adventure" paperback and magazine covers, Earl Norem was one of the mainstays of the Marvel b/w magazine line of the 1970s, doing everything from Planet of the Apes to Savage Sword of Conan to Tales of the Zombie with equal aplomb.
He also did paperback novel covers for DC characters including Batman.
He never achieved the notoriety of fellow cover painters like Boris Vallejo, or Bob Larkin, but we art directors knew of his talent to work from sometimes very rough concepts with minimal reference and ability to meet almost-impossible deadlines.
(I used him on several comics covers for licensed properties, where sometimes nit-picky changes had to be made to get approvals.
He always came through without complaint.)
Though suffering from arthritis, he continued to do occasional projects after most people would have happily retired.
In fact, at the time of his passing, Earl was working on a trading card assignment for Topps' Mars Attacks!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Reading Room KIDNAPPED BY A SPACE SHIP "Part 3 - People or....?"

...they were plummeting towards the surface of a planet in a far-distant solar system...
They've discovered an uninhabited alien city, operational technology run by an unseen intelligence, and a flying saucer in the space of just six pages in this tale from Treasure Chest V14N13 (1959)
Yet, they're taking all this pretty calmly!
Kids back then must've been made of sterner stuff than today's coddled tweens!
We'll see what happens when they board the flying saucer two weeks from now!
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.