Saturday, October 10, 2015

Ride the Halloween Night with the Classic GHOST RIDER!

He began life in the late 1940s as The Calico Kid, a masked hero whose secret identity was a lawman who felt justice was constrained by legal limitations. (There were a lot of those heroes in comics and pulps of the 40s including our own DareDevil and Blue Beetle!)
But, with masked heroes in every genre doing a slow fade-out after World War II, and both the western and horror genres on the rise, the character was re-imagined in 1949 as comics' first horror / western character!

The Ghost Rider himself was not a supernatural being.
He wore a phosphorescent suit and cape, making him glow in the dark, appearing as a spectral presence to the (mostly) superstitious cowboys and Indians he faced.
Since the inside of the cape was black, he'd reverse it, and appear in the dark as just a floating head, usually scaring a confession or needed information out of owlhoots.
Note: some covers, like the one here, show the inside of the cape to be white! Chalk it up to artistic license (and face it, it looks damned cool).

BTW, the artistically-astute among you can tell that cover above was by the legendary Frank Frazetta!
He did several of them, three of which are included in our collection!

In the series' early days the villains were standard owlhoots or, like the Rider, people pretending to be supernatural beings.
That changed around 1952, when he started facing occasional real mystic menaces including Indian spirits, vampires, and even the Frankenstein Monster (though not the one from Prize Comics.)
Unfortunately, it was about this point in time that Dr. Wertham began his crusade against comics in general and horror comics in particular...
By 1954, the Ghost Rider had lost his series. The next year he disappeared entirely.
But, over 50 years later, Atomic Kommie Comics brought him back, digitally-restored and remastered on a host of kool kollectibles to go with our other masked Western heroes including The Lone Rider, The Red Mask, The Black Phantom, and The Masked Ranger.

If you're a fan of horror, masked heroes, Westerns, or all three genres, take a long, lingering look at The Ghost Rider!
You'll not see his like again!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Reading Room SIR LEO "Sea of Blood"

The Victorian monster-hunter returns in a never-seen in the US adventure...
...from the British magazine Dracula #7 (1971)...which never ran a story featuring the title character!
Written by writer/artist Jose Bea and co-writer Luis Vigil.

We're presenting the remaining never-seen in the US Sir Leo stories during October.
Don't miss them!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reading Room SIR LEO "End of a Legend"

...Victorian-era adventurer Sir Leo Wooldrich encounters a Lovecraftian-type being lurking in the appropriately-named Black Lake...
This two-part tale from New English Library's Dracula #1 & #2 by writer/artist Jose Bea and co-writer Luis Vigil was the only Sir Leo story published in Warren's HTF Dracula anthology from the early 1970s which reprinted #1-6.
The series continued in Dracula #7 through #12, which have never been reprinted in the US, so most American fans have never seen them...unless they keep checking this blog, where we'll be re-presenting them before Halloween.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reading Room SIR LEO "Thing from the Lake"

For Halloween, we're presenting the 1970s adventures of...
...a Victorian monster-hunter done in a wild, semi-psychedelic style by Jose Bea (The pen-name for writer/illustrator Jose Maria Bea Font).
You'll find out if a lead projectile will stop the creature (and if it doesn't...what will?) in our next exciting entry!
This first part of a two-part tale from Dracula #1 (1971) was co-written by Luis Vigil.
The Sir Leo series was published irregularly in Dracula (1971), a 12-issue partworks magazine* by Great Britain's New English Library, the first two Sir Leo tales made their American debut in Warren Publishing's HTF Dracula TPB in 1972 which reprinted #1-#6 of the British Dracula's run.
The remaining tales from #7-#12 have never been published in the US.
*Partworks magazines are a limited series issued from weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.
They usually run 12-24 issues for each volume.
When the final issue in a volume is published, the publishers offer a wraparound cover to make the complete set into a hardbound book. 
The buyer is offered the option to bind the magazines themselves or send the set to the publisher who professionally-binds the mags and sends the bound volume back to the customer.
This concept is extremely popular in Europe, but has never caught on in America, despite numerous attempts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Reading Room PLANET OF VAMPIRES "Quest for Blood" Conclusion

...(actually we haven't seen this, since there's no scene like it in the book.
Nor is there a cloaked, sinisterly-snarling vampire!
But it's a great Neal Adams/Dick Giordano cover, eh?)
Escaping the scientific blood-suckers who inhabit the Dome in the center of a devastated Manhattan, our four surviving astronauts team up with the primitive, but human Street People.
Rigging a stolen aircraft as a booby-trap, they destroy two pursuing ships sent to recapture them.
There's only one more, never-reprinted issue of this series from 40 years ago, and you'll see it in a couple of weeks.
But the sci-fi scares continue...tomorrow!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Reading Room PLANET OF VAMPIRES "Quest for Blood" Part 1

In the 1970s, science fiction writers thought the 21st century was going to be rather dystopic... this never-reprinted tale from Atlas' Planet of Vampires #2 (1975) demonstrates!
It's always fun to end a chapter with a BANG!
But LOTS more action awaits us...
With the departure of writer/co-creator Larry Hama, John Albano (Jonah Hex) stepped in to the scripting slot, working off Hama's basic plot for the issue as well as several pages already laid out by penciler/co-creator Pat Broderick.
It'a a pretty good job, making the transition pretty seamless between the two writers.
Be here tomorrow, as the astronauts and street people take the fight back to the "domies"!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Trespassers Will Be EATEN!

Trick-or-Treaters Will be Licked! 
Whether you're a member of Team Jacob, or just love the fanged furry furies, go WEREWOLF this Halloween with our kool kollectibles including recyclable trick-or-treat bags, mini-buttons (great for bag stuffers and they don't rot teeth), magnets, mugs, yard signs and banners, and of course, shirts and hoodies!
Order now or you'll be baying at the moon with regret!

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