Monday, October 17, 2016

Reading Room: ROBOTMEN OF THE LOST PLANET "Chapter One: Massacre of Mankind!" you'll see the original from the 1950s!
The art for this 1952 one-shot title from Avon Comics is by Gene Fawcette, an Avon mainstay who did everything from horror to Westerns to romance.
If you compare the two tales, you'll see the robots are totally different in this version.
They're based on a still-popular toy first marketed in the early 1950s... Obie the Popping Martian/Panic Pete/Bug-Out Bob!
Who came up with the idea is unknown, and there was no attempt at an actual tie-in between the toy and the comic...
But the most unusual aspect of this tale is the scripter...Walter Gibson, aka "Maxwell Grant", the primary writer of the legendary pulp character, The Shadow!
Gibson, a trained magician-turned writer did very little "hard" sci-fi during his long career...except in 1951-54, where he edited (and wrote under several pseudonoms) most of the contents of Charlton's short-lived (2 issues) Fantastic Science Fiction pulp magazine, editing Charlton's Space Adventures comic for it's first 11 issues, as well as scripting several other one-shots for Avon Comics.
For the record, Gibson also wrote two volumes of adaptations of Twilight Zone TV episodes (with a couple of original tales mixed in), but none of those were sci-fi.
BTW, while this was the only tale adapted into b/w in the 1970s, there were two more chapters of the man vs funky robot saga!
You'll see them next Monday and the Monday after that...
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