Saturday, February 20, 2016

Reading Room CALVIN

We ran the cover and main feature of this "lost" Marvel character's never-reprinted premiere HERE...
...and now we present the one-pagers that filled out the issue.
Written and penciled by Kevin Banks and inked by "NT", these never-reprinted one-page gags from Marvel's Li'l Kids #10 (1972) began a brief, 3-issue run that seemed recycled from vaudeville routines and 1940s-50s animated cartoons.
What makes the strip somewhat more fascinating is the identity of the little-known writer-artist behind it.
"Kevin Banks" was not a pseudonym, but a staffer at Marvel in the early 1970s!
Even the ever-amazing comics researcher Nick Caputo could find little about the mysterious Mr Banks, as seen HERE.
What Banks did after working at Marvel is unknown.
Did he work in advertising?
Become an art instructor?
Switch careers and become an accountant or fireman?
We may never know the answer...

Friday, February 19, 2016

RAUMPATROUILLE "Dance"

While there are many similarities between Space Patrol and Star Trek...
...the one big difference I've seen commented upon over and over again is...
...the dance numbers that occur in almost every episode.
The closest thing I've ever seen on American sci-fi tv was in the pilots for Battlestar Galactica (1978) and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979).
However, Raumpatrouille had their own ongoing choreographer, William Milié, to compose the funky dance numbers that appeared in the background of each episode!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Reading Room IMAGINATION "Explored"

In the 1970s, there were a plethora of short-lived fan/pro zines...
...that up-and-coming artists contributed material to for free in order to get their work brought to the attention of magazine and comic art directors, and already-published pros used to promote their own non-DC/Marvel projects.
It was like DeviantArt, but in print.
Imagination Publications' one-shot Imagination (1971) was one such zine.
Besides this Jeff Jones short, there was a cover and frontspiece by Gray Morrow and tales by Berni Wrightson, Mike Kaluta, and Neal Adams (who was promoting his own potential syndicated strip, Tangent.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Reading Room FUTURE WORLD COMICS "What in the Future World"

It's always fun to see what people of the past (1946) predicted for the future (our present)...
...what they got right, what they got wrong, and what they sorta got right!
Both the writer and the artist of this never-reprinted feature from the short-lived George W. Dougherty Publishing's Future World Comics #2 (1946) got about half the predictions right like printed circuits and carbon monoxide detectors, but also came up with weirdies like plastic clotheslines and a fountain pen with ink pellets you just add water to for instant ink!
Ah, well...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Reading Room SILVER SURFER: THE ULTIMATE COSMIC EXPERIENCE Preface and Creator Bios

Here's the text pieces from the long OOP graphic novel...
Judge for yourself as to the historical accuracy of the material.
Nice to see the rest of the creatives get a little attention.
But, Stan Lee realized the PR value to his audience of promoting the writers and artists like rock stars (as his promo for the first issue of Fantasy Masterpieces demonstrated), and pushed the image of a happy "bullpen" (with him as the lead creative, of course).
We hope you enjoyed seeing this long-lost bit of Marvel history, and suggest you bookmark this blog for a lot more HTF comics goodies...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Reading Room SILVER SURFER: THE ULTIMATE COSMIC EXPERIENCE Conclusion

Original, unused cover by Jack Kirby & Joe Sinnott and published cover by Earl Norem
Caught by the CIA in an energy-absorbing trap, the Silver Surfer seemed destined for experimentation in a government laboratory, but something from space swoops down and frees him...
"Tamam Shud" means "ended" or "finished" in ancient Persian.
Bet a lot of you thought it was a quote from a writer named "Tamam"!
The actual quote is from Edward FitzGerald's famous translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
Was Stan the Man poetic or pompous?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Reading Room SAVAGE TALES "Fury of the Femizons"

Consider, on Valentine's Day, what the world might be like if the "fairer sex" ran the whole planet...
...as portrayed in this Women's Lib-era story from the b/w magazine Savage Tales #1 (1971)!
(Was it really 45 years ago?)
Written by Stan Lee and illustrated by John Romita, Sr,  this tale had an unusual genesis, as detailed on the editorial page...
Women's liberation.
It's all around us, be we male or female.
marches, intellectual treatises, picketing, bra-burning, some four-letter forensics, and more burnings–not always of bras.
"Women are the equals of men every day, in every way!'
Men are beginning to believe it.
Women always knew it.
So what happens if maybe we come the full circle in, say the next hundred years or so?
What if women turn the rascals out–and we do mean out!
What would we have then?
A better world? Perhaps.
A gentler world? Could be.
A different world? Believe it.
Stan Lee got to wondering-and, by and by, he set imaginative artist Johnny Romita to wondering along with him.
The result is, perhaps, something just a wee bit new under the sun.
Not quite sword-and-sorcery–certainly not science-fiction–and not exactly a political polemic.
Robin Morgan clobbers Buck Rogers in the 25th century!
Kate Millett zaps both Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless–then takes over Mongo for good measure!
The hand that rocks the cradle really rules the world!
A Valentine's Day look at a possible future...as seen from the non-so distant past.  ;-)
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