Saturday, April 2, 2016

Reading Room WEIRD TALES OF THE MACABRE "Bog Beast"

Combining sci-fi and horror well is no easy task...
...but this series from the short-lived Atlas Comics of the 1970s was one of the better attempts.
Note that the Los Angeles cop wears a British constable's uniform.
That's because the artist is Spanish and had been illustrating material for the British market for most of his career, and was unfamiliar with American police uniforms.
"Badia Romero" is a pen-name for Enrique Romero, best-known for his work on Modesty Blaise and co-creating the Axa series.
His brother, Jorge Romero had been illustrating for Warren Magazines under the pen-name Jorge Galvez since 1971 and Enrique hoped to join him in the American markets, but this and two Santana tales for Marvel's b/w Haunt of Horror anthology were Enrique's only assignments working directly for American publishers (not counting Modesty Blaise and Axa reprints).
Debuting in Atlas' b/w anthology magazine Weird Tales of the Macabre #2 (1975), the strip moved into the color comic anthology Tales of Evil for the remainder of its' short run.
When it was reprinted in Australia, a previously-unpublished tale finally saw print.
You'll be seeing all of them here, so keep an eye out for them...

Friday, April 1, 2016

Charlton Fools Day in the Reading Room UNLIKELY TALES "Time Machine"

When two Steves, a long-established pro and eager young up-and-comer, collaborate...
...you get this time-travel tale with a twist, set only 21 years from now!
It's amazing what the comics creators of 1967 thought 70 years later would look like.
Considering that we Baby Boomers thought by 2000 we'd have bases on the Moon and flying cars, it's not unreasonable...
Written by up-and-comer Steve Skeates and illustrated by Spider-Man and Dr Strange co-creator Steve Ditko, this never-reprinted story from the Unlikely Tales anthology collection in Charlton Premiere #4 (1968) offers a surprise twist on the usual "time-traveler from the future may change history" concept.
Two notes:
Skeates wrote all the stories in this issue, a rarity for someone just starting out in the industry.
All the stories were both penciled and inked by their respective artists, also a rarity in a business where, in order to meet deadlines, creators usually either penciled or inked, but not both.
And the list of creators in this issue included Ditko, as well as Pat Boyette, Jim Aparo, and Charlton mainstay Rocke Mastroserio.

This post is part of an informal blogathon entitled
Charlton Fools Day
conceived and organized by Kracalactaka to bring attention to Charlton Comics, often considered the "runt" of the comic book litter.
Visit his blog HERE and see a list of other participants as well as his own contributions
Also check out
ComicBook+
 a website featuring thousands (and I do mean thousands) of free, downloadable, public domain Golden Age and Silver Age comics with a HUGE Charlton Comics section!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Reading Room BUCCANEERS "Black Roger: Beware Treachery, Black Roger!!"

Remember the days when Muslims in comics looked like her?
There're no hijabs here, bunkie!
It's typical Arabian fantasy common to 1930s-50s movies!
This never-reprinted tale from Quality's Buccaneers #22 (1950) follows the tropes established in the Technicolor fantasy films of the period including Arabian Nights, Kismet, and Thief of Bagdad, along with the (at the time) still-popular pirate flicks which ran the gamut from big-budget "A" pics to movie serials.
Despite that, the era of pirate-themed comics like Mutiny, Piracy, Buccaneers, Captain Kidd, etc, was short-lived, beginning and ending in less than three years.
Both the writer and artist of this tale (and the entire Black Roger series) are lost to the mists of time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reading Room SPACE PATROL "Pirates of Mercury"

Now here's a series I'd love to see a live-action version of...
...using state-of-the-art CGI for the SFX and aliens!
The multi-talented Basil Wolverton wrote, illustrated, lettered, and probably colored, this never-reprinted tale from Amazing Mystery Funnies #19 (1940).
It's one of the first of the "law enforcement in space" sub-genre that prospered in pulp and comic sci-fi in the 1930s and 40s, and carried over to TV in the 1950s.
Note: the 1950s TV/radio series Space Patrol was not based on Wolverton's strip.
(Could you imagine them trying to do Wolverton's aliens using 1950s-level makeup techniques?)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reading Room 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY "Inter-Galactica" Conclusion

...astronaut/fanboy/nerd Harvey Norton and an alien he calls "Princess" are fleeing from hostiles in her spacecraft...
We never learn who the aliens are or what becomes of the transformed Norton.
(The next story details a different astronaut "upgraded" to a cosmic fetus.)
Was this never-reprinted tale from Marvel's 2001: A Space Odyssey #6 (1977) by writer/artist Jack Kirby and inker Mike Royer a "love letter" to comics fans or a snide rip at them?
Considering readers (and many staffers at Marvel) were vocal in their unhappiness at Kirby's work after his return to the "House of Ideas" in 1975, it would be understandable if "The King" chose to vent a bit via his storytelling...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Reading Room 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY "Inter-Galactica" Part 1

...fanboy/nerd Harvey Norton, influenced by the Monolith, joins the space program and ends up on a research flight to Neptune, where he and his crewmates find an alien space capsule with a passenger inside.
Then a group of unfriendly aliens show up to claim it and the passenger...
Have they run out of space and time?
Tune in tomorrow to find out!
This never-reprinted tale from #6 of Marvel's 2001: A Space Odyssey sequel series took some strange turns I'm sure Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke never envisioned.
But ya gotta admit writer/penciler Jack Kirby and inker Mike Royer made it interesting...
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