Saturday, June 25, 2016

KOOBA COLA: the Soft Drink that NEVER Was, and the Collectibles that ARE!

In 1940, Victor Fox, publisher of WonderWorld Comics, Mystery Men Comics, Weird Comics, and other titles featuring The Blue Beetle, Samson, The Flame, among others, conceived an audacious marketing scheme.
Inspired by the success of Pepsi and Coca-Cola, he decided to promote Kooba Cola, "The World's Newest and Best-Tasting Soft Drink!" in ads in his entire line of comic books.
It was also "Delightfully Refreshing and Contained 35 USP units of Vitamin B-1 for the Sake of Health and Nutrition!"
When Fox's The Blue Beetle starred in a short-lived radio show that summer, he was sponsored by Kooba Cola!

Wait a second...
What's that?
You've never even heard of Kooba Cola?
That's because it didn't exist, except as a couple of mocked-up bottles used as props in ads and as art reference for illustrators.
(You'll note they couldn't even figure out what the color scheme for the label was!
It changed from ad to ad!)
Fox thought he could create a demand for Kooba, then license the name to one of the big soft drink companies, let them do the work of actually creating, bottling, and shipping the stuff, then he'd rake in royalties on the name!
It didn't work.
The "buzz" never developed.
The soda pop was never actually produced.
Even Kooba's "sponsorship" of The Blue Beetle radio show was just part of the show's script, not paid ads! (One of the reasons the show only lasted four months!)

But, such visionary hucksterness should not be forgotten!
(Besides, the ads were rather kool.)
So we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ decided to re-present the Soda That Would Not Die on collectibles ranging from Beachwear to mugs, messenger bags (and the irony of doing bags with "Kooba" on them hasn't escaped us!) and hoodies at KoobaCola 1 and KoobaCola 2!

So celebrate what could have been one of the bubbliest success stories of soft drink entepreneurship, but instead fizzled out and fell flat!
(You just knew we were gonna do a pun like that, didn't you?)  ;-)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Reading Room CLIFF HANGER "Chapter Five: Slaves to the Fiend"

Take a deep breath and dive in, fans...
Next Week:
The Thrill-Packed FINALE!
This penultimate chapter of the serial appeared in Eclipse's Somerset Holmes #5 (1984), written by Bruce Jones and illustrated by Al Williamson.
BTW, notice something different about the above description of the comic?
Between issues #4 and #5, Pacific Comics shut down due to cash-flow problems.
Eclipse Comics picked up a number of properties from their creators who were left high and dry by the shutdown, including Somerset Holmes and Cliff Hanger.
Besides finishing the 6-issue series, Eclipse also published a tpb collection of the Holmes (but not the Hanger) tales...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reading Room FLICK FALCON IN THE FOURTH DIMENSION "Power of the Slave Giants' Goddess", let's go to dinner!
But, is it truly over?
Don't miss the next exciting adventure of Flick Falcon and Adele!
Using the pen-name "Orville Wells" (a variation of "Orson Welles", who a couple of years earlier, frightened America with a dramatic radio adaptation of HG Wells' War of the Worlds performed like a news broadcast), writer-penciler Don Rico's wild imagination goes full-speed, combining science fiction and fantasy elements with equal aplomb in this never-reprinted tale from Fox's Fantastic Comics #3 (1940).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Reading Room: FLASH GORDON "Chapter Three: Danger in Volcania"

...and now, on with the show!
Next Week:
Who He Is and How He Came to Be!
(Not a dream!
Not an imaginary story!)
Writer Mark Schultz and artist Al Williamson's labor of love is about to take us where no one has gone before in Flash Gordon's history!
Don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trump Reading Room aka the Outhouse FARMER'S DAUGHTER "Gig McCoy: Around the Cracker Barrel"

...with a story about a businessman who specializes in tall tales!
This never-reprinted story from Stanhall's Farmer's Daughter #1 (1954) was typical of the sort of lowbrow humor the publisher specialized in.
With titles including Broadway-Hollywood Blackouts and G.I. Jane, Stanhall produced adult-oriented (but never more risque than PG-13) humor.
Animator Hal Seegar was the editor/writer/illustrator for the non "good girl" strips like this one, while Bill Williams handled the art for the more risque material (like the title feature) which Seegar wrote and edited.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Reading Room CAPTAIN JOHNER AND THE ALIENS "Alien Welcome"

...tbey discover the two species are not so different, after all!
Written and illustrated by series creator Russ Manning, the tale from Gold Key's Magnus, Robot Fighter #8 (1964) intrroduces more background about the alien homeworld, including weapons technology like the previously-unseen helmet-guns!
(In the first chapter, the aliens used hand weapons, like the Earthmen.
Perhaps, at home, among civilians, their police/soldiers don't want to display obvious weaponry...)