Saturday, September 3, 2016

Kirby Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "There Dwells a Dragon"

We wind up our week of never-reprinted Kirby Klassics...
...with one that was an original idea and not a reworking of an earlier tale!
Penciled by Jack Kirby, and inked by Dick Ayers, this writer of story from Atlas' Journey into Mystery #81 (1962) is, so far, anonymous.
Pity, because the tale is pretty darn good.
Hope someday, one of the many dilligent souls who are constantly researching such things can come up with the answer...
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Friday, September 2, 2016

Kirby Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "Genie with the Light Brown Hair

I Dream of Jeannie this ain't...
...as Jack Kirby once again takes us where another artist has gone before, and puts his own distinctive stamp on it!
Yes, this never-reprinted cover story from Atlas' Journey into Mystery #76 (1962) is another reworking of an earlier tale!
Plotter Stan Lee took the concept from "Forever is a Long Time", which appeared in Atlas' Adventures into Weird Worlds #14 (1953) and reworked it.
Scripter Larry Lieber, penciler Jack Kirby, and inker Dick Ayers did a commendable job, giving the story several touches that make it different from the original, giving it a poetic touch lacking in the 1953 version.
If you want to compare them, "Forever is a Long Time" was reprinted in Marvel's Beware! #4, 1973.
But, if you don't have that almost-as-difficult-to-find-as-AiWW #14-issue, don't worry!
It'll be popping up at our "brother" RetroBlog, Seduction of the Innocent before September is over!
BTW, note the difference between the cover and interior versions of the genie.
The cover genie is evil, malaevolent, sinister.
The genie in the tale, while a little pissed-off, is really the victim, and Mike Morgan is the villain of the piece.
Makes you wonder what the time-frame was between the creation of the cover and the interior art.
Which came first?
Guess we'll never know...
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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kirby Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "Propaganda"

It's ironic that, with the extensive use of misinformation in politics today...
...this never-reprinted tale from 1962 seems as timely as ever!
Note: because of racial stereotypes common to the era of publication, this may be NSFW!
This story from Atlas' Journey into Mystery #80 (1962) by plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, penciler Jack Kirby, and inker Dick Ayers, is, like many of the tales we're presenting this week, a reworking of an earlier story, also called "Propaganda", from Atlas' Uncanny Tales V1N9 (1953). That one was reprinted in Marvel's Uncanny Tales V2N1 (1973) and you'll be seeing it on our "brother" RetroBlog, Seduction of the Innocent, next week!
In the meantime, here's a special treat...scans of the complete original art for this tale!
Enjoy!
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Secret History of Marvel Comics:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kirby Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "Sorcerer"

Behind a never-reprinted Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers cover...
...lurks a never-reprinted tale rendered by Jack (King) Kirby!
Enjoy...
Was this tale from Atlas' Journey into Mystery #78 (1962) originally a seven-page story?
The fight between the dragon and the knight that begins on the bottom of page 5 ends in a flash in the first panel of page 6!
Considering that battle is the focus of the splash page, I really expected a bit more!
Was there a page between 5 and the last page?
Only plotter Stan Lee, writer Larry Leiber, penciler Jack Kirby, and inker Dick Ayers could tell us.
Trivia: The story is the same as "Handyman", illustrated by Gray Morrow, from Atlas' Journey into Unknown Worlds #48 (1956), which was also the cover-featured story for that book, with a Bill Everett-rendered cover!
It's also never been reprinted!













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Hand of Fire:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kirby Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "Midnight in the Wax Museum"

To celebrate Jack Kirby's 99th Birthday...
..we're re-presenting never-reprinted tales by the King, so the odds are, unless you're over 60, or have a really-large back issue collection, you've never seen these stories!
Let's begin with a tale of a comic book artist and some of the koolest Kirby Kreatures you've ever laid eyes on...
Plotted by Stan Lee, scripted by Larry Lieber, penciled by Jack Kirby, and inked by Dick Ayers, this fun little tale was one of two featured on the cover by Kirby and Ayers on Atlas' Journey into Mystery #74 (1961)!
BTW, the other tale, "Thing in the Black Box", has been reprinted in Marvel's Where Monsters Dwell #30 (1974) under a new cover by Larry Lieber and John Romita, so we're not running that one this week!
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available in a variety of formats, including e-book!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Reading Room CAPTAIN JOHNER AND THE ALIENS "Crystal Crawler"

...alien-controlled humans kidnapped Captain Jay Johner and brought him to Venus.
Friendly aliens led by Commander Zarz, along with M'Reema (the un-possessed sister of one of the "False-Men") free Johner, but they're stranded on Venus...
Side note: this book was selling 250,000 (a quarter of a million copies) per issue, and Gold Key was only issuing it quarterly?
What were the sales figures for their monthly books?
These days, if a book sells 25,000 (one tenth of that), it's considered successful!
The mind boggles...
In Gold Key's Magnus, Robot Fighter #18 (1967) creator/writer/artist Russ Manning not only reveals a previously-unknown weakness of the aliens, but their name, "Ploorans", as well!
Is it the name they give inhabitants of their world (like "Earthmen", "Terrans", or "Earthers") or is it also their species' name (like "humans" or "homo sapiens")?
Every time we learn something new, there's an additional mystery to go along with it!
Several friendly aliens, a former girlfriend (whose brother is one of the leaders of the conspiracy) and Johner, trapped on a hostile world where the nearest Earth forces don't know where they are!
What could go wrong?
Find out next Monday!
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