Saturday, December 3, 2016

Holiday Reading Room: CHRISTMAS WITH MOTHER GOOSE "Animals' Christmas"

Now that I have a whole slew of Walt Kelly Christmas-themed tales...
...I'm going to post them (interspersed with some by other writers and artists) until Christmas!
A never-reprinted Walt Kelly tale from Dell's Four Color #90 (1945), the first of the annual anthologies that ran from 1945 to 1949.
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics at Christmastime!
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Friday, December 2, 2016

The clock striking "12" signals the appearance of Santa and...

We at Atomic Kommie Comics™ are big fans of retro pop culture.
And in the 1940s-1950s one of the biggest pop cult phenomenons was Captain Midnight!
Books, Comics, Movies, Radio, TV...He was EVERYWHERE!

Created for radio in 1938, the patriotic aviator ran the Secret Squadron, what we today would call a "black ops" team, supported by the government but functioning outside of legal rules in dealing with spies, saboteurs, and (after the war) criminals!
Trivia note: the Secret Squadron originally used the code "SS" on their messages, decoders, and uniform patches, but changed it to "SQ" after World War II began to avoid reference to the notorious Nazi SS stormtroopers!
Cap replaced Little Orphan Annie as the flagship show for Ovaltine, carrying on the tradition of issuing mail-in collectible premiums in return for Ovaltine labels and jar seals, taking it to far greater levels than any other radio series in history! (The phrase "Captain Midnight Decoder" became synonymous with mail-in premiums.)
The show ran Monday thru Friday in 15-minute segments, with storylines running for several months at a time, ending each episode with a coded message which required a Captain Midnight Decoder to translate.
A series of Big Little Books, a newspaper comic strip, and two different comic book series quickly followed, as well as a 15-chapter movie serial.
You can read a couple of stories from the 1940s comic book HERE.
The radio show ended with a bang in 1949, as Cap's archenemy Ivan Shark (an evil aviator) was killed in the final episode! Talk about "closure"!

Ovaltine revived Cap (but not Ivan Shark) in 1954 as a weekly tv series with a heavier science fiction emphasis.
Midnight was now a civilian adventurer operating out of a mountaintop base in the SouthWest US, battling criminals and the occasional Communist spy.
Though it only ran for 39 episodes, the show reran continuously until the mid 1960s.
Trivia note: the syndicated version was retitled Jet Jackson: Flying Commando because Ovaltine owned the "Captain Midnight" trademark and didn't sponsor the reruns!
One actor redubbed "Jet Jackson" over everybody (men, women, children) when they said "Captain Midnight", producing some rather surreal moments in the syndicated reruns!

Ovaltine continued to use "Captain Midnight" on advertising and occasional tie-in premiums until the late 1990s, when they finally abandoned the trademark.
He's now part of our Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics group with six different vintage designs including five classic covers and his stylish logo!
As a unique Xmas gift for collectors of pop culture kitch, you can't go wrong with one of our klassy and kool kollectibles as a stocking stuffer!

Our FREE Early Christmas Present to you: downloadable mp3s of the Captain Midnight radio show!
BONUS FREE Early Christmas Present: downloadable episode of the Captain Midnight tv show, complete with commercials!
EXTRA FREE BONUS Early Christmas Present: Another downloadable episode of the Captain Midnight TV show, complete with commercials!
Please support Atomic Kommie Comics this Christmas!
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(which would make a great present with one of our Captain Midnight collectibles!)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Holiday Reading Room: CHRISTMAS WITH MOTHER GOOSE "Jeminy's Christmas"

From the fertile mind of Walt (Pogo) Kelly...
...a Christmas tale featuring several fairy tale characters and some Kelly originals!
Published in Dell's Four Color Comics #253 (1949), this Walt Kelly-written and illustrated story was part of the Christmas with Mother Goose anthologies that appeared annually in the Four Color series from 1945 to 1949.
Before his comic strip Pogo took off, Kelly did a prodigious amount of work for Dell in their humor and holiday titles, most of which has never been reprinted.
His work has a gentle whimsy perfect for reading to little children before bedtime.
We've run almost a dozen of his stories (mostly holiday stuff) which you can read by clicking HERE!
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics at Christmastime!
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There's Nothing That Says "Christmas" Like LUST!

If you've been a faithful reader of this blog, you're well aware we have a section in Atomic Kommie Comics called Seduction of the Innocent featuring risque pop culture subjects in both comix and film. In that vein, we present today's tawdry tale...
"She was greedy, heartless and calculating.

She knew what she wanted and was ready to sacrifice anything to get it"
Before Gil Kane's Blackmark, before Will Eisner's A Contract with God, there was It Rhymes with Lust, considered by many to be the FIRST Graphic Novel!
Created in 1950 by writers Arnold Drake (Doom Patrol, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Leslie Waller (numerous crime novels) under the pseudonym "Drake Waller" and artists Matt Baker (Phantom Lady) and Ray Osrin, the digest-sized b/w comic was a pulp noir potboiler about a steel-producing town (like Pittsburgh) and a manipulative woman named Rust who will use ANY means to control it. (It's a rather adult book, though not pornographic! Think "soft R" rating!)
Trivia: Leslie Waller, besides writing numerous crime novels, also penned the novelization of Close Encounters of the Third Kind!
The "Picture Novel" series (Lust was the first title) published by pulp/comic company St. John Publications, only ran for two books before being cancelled due to poor sales.
The book has been reprinted twice in recent years, first by Fantagraphics in the magazine The Comics Journal #277, then, in it's original format by Dark Horse Comics with a new intro by Arnold Drake. Both are available at your local comic shop or online.
Why do we tell you all this?
Because we at Atomic Kommie Comics believe that other companies occasionally produce kool collectibles, and in the Spirit of Christmas, we want to promote stuff that we ourselves would want under the tree. (Significant Other, please take note...)
Of course, the fact that we ourselves also produce It Rhymes with Lust collector's items like mugs, mousepads and mens'/women's clothing that would make great accompanying items in a themed gift package for a loved one who's into Graphic Novels this Yuletide never occured to us!
Nope, never!
Didn't even cross our minds! ;-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reading Room SPACE ACTION "Dictator of Japetus"

With this tale, we finish our re-presentation of the stories from Space Action...
...none of which have been reprinted!
Penciled by then-up-and-comer Mike Sekowsky, this tale from Ace's Space Action #3 (1952) is typical space opera of the period with a little political intrigue thrown in, and better than most of the stories that ran in Space Action.
You can read the rest of Space Action (all three issues) by clicking HERE!
Please support Atomic Kommie Comics this Christmas!
Visit Amazon and Order...

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas at Ground Zero...Closer Than Ever!

At this time of year, Christmas carols are in continuous rotation in the Atomic Kommie Comics™ office.
One of our favorites is Christmas at Ground Zero by "Weird" Al Yankovic.
(You were expecting maybe Adeste Fidelis?)
Which brings us to, perhaps, the most unusual theme for potential Christmas presents (and, you gotta admit, we've had some real weirdies!)...atomic Armageddon!

Within our sci-fi-oriented The Future WAS Fantastic!™ section is the Atomic War line of kool collectibles with classic comic book covers from the fear-filled '50s, featuring the nuclear destruction of New York City (see above), Washington DC, and Moscow on black hoodies, sweats, and tees, as well as mugs and other tchochkies!

So for all you survivalists out there, while you duck n' cover under the Christmas tree, prepare for the irradiated end stylishly with our radiation-proof (not really!) garb and goodies!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Holiday Reading Room: SANTA CLAUS FUNNIES "Santa in Wonderland" Conclusion

The night before Christmas Eve, Santa was disturbed when a little girl named Alice appeared at his door and pleaded for him to "bring Christmas to Wonderland".
The blonde girl lead Santa to the rabbit hole/entrance and showed him mushrooms that reduced both of them in size.
Once in Wonderland, Santa encountered inhabitants including the Mock Turtle and the White Rabbit, who shrank while using a white fan which Claus inadvertently also uses...
This story originally appeared in Santa Claus Funnies #2 (1943)
It was reprinted in a stand-alone giveaway comic in 1951 to capitalize on the release of the Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland, based on the Lewis Carroll stories Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass!
Oddly enough, the reprint's new cover art (as shown at the top of the post) shows Alice rendered with the same hairstyle and blue dress as the movie version, rather than the hairstyle and violet dress shown in the comic story.
The other characters resemble their Disney versions, as well!

Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics This Christmas!