Saturday, December 10, 2016

Holiday Reading Room: HUMBUG "A Christmas Carol"

Here's one of the koolest adaptations of Dickens' classic story...
...and most people don't even know it exists!
Note: the interior pages were two-color instead of the usual comic book-style four color.
The next-to-last page of the story is from the one-color inside front cover, while the final page was the four-color back cover of the magazine!
Illustrated by Arnold Roth, it's never been established who wrote this tale from Humbug! #6 (1958)!
It could be Roth, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Al Jaffee, or even all of them in a collaboration!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Holiday Reading Room MAD "Comic Strip Characters' Christmas Party!"

This is one heckuva piece (scanned from the original art)...
...from EC's MAD Magazine #68 (1962), featuring most of the major comic strip characters of the day, most of whom are (sob) no longer being published in new material, only reprints!
Here's the complete list: Mr. Dithers; Dennis Mitchell; Henry Mitchell; Moonbeam McSwine; Dick Tracy; Hi Flagston; Lois Flagston; Joe Palooka; Steve Roper; Smitty; Archie Andrews; Ponytail; Tarzan; Minnie Mouse; Donald Duck; Gran'ma; Pigpen; Smokey Stover; Lucy Van Pelt; Sweetpea; Schroeder; Popeye; Simon Templar: the Saint; Daddy Warbucks; Little Orphan Annie; Sandy; Moon Mullins; Charlie Brown; Blondie Bumstead; Dagwood Bumstead: Hans Katzenjammer; Fritz Katzenjammer; Steve Canyon; Terry Lee; The Little King; Henry; Ferd'nand; Fearless Fosdick; Li'l Abner; Prince Valiant; Diana Palmer; The Phantom; Mandrake the Magician; Lothar; Nancy; Jeff; Alley Oop; Felix the Cat; Mary Worth; B.C.; The Lone Ranger; Summer Smith Olsen; Snoopy; Albert Alligator; Pogo Possum; Junior Tracy; Mr. Magoo; Miss Peach; Mark Trail; Rip Kirby; Dondi; Gravel Gertie.
BTW, we all know the illustrator, the legendary Wally Wood, but writer Gary Belkin is all but unknown to most comics fans...but not comedy fans!
He was an Emmy-winning writer for such shows as Carol Burnett Show, Tonight Show (Johnny Carson), Car 54, Where Are You?, Blondie (1968 series based on the comic strip), Ceasar's Hour (Sid Ceasar), and Sesame Street!

Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics at Christmastime!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holiday Reading Room SANTA CLAUS FUNNIES "How Santa Got His Red Suit"

Didn't you ever wonder...
Well, here's the answer, from Dell's Four Color Comics #61 (1944)!
After being published annually as it's own title in 1942-1943, Santa Claus Funnies became a Four Color Comics feature, publishing annually from 1944 to 1961.
This tale was written and illustrated by Walt Kelly, before he created the classic comic strip Pogo.
Beginning with a two-part adaptation of the novel Gulliver's Travels in New Comics in 1935,  Walt began an almost two-decade run in comic books, almost all of it for Dell Comics, where his distinctive style quickly developed into the "house style" for humor and funny animal stories that other artists would try to emulate.
Walt was the primary artist on the ongoing Santa Claus Funnies and Mother Goose series, and, as we said, we'll be presenting quite a few of those stories this Christmas season.
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics This Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Make your Christmas tree SpaceMan Jet's landing pad!

Flash Gordon!
Buck Rogers!
Brick Bradford!
Even...Rocket Kelly!
Have you ever noticed that space-faring heroes almost NEVER have a first name like "Dave" or "Melvin"? (Yeah, there was DAN Dare, but his last name was "Dare" for chissakes!)
It's always something dramatic and/or futuristic!
Makes you wonder what their parents were thinking when they filled out the birth certificate..."Yeah, "Brick"! That's a good name for the kid!"

Jet Powers was one of the last of that breed of high-adventure heroes, a kick-butt, blast-first-and-ask-questions-later kinda guy who crossed space and time like you and I cross the street!
As rendered by Bob Powell, one of the most versatile illustrators of the Golden Age (He did everything, sci-fi, romance, war, horror, etc), Jet was a ruggedly-handsome guy with distinctive white hair and a nose that had been broken and reset! (Think of a combo of Bruce Willis and Peter Graves.)
Besides being good in a fight, Jet was a scientific wiz with his own mountaintop base and spacecraft!
He operated as a freelance agent for the United States, meeting the President himself at least once just to receive orders!
In four issues of his own title Jet battled Mr Sinn, an evil scientist equal to himself, who was colored bright green, but like Ming the Merciless, was an alien variation of the "Yellow Menace" villain stereotype.
Powers also met, rescued, and fell in love with Su Shan, formerly a servant of Sinn. Of course, Sinn wanted her back, so Jet had to keep rescuing her for the entire series!
You can read his exciting adventures by clicking HERE!

Atomic Kommie Comics™ has returned him to interplanetary action as SpaceMan Jet, along with the SpaceBusters, in our The Future WAS Fantastic!™ series, even giving him his own section.where all four of his spectacular star-spanning covers adorn mugs, shirts and a plethora of other goodies!

For the special someone in your life with a taste for retro sci-fi / fantasy, you can't go wrong with one of these items as a Christmas present!
(Heck, if I didn't already have them, I'd want 'em!)

Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics at Christmas!
Visit Amazon and Order...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Reading Room: SANTA CLAUS FUNNIES "Christmas Comes to Mars"

...this short story about little (non-green) Martians meeting Saint Nick showed the Christmas Spirit could be universal...
Illustrated by workhorse Dan Gormley, this never-reprinted tale from Dell's Four Color #666 (1955) jumped on the then-popular flying saucer craze.
Gormley began in 1940 by doing super-hero, sci-fi, and horror strips, then transitioned after several years to humor and funny animal, spending the bulk of his career doing lighter fare.
He had a real knack for matching various animation styles and illustrated many tales and covers based on animated films and TV shows from the Walter Lantz, Walt Disney, UPA, and Warner Brothers studios until he retired from comics in 1965!
The story is part of the annual Santa Claus Funnies anthology which ran in Four Color every Christmas from 1942 to 1961, and most of the tales have never been reprinted!
So we're going to correct that omission this year, running a number of these stories along with Walt Kelly's Christmas with Mother Goose tales.
Watch for them.
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics at Christmastime!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Cowboys + Dinosaurs = Christmas FUN!

Art by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito
They just don't make comics like this anymore!
Masked cowboy hero vs gunslinger riding a pterodactyl...and a bright magenta pterodactyl at that!
It's the sort of concept a nine-year old would come up with while playing with his (or her) newly-unwrapped action figures under the Christmas tree, mixing the dinosaurs with superheroes and cowboys!

Why not?
That's what makes it so KOOL!
It's so darn silly, yet fun, you just have to look at it and think "what the--?"

That's exactly the sense of wonder we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ still feel!
We want to live in a world where anything can, and does, happen!
In pop culture, we call this sort of tale "cross-genre", where a story draws elements from disparate categories of fiction.

Sometimes there's a certain logic to it.
One of my favorite books involves fiction's greatest detective dealing with the first alien invasion!
Since he lived in London at the time the invasion took place, it seems only (dare I say it) elementary, that Sherlock Holmes would witness and analyze the Martian invasion of 1898!
That's the basis of the superb pastiche, Sherlock Holmes' War of the Worlds by Manly Wade Wellman & Wade Wellman!
That novel, to me, defines KOOL!
(The fact the story also includes another of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic characters; Professor Challenger from The Lost World and other sci-fi novels, is a cross-genre bonus!)
Track down a copy.
If you're a HolmesChallenger, and/or War of the Worlds fan (I'm a fan of all three), it's well worth the effort!

Sometimes there's no real logic to it except--"why not?"
That's the category where something like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians goes!
And that's where the cover shown above goes.
This particular design was so cross-genre we put it in two wildly-different sections--Dinosaurs!, and Masked Western Heroes, because, hey, it fits both categories, so--"why not?"

Keep the Sense of Wonder alive!
Give a Christmas gift that keeps inspiring the imaginations of both the young and the young-at-heart!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...