Saturday, January 14, 2017

LOST WORLDS and FANTASTIC WORLDS Cover Gallery

They ran for a combined total of only five issues...
Art by Alex Toth
...but Standard's short-lived sci-fi anthologies Fantastic Worlds and Lost Worlds had some first-rate talent both on the covers and inside them!
Art by John Celardo
Plus, all five covers had something in common quite unique in publishing...
...none of the covers had anything to do with any of the interior stories!
Art by Alex Toth & Mike Peppe
Despite the captions, which did mention titles from stories that ran in the books...
Art by Mike Sekowsky & John Celardo
...the art didn't depict anything even close to what was in the tales!
But they sure look kool, don't they?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Reading Room LOST WORLDS "Outlaws of Space"

Some say space operas are just Westerns with rayguns instead of six-shooters...
...and here's a story that plays with those cliches, even down to the characters mentioning the parallels!
While we don't know who wrote this never-reprinted story from Standard's short-lived sci-fi anthology Lost Worlds #6 (1952), the art is by Alex Toth (pencils) and Al Rubano (inks).
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reading Room WEIRD TALES OF THE FUTURE "Time and Tide"

According to the cliche, what "waits for no man"?
The answer is in this never-reprinted tale from Key's Weird Tales of the Future #6 (1953).
The writer of this story is unknown, but the artist is Eugene E Hughes, who had a brief career in comics working exclusively for Key Publications, then disappearing from the art world (comic books/strips/commercial art) entirely!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reading Room: ATOM-AGE COMBAT "Puzzle"

Besides tales of the US and USSR fighting World War III...
...this series featured tales of combat on other worlds, as well!
Note: the last page was the inside back cover of the comic, so it's just black-and-white.
Illustrated by Dick Ayers, this tale from Fago's Atom-Age Combat #3 (1959) touches on an interesting idea.
Someone's keeping us from leaving Earth...but they're also keeping others from approaching Earth!
Were they protecting us from them...or them from us?
Since this was the final tale in the final issue of the series, we'll never know the answer...
BTW, this was the second series called "Atom-Age Combat"!
The first was published by St John Comics with five issues in 1952-53 and a one-shot in 1958.
Fago Publications bought the title when St John dropped it's comic line, continuing the numbering from the one-shot and producing two issues.
Fago itself only lasted from 1958-59.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Reading Room UNCANNY TALES "Escape from Mars"

Here's a never-reprinted sci fi/horror tale from the 1950s...
...from a Weird Science/Tales from the Crypt clone!
Illustrated by Joe Sinnott (best known as the inker for a large part of the Fantastic Four's Silver and Bronze Age run), this tale from Atlas' Uncanny Tales #15 (1953) actually has a scientific basis (sort of) for the conclusion!
The Perseid Meteor shower occurs every late summer/early autumn.
The unknown writer of the tale took advantage of that ongoing event to anchor this rather fanciful story in reality.
But, in doing so, the scripter made a major mistake!
Since Mars is much further from the Sun than the Earth, it takes longer (about 1.88 "Earth years") for the Red Planet to orbit the star called Sol!
Unless the Martian calendar's "year" is less time than a complete orbit around the Sun (as ours is), their "September" and ours wouldn't coincide on an annual basis!
Plus, as a morality tale, the story fails miserably!
Spiro (who killed to get the ticket) and his wife, Cinda, get what's coming to them.
But all the other Martians on board the ships are, as far as we know, innocent!
They don't deserve to die!
And Dictator/Scientist Vleben will continue to murder the surplus population without punishment!
One of the great things about the EC Comics sci-fi/horror line was that justice, however bloody and gruesome, was always served!
However, the many clones, like this one, simply "went for the jugular" without the emotionally-satisfying balancing of the scales of justice!
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Monday, January 9, 2017

Reading Room FLIP FALCON IN THE FOURTH DIMENSION "Marriage on Mercury!"

It's been almost eighty years since this never-reprinted story appeared...
...but it's astonishing what we've learned about the planet Mercury in the interim!
Wow!
This Don Rico-written and illustrated tale from Fox's Fantastic Comics #7 (1940) might well be the first example of inter-species...er...relations with the female as the aggressor!
(The hot-to-trot one in such stories is usually the alien male!)
BTW, what happened to the Queen's father, whom she claimed was an Earthman?
How'd he get there in the early 1900s?
What happened to him?
Another example of the multiple concepts the amazing Rico just tossed off the top of his head, then promptly forgot about while working on these maniacally-paced stories!
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(who turned novelist after leaving comics!)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Trump Reading Room HILLBILLY COMICS "Inquiring Artist" & "Meeting of the Staff of Hillbilly Comics!"

Let's look at two short features starring Don (the Con) Trump's "deplorables"...
These never-reprinted strips from Charlton's Hillbilly Comics #1 (1955) seem to mirror the mind-set of those whom Don (the Con) Trump lovingly-referred to as "poorly-educated".
Writer /artist Art Gates never imagined his work from over a half-century ago would be relevant decades later!
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