Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reading Room WORLDS UNKNOWN "A Gun for Dinosaur" Part 1

One of the great hokey time travel stories of all time...
...beautifully-adapted by some of Bronze Age Marvel's best creatives!
Be here tomorrow for the astounding conclusion!
Originally written in 1956 by L Sprague deCamp for Galaxy Magazine as a counterpoint to Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder"...
Art by Ed Emshwiller
...the one-shot spawned a series of stories about time traveling hunter Reginald Rivers!
The adaptation in Marvel's Worlds Unknown #2 (1973) by writer Roy Thomas and illustrators Val Mayerick and Ernie Chua/Chan is extremely faithful to the prose tale.
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featuring the complete time travel adventures of Reginald Rivers!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Reading Room FANTASTIC COMICS "Space Smith in the Battle of the Earth Against the Martian Ogres"

One of the longest story titles ever leads into our "When Last We Left Our Hero" synopsis...
...so buckle up your space-safety belts, 'cause now the action is non-stop!
An epic space battle worthy of feature-film treatment in only six pages!
Try doing that in today's comics!
BTW, isn't it odd how these Martians from Fox's Fantastic Comics #2 (1939) don't resemble the ones seen in Space Smith's previous adventure?
Some call Fletcher Hanks the "Ed Wood of comics", but there's no mistaking the sheer imagination behind the primitive art.
When comic books featuring new material (they were initially comic strip reprints) first appeared in the late 1930s, it was an "anything goes" market as publishers would run whatever they could lay their hands on from both comic strip and pulp magazine professionals and talented (read "cheap") amateurs.
Some, like Siegel & Shuster, Simon & Kirby, and Finger & Kane created what would become American icons.
Others. like Hanks, were like mayflies, briefly appearing...then disappearing, leaving little behind.
Even comics geeks had forgotten about Hanks' material, which sat un-reprinted for over half a century, until Fantagraphics produced a couple of books collecting his work from the various anthologies it appeared in!
We'll be running the entire Space Smith series over the next year, including both Hanks'  work and the later, more conventional tales by others.
Watch for them...
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Reading Room WEIRD WORLDS "Space Vampires"

...end up being used (almost verbatim) in Eerie Publications' Weird Worlds #V1N10 (1970)?
Eerie Publications had been using photostats and negatives from defunct comics companies as the source material for their b/w magazine line.
About a year in, they started using South American artists eager to break into the comics market and American artists like Dick Ayers and Chic Stone who were losing work as the Silver Age ended and comics companies cut back their lines, to re-do old stories with a more contemporary style.
Some illustrators totally-redid the art, using new "camera angles" and clothing/technology designs reflecting contemporary tastes.
In this particular case, artist Cirilo Munoz just lightboxed and re-inked the existing Wally Wood/Joe Orlando artwork!
Editor Carl (Golden Age Human Torch) Burgos rewrote the opening captions and changed the hero's name, but otherwise left Gardner Fox's original script intact.
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Birthday...ME!

Taking the day off to celebrate...
See you tomorrow...

Oh, yeah, it's Father's Day, too...
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