Saturday, September 2, 2017

Over 60 Years Later, and North Korea's STILL At It!

Is this what it's going to come down to?
The recent rumblings and threats from the Hermit Kingdom about atomic weaponry and the will to use it sounded strangely familiar.
A quick look thru the extensive Atomic Kommie Comics™ archives shows a whole section of Korean Police Action kool kollectibles featuring designs from over 50 years ago for the perusal (and purchase) of all you veterans, relatives of vets, and / or war comics fans in our War: Past, Present, & Future™ collection!
Never has "retro" been so timely!
So, if you want to make a statement, or just look like you're up on current events, go with Korean Police Action mugs, t-shirts, messenger bags, or other tchochkies...before the missiles fly and the bombs drop!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Fun BIG APPLE COMIX "Can You Spot the New York Air Breather?" & "Backward"

We've reached the final two pages from the legendary Big Apple Comix!
Written and illustrated by underground cartoonist Margery Peters (aka Petchesky), known for her work on Wet Satin and Wimmen's Comix!
To cap it all off, Fabulous Flo herself writes and draws the epilogue...
But her contributions to our shared culture will live on forever...
Be here next Friday as we introduce a new ongoing feature!
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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Reading Room WORLD OF FANTASY "One Night"

Spaceship crewmen on shore leave at a distant port...
...sounds like a recipe for trouble!
Like many Baby Boomers (who, ironically, were this story's target audience of 6-13 year old children in 1956), Pete Cooper didn't plan for his retirement!
As a result, he made a gaffe that assured his fate would be exactly what he feared!
Illustrated by penciler Bob Forgione and inker Jack Abel, this never-reprinted morality play appeared in Atlas' World of Fantasy #2 (1956)!
The writer is unknown.
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Sci-Fi Art: a Graphic History

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Reading Room WORLD OF MYSTERY "Night I Lost My Body!"

Some people lose their minds!
This guy will tell you about something even worse...
...in a never-reprinted tale from Atlas' World of Mystery #7 (1957)!
Illustrated by longtime Simon & Kirby Studio artist Marvin Stein, the story seems to have a very Jack Kirby "feel" to the panel structures and character poses.
Could Kirby have helped out by doing uncredited layouts?
We'll never know...
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Reading Room STRANGE WORLDS "Abduction of the Earth"

Behind this kool Wally Wood inside cover vignette...
...lurks a never-reprinted tale from Avon's Strange Worlds #5 (1951) by an unknown artist or artists!
A typical "hard" sci-fi tale from the 1950s, not a classic, but an entertaining way to spend a few minutes letting your mind wander.
It could have made a decent B-movie back then...or a $100 million 3-D flick today!
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Sci-Fi Art: a Graphic History

Monday, August 28, 2017

Happy 100th, Jack Kirby!

To celebrate his centennial, here's a Kirby piece that's never been reprinted in color!

Appearing in the September, 1966 issue of Esquire magazine...this art was later reused, in pieces, as clip art for various projects including MarvelMania publications.
The Spider-Man was retouched by John Romita to keep him "on-model".
The art (probably photostats) was hand-colored with Dr Martins dyes used for decades by comics colorists for their color guides.
Inking on this spread looks like Joe Sinnott. (The Thing is a dead-giveaway. Nobody inked him like Sinnott!)

These two pages were b/w in the original publication, though the art was probably provided in color.
(In b/w publishing, blues and greens print as light gray, reds and oranges print as dark gray.)
Note the unusual, never-seen-again leg-webbing above on Spider-Man!
The inking on these two pages looks, to my eye, like Frank Giacoia.

Wonder who has the originals?
Are they in the Esquire art archives, or were they returned to Marvel?
On a side note: the best way to appreciate Jack Kirby the creative person is to read/hear his own words.
For those who want to understand Kirby the man, a fairly-complete list of interviews with The King thanks to the Kirby Museum...HERE!
LONG LIVE THE KING!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Frankly, It's Frankie! (Frankenstein, that is!)

As Halloween approaches, we thought we'd take a look back at one of the best horror comics series of all time (and toss in a free plug while we're at it!)

Prize Comics' Monster of Frankenstein began life in Prize Comics #7 (the same issue that introduced The Green Lama to comics) and continued over several years going from a relatively-straight sequel to the Mary Shelley novel to all-out comedy, all drawn by the same artist, Dick Briefer (who also created the series The Target & the Targeteers.) and continuing to the point when Prize Comics became Prize Western Comics.
By then, he had his own title, also played for laughs, which ran for 17 issues.

Of particular note was Prize Comics #24, where The Green Lama, Yank & Doodle, The Black Owl, and other Prize Comics heroes teamed up as "The Prize Fighters" to deal with the assumed threat of the Monster, much as various Marvel heroes tend to team up to try to tame the presumed threat of The Incredible Hulk!

By the mid-1950s, with horror comics a hot genre, The Monster was revived as a straight horror title with #18 and running thru #33, with Dick Briefer still at the artistic helm.
This is the period Golden Age fans still speak of in respectful hushed tones (although technically, it's not the Golden Age).

Old-timers may also note the logo was adapted for the first (and only) issue of Calvin Beck's Journal of Frankenstein, a b/w magazine which was retitled Castle of Frankenstein for the remainder of it's run.
(It was one of the better competitors to Forrest J. Ackerman's long-running Famous Monsters of Filmland).

There have been several reprints of the Briefer material including Ray Zone's 3-D Zone, Michael T. Gilbert's Mr Monster's Hi-Shock Schlock, and AC Comics' Men of Mystery, and most recently, Idea Men Productions' trade paperback (ISBN-10 1419640178, ISBN-13 978-1419640179)
AC Comics also did an updated, villainous version of the character, called "Frightenstein"* in a number of their titles, and Dynamite Entertainment's Project SuperPowers has incorporated him as the conceptual basis of the "F-Troop" reanimated-corpse soldiers.

Knowing you can't keep a good monster down, Atomic Kommie Comics™ has revived The Monster as part of our Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™ collectibles line with six classic covers (including #18, his first horror-era appearance) adorning such items as tote bags (perfect as Halloween trick-or-treat bags), mousepads, blank sketchbooks, mugs, and, of course, shirts.
In addition, we now have a Frankenstein 2018 12-Month calendar featuring the a dozen of the best of both the humor and horror versions!

Personally, I'm gonna be wearing one of the shirts on Halloween.
Only question is, which one? ;-)

*"Frightenstein" was also the name of a short-lived 1970s syndicated tv series called
The Hilarious House of Frightenstein. Vincent Price did a number of intros to segments.
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