Saturday, October 28, 2017

Why DRACULA VS ZORRO?

In 1992, Topps Comics adapted the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula...
...illustrated by the movie's production illustrator and noted comic artist Mike (Hellboy) Mignola!
Both the movie and the adaptation, perhaps the most faithful version of a movie ever, were hits!
With vampires in general a hot commodity in movies, tv, novels, and comics, Topps quickly followed-up with several projects including...
...Dracula: Vlad the Impaler...
...The Frankenstein-Dracula War
(Note: Topps had also adapted the movie Mary Shelley's Frankenstein)...
and Dracula vs Zorro...
Topps had acquired the rights to Zorro and apparently thought a good way to re-introduce the character to the comics audience would be to tie-in with the trendy lord of vampires.
After all, the graphic novel Red Rain, featuring The Batman and Dracula had sold amazingly-well, and Batman was a similar "dark heroic" character to Zorro, so writer Don McGregor and artist Tom Yeates came up with a story that could fit into both characters' continuity with a minimum of fuss.
Both Dracula (in flashback), and his victim, Carmelita, would turn up in the Zorro series (which ran 12 issues) once more.
(We'll present that story next week.)
Carmelita would become a regular in the Zorro spin-off series Lady Rawhide.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Holiday Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "I Spent the Night in a Haunted House!"

...now let's look at how Stan Lee and a Silver Age superstar re-told the tale a decade later!
Stan Lee turned the previously-used plot over to writer Larry Lieber and artist Don Heck who modified it slightly for this story from Atlas' Journey into Mystery #80 (1962).
Trivia: When this story was reprinted in Marvel's Monsters on the Prowl #26 (1973), the comics the kids were reading were updated to then-current titles...
...but the last panel still showed the kid reading Journey into Mystery...because that title had just been revived!
Be here Monday for one more version of this tale...by Stan Lee and another Silver Age superstar!
Tomorrow is Friday Fun...Dracula vs Zorro!
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Marvel Masterworks: Atlas-Era
Journey into Mystery
Volume 4

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Holiday Reading Room UNCANNY TALES "I was Locked in a...Haunted House!"

Here's a tale that was so kool...
...Stan Lee and the artists at Atlas/Marvel told it three times...with variations, of course!
Written by Stan Lee, illustrated by Joe Maneely, this story from Atlas' Uncanny Tales #7 (1953) featured comic book fanboys as the protaganists.
(Note they only read Atlas titles like Mystic, Marvel Tales, and Uncanny Tales!
None of that EC crud for these guys!)
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Holiday Reading Room MADHOUSE "Going-Going-Real Gone!"

Though it doesn't look like it...
...this cover is actually the opener of a haunted house story spoofing both horror and then-current pop culture!
The Iger Comics Studio produced this tale for Ajax-Farrell's MadHouse V1N4 (1954), showing teen/young adult hipsters/hepcats encountering ghosts (apparently of middle-aged/older people) who didn't realize their attempts at creating ugly art and terrifying music resulted in cutting-edge popular culture!
When MAD became a surprise hit in 1953 (after the early issues lost money!) other comics publishers were quick to jump onto the bandwagon, eventually bringing out more than a dozen imitations with titles like FLIP, WHACK!, NUTS, EH!, UNSANE!, MADHOUSE/BUGHOUSE, and GET LOST!
These copiers realized that Will Elder’s cluttered “chicken fat” layouts were a major part of MAD’s success, and their pages were also densely-packed with all sorts of outlandish and bizarre gags!
Trivia: While most companies (like Ajax/Farrell) published just a single MAD imitation title, Atlas (the predecessor to Marvel) dove head-first into the fad, with no less than four titles, Snafu, WILD, RIOT, and Crazy!

These “parody comics” are uniquely 1950s catching the popular culture zeitgeist through a dual lens: not only reflecting '50s culture through parody but also being typical examples of that culture...ironically, in a way that MAD wasn't!
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Monday, October 23, 2017

Holiday Reading Room ADVENTURES INTO WEIRD WORLDS "House of Horror"

While today's haunted house tale was the cover feature...
...the art, by the amazing Bill Everett, didn't quite get it right...as you shall see!
Why Everett did a demon/werewolf on the cover instead of the Jim Mooney-rendered skeleton shown is unknown!
When this story from Atlas' Adventures into Weird Worlds #6 (1952) was reprinted as the cover featured tale in Marvel's Dead of Night #1 (1973)...
...artist John Romita Sr got the skeleton right!
Thanks to revisions in the comics Code, the tale was reprinted almost verbatim!
But for some reason, the title was altered...
Nobody knows why...
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Design of the EEK! HALLOWEEN PAJAMA PARTY!

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another!
This week...The perfect design for a sleep-over during the Halloween season, an only slightly-scary Jack O Lantern interrupts a sleep-over!
Order it now, before this Halloween treat ends up as a too-late-for-Halloween trick!
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