Saturday, November 18, 2017

Reading Room ANYTHING GOES! "Heroes"

Sometimes you come across a beautiful piece that speaks for itself...
...such as this never-reprinted Alex Toth piece from Fantagraphics' "benefit book" Anything Goes! #1 (1986)
Exactly what Anything Goes was can be discovered HERE.
Several such "benefit books" (and "benefit portfolios") were produced in the 1980s, including Eclipse's Destroyer Duck (to aid Steve Gerber in his Howard the Duck lawsuit against Marvel), and Last Gasp's Strip AIDS U.S.A. (benefiting the Shanti Project, an AIDS education and support organization!)
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics
Visit Amazon and Order...

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Fun TALES OF SWORD AND SORCERY "Cult of the Cave Bear"

The second try at a Tragg strip...
...dropped any elements of science fiction, and went for pure fantasy...including zombies!
This Don Glut-scripted. Jesse Santos-illustrated story from Gold Key's Mystery Comics Digest #9 (1973) has never been reprinted, nor are the events or other characters referred to in the subsequent Tragg and the Sky Gods series, which we'll begin next Friday!
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics!
Visit Amazon and Order...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Best of Reading Room KENTON OF THE STAR PATROL "Sirens of Space"

Kenton goes hand-to-hand with space pirates...

...and to think he gets paid to do this sort of stuff!
Where do I sign up for the Star Patrol?
This Kenton story from Avon's Strange Worlds #5 (1951) demonstrates Joe Orlando and Wally Wood's talent for rendering both exotic machinery and beautiful women.
It's also their final Kenton story, but not their final work on the character.
He did the cover for the next issue, which features the final tale in the Kenton series, but illustrated by another artist!
You'll see that one on Monday!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Best of Reading Room KENTON OF THE STAR PATROL "Vampires of the Void"

Strap on your blasters and activate your ato-jets, kids... we join our space-faring hero against gorgeous aliens who suck the life from humans!
Now that's a sci-fi horror tale...and illustrated by Wally Wood and Joe Orlando!
Gardner Fox scripted the story published in Avon's Strange Worlds #4 (1951) and actually makes sense, given the scientific knowledge of the era.
But using the "Kenton betrays the Star Patrol" ruse twice in only four issues makes you wonder just how dumb evildoers of the future are.
Add an incredible cover (also by Orlando and Wood)...
Art by Joe Orlando and Wally Wood
...and you've got a cult classic!
Hard to believe it's only been reprinted twice!
The same premise was utilized (even more graphically) almost 35 years later in the 1985 film LifeForce, based on the 1976 novel Space Vampires by Colin Wilson.
Want to bet Wilson read "Vampires of the Void" as a kid?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Best of Reading Room KENTON OF THE STAR PATROL "Alien Raiders"

When interstellar crime occurs, there's only one man to call... this exciting tale from Avon's Strange Planets #3 (1951) demonstrates!
This second Kenton story is Joe Orlando and Wally Wood's first work on the strip (Joe Kubert illustrated the character's first appearance).
Orlando and Wood would subsequently do all but the last Kenton tale, despite a very hectic schedule in 1951, including other Avon Comics work, illustrating the ongoing Captain Science strip plus miscellaneous short stories for Youthful Publishing, and numerous EC Comics assignments in various genres, before going exclusively to EC for a couple of years.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Best of Reading Room KENTON OF THE STAR PATROL "Corsairs from the Coalsack!"

Space Squadron, Space Patrol, Star Rangers, Space Sentinels...
...with all those law-enforcement organizations prowling the spaceways of 1950s sci-fi, it's surprising there were any villains who dared commit crimes in the Milky Way!
This premiere appearance (but second printing) of Kenton of the Star Patrol is from Avon's Strange Worlds #1 (1950) is written by Gardner Fox, and illustrated by Joe Kubert.
It first appeared in Avon Publishing's Out of This World Adventures #2 (1950), a weird half-comic/half pulp magazine experiment that lasted only two issues.
Kenton was one of only two ongoing strips in Strange Worlds, an anthology for both sci-fi/fantasy and the occasional horror tale.
(The other one was Crom the Barbarian.)
You'll be seeing Kenton's entire short-lived series here this week and next, as deadlines on a paying gig will keep me from doing all-new posts from now until after Thanksgiving.

Support Small Business!