Saturday, February 3, 2018

Reading Room TRAGG AND THE SKY GODS "Where Prowls the Devil Shark" Conclusion

...Zorek, learning that rebellious officer Fernek is still alive and that reinforcements are en-route from Yargon, decides to silence the rebel before he can tell the other Yargonians of the commander's failures.
Following the radiation from Fernek's jetpack, the Yargonian attack force comes upon...
The series ends with many open plotlines.
What happens when the other Yargonians arrive?
Do they arrest Zorek, or continue with his plans?
Does Fernek work with Tragg and the humans to resist the Yargonians?
Do he and Keera try to contact the others and tell them the truth?
Do the Yargonians end up abandoning their attempt at conquering the Earth?
Does Keera actually accept Fernek's love?
Sadly, we'll never know the answers.
Unlike most of the other Silver/Bronze Age Gold Key series, Tragg and the Sky Gods has never been reprinted or revived in new tales.
But...there is one more chapter in the story of Tragg and Lorn...a "lost tale" from their beginnings that finally saw publication just as Gold Key itself headed for extinction!
Click HERE to visit our "sister" RetroBlog Heroines! and read that final tale...
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(featuring the behind-the-scenes info on the creation of Tragg and the other Gold Key comic series Don worked on!)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Fun TRAGG AND THE SKY GODS "Where Prowls the Devil Shark" Part 1

It's just another evening in prehistoric times... Neanderthals assault a "sky goddess" (actually a stranded alien woman)!
To Be Concluded...
Ferenk was believed killed when Zorek shot at him...
...but, in the best tradition of comic book storytelling, unless you see the inert body, there's no guarantee he's actually dead!
Tragg and the Sky Gods was cancelled with the previous issue we presented, #8 (1977), but the next issue was in production when that occured!
Comics publishers are notoriously..."thrifty"...and, since the material had already been paid for, there was no reason not to use it!
Gold Key Spotlight was the "graveyard" for inventory material from various genres' cancelled titles, including sci-fi/fantasy, teen humor, and funny animals!
(It also served as filler for Whitman ComicPacs, sold in the 1960s and 70s in non-traditional markets like five-and-dime shops, supermarkets and grocery stores.
Read about them HERE and HERE!)
Unused stories from all three of writer Don Glut's books, (Tragg, Dagar the Invincible, and Occult Files of Doctor Spektor) finally saw publication in this anthology title.
Ironically, this issue of Spotlight was #9 (1977), which was the issue number of Tragg the story was intended for!

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(featuring the behind-the-scenes info on the creation of Tragg and the other Gold Key comic series Don worked on!)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Reading Room CALVIN "New Pool"

The Black Panther was not the first Black Marvel character to get a cover-featured series!
He wasn't even the second!
He was the third!
First was Luke Cage, who received his own title...
The second character was...
Several months before Prince T'Challa took over a reprint book and began a memorable series that's serving as part of the plot of the new blockbuster opening February 16th...
...this character took over a reprint book and began a series that nobody remembers!
Written and penciled by Kevin Banks and inked by "NT", this never-reprinted tale from Marvel's Li'l Kids #11 (1972) was part of a brief, 3-issue run of one-page gags and 3-5 page stories that seemed recycled from vaudeville routines and 1940s-50s comic strips.
BTW, you can read our other Calvin re-presentations HERE!
What makes the strip somewhat more fascinating is the identity of the little-known writer-artist behind it.
"Kevin Banks" was not a pseudonym, but a staffer at Marvel in the early 1970s!
Even the ever-amazing comics researcher Nick Caputo could find little about the mysterious Mr Banks, as seen HERE.
What Banks did after working at Marvel is unknown.
Did he work in advertising?
Become an art instructor?
Switch careers and become an accountant or fireman?
We may never know the answer...
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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reading Room OUTER SPACE "Man from Outer Space"

Finding a never-reprinted Al Williamson-penciled story really makes my day!
And finding one inked by Dick Giordano,  an artist who rarely worked with him, makes it even kooler!
Likely created in the pre-Sputnik era, this Joe Gill-written tale appeared in the first issue of Charlton's Outer Space (#17 in 1958) with other stories showing a more realistic look at space travel based on Chesley Bonestell's iconic designs and then-current technology than this Flash Gordon/Weird Science rendition!
Not that I'm complaining, mind you...
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Reading Room OUTER SPACE "Repair Stop"

Today's comics creators have lost the ability to tell a straightforward story... a short story format!
Written by Joe Gill and illustrated by Steve Ditko, this efficent, effective tale from Charlton's Outer Space #18 (1958) sets up the minimal plot, conveys multiple points of view, and delivers a satisfying ending...all within four pages!
If it was done today, it'd be a book-length tale!
You'll note Ditko's heavy use of pen, rather than brush for inking, resulting in a less-lush, less organic "feel" and a lot more cross-hatching instead of feathering than his work only a year later, when he was transitioning from Charlton over to Atlas/Marvel.
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Monday, January 29, 2018

Reading Room NORGE BENSON "Plutonian Prehistoric Peril"

...he was returning to Pluto after spending a couple of issues on a jungle planet where he met the scantly-clad Princess Jolie...
This tale from Fiction House's Planet Comics #22 (1943), proves artist Al Walker and whoever the writer is haven't lost their sense of the ludicrous!
More cold calamities next Monday!
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Planet Comics