Saturday, May 19, 2018

Reading Room OUT OF THIS WORLD "Imagination"

What is more powerful than a little kid's...
...where anything and everything can happen?
Written by Joe Gill and illustrated by Steve Ditko, this tale from Charlton's Out of This World #8 (1958) is simple. but hangs together beautifully.
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Dripping With Fear
Steve Ditko Archives Volume #5
(which reprints this tale) 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday Fun REX DEXTER "Three Suns of Doom"

...he seems to have somehow detoured into interstellar space!
You have to admire the sheer imagination Dick Briefer packed into tales like this one from Fox's Mystery Men Comics #5 (1939).
There's enough here for at least a book-length story in today's "decompressed" titles...if not a two-parter!
And considering what movie special effects tech was like in 1939, the only way you'd see creatures like those monsters on page 14 back then was in newspaper comic strips, pulp magazines, or comic books!
Amazing stuff!

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Reading Room RAVENS AND RAINBOWS "Explored"

Jeffrey Catherine Jones was an amazing artistic talent who left our moral coil far too soon...
...but while Jeff was here, we got to enjoy some fascinating work, like this tale!
This story appeared (with color by the amazing Steve Oliff) in Pacific Comics' one-shot Ravens and Rainbows (1983), which consisted entirely of Jones' work which had previously appeared in b/w!
Problem is, I can't figure out where it first appeared!
Anybody know?
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder CARSON OF VENUS "Catastrophe"

...ah, the "I hate you...I love you...I hate you!" trope so popular in fiction (and, as I discovered, in real life, too)!
The adaptation of Pirates on Venus sort-of concludes on a semi-cliffhanger with this action-packed chapter from DC's Korak: Son of Tarzan #53 (1973).
(The actual conclusion of the novel takes place in the first couple of pages of the next chapter, which knits it and the beginning of the next novel, Lost on Venus, together!
Note that artist Mike Kaluta takes over the scripting for the remainder of the strip's run!
Be here next week as we begin the adaptation of Lost on Venus!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tom Wolfe (1931-2018) and Doctor Strange

The late "New Journalism" pioneer Tom Wolfe referenced Marvel's Doctor Strange in...
...a non-fiction book about the cross-country adventures of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in passages like
“Kesey is young, serene and his face is lineless and round and smooth as a baby’s as he sits for hours on end reading comic books, absorbed in the plunging purple Steve Ditko shadows of Doctor Strange.”
(BTW, dig that psychedelic cover by graphic design legend Milton Glaser!)
Several years later, writer Roy Thomas (a former English teacher and big fan of Wolfe), penciler Gene Colan and inker Tom Palmer returned the favor in Doctor Strange #180 (1969)...
You can read the whole story HERE.
Strange's " old friend of mine...haven't seen him since '64..." line is a reference to the year Electric Kool Aid Acid Test was published.
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Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
by Tom Wolfe

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Madness FANTASTIC COMICS "Space Smith and the Floating Island in the Lost Sun"

One of the truly difficult things on this blog... coming up with titles for Fletcher Hanks' untitled stories!
How do you convey some of the really weird goings-on?
This Space Smith tale from Fox's Fantastic Comics #5 could've had several different titles including "The Hopping Men of the Floating Island!" or "The Hopping Men of the Lost Sun!"!
We decided on the title based on the two weird locations shown in the story.
But, like most of Fletcher Hank's stories, there's so much going on that it's hard to pin down one ot two aspects.
Best to just go along for the ride and enjoy!

BTW, you'll note we've modified the header to read "Monday Madness".
Since Monday is the beginning of the workweek/schoolweek for most of you, we felt we should dedicate our Monday entries to the weird or humorous to lighten your mood.
So, when Space Smith winds up, we'll run something equally funky or funny to entertain you and make the beginning of the week less dreary!
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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Holiday Reading Room "Mothers Day"

Ever wonder why Mother's Day is when it is...or even why it is?
Oddly, there's no entry in this comic for Father's Day!
(Perhaps because Father's Day wasn't made an official American holiday until 1972, decades after this comic was published in 1956!)
Why is this comic entitled "Every Day is a Holly Day" instead of "Every Day is a Holiday"?
Because it was given away to kids by grocers who sold Holly Sugar!
Illustrated by John Rosenberger, it's a unique pamphlet covering a number of American holidays, including both Lincoln and Washington's Birthdays (before they were combined into "Presidents' Day"), Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and a couple of holidays we've largely abandoned...Pan-American Day and American Indian Day!
We'll be presenting the other chapters on the dates they fall upon.
Watch for them!
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