Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Fun SPACE MOUSE "Atomic Attack"

This is as close as you'll get to an origin for Space Mouse...
...featuring the introduction of equipment and plot elements that'll pop up over time in the series!
Oddly, it was neither the lead nor the cover-featured story in Avon's Space Mouse #1 (1953)!
Go figure!
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Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Dead Walk at Christmas...

There have been numerous comic adaptations of Charles Dickens' Christmas ghost story...
...but this never-reprinted one from (believe it or not) Marvel Comics, has the distinction of being illustrated by more artists than any other version!
Credited to "Diverse Hands", the art styles I recognize include Bob Hall, Frank Giacoia, Frank Springer, Dave Cockrum, Marie Severin, Carmine Infantino, Steve Leialoha, John Romita Sr, Al Milgrom, Mike Esposito, and probably anybody who wandered into the Bullpen while this book was in production!
Trivia: 
This was the final title in the Marvel Classics Comics line which had started out as color reprints of the early '70s b/w Pendulum Press "comic adaptations of classic stories" series. After a dozen issues, Marvel began doing their own adaptations, continuing for another two dozen issues.
Scripter Doug Moench was no newcomer to adapting prose to comics having worked on comics versions of literary properties including Doc Savage, The Shadow, James Bond, and Fu Manchu!
Colorist Francoise Mouly later became the art editor of The New Yorker, co-creator of the legendary comic anthology Raw, and is currently the publisher/editorial director of Toon Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press. She is the creative partner (and spouse) of Art Spiegelman.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder FIST OF GOD "Chapter 1" Conclusion

...Mick Taggert, battle-scarred ex-soldier, now muscle-for-hire, joins a Texas gang which allies itself with an Arab sultan who wants to kidnap a woman in Mexico...
Talk about your cliffhangers...
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Holiday Reading Room SANTA CLAUS FUNNIES "Night Before Christmas"

There have been numerous graphic adaptations of this classic tale by Clement Clarke Moore.
...this is the third comics version (and one of the best), from Dell's Four Color Comics: Santa Calus Funnies #61 (1944)
Story taken verbatim from the original, art by Arthur E. Jameson.
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Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Madness ALICE "Tweedle Twins in Horrible Groark"

...Tweedledee and Tweedledum made a solo appearance during the Alice comic's brief run!
Considering the concept of the comic is that we're uncertain if Alice is actually encountering the characters or they're all figments of her Lewis Carroll-obsessed imagination, I'd say the "figments of her imagination" theory is pretty much blown!
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Sunday, November 25, 2018

SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS

He's the Jolly Old Elf in a red suit!
They are BIG Green Men from Mars with an even BIGGER robot!
Before Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, they were the ingredients for the weirdest Christmas movie ever!

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians was filmed in 1964 in that bastion of the cinema, Long Island (in an unused aircraft hangar).
Starring a host of tv and b-movie actors including handsome-but-stiff Leonard Hicks as the Martian Leader (and kids' father) Kimar, 60s villain/voiceover artist Vincent Beck (who did lots of work for Irwin Allen's sci-fi shows) as the film's mustache-twirling villain, Voldar, and John Call as a pretty damn convincing Santa Claus, the flick is touted as the debut of future talentless chantuse Pia Zadora as Martian Kid Girmar. Thankfully, she has rather limited screen time.
As an example of low-budget filmmaking, it's actually pretty effective.
Every penny (what few of them they had) is up on the screen.
They make good use of stock footage (from Dr. Strangelove, no less).
And the use of then-popular Wham-O Air Blaster toy guns as the Martian weapons was either a stroke of marketing genius or clever use of limited funds. Either way, sales of the guns shot thru the roof after the film hit the kiddie matinee circuit!

If you're between 3-9 years old, the flick's a lot of fun.
If you're between 10 and whatever the local drinking age is, it'll drive you nuts, especially the theme song!
If you're over the local drinking age, do so before watching! It's available on a host of public domain dvds as well as one of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 snarkfests.

And you just knew we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ were going to include Santa Claus Conquers the Martians in our Cool Christmas collection on stuff including kid and adult sweatshirts and hoodies, mugs and coasters, tree ornaments, and greeting cards!
BTW: The image above is from the comic book tie-in, which you can read in three parts...
There was also a single of the theme, a spoken-word LP album of the movie's dialogue, and a novelization!
Now I can't get that damn theme our of my head..."Hoo-ray for Santy Claus..." AARRRGGGHHH!

An early Christmas gift from us to you:
The Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version of the film (don't tell Dr Forrester)...

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