Saturday, January 11, 2020

Reading Room STRANGE WORLDS "Abduction of Henry Twigg"

Here's a dream come true for all us fanboys and nerds (Yep, I'm one)...
...in this Joe Kubert-illustrated tale from Avon's Strange Worlds #8 (1952)...
Talk about politically-incorrect...from both sexes!
But it's still entertaining, and that's what counts, eh?
Note: we've run stories from two different series named "Strange Worlds".
This tale is from the first one, published by Avon Comics in the early 1950s.
By the late 1950s, Avon Publishing had abandoned comic books and concentrated on "traditional" publishing (hardcovers and paperbacks) in various genres (including sci-fi and horror).
Curiously, when comics became "hot' in the 1960s, Avon did not reprint their comic library in paperback format the way Ballantine Books did with EC ComicsSignet did with DC Comics, and Lancer did with Marvel.
Considering they owned the material and didn't have to pay to reprint it like all the other publishers did, it seems like a lost opportunity for Avon to make some quick cash.
Note: We've recently re-presented several tales from the other Strange Worlds, published by Atlas Comics in the late 1950s, literally right before they became Marvel in 1961!
It's easy to tell which is which, since the Atlas/Marvel version features work by creatives like Jack Kirby, Don Heck, and Steve Ditko who would be the creative mainstays of the Marvel Age of Comics, while the Avon books have art by illustrators who would make their mark at DC, like Joe Kubert and John Forte!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Friday Fun RIOT "Advertisements"

Several people have complained my post about Bill Everett's Marvin Mouse was too harsh...
...but I submit these never-reprinted pages from Atlas' Riot #5 & #6 (1956) demonstrate Everett could do humor...and in a variety of styles!
Spoofing actual ads from Kleenex, Wildroot Cream Oil, Ford Motors, Westinghouse Electronics and TWA (I have no idea what the bike ad relates to), artist Bill Everett demonstrates his mastery of the page, even imitating the art style of Little Lulu's creator Marjorie Henderson Buell!
The mystery of why his work on Marvin Mouse was, to put it mildly, substandard may never be discovered!
Trivia: Atlas was a bit of a trend-follower, rather than a trend setter, as it became in the Silver Age as Marvel!
Trying to capitalize on EC's success with MAD, Atlas launched four different satire/parody anthologies...Crazy, Riot, Snafu, and Wild, only one of which lasted to seven issues!
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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Reading Room TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED "Who is Mr Ashtar?"

We usually don't run stories that have been reprinted...
...but this one is so kool, we just couldn't resist!
Penciled and inked by Jack Kirby, shortly before his return to Marvel, the writer of this story from DC's Tales of the Unexpected #17 (1957) is unknown (but could be Kirby himself)!
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...which includes this story!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder SEEKER 3000 "Mind Bomb" Part 1

 ...OK, so let's just jump right into the mayhem,,,
What does Jason know that we don't?
Keep in mind Marvel's Seeker 3000 #4 (1998) is the final issue of the miniseries...and that there haven't been any stories (not even reprints) about the ship and it's crew since then!
To Be Concluded...
...Next Wednesday!

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(the first appearance of the series)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Reading Room OUTER SPACE "His Own Little World"

After co-creating Spider-Man and Dr Strange, Steve Ditko left Marvel in 1967...
...for reasons still unknown to all but the parties involved.
For the next few years, he went on to work for everyone but Marvel, including Charlton, where he returned to Captain Atom, created a new Blue Beetle, and did a plethora of one-off tales like this one!
Is this device a matter-creator (which would create items from scratch) or a teleporter (which would move already-existing things from their origin point to Rudd's location)?
If it created things purely from his brain-patterns, it would look exactly like the photograph, no matter how old the pic was!
Maybe I'm just over-thinking the whole thing.
At any rate, this story from Charlton's one-shot Outer Space #1 (1968) was penciled and inked by the extremely-busy Ditko, but the writer is unknown.
BTW, the printing on this particular issue was pretty bad.
In fact, Charlton was noted for the poor quality of it's printing,  since they used old printing presses that were designed to print boxes and other packaging that used cardboard and plastic, not newsprint!
When the story was reprinted over a decade later, it came out somewhat cleaner, as you can see HERE.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Monday Madness MARVIN MOUSE "Not-So-'Honest John' "

The creator of the Sub-Mariner, Bill Everett, was an amazing writer/artist...
 ...who could do almost anything he was asked to do.
Unfortunately, funny animals, weren't exactly his "cup of tea"!
This never-reprinted tale from Atlas' Marvin the Mouse #1 (1957) was scripted by Stan Lee and illustrated by the aforementioned Bill Everett.
I believe Everett was instructed to make the characters as different as possible from other cartoon mice such as Mickey and Mighty, which resulted in rodents who looked more like rats than mice!
Bill had shown a knack for humor as shown HERE and HERE, but this was a major disappointment!
A caption at the end of the book read "And remember, every issue Marvin Mouse magazine brings you the best in laughs, adventure, and fun ... don't miss a single issue!"
No problem!
The book ended up a one-shot and the already-completed stories intended for #2 became filler in the backs of other humor titles.
(Editor Stan Lee was very frugal and didn't let anything go to waste!)
Note, for the forseeable future, we'll be running a variety of tales here with the only criteria being that they're extremely weird, and, hopefully, funny!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Mister Mouse Meets Peter Max

Maybe it's just the depressing, gray weather, but I want something colorful...
This HTF short story by the late, great, Wally Wood should fill the bill. Enjoy!
Wow! How "Age of Aquarius" can you get?  ;-)