Saturday, October 16, 2021

Space Force Saturdays INTERPLANETARY POLICE "Space Magnet"

All of Reed Crandall's InterPlanetary Police tales begin with people just sitting around...
...but things never stay quiet or boring for long in one of his magnificently-illustrated stories!
This high-adventure story from Buster Brown Comic Book #31 (1953) was written by Hobart Donovan, penciled by Reed Crandall, and inked by Ray Wilner.
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Friday, October 15, 2021

Friday Fun ARRGH! "Gerald's World"

Nerds aka fanboys/girls like us weren't always socially-acceptable!

In fact, in the pre-Internet (heck, even pre-VCR days), we were downright reviled and shunned!
Read this tale filled (albeit lovingly) with the geek stereotypes of two generations ago!

Written and illustrated by the extremely-underrated Tom Sutton, this never-reprinted story from Marvel's ARRGH! #2 (1975) displays two of his trademark motifs, horror and humor!
This was an attempt to do a new MAD-style four-color comic due to the early 1970s loosening of editorial restrictions by the Comics Code Authority!
Sadly, the book only lasted five issues...

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Sincerest Form of Parody

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Reading Room WEIRD TALES OF THE FUTURE "Purple Mists!"

The perils of exploring the universe are many and varied... seen in this never-reprinted story from Key Publications' Weird Tales of the Future #6 (1953)!
Though it's implied that one of the guys Rex and Tom shot was Rex's brother, that point is more-or-less ignored!
The writer is unknown, but artist Hy Fleishman signed his work in the first panel.
Fleishman worked for numerous publishers during the 1950s including Atlas (later Marvel), StoryKey, and Lev Gleason in various genres including horror, war, sci-fi, western, romance, and even humor.
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Science Fiction Comics

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder TALOS OF THE WILDERNESS SEA "to the Wilderness Sea" Part 3

(Bet you thought George RR Martin invented "warging" for Game of Thrones...)
Next Wednesday: Reunion!
Riding high on the success of the Sword of the Atom mini-series and follow-up annuals which re-imagined the hard sci-fi superhero in a barbarian adventure setting, Gil Kane (along with collaborator Jan Strnad) was given the go-ahead for another high-adventure series, this time based on a new character.
Planned as a 12-issue mini-series, cutbacks at DC dictated that the already-penciled and scripted first two issues be combined into a one-shot whose sales would determine if the project would continue.
Unfortunately, the unfamiliar character didn't attract a large enough audience (as The Atom had), and only the single, open-ended issue came about.
It's never been reprinted since its' publication in 1987.
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One of the first true graphic novels

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Reading Room STRANGE WORLDS "Invasion from the Abyss!"

Since 1938, Halloween and alien invasions go hand-in-hand...
...even when the "aliens" are from inside the Earth, rather than outer space!
This story from Avon's Strange Worlds #3 (1951) was a "Fleagle Gang" production.
The "Fleagles" were a group of artists including Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Roy Krenkel, Wally Wood, Angelo Torres, and George Woodbridge who would help each other out on tight deadlines by doing a "jam" with individuals penciling and inking different pages and even different panels on a single page, producing some absolutely-amazing visuals!
Trivia: the group was named by EC Comics editor/writer/artist Harvey Kurtzman.

The idea of advanced beings living inside the Earth and invading/reconquering the surface was very popular in the early 1950s.
Richard Shaver and pulp magazine editor Ray A Palmer caused a media firestorm with series of stories presenting a theory that combined the "civilization inside the Earth" concept with another pop culture phenomenon...flying saucers!
Numerous readers wrote in, claiming that they had actually seen creatures and vehicles exactly as described in the stories!
The "Shaver Hoax" (as it came to be known) influenced 1950s sci-fi/fantasy ranging from the pilot episode of the TV's Adventures of Superman to movies like Brain Eaters.
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Science Fiction Comics