Saturday, November 21, 2009

This Christmas, go "Back to the Past"!

Traditional values!
That's what we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ espouse!
And with our G-Rated Tykes, Toddlers & Tiny Tots (and Their Mommies)!™ section, we restore the classic animated cartoon/comic book style that Disney, Warner Brothers, the Fleischer Brothers, and others in the 30s, 40s, and 50s did so wonderfully, to a new line of kiddie clothes and accessories!
Funny animals (including SuperDuper Mouse, Cosmo Cat & SuperDuper Cat), clowns, cowboys, spacemen, and much more in the retro style your parents and grandparents wore when they were little!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Give a Staycation Christmas Gift! Enticing AND Economical!

From Asia... Europe... Africa... the Americas (North AND South) can travel the world (or at least look like you did) with our line of retro collectibles including mugs, wall clocks, clothing, and many other tchochkes (including faux luggage stickers!) emblazoned with vintage advertising and luggage sticker art from the 1920s thru the 1960s, digitally-restored and remastered!
AND, they'll make great Christmas gifts for the would-be world traveler in your circle!

Make Christmas a Staycation (with style) this year!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Design of the Week--"Bah, Humbug!" (Redux)

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another!
This week...due to unprecedented demand, we present once more...
Express your true feelings about the holiday season!
None of this "Happy Holidays!" or "Good will towards men!" BS!
Say what you feel!
"Bah, Humbug!"
And say it on hot cocoa mugs, ornaments, sweatshirts, hoodies (both light AND dark!), and MANY other goodies!
Give the gift that keeps on giving, even if you, personally, don't!
And "Bah, Humbug!" to all this Holiday Season!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The clock striking "12" signals the appearance of both Santa and...

We at Atomic Kommie Comics™ are big fans of retro pop culture. (As if you couldn't guess)
And, in the 1940s-50s, one of the biggest pop cult phenomenons was Captain Midnight!
Books, Comics, Movies, Radio, TV...He was EVERYWHERE!

Created for radio in 1938, the patriotic aviator ran the Secret Squadron, what we today would call a "black ops" team, supported by the government, but functioning outside of cumbersome legalities in dealing with spies, saboteurs, and (after the war) criminals!
Trivia note: the Secret Squadron originally used the code "SS" on their messages, decoders, and uniform patches, but changed it to "SQ" after World War II began to avoid reference to the notorious Nazi SS stormtroopers!
Captain Midnight replaced Little Orphan Annie as the flagship radio show for Ovaltine, carrying on the tradition of issuing mail-in collectible premiums in return for Ovaltine labels and jar seals, taking it to far greater levels than any other radio series in history! (The phrase "Captain Midnight Decoder" became synonymous with mail-in premiums.)
The show ran Monday thru Friday in 15-minute segments, with ongoing storylines running for several months at a time, ending each episode with a cliffhanger and a coded message which required a Captain Midnight Decoder to translate.
A series of Big Little Books, a newspaper comic strip, and two different comic book series quickly followed, as well as a 15-chapter movie serial.
The radio show ended with a bang in 1949, as Cap's archenemy Ivan Shark (an evil aviator) was killed in the final episode! Talk about "closure"!

Ovaltine revived Cap (but not Ivan Shark) in 1954 as a weekly tv series with a heavier science fiction emphasis.
The Captain was now a civilian adventurer operating out of a mountaintop base in the SouthWest US, battling criminals and the occasional Communist spy.
Though only 39 episodes were produced, the show reran continuously in syndication until the mid 1960s.
Trivia note: the syndicated version was retitled Jet Jackson: Flying Commando because Ovaltine owned the "Captain Midnight" trademark and didn't sponsor the reruns!
It became notorious for the fact that every time anyone (male, female or child) spoke the name "Captain Midnight", the new name "Jet Jackson" was dubbed over it by one middle-aged male actor! (Apparently, none of the original cast were available!)

Ovaltine continued to use "Captain Midnight" on advertising and occasional tie-in premiums until the late 1990s, when they finally abandoned the trademark.
Since then, he's only been around as part of old radio show collections on cd or mp3...until now!

This year, Moonstone Books revived Captain Midnight in NEW comics and prose stories (set in the 1940s)!
Besides his own series, he's also part of a team of other Golden Age aviator-heroes called the Air Fighters!

Captain Midnight's already been part of our collection with six different vintage designs including five classic covers and his stylish logo on a variety of items including t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, messenger bags, and other tchochkes, for almost two years!
In addition, we now have both a Captain Midnight 2010 12-Month Calendar with a dozen dynamic classic comic covers, including the first issue of his 1940s title (featuring the Golden Age Captain Marvel welcoming him), AND an Aviators of the Golden Age of Comics 2010 12-Month Calendar which features Cap AND a number of other Air Fighters characters!
As unique Xmas gifts for collectors of pop culture kitch, you can't go wrong with one of these klassy and kool kollectibles as a stocking stuffer!
For something REALLY special, why not combine one of our Captain Midnight collectibles with one of Moonstone's new Captain Midnight books as a gift set?

Our FREE Early Christmas Present to you: downloadable mp3s of the Captain Midnight radio show!
BONUS FREE Early Christmas Present: downloadable episode of the Captain Midnight tv show!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fantastic Femmes--Nyota Uhura (Past & Present!)

To celebrate the release of the NEW Star Trek movie on home video media, we present the Enterprise's beautiful communications officer, Nyota Uhura
Nichelle Nichols
...and present!

Monday, November 16, 2009

"The Gifts are Afoot, Watson..."

OK, it's a silly paraphrase of a classic line, but we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ take our Sherlockania VERY seriously...
As part of our Crime & Punishment™ collection, we've given The Greatest Sleuth of All™ his very own section!
12 different designs, including several with Basil Rathbone, the man who is to Sherlock Holmes as Sean Connery is to James Bond; not the first, but to many (including myself), the definitive portrayer!
Add to that, several classic comic book covers, a variety of other movie posters (including the campy A Study in Terror with Holmes as "The ORIGINAL Caped Crusader"!), the coolest cigar box art I've ever seen (based on William Gillette, the definitive stage Holmes), and 1st Edition covers including A Study in Scarlet and His Last Bow!
PLUS, our newest item: the Basil Rathbone IS Sherlock Holmes! 2010 12-Month Calendar!
With the NEW Robert Downey jr/Jude Law movie opening the day after Christmas, if you're looking for a cool, retro Christmas gift for the Holmesian, Sherlockian, or Baker Street Irregular in your life, you can't go wrong with one of these calendars, mugs, bags, shirts or other goodies! (Let him/her go to the flick "secret chic" style with a vintage Holmes sweatshirt or hoodie!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Doctor is IN! And he's STRANGE!

Initially called "Doctor Strange" scientist Hugo Strange became a superhero in Thrilling Comics #1 by ingesting a substance he created called Alosun, obtained by distilling the atoms of the Sun, which gave him super-strength and near-invulnerability.
He couldn't actually fly, but could leap great distances like the Hulk and the Golden Age Superman.
Like his inspiration, pulp hero Doc Savage, he initially wore a standard business suit, which would become shredded during the course of that issue's adventure,
But within several months, this became dark jodhpurs, riding boots, and a red safari shirt, which quickly became a faster-to-draw red t-shirt.
Again, like Doc Savage, he didn't have a secret identity, so there was no need for a mask, but Strange did have an unusually-large pompadour to give him obvious visual distinction.
When kid sidekicks became a trend, Doc introduced Mike, who wore a similar outfit. Reports conflict as to whether Mike received Alsoun or not, and since the Thrilling Comics I've scanned are all slabbed, I have no way of confirming if Mike was super-powered or not.
While he never received his own title, Doc not only ran in Thrilling Comics, but as one of the features in the anthology America's Best Comics, where the covers showed him interacting with other Nedor Comics heroes like The Black Terror and Fighting Yank. (Though inside, the heroes all had separate strips and didn't work together!)
Doc retained the Thrilling Comics cover spot for most of his run, only losing it for two months to the patriotic American Crusader, before regaining it until #60, when a jungle heroine named Princess Pantha replaced him. (Ironically, his final cover on issue #59 showed him rescuing a jungle girl, but not, as reported, Princess Pantha!). Doc stayed as a backup until #65, when he disappeared.

But you can't keep a good hero down.
In the 1990s, Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing) revived Doc as one of the Terra Obscura heroes in his Tom Strong series. (He had already used Doc as the visual template for the Tom Strong character.)
Working off the Earth-One/Earth-Two alternate-Earth concept made popular at DC Comics, Alan remade Doc Strange into Tom Strange (changing his name from "Hugo Strange" to "Thomas Hugo Strange" and making him into a Golden Age variation of Tom Strong!)
The concept proved popular enough that a spin-off book entitled Terra Obscura, starring Tom Strange and his new crime-fighting companion/wife, Princess Pantha (who had replaced Doc in Thrilling Comics!) ran for 12 issues!
Doc has also appeared in Alex Ross' Project SuperPowers series, though simply called "Doc", to avoid confusion (and potential trademark conflict) with Marvel's Doctor Strange.
We at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have also revived Doc as part of our Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™ line!
There are four classic covers (including his FIRST appearance) on a variety of collectibles including t-shirt, mugs, messenger bags, and other cool stuff as well as a Classic Doc Strange 2010 12-Month Calendar with a dozen different covers including his first and last!
Any of them would make great Christmas gifts, especially in conjunction with the trade paperbacks of the Project SuperPowers Golden Age revival series or Terra Obscura! (Hint, hint!)
The Doctor is in, and he's ready for action!