Saturday, February 13, 2010

Before Percy Jackson was...Nature Boy!

Long before Percy Jackson met the Olympians, there was another teen given amazing powers by ancient gods...
Rich teenager David Crandall was yachting with his parents when a storm sank the boat and David was stranded!
Rescued by "gods" who control various aspects of nature, he is given a portion of each of their powers...
(Yeah, I know a couple of them overlap, and only one was an actual mythological god, but why quibble?)
David used his new powers to return home and reunite with his still-alive family.
He also decided to battle evil in various forms as Nature Boy, since he controlled the forces of nature, and the gods gave him a spiffy new outfit to show off!

He only had three issues of his own title (which started with #3*) before he disappeared from the comics scene..until now!
But, within those three issues, the seeds were planted for an entire superfamily of Nature-heroes including Nature Man (an adult version of the hero from the future) and female counterpart Nature Girl.
This isn't surprising, since he was created by Jerry Siegel (co-creator of Superman) who knew a thing or two about that sort of thing.
To add to his hero cred, Nature Boy was drawn by the great John Buscema who later did Conan, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and damn near everything at Marvel in the 70s thru the 90s, so even if the stories were a bit silly, they looked spectacular!

Technically, Nature Boy should be considered one of the first Silver Age heroes as his premiere was in 1956, just a couple of months before The Flash re-emerged in Showcase #4, but, like Captain Flash, and even the Martian Manhunter, he's thought to be one of the last Golden Age characters instead!
On that basis, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have revived Nature Boy as part of our Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™ line, on t-shirts, messenger bags, mugs and other kool kollectibles!
It's unlikely that Alex Ross will include him in Project SuperPowers, but we felt he was worth re-presenting to the comics world, even if it's just on tchochkies!
He was one of the last, but hardly one of the worst...

*To save money on paying for a new second-class mailing permit,  comics publishers would often just rename an existing comic, rather than start a new one!
Today, with #1 issues being such "hot" collector's items, publishers wouldn't dream of doing that sort of thing!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Design of the Week--WereWolf? There, wolf!

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another!
This week we take a one-liner from Young Frankenstein as our headline as we celebrate (Secret Chic-style) the remake of The Wolf Man!
This vintage cover art by Don Heck from the 1950s, when EC Comics' horror titles like Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror dominated the newsstands, features a werewolf (but not Larry Talbot, the WolfMan) lurking in the foliage, blood dripping from his gleaming fangs!
He's available on t-shirts, messenger bags, mugs, and a whole slew of kool kollectibles, but only on-line from us, and only for one week.
So order now, before the full moon rises...

Thursday, February 11, 2010 All I Hoped It Would Be!

I had previously plugged's fansites here.
It seemed like an ideal place for me to post historical articles and other goodies on a variety of subjects in a fannish way, including The Green Hornet, SuperHeroines, and Golden Age Heroes.
But, I'm afraid I have to change my mind.

I had posted several articles adapted from my blog entries for Green Hornet: Year One, Blue Bolt, Nature Boy, Air Man & RocketMan, and Friday Foster.
Audience response had been good, with a number of positive comments and "thumbs up"!
With great enthusiasm, I was preparing a number of pieces, going above the scope of what I had originally planned to do!

I logged on and was about to post the first of my Fantastic Femmes entries (Zoe Saldana!) on the Heroines fansite I created, when I noticed that my previous articles had...disappeared!
The site has some technical glitches, particularly in the "Articles" section. (I posted articles as "Features" because of their historical content, but they kept reclassifying as "News".) So I thought it was just a glitch that could be corrected, and the stories reloaded.

Not quite.

When I emailed the webmaster, I was told that the articles had been deleted...with no explanation or notification.
If I hadn't checked, I wouldn't have realized that they were gone!

I've communicated via e-mail with Jim Littler, who runs the site.
He sounds like a cool guy, doing his best under extremely trying circumstances, so this is in no way a put-down of him.
The problem, according to Jim, was that one of several new website editors deleted the articles without bothering to contact me with any questions he may have had.
Apparently, has no in-house log-on/tracking procedures for changes, nor any way to recover deleted material.
(Jim asked the editors and none of them has acknowledged doing the deletions.)

Sadly, I've decided that, until such matters can be corrected, I'll just post picture galleries into the three sites I have up, and won't be adding any more sites (I had planned several more for specific characters.)

While I will try to include info in the pic galleries, I could have done a lot more with the features, but I can't justify the time involved if things will just be deleted.

However, if you're comfortable with working within those parameters, feel free to join the community and participate.
It is fun, and a very responsive audience is there!

Tomorrow: back to business as usual with Design of the Week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

12-Month Calendars REDUCED from $19.99 to $14.99!

One of our favorite types of pop culture collectible here at the Atomic Kommie Comics™ offices are calendars, in particular the multi-page 12-month kind, with a different illustration for each month.

I have over a decade's worth of James Bond 007 movie poster calendars.
Each year the new one adorns the wall over my computer.
When the year is over, I cut it up and use the art the next year as mini-posters to decorate whatever vacation place I rent during the summer.
Besides 007, over the years, I've picked up, or been given, various Star Trek, Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and other licensed property calendars.
I've always enjoyed using them, and often thought of the person who gave them to me!

But, there are pop culture categories and subjects we've wanted in calendar form as presents for others (or for ourselves), but were never produced!
So, we decided to create them ourselves, using the wildest, rarest, kitchiest comic book, pulp magazine covers and movie posters we could find, each image digitally-restored and remastered from hi-rez scans of the original items, NO reprints or low-rez files! (Would we do that to you?)
And, to make it totally irresistible, we're lowering the price of any linked calendar from $19.99 to $14.99! That's 25% off!

Here are the Atomic Kommie Comics™ 12-Month Calendars (by genre)...

Mystery / Crime
Basil Rathbone IS Sherlock Holmes!

Mr District Attorney

Horror Comics of the 1950s

Camp / Kitsch
Seduction of the Innocent!!

Jungle Girls

Good Girl / Bad Grrrl

True Love Comics Tales

Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Martians, Martians, Martians!

Thrilling Science-Fiction Tales

Golden Age SuperHeroes
Captains of the Comics™

Classic Green Hornet


Classic Phantom Lady

Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™

Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics Team-Ups™

1st Appearance Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™

Flag-Waving Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™

Classic Amazing-Man

Classic Black Terror

Classic Blue Beetle

Classic Captain Future

Classic Cat-Man

Classic Dare Devil

Classic Doc Strange

Classic Fighting Yank

Classic Flame

Classic Green Lama

Classic Monster of Frankenstein

Classic Owl

Classic Samson

Western Comics Adventures

Real-Life Western Comics

The Cisco Kid and Pancho

Masked Western Heroes

Captain MidNight

Aviators of the
Golden Age of Comics

NOT available in stores, only on-line! Order now...before time runs out! ;-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sub-Zero Man--the Coolest Hero of All!

Since cold weather currently is currently playing havoc with most of the U.S., I thought it appropriate to present the "coolest" hero of the Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™--Sub-Zero Man!
Debuting along with Blue Bolt in Blue Bolt Comics #1, Sub-Zero (as he was usually referred to) was actually a Venusian astronaut!
His spaceship hit an asteroid made of frozen gases that froze the crew solid. Uncontroled, it crashed on Earth near Salt Lake City.
Somehow, the un-named Venusian survived the freezing phenomenon that killed his crewmates, but left him in an icy condition that enabled him to freeze anything he touched, or even stared at! (Ice-Vision?)
By using his atomic pistol on himself, he was able to "thaw" out for brief periods, which grew longer as the series progressed.
Realizing he was marooned, he decided to help fight evil, which had become non-existent on Venus, a planet where everyone was of the highest moral character!

Created by Bill Everett (HydroMan, Prince Namor: the Sub-Mariner, Amazing-Man, Conqueror), his first cover appearance was Blue Bolt Comics #4 (shown above) where Everett's propensity for aquatic action was put on display yet again!
Though he only appeared on the cover a couple of times, he was one of the steadiest back-up features in Blue Bolt Comics' long run.

He never got back to Venus!
But, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have given him a new home as part of the Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™ collection of (dare we say?) kool kollectibles including t-shirts, mugs, messenger bags, and other nifty stuff!

He's also cameoed in Alex Ross' Project SuperPowers, and hopefully, we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future!
After all, Earth is now his home...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Return of the WolfMan...

In anticipation of a screening this Tuesday of the new WolfMan film, I spent Super Bowl Sunday reviewing the previous Universal flix in the Wolf Man Legacy (note, it's two words, not one as in the new film) box set issued in 2004. (BTW, congrats to the New Orleans Saints!)

While it does emphasize the then-current Van Helsing film (and it's werewolf) in the extras, the set includes the only solo film (The Wolf Man) featuring Larry Talbot (all the others were "team-ups" with other Universal monsters), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (the first of the monster "team-ups" and not included in the Frankenstein Legacy set), WereWolf of London (featuring a different werewolf and origin), and She-Wolf of London, which is more Cat People than Wolf Man.
A new documentary, Monster by Moonlight, covers the history of Universal's various werewolves, including Talbot.
Considering reports that the new film adapts elements of not only both Wolf Man and WereWolf of London, but Hammer's Curse of the WereWolf (ironically, distributed in the U.S. by Universal) as well, I'd suggest catching all three before you see the new one to contrast and compare!
(I'll be watching Curse on Monday night...)

It's been fun immersing myself in Universal's werewolf lore once more.
Did you know that the Wolf Man is the only Universal monster to by played by the same actor in every appearance (even when meeting Abbott & Costello!)?
I hadn't seen all these films together since the Film Forum's summer Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Horror festivals! (I used to arrange my vacation days from work to do all-day shows and party with my friends!)

Happy Hunting!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Teaser: KATO by Francesco Francavilla

Another kool piece by Francesco Francavilla, the artist who's coloring the interiors and providing alternate covers for the Green Hornet: Year One mini series from Dynamite!
(You can read his previous blog entry about his work on the series here!