Saturday, February 4, 2012

At last...Astrid x 2!

While all the other major characters on Fringe have met their dimensional counterparts, the two Astrid Farnsworths hadn't...until last night!
Next to John Noble's Emmy-level performance as the two diametrically-opposite versions of Walter Bishop, Jasika Nicole's portrayals of the different, yet similar, Astrids meeting each other is one of the high points of the season.
If you missed it, catch the rerun of the ep, "Making Angels", when it airs or watch it on Fox's Fringe website.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Return of Hammer Films: The Woman in Black

From the mid-1950s to the late 1970s, Hammer Films was synonymous with quality horror movies.
The British poster for Woman in Black. Retro-Kool, eh?
With a stock company of British thespians led by Christopher Lee and the late Peter Cushing, Hammer Films presented what I call "elegant horror", with quality writing (primarily by Jimmy Sangster), great acting, wonderfully-bloody (but never gory) special effects, superb cinematography, and incredibly effective (and surprisingly-economical) production design.
After a period of dormancy and a couple of false starts, the studio returns to scare the s#!t out of you with a new, kool, retro-style shocker, The Woman in Black.
Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a widowed lawyer whose grief has put his career in jeopardy, is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric.
But upon his arrival, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret.
Although the townspeople try to keep Kipps from learning their tragic history, he soon discovers that the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost… and no one, not even the children, are safe from her vengeance.

BTW, we're presenting the British comic adaptations of the classic Hammer Studios films at our "brother" blog Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™!
If you're a fan of classic horror, sci-fi, or adventure, they're a must-see!

Welcome back, Hammer.
We missed you!

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Reading Room: SPACEBUSTERS "Frog Men against Belzar"

You thought the SpaceBusters story ended with the book's cancellation after #2?
Art by Bernie Krigstein, adapted from page 1.
Though the publisher (Ziff-Davis) went out of business, the published (and unpublished) material ended up at several other companies, including St John Publishing.
This particular story features the uniform and weapon designs from SpaceBusters #1, before Murphy Anderson was brought on board for #2 and revamped everything to look more like his work on the Buck Rogers newspaper comic strip.
Bernie Krigstein illustrated this story, as he did all the tales in SpaceBusters #1.
Oddly enough, though the aliens invading Mars remained "Belzarians" and the Terrans were referred to as "Earthians", the heroes went through a name-change.
Blond and blue-eyed Captain Brett Crockett received a new name, becoming "Captain Andall", while his balding and mustached sergeant, Bolo, became "Sgt Bala".
And the nickname "SpaceBusters", used incessantly in the two issues of the series, is nowhere in sight...
The story saw publication three times in ten years, ironically making it the most-printed of all the SpaceBuster tales!
First in Daring Adventures #6 (1954) from St John (where it was not the cover feature).
Then, it was reprinted in Great Exploits #1 (1957) by Ajax/Farrell (who purchased some of St John's material when they left the comics business to concentrate on magazines), where it finally became the cover feature (as seen at the top of this post).
Finally, it was reprinted in 1964 by Super/IW Comics, with a new cover by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.
Side note; I really enjoy playing detective, piecing together clues to discover "lost" items like this, or to correct historical inaccuracies like who really was the first Black superheroine.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

War is Hell...but, then, so is LOVE!

We at Atomic Kommie Comics™ know that the path of love is not always smooth, especially in wartime.
In tribute to the brave men and women of the armed forces, we've created a new section of True Love Comics Tales™ about military-based love comic books entitled WarTime Love™ just in time for Valentine's Day featuring greeting cards, teddy bears, clothing and a host of other goodies with vintage retro-style romance comic cover art.
Show your beloved, be they an officer, noncom, or GI Joe (or GI Jane) that you're thinking of them on Valentine's Day.
A Public Service message from Atomic Kommie Comics™

Monday, January 30, 2012

Reading Room: GULLIVAR JONES "Warrior of Mars"

With all the hubub about the new John Carter of Barsoom movie...
Art by Gil Kane and unknown inker
...let's look at the first Earthman on Mars, whose adventures predated Edgar Rice Burroughs' tales by half a decade.
With the success of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian, comics went pulp-mad, looking for other properties that were doing well in paperback reprints to adapt into the four-color format.
DC latched onto The Shadow, The Avenger, and Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd and Gray Mouser well as the entire Edgar Rice Burroughs library including Tarzan, Carson of Venus, and John Carter.
Marvel grabbed Doc Savage, added Kull (also a Robert E Howard character), and looked for another barbarian/swashbuckling hero.
They ended up adding two, Gullivar Jones and Lin Carter's Thongor, neither of whom ran more than eight issues.
Gullivar Jones had the advantage of only one novel to adapt, then the door was open to totally-new adventures.
Art by Frank Frazetta
This was Part 1.
We'll be presenting the remaining chapters in the weeks up to the opening of John Carter., beginning HERE.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

3-D Sweeps thru RetroBlogs Next Week!

With Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace being released in 3-D next Friday, Feb. 10th...
We're going 3-D mad at RetroBlogs™!
So dig out those red/blue-lensed glasses, and join in the fun beginning Feb 6th!