Saturday, June 16, 2012

Reading Room: "COMICS" McCORMICK "Octopus"

Each issue our hero encounters characters from a different comic genre!
This time, he faces a super-villain who's the lead in his own strip.
(Note: contains some racial stereotypes common to the period and may be NSFW)
In the early days of the Golden Age, most anthology comics had at least one strip with a villain as the lead, the most famous being The Claw who started as the lead in Silver Streak Comics, but was eventually superseded as the cover feature by the original DareDevil.
This story from Terrific Comics #3 (1944) features a villain who shared the same name as a pulp villain who had his own (one issue) title as well as The Spirit's arch-foe who never showed his face.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Reading Room: SPEED CARTER: SPACEMAN "Half-Horrors of Hyades"

A story that gives new meaning to "split personality"...
...but in a somewhat odd way, from Speed Carter: SpaceMan #2 (1953).
This tale takes several cliches, including hero/heroine tied to a buzz-saw and the idea that, since different sides of the brain control different aspects of memory and personality, physically dividing it would result in different personas and mixes them together.
It's an interesting mix, but doesn't quite work.
Written (as are all the Speed Carter stories) by Hank Chapman and illustrated by Joe Maneely.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

DVR ALERT! The Valley of Gwangi on TCM!!!

We interrupt this blog with vital news!!!
GWANGI is coming!
This Saturday, June 16th, at 7:30 am EST!
Warm up the DVR or DVD recorder!
PLUS, you can read the 1960s comic book adaptation of the movie HERE!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reading Room: JUMPIN' JUPITER "No Soup"

The mind of writer/artist Basil Wolverton was a fascinating thing... this example of his humor work from Weird Tales of the Future #2 (1953) demonstrates!
Whether it's his ongoing SpaceHawk strip or any of the numerous one-shot tales he did, Wolverton's Golden Age output was always instantly-recognizable!
This humor strip ran in #2 thru #5 of Key Publications' Weird Tales of the Future, along with several sci-fi/horror stories also written and illustrated by the amazing Basil!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reading Room: SPACE ADVENTURES "Creatures of Jarga"

Time to lighten up a bit with some spacemen vs monsters action...
...illustrated by one of the artists who also did Space Western Comics!
So much for a "non-interference directive"...
From Charlton's Space Adventures #5 (1953), this art by John Belfi was done during the same period he was illustrating Spurs Jackson and His Space Vigilantes in Space Western Comics.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Reading Room: JOE WORKER & THE STORY OF LABOR Conclusion

With union-busting becoming bigger than ever, we should take a look at the past... avoid it becoming our future!
NOTE: contains scenes of racism and religious/ethnic oppression in a historical context.
May be considered NSFW today, but this comic was distributed to schoolchildren in 1948.
With both corporations and local (state and city) governments trying to destroy the gains made for union members over the past hundred years (as shown in Wisconsin), it pays to see what was done before, and how history is on the verge of repeating itself.

Written by Malcom Atler under the pseudonym "Nat Schacnner", illustrated by Jack Alderman.
You'll note that each page is a self-contained tale.
They were originally prepared and formatted as half or full-page b/w comic strips to run in union newspapers/newsletters, then recompiled (with color added) for this comic book.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Francesco Francavilla's Kool Tributes to Ray Bradbury!

...comparing it to the published artwork from the story's first appearance in 1943's Weird Tales!
and a second page with art portraying a Bradbury tale adapted on the original Twilight Zone, plus a famous movie based on a Bradbury plot written for the screen (not adapted from a previously-published story)...
The unused alien makeup concept from this movie was used as the Metaluna Mutant in This Island Earth!
Bradbury's original plot for this film, along with several alternative versions, was finally published in the now hard-to-find book It Came from Outer Space from Gauntlet Press in 2004!
Copies go for anywhere from $90-$300 each (and that was before Bradbury passed away)!