Saturday, December 8, 2012

Enjoy Graphic LUST at ChristmasTime!

If you've been a faithful reader of this blog, you're well aware we have a section in Atomic Kommie Comics called Seduction of the Innocent featuring risque pop culture subjects in both comix and film. In that vein, we present today's tawdry tale...
"She was greedy, heartless and calculating.

She knew what she wanted and was ready to sacrifice anything to get it"
Before Gil Kane's Blackmark, before Will Eisner's A Contract with God, there was It Rhymes with Lust, considered by many to be the FIRST Graphic Novel!
Created in 1950 by writers Arnold Drake (Doom Patrol, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Leslie Waller (numerous crime novels) under the pseudonym "Drake Waller" and artists Matt Baker (Phantom Lady) and Ray Osrin, the digest-sized b/w comic was a pulp noir potboiler about a steel-producing town (like Pittsburgh) and a manipulative woman named Rust who will use ANY means to control it. (It's a rather adult book, though not pornographic! Think "soft R" rating!)
Trivia: Leslie Waller, besides writing numerous crime novels, also penned the novelization of Close Encounters of the Third Kind!
The "Picture Novel" series (Lust was the first title) published by pulp/comic company St. John Publications, only ran for two books before being cancelled due to poor sales.
The book has been reprinted twice in recent years, first by Fantagraphics in the magazine The Comics Journal #277, then, in it's original format by Dark Horse Comics with a new intro by Arnold Drake. Both are available at your local comic shop or online.
Why do we tell you all this?
Because we at Atomic Kommie Comics believe that other companies occasionally produce kool collectibles, and in the Spirit of Christmas, we want to promote stuff that we ourselves would want under the tree. (Significant Other, please take note...)
Of course, the fact that we ourselves also produce It Rhymes with Lust collector's items like mugs, mousepads and mens'/women's clothing that would make great accompanying items in a themed gift package for a loved one who's into Graphic Novels this Yuletide never occured to us!
Nope, never!
Didn't even cross our minds! ;-)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Reading Room: WORLDS UNKNOWN "Black Destroyer" Conclusion

We Have Already Seen...
Art by Gil Kane & Frank Giacoia
While exploring an alien world, the crew of the Space Beagle encounter Coeurl, who looks like a Terrestrial panther or lion with the addition of tentacles.
But this is not a friendly housecat!
It's a primitive, but sentient, being who can not only reason, but deceive...
This tale from issue 5 of Marvel's short-lived science fiction anthology Worlds Unknown was adapted by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Dan Adkins & Jim Mooney.
It's based on "Black Destroyer", A E Van Vogt's first published story, which appeared as the cover story (a rare honor for a writer's premiere tale) in Astounding Science Fiction (July 1939).
You can read the complete short story HERE.
"Black Destroyer" was later incorporated with later short stories about the exploratory vessel Space Beagle into the novel Voyage of the Space Beagle.
Trivia: The Space Beagle's name is a tribute to Charles Darwin's ship, The Beagle.
Van Vogt sued 20th Century Fox over the 1979 movie Alien, claiming that it ripped off elements of both "Black Destroyer" and "Discord in Scarlet".
Fox settled out of court.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Reading Room: WORLDS UNKNOWN "Black Destroyer" Part 1

A 1930s pulp story adapted into comic form in the 1970s...
...and a clear inspiration for aspects of movie and tv science fiction ranging from Forbidden Planet and Alien to Star Trek and Space: 1999 (among others)!
Will Coeurl deceive the crew and return with them to Earth?
Or will he simply kill the humans and commandeer the ship?
Find out tomorrow, and read some kool background info about the original story!
This tale from issue 5 of Marvel's short-lived science fiction anthology Worlds Unknown was adapted by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Dan Adkins & Jim Mooney.
It's based on "Black Destroyer", A E Van Vogt's first published story, which appeared as the cover story (a rare honor for a writer's premiere tale) in Astounding Science Fiction (July 1939).
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Call him "Claus", "Nick", or "Kringle"...

DID YOU KNOW...the image of Santa Claus, as we Americans know it, is based on the work of two artists over 70 years apart?
1) Thomas Nast, who illustrated the first published version of Clement Clark Moore's The Night Before Christmas in the 1860s

2) Haddon Sundblom, who took Nast's visual concepts, refined them, and used them to illustrate Coca-Cola's Christmas advertising campaigns in the 1930s
Both Nast and Sundblom are equally famous for their other artistic accomplishments...
Nast was primarily a political cartoonist, whose illustrations of New York's "Boss" Tweed were considered the main reason the corrupt politician was forced from office!
Sundblom also created the image of the Quaker Oats man, and was a noted pin-up girl artist! (In fact, his last published artwork was a pin up girl semi-dressed in a Santa outfit for Playboy's December, 1972 cover!

I'm not going to show it, but you can Google it with sundblom playboy...)

We at
Atomic Kommie Comics™ offer a dozen different renderings of 'ol Kris Kringle which follow in the visual tradition of Nast & Sundblom, on a host of Cool Christmas™ collectibles ranging from tree ornaments to hot cocoa mugs to sweatshirts and hoodies for kids and adults!
While they range from paintings to comic book cover art (like the art at the top of this post), they all feature the "classic" image of Santa known to Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials!
So give your "special someone", whether they're a spouse, lover, friend, or relative, a warm feeling this Christmas with a kool kollectible featuring the personification of the Christmas Spirit--Santa Claus!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Reading Room: LOST WORLDS "Quest of the Chlorophyll Monsters"

Before reading this story, lots of kids didn't know what "chlorophyll" was...
...and they say comic books aren't educational!
This scientifically-semi-accurate tale from Standard's Lost Worlds #5 (1952) was penciled by Jack Katz and inked by Aldo "Al" Rubano.
(A traveling planet's surface would freeze during the periods it was in interstellar space, making it unusable for growing plants.
Plus, in deep space, the mobile world wouldn't receive enough sunlight to stimulate the chlorophyll in plants to function.
Theoretically, the aliens could use hydroponic gardens with artificially-produced "sunlight" in caverns inside the planet, but that's not mentioned in the story.)
The writer is unknown.
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Reading Room: SPACE PATROL "Gambling Den of Space"

Spacehawk wasn't Basil Wolverton's only sci-fi comic series...
...he also did this series about interstellar cops in action for Centaur's Amazing Mystery Funnies!
(Does Kodi look like a prototype for Star Trek: the Next Generation's Ferengi?)
The multi-talented Basil Wolverton wrote, illustrated, lettered, and probably colored, this tale from Amazing Mystery Funnies #22 (1940).
It's one of the first of the "law enforcement in space" sub-genre that prospered in pulp and comic sci-fi in the 1930s and 40s, and carried over to TV in the 1950s.
Note: the 1950s TV/radio series Space Patrol was not based on Wolverton's strip.
(Could you imagine them trying to do the aliens in the gambling ship using 1950s-level makeup techniques?)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"My Son is The Green Hornet!"

Status quo-changing events are not a new phenomenon in fiction.
Even in the Golden Age of Comics, series and characters received revamps (or even total reboots) if sales weren't meeting expectations.
Sometimes, the revamp extended through a character's other media incarnations as well!

To celebrate the release of the new Dynamite comic series Masks, which teams up the greatest mystery-men of the Golden Age of Comics and Pulps (plus radio and movie serials), RetroBlogs™ will be running some never-reprinted tales of those amazing heroes through the month of December!
First-off is the story that changed the status quo of The Green Hornet!
Much has been written about the 1947 radio show episodes that tied The Hornet and The Lone Ranger together, using Dan Reid, who was both Britt Reid's father, and John (Lone Ranger) Reid's nephew!
The 1940s Harvey Green Hornet comic book series had been loosely-adapting the radio show's scripts into comic stories, but when this storyline (spread over four episodes) ran on the radio show, the comics' creatives had to do some serious juggling to fit two hours of dramatic radio into two eight-page chapters in a single issue!
(And, yes, a Lone Ranger reference is in the comic story, too!)
It's so historically-important that we couldn't confine this tale to a single blog!
You can see the results tomorrow at Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™, with the conclusion Tuesday at Hero Histories™.
Plus, we'll be running tales of other heroes presented in Masks including Zorro, The Shadow, Miss Fury, Black Terror, and Green Lama through the RetroBlogs™ line during December.
And don't forget to check out...