Saturday, February 2, 2013

Does Popular Culture Corrupt Kids?

For the answer, you must read... Max Allan Collins with EC Comics-style illustrations by Terry Beatty and pulp-style cover by Glen Orbik!
Ironically, the subject matter is just as relevant today as it was back in the 1950s...
Or so the esteemed Dr. Werner Frederick would have people believe—people like the Congressmen holding hearings on banning violent crime and horror "funny books." And when the crusade provokes a most un-funny murder, Jack Starr—comics syndicate troubleshooter—has no shortage of suspects. Was it the knife-wielding juvenile delinquent or the naked seductress? Perhaps a frustrated publisher or an outraged cartoonist. Or was it a comic book reader...?
(You can read an excerpt HERE!)
Inspired by the real-life 1950s witch-hunt against crime and horror comics (much like the present crusade against video games and movies), Max Allan Collins' crime novel SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT gives you a slightly-skewed, but based on the facts, view of the history of comics loaded with Easter Eggs for any pop culture aficionado.
I'd offer you a link to buy a copy, but refuses to allow me to do so because I'm a resident of Illinois and New York, which charge Internet sales tax, so Amazon doesn't allow residents of either state to use their Associate program.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Reading Room: CAPTAIN SCIENCE "Lost World of Mindanao"

...well, that covers the background for this chapter, so let's go on!
The art on this never-reprinted story from Youthful's Captain Science #3 (1951)  is by Gustav Schrotter.
The writer is unknown.
With the next issue, a major sci-fi artist takes over illustration duties.
You'll see the first of those tales next week.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Reading Room: WEIRD ADVENTURES "Dome of Death"

You may think, from reading this blog,  that "sci-fi" just means "space opera" or "futuristic"...
...but it can be set on present-day Earth, as well!
This never-reprinted tale from the Ziff-Davis one-shot Weird Adventures #10 (1951) reads like the script for an anthology tv show or a b-movie.
It's mostly character interaction and a crime/thriller plot with some easily-done (even for the 1950s) sfx!
Illustrated by John Giunta, whose long career spans both the Golden and Silver Ages with work for literally every company in every genre!
However, Giunta may be best-known to today's audiences as the artist who gave the legendary Frank Frazetta his first job, when he hired the teen-ager as a studio assistant!
The writer of this unusual tale is unknown, but could be Giunta himself!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reading Room: ATOM-AGE COMBAT "Science Assaults the Death Sphere"

Normally, we'd post an Atom-Age Combat story in our "brother" blog...
...War: Past, Present & Future™, but this tale is derived from a story we posted earlier this month, as seen HERE!
This is actually the third publication of this story!
The first one, shown HERE, was in Dynamic's Scoop Comics #1 (1941).
The second was a reprint in Dynamic's Dynamic Comics #11 (1944).
But this version, rewritten, relettered, and recolored, appeared in St John's Atom-Age Combat #2 (1952).
Publisher/comic book packager Harry Chester was an extremely-frugal man, able to squeeze every last penny out of anything he paid for, and such reuse of existing artwork wasn't unusual in the comics industry, where a packager could re-sell the same art to two (or more) publishers, and no one would be the wiser.
In fact, Chester could re-do the same story several times, as shown with a tale that used the same artwork with three seperate stories and characters HERE, HERE, and HERE!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reading Room: STRANGE GALAXY "Planet of Horror"

Well, here it is again, right down to the original captions, dialogue balloons and character names!
Eerie Publications editor Carl Burgos thought the story from Fiction House's Planet Stories #72 (1953) was good enough to have Argentinian artist Oswal re-draw it almost 20 years later in his b/w magazine Strange Galaxy V1N8 (1971)!
(In fact, all the stories that appeared in the Eerie Publications line-up were either reprints or re-drawn versions of 1940s-1950s tales from defunct publishers!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Reading Room: PLANET COMICS "Last Expedition"

In space, things are not always as they seem... this story of the rescue of personnel of a science research colony aptly demonstrates!
This tale from Fiction House's Planet Comics #72 (1953) was illustrated by Bill Benulis, but the writer is unknown.
That's a pity, because Eerie Publications editor Carl Burgos thought the story was good enough to re-do almost 20 years we'll see tomorrow!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Preview: THE SHADOW #13 Cover by Francesco Francavilla

Who Knows What Evil...?
Francesco Francavilla does, as this cover for #13 of Dynamite's Shadow comic book demonstrates!
BTW, if you want more The Shadow stuff, have a look at...
The never-reprinted 1994 Alec Baldwin movie adaptation HERE!
(PLUS, a never-reprinted Gene Colan spoof of The Shadow radio show called "The Shadower", and a comic adaptation of a radio show episode HERE!)
The Shadow's never-reprinted Bronze Age adventures with The Batman and The Avenger as well as never-reprinted Frank Robbins-illustrated stories (as well as the first part of the Shadow radio show adaptation) HERE!
The Shadow's never-reprinted, campy costumed Silver Age adventures HERE!