Saturday, February 23, 2013

Toddler and KidsWear Easter Egg-citment!

Choose from Ducky's 1st Easter...
Bibs, creepers, toddlers' and kids' t-shirts, sweatshirts, and adult goodies like maternitywear!
NOTE: The organic clothing is from American Apparel!
Order now, so you'll have it in time for Easter!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Reading Room: WEIRD TALES OF THE FUTURE "The Time has Come"

Here's a sci-fi comic starring Alan Moore (not written by him)...
..and he's not that Alan Moore, since this story from Key's Weird Tales of the Future #1 (1952) predates the award-winning writer's birth by a year!
On a similar (if somewhat silly) note, you can see TV's Green Hornet battle Frank Miller HERE!
Ironically, the writer of this story is unknown, but the artist is John Bulthuis, whose credited work appeared in MLJ/Archie and Key Comics titles, but his style looks similar to quite a number of unidentified stories I've seen.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reading Room: DRACULA "Invasion"

A surreal sci-fi tale in a magazine called "Dracula"?
BTW, despite the magazine being called "Dracula", the legendary vampire never appears in any of the stories!
The tale, written by Esteban Maroto and illustrated by Jose M Bea was originally published in England in Dracula #5 (1972), a partworks magazine* by New English Library.
It made it's American debut in Warren Publishing's HTF Dracula TPB in 1972 which reprinted #1-#6 of the British Dracula's run.
It also appeared as the cover-featured story in Warren's Eerie #75 (1976), but the tale itself was reprinted in black and white!
Besides reprinting the Dracula title (and numerous other previously-published stories) by writers and artists of the Spain-based studio Selleciones Illustrada, Warren Publishing commissioned new material from many of the creators, including both Maroto and Bea!
*Partworks magazines are a limited series issued weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.
They usually run 12-24 issues for each volume.
When the final issue in a volume is published, the publishers offer a wraparound cover to make the complete set into a hardbound book. 
The buyer is offered the option to bind the magazines themselves or send the set to the publisher who professionally-binds the mags and sends the bound volume back to the customer.
This concept is extremely popular in Europe, but has never caught on in America, despite numerous attempts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reading Room: WORLDS UNKNOWN "Day After the Day the Martians Came"

What does this cover have to do with Black History Month?
Art by Ross Andru & John Romita
Quite a lot, as you'll see when you read the tale that hid behind it...
The short story this comic tale is based upon first appeared in the ground-breaking 1960s anthology Dangerous Visions, a collection of original novelettes and novellas conceived and edited by Harlan Ellison, whoch should be on any science fiction fan's bookshelf or eReader.
Several of the stories in the anthology, in particular this one and "Riders of the Purple Wage" by Phillip Jose Farmer, explored the subject of racial prejudice.
The comic adaptation from the first issue of Marvel's short-lived anthology Worlds Unknown, is scripted by Gerry Conway and illustrated by Ralph Reese, who began in 1966 as an assistant to Wally Wood and went solo within a couple of years, first as an inker, and later as a penciler/inker.
He's done work for all the major comics companies (usually on their anthology titles), as well as stints on the Flash Gordon newspaper strip and licensing art for Childrens' Television Workshop!
BTW, the Grand Comics Database lists John Romita as sole artist of the cover, but, IMHO, the figure poses are clearly Ross Andru, not Romita.
(And the GCD originally listed Marie Severin and Sal Buscema as the artists!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reading Room: WEIRD THRILLERS "Fisherman of Space"

Weird Thrillers was a 1950s sci-fi comic with painted covers...
Art by Allen Anderson
..which helped set the Ziff-Davis comic series apart from others on the newsstands!
All Ziff-Davis comics, no matter the genre, had painted covers, usually by the same artists who did cover art for their large pulp magazine line.
(Avon Comics also used paintings from time-to-time, but not throughout the line, and not on a consistent basis.)
Z-D was a latecomer to the comics business, publishing their first title in 1950 and canceling most titles by the end of 1952, continuing one book, G.I. Joe, until 1957.
During the comic division's brief existence, Z-D published over fifty titles, mostly one-shots and two-issue runs, covering every genre in fiction...except superheroes!
(The closest they came to superheroes were Lars of Mars and Crusader from Mars, both of whom were Martians operating undercover on Earth, and neither lasted past issue #2.)
Weird Thrillers (and it's one-shot predecessor Weird Adventures) ran a total of six issues.
Here's an example of why they lasted longer than most other Z-D titles...
This time-traversing tale from Weird Thrillers #2 (1951) was penciled by Alex Toth and inked by Sy Barry.
The writer is unknown, which is a shame, since it's a decent story with a clever, scientifically-accurate solution.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Reading Room: CAPTAIN SCIENCE "Martian Slavers"

You'll note a different look to the adventures of...
That's because he's gained a new art team!
(You can see their names in the lower-left corner of the first panel!)
So, buckle up, eager young space cadets...
Wally Wood and Joe Orlando took over the art chores as of Youthful's Captain Science #4 (1951), and you can tell these guys were having the time of their lives, as they cut loose with some of the wildest art ever to grace sci-fi comic books.
They also changed the "linked-stories" concept from the first three issues, making the two-per-issue Captain Science stories stand-alones instead of two-parters.
Unlike the earlier Captain Science stories, which have never been reprinted, these Orlando/Wood stories have been re-published all over the place, but they're still well-worth seeing again!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cover Preview MASKS #7

The BIG crossover of masked mystery-men continues...
...with this cover by Francisco Francavilla for #7, featuring The Shadow, The Green Hornet, and The Spider.
But who's holding the card?