Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reading Room: BRANT CRAIG "Red Devils of Mars"

In the 1950s "Red" usually meant Communists...
...or a Communist-like threat, even in stories set in the future!
Add how the "Red" Martians set up an impenetrable "ionic curtain" (instead of Iron Curtain),  and the parallels are obvious to anyone.
This never-reprinted tale from Youthful's Captain Science #6 (1951) was probably illustrated by Bill Molno and Rocco Mastroserio.
The writer is unknown.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ray Harryhausen Comic Books!

Many of Ray Harryhausen's films have been adapted into comic books.
Among them...

Valley of Gwangi

Jason and the Argonauts
Surprisingly, there was never an adaptation of the most comic book-like of all his films, Earth vs the Flying Saucers. during the film's initial release.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reading Room STRANGE WORLDS "Space-Gods of Planetoid 50"

What if Chariots of the Gods? took place on another planet?
And Earthmen were the aliens thought to be "gods"?
Quite a different take on the same theme from Man-Gods from Beyond the Stars, eh?
This look at the future from Avon's Strange Worlds #7 (1952) was illustrated by artistic mainstay Gene Fawcette, but the writer is unknown.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)

Though he didn't appear in front of the camera, Ray Harryhausen was far more influental on the moviegoing public than most actors.
The way some people would automatically run to see a John Wayne flick or a Bette Davis film, I would be front and center on opening day for any Ray Harryhausen movie, ready for a couple of hours of sheer fun!
Ray's creations appeared in almost every genre, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, historical...even a Western (Valley of Gwangi).
To mark his passing, out "brother" blog, Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™, is presenting the never-reprinted comic adaptation of my favorite of all Ray's films, Jason and the Argonauts.
You can see other Harryhausen movies in comics form...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reading Room: CAPTAIN SCIENCE "Time Door of Throm"

Captain Science leads us through time and space into high adventure...
...this time at the edge of the Solar System (as it was defined then)!
That last line makes no sense, but I suppose it's good for a laugh if you don't really think about it...
On another note, I hated when Pluto was downgraded to a "dwarf planet".
The idea of a dark planet on the edge of the solar system was incredibly kool,, and one of my favorite 1950s sci-fi juveniles, Secret of the 9th Planet by Donald A Wollheim, used the idea that Plutonians set up "relay stations" on the inner planets to transmit solar energy to warm their icy world.
(Of course, due to slightly-silly science, the power the Plutonians were transmitting wasn't reaching those other planets, resulting in those worlds slowly freezing and forcing Earth to send an expedition to destroy the alien technology.)
Wally Wood and Joe Orlando did the art for this lead tale from Youthful's Captain Science #5 (1951), and you can tell these guys were having the time of their lives, as they cut loose with some of the wildest stuff ever to grace sci-fi comic books.
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!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Reading Room: CRAZY "Tess Orbit: Lace Cadet"

MAD wasn't the only satire anthology comic in the pre-Code days...
..though it was both the best-known and best written/drawn of an entire herd of titles!
Atlas (later Marvel) Comics published four humor anthology titles simultaneously, and, as you might guess, with the talent pool spread pretty thin, the quality ran the gamut from occasionally-inspired to gouge-your-eyeballs-out BAD!
This never-reprinted tale, spoofing the TV/radio series Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, was probably the best story in Crazy #1 (1953), and actually feels more like one of the risque PussyCat shorts the Marvel Bullpen did for Martin Goodman's laddie mags in the 1960s than a kids' comic.
(Goodman owned both Marvel and a magazine publishing company until he sold Marvel in 1972.)
The strip is illustrated by Al Hartley, who did a lot of romance work (along with some sci-fi and horror) and eventually became a mainstay of Archie Comics in the late 1960s through the '70s.
(For the record, Hartley also co-created and illustrated Atlas' Leopard Girl I for her entire run)
But the writer is unknown.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

DESIGN OF THE WEEK "Fun in the Sun"

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another.
This week, it's "fun in the sun" with a kool retro romance comic design featuring a couple on the beach doing what couples on the beach have done for decades!
Available for e-readers, t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, beach blankets, and other goodies.