Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reading Room: AMAZING ADVENTURES "Deal to Die"

Here's a never-reprinted short tale with a Twilight Zone-style ending...
...from the final issue of Ziff-Davis' sci-fi anthology Amazing Adventures!
I wonder if Zoro's husband, Space Captain Ventra was as big a SoB as Bernice's spouse, Harold Longton was...
Illustrated by the relatively-unknown Lawrence (Louis) Dresser, this story from Amazing Adventures #6 (1952) has no credited writer.
Too bad, because it's a memorable piece for a shorter-than-usual filler.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Reading Room: AMAZING ADVENTURES "Cosmic Brain"

Here's a cool tale about a nuclear energy-produced mutant...
...linked to the bombing of Hirsohima in 1945.
Look carefully at the artwork, because someone you might not realize apparently contributed to it...
The Grand Comics Database lists Leonard Starr as the artist for this tale from Ziff-Davis' Amazing Adventures #3 (1951).
But the "camera angles" and figures don't look like his work from the period. as seen HERE and HERE.
IMHO, the layouts were done by none other than Jack Kirby!
Everything fits Kirby's layout and figure-posing style and Starr was doing occasional work for the Simon & Kirby studio at the time.
Starr might have been unfamiliar with the genre and asked Kirby to do layouts to help him, paying Kirby in cash from his own pocket (If Kirby even took money for the work. I've heard he helped other artists out without renumeration on a number of occasions.)
Either way, I think this is another "lost" Kirby Klassic!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Reading Room: AMAZING ADVENTURES "Winged Death on Venus"

Some story titles need no elaboration...
...especially when the tale features early work by a young up-and-comer destined to become a graphic storytelling legend...
One of the legendary Wally Wood's earliest asssignments, this story from Ziff-Davis' Amazing Adventures #1 (1950) shows off both his ongoing strengths (beautiful women, slick inking) and early weaknesses (anatomy).
Within a couple of years, his anatomy improved considerably.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Reading Room: SPACE ACTION "Beware the Human Meteorites"

C'mon, a title like that is a real attention-grabber...
...and the story is equally-funky, once you get past the whole "medieval garb" thing that invariably crops up in comic sci-fi of the era.
So the "human meteorites" are, in essence, flaming space zombies?
Dumb, but cool!
Here's a trivial (but pertinent) question: Why don't other Jovians have pointed ears, like Deuel?
Aren't they the same species?
Art for this never-reprinted story from Ace's Space Action #3 (1953) is by Bill Molno, the writer is unknown.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DONT PANIC! World War III actually began in 1960!

Nuclear Armageddon came in 1960...
...not once, but twice!
At least, that was the basis for two different series from the same publisher running simultanously in 1952!
Oddly, the premiere issue of World War III presented a similar series of events to the first issue of Atomic War, but in a slightly-different time-frame, and a different order!
There were no cross-overs and technology and certain events were very different in the two titles.
BTW, Atomic War! came first, in November, 1952, following in December, then going bi-monthly in February and April, 1953.
World War III ran in March and May of 1953, the months Atomic War! wasn't published, giving kids of the era a monthly fix of future fun!
Noted pulp (and later paperback) author Robert Turner wrote both issues of World War III, but the writer(s) of Atomic War! are unknown.
With tensions between us and no-longer-Communist Russia as well as still-Communist North Korea heating up again, we thought we'd call your attention to our re-presentation of these kool examples of Cold War paranoia at our "brother" RetroBlog ™, War: Past, Present & Future™.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reading Room: STRANGE WORLDS "Ransom--One Million Decimars!"

Spaceships, ray guns, beautiful barely-clad women, and...secret agents???
It's an atypical (but kool) example of 1950s pulp/comic book sci-fi!
(Plus, it's illustrated by a guy who ended up doing official portraits of several Presidents of the USA!)
The writer of this tale from Avon Comics' Strange Worlds #9 (1952) is unknown, but the illustrator is Everett Raymond Kinstler who went from comics and pulps to fine art, specializing in portraits of the rich and famous.
In fact, he's painted every American President from Nixon thru George W. Bush!
Presumably, when President Obama has a free afternoon (he's been rather busy with projects like disposing of Bin Laden.)...
Kinstler's Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan paintings are the official White House portraits for them!
Unlike many other "fine" artists who started out doing commercial art, Kinstler happily acknowledges his comic book work.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Will Russia and North Korea start World War III, and will you be dressed for the occasion?

Because the Russians and the North Koreans seem determined to take us back to the Cold War, Atomic Armageddon may be here soon!
Duck n' cover and prepare for the inevitable end in style with Atomic Kommie Comics™ radiation-proof (well, not really!) garb and collectibles from our vintage Atomic War collection!
And in the meantime, you can read a collection of stories from Atomic War! and World War III at our "brother" RetroBlog, War: Past, Present and Future™!