Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reading Room: SPACE ADVENTURES "U.F.O.: Secret of the Saucer"

Rural reporter Paul Mann had heard many stories about locals seeing flying saucers... he's encountered an alien who saved him (and the town) from a biolgical weapon stolen by a Communist spy.
Now,  Mann is taken into the flying saucer where he's about to (as we said in the 60s) "blow his mind"...
The finale of this book-length tale from Charlton's Space Adventures #60 (1967) was deliberately left open-ended.
A sequel, also using the artist "round-robin" concept, and also written by Denny O'Neil using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom, appeared almost a year later.
Luckily for you, it'll be on this blog Monday through Wednesday next week!
The art for this chapter was by up-and-comer Jim Aparo, who started at Charlton and went to DC when editor Dick Giordano moved there and offered him, Pat Boyette, Steve Ditko, and writers Denny O'Neil and Steve Skeates work after Charlton cancelled all their super hero and adventure/sci-fi titles in 1968!
Aparo became DC's primary Batman artist during the 70s and 80s as well as handling other series like Aquaman and Phantom Stranger.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Reading Room: SPACE ADVENTURES "U.F.O.: Plague"

Cover art by Rocke Mastroserio
Newspaper reporter Paul Mann researches a story about how, 100 years earlier, a flying saucer landed and aliens cured a local boy, ending a feud between two families that had gone on for generations.
With saucer sightings recently on the increase, Mann wonders if he'll encounter one...
But how can Mann be prepared for the senses-shattering Secret of the Saucer?
The second part of this book-length tale from Charlton's Space Adventures #60 (1967) was illustrated by artist Pat Boyette, an artist who usually did his own penciling, inking, and lettering, giving his work an immediately-distinctive visual style.
There's a kool tribute page to Boyette HERE.
BTW, all three parts of this story (and the sequel) were written by Denny O'Neil using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reading Room: SPACE ADVENTURES "U.F.O.: Healers from Nowhere"

What's more "halloweenie" than an alien invasion? here's one that also involved a Hatfield & McCoy-type feud among hillbillies.
Sooner than you think, Mr Tomorrow!
This rather low-key story from Charlton's Space Adventures #60 (1967) was the first part of a three-part book-length tale that gets wilder as it goes on.
Not that unusual for comics of the Silver Age...except for three things:
1) It was a full-length story in an anthology title.
Anthology books usually had two or more stand-alone stories.
2) The story produced a sequel, which was published a year later!
3) Most importantly, each chapter of this tale was illustrated by a different artist!
This premiere chapter was rendered by "Melonius Thonk" (a play on popular jazz musician Thelonius Monk) a pen-name used to cover an apparent artist jam since every page has different stylistic elements.
The remaining two chapters were rendered by artists who penciled and inked their own work, as you'll see tomorrow and Saturday.
BTW, the entire story from the final issue of this book's first run was written by Denny O'Neil using his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonom.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

EC Comics: It Didn't Rot Our Brains

Now that's art!
(and it's by one of our faves, Francesco Francavilla!)
Mondo will celebrate EC Comics & Tales From The Crypt this Halloween with a gallery show that will run from October 25 through November 23...

Thirty-plus artists will honor one of the greatest horror television shows of all time and its origins in EC Comics, which produced some of the most original and striking horror artwork, inspiring a generation of artists and genre fans.
The show will feature both original works of art and blood-drenched screen prints.
The gallery opening on Friday, October 25 will be from 7:00 – 10:00pm with regular hours to follow for the show’s duration.
The Mondo Gallery is located at 4115 Guadalupe St. in Austin, TX.
I'm so pissed I'm not in Austin...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Reading Room: PHANTOM WITCH DOCTOR "Out of the Deep"

Avon's Phantom Witch Doctor (1952) was a unique one-shot...
...with a lead story featuring the title character and a trio of totally-unrelated tales backing it up.
Whether the creature is a Lovecraftian-type Elder-God, a stranded alien, or just a sentient life-force is never really explained.
Another unsolved puzzle is who the writer and artist(s) for this never-reprinted short story were.
But what's life without a few mysteries, eh?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Reading Room: ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN "Man in the Mirror"

I've worked on-and-off in the comics industry since 1982...
...and I've never experienced a situation like this guy goes through!
(I've never seen anyone wear a suit jacket at their desk, either. But that's another story...)
This reflective story ACG's Adventures into the Unknown #9 (1950) was probably written by editor Richard Hughes and was illustrated by pulp artist Robert S Pious, who worked on-and-off in comics from 1940 to 1955 before moving into book publishing and later, fine arts.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Zombies, Zombies, Zombies!

Call them the undead, the unliving, reanimated corpses, or even the ultimate carnivores, zombies are HOT, HOT, HOT!
Between Walking Dead, Dead Set, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later, the Return of the Living Dead series, and, of course, the George Romero Living Dead series, zombies have never been more popular!
But, all those films and tv series owe a debt to the visual depictions of zombies in the horror pulps and comics of the Golden Age (1930s-1950s)!
Like video games today, those periodicals were deemed so harmful to the psyches of impressionable youths that the government held hearings about possibly banning them altogether! 
The comics industry barely survived, but ended up toning down horror comics to a mere shadow of their blood-dripping selves, only recently, in the 1990s,  returning in all their gruesome glory!
Even with modern technology, today's zombie flix are hard pressed to match these classic comics for visceral visual thrills.
So, it's with pardonable pride that Atomic Kommie Comics™ re-presents some of the creepiest and koolest covers from those bygone days, digitally-restored and remastered, on a line of collectibles including mugs, hoodies, iPad/Kindle/messenger bags, and a 2014 12-month calendar!
If you're looking for a birthday or holiday present for a fan of the life-impaired (or a Halloween treat for yourself), why not combine one of our kool kollectibles with one of the books or DVDs available on-line or at brick-and-mortar stores?
(We'd provide links, except Amazon cut us as an affiliate due to the state forcing tax collection for Internet sales)