Saturday, February 1, 2014

Captain the creator of Flash Gordon!

How many of you have seen this classic movie poster...
...and knew it was the work of Alex Raymond, of Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, and Secret Agent X-9 fame?
Since Captain Blood and Arabella Bishop do not look like Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, it's a reasonable bet that this was done as an advance promo piece before casting, but it was so good, the studio still used it as their half-sheet poster for both the initial release and re-releases!
If you look at the original Flash Gordon strip, you'll see Raymond incorporated a lot of pirate/swashbuckler costume, weapon, and design motifs into Flash's adventures on other worlds!
We hope you've enjoyed our celebration of the new pirate/adventure series Black Sails with earlier pop culture appearances of buccaneers both real and reel.
Be here next week for MORE pop-culture fun!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Reading Room CAPTAIN KIDD "BlackBeard the Pirate"

When you say "pirate", here's one of the guys who immedately springs to mind...
The first page is on the inside front cover, printed in two, not the usual four, colors! this tale of treasure and treachery from Fox's Captain Kidd #24 (1949)
How close is this story to fact?
Judge for yourself HERE.
1) Both writer and artist are unknown.
2) Though the issue number is 24, this is actually the first issue of Captain Kidd!
The book was previously-titled Dagar: Desert Hawk, and before that, All-Great Comics.
After only two issues about Kidd and other pirates (including Blackbeard), the book changed title again, this time to My Secret Story!, then, two issues later, finally, Sabu: Elephant Boy!
Be here tomorrow when we'll have some more pirate-themed stuff during our celebration of the new pirate/adventure series Black Sails!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Reading Room "Famous Pirates in History: Captain Kidd"

Next to Blackbeard, the most famous real-life pirate was... you'll see in this never-reprinted tale from Shadow Comics #40 (1944).
Though it's missing its' feature title logo, this was part of an ongoing series called "Famous Pirates in History" that also included Benito DeSoto, John Gow, and Pierre LeGrand.
The Charles Wessell-illustrated strip was used as "filler" in several different titles besides Shadow Comics, including Super-Magician Comics.
(And before you ask, Shadow Comics starred the guy from radio and pulps who "knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men"...)
Be here tomorrow when we'll have some more pirate-themed stuff during our celebration of the new pirate/adventure series Black Sails!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reading Room BLACK BUCCANEER "The Story Begins..."

In the Golden Age of Comics, pirates with their own strips were a fairly common sight...
...though few were the lead tale in the books they appeared in!
Appearing in every issue of the short-lived Blazing Comics, the Black Buccaneer was typical of the "heroic pirate" strips that most companies gave a test run.
Apparently, unlike mad scientists (who headlined a number of strips), publishers felt pirates who were actually villains wouldn't sell.
So they created pirates who were undercover agents for their governments, or framed for crimes they didn't do, or just misunderstood.
The writer for this intro tale from the first issue of the anthology title Blazing Comics from short-lived publisher Rural Home is unknown.
And, though it's not definitive, the general consusus is that Gil Kane and/or Leonard Starr illustrated it.
Be here tomorrow when we'll have some more pirate-themed stuff during our celebration of the new pirate/adventure series Black Sails!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Reading Room TREASURY OF PIRATE LORE "Origin of the Buccaneer"

Ever wonder where the term "buccaneer" came from?
This interesting bit of historical trivia appeared in, of all places, Charlton's Soldier & Marine Comics #14 (1955).
However, that was not the first time it saw print!
Previously, it was the inside front cover of Fox's Variety Comics 1950 one-shot which took several unsold comics and bound them together under a new cover!
Note: Inside covers were two-color, instead of the usual four-color used for covers and actual comic pages.
In this case, the second color was Magenta, one of the four colors used in standard printing.
BTW, note the changes in the first and second captions between the Comics Code-approved top version and the earlier non-Code-approved version at bottom!
Boy, were they squeamish in those days!
Be here tomorrow when we'll have some more pirate-themed stuff during our celebration of the new pirate/adventure series Black Sails!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Reading Room STAR PIRATE "Meet the Star Pirate"

In space, no one can hear you say "Arrr, matey..." this example of the little-known "pirates in space" sub-genre proves!
Like most pirates (who are romantics at heart), Star Pirate is a sucker for a pretty face.
The Star Pirate became a fixture in Planet Comics, running from 1941 until just before the book's cancellation in 1953.
The name "Leonardo Vinci" on this intro tale from #12 (1941) is a pen-name assigned to this particular strip.
The general consensus is that the artist is Al Gabrielle, but the writer is unknown.
With the new Starz TV series Black Sails reawakening interest in the almost-dead "pirate high-adventure" genre, we're going to take a look at a number of different comics incarnations of buccaneers!
Be here tomorrow as we explore more pirate-themed comics!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

TRUE LOVE COMICS; the Perfect Gift for Your Pop Art-Loving Sweetie on Valentine's Day!

Comics aren't just about spandex-clad heroes and heroines in battles of cosmic import!
They also tell intimate tales of heartbreak and true love, betrayal and redemption, and misery and sheer joy!
With than in mind, Valentine's Day is coming, and what says "True Love" better than a gift from True Love Comics Tales™? (Plus, it's both longer-lasting AND cheaper than a dozen roses!)
Choose from dozens of designs on greeting cards, teddy bears, calendars, shirts/tops/intimate wear, diaries, and many other kool kollectibles!

A public service announcement for all lovers from your friends at Atomic Kommie Comics™

Reading Room MARVEL TALES "Return of the Monster"

One attempt at updating the Monster in the 1950s involved terrorists...
Art by Syd Shores
...who wanted Frankenstein's secrets to create an invincible army!
Illustrated by Gene Colan and Vince Alascia (with a splash panel taken from the cover by Syd Shores), this tale from Atlas' Marvel Tales #96 (1950), this tale was one of several produced by Atlas Comics.
Note, the author is unknown.
Art by Larry Lieber and VInce Colletta
When the story was reprinted in 1974, the Monster's look was modified on the new cover art to look more like Marvel's new version who had his own series!