Saturday, April 19, 2014

Best of Reading Room: "Monster God of Rogor"

Heroic Archeologists in torn shirts!
Scantly-clad Princesses!
Terrifying Monsters!
And, it's illustrated by Wally Wood!
I really should charge for entertainment this good...
Yeah, I know every blogger and his brother has run this tale.
But it's so damn kool, I just had to get it into the Atomic Kommie Comics™ archives.
The art for this tale from Youthful Publications' Captain Science #1 (1950) is signed by Wally Wood, and the inking is pure Woody.
But, it looks like he had assistance on pencils, perhaps by Joe Kubert.
The writer is unknown.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Best of Reading Room: 3-D: ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN "Nightmare"

You won't need red/blue 3-D glasses to read today's 3-D comic story, thanks to...
All the benefits!
None of the headaches (except for the artist who had to illustrate it)!
And now, on with today's story, the cover feature from ACG's Adventures into the Unknown #51 (1953)...
The extensive use of Craftint for backgrounds, background objects, and shading is a clever idea, but I can see how it would become visually-irritating on an ongoing basis.
Art by Harry Lazarus, one of a trio of siblings (including Sid and Leon) who all ended up writing and/or illustrating comic books during the 1940s-1960s.
(They are not related to Mell Lazarus, writer/artist of the comic strips Miss Peach and Momma, who also worked in comic books in the 1950s.
Small world, ain't it?)
BTW, for another TrueVision tale, pop over to our "sister" blog True Love Comics Tales™!
3-D Comics Collectibles Shop
featuring the cover from today's featured story!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Best of Reading Room: WITCHES' TALES "Invasion" (the Original, SCARIER Story!)

Edited version
...but it had been radically-altered from it's first appearance, and that the original version had never been reprinted!
We will now correct that mistake and present pages unseen in over fifty years!
First the toned-down version, then the original, scarier version...
Original version
 Note in the original version, both the wife and singer on tv show a lot more cleavage!
Edited version
Original version
Again, more cleavage in the original version...
Edited version
Original version
Oddly enough, the wife's cleavage is unchanged, but the look of terror in the last panel is toned down!
Edited version
Original version
Panel four in the original version is much more gruesome than the edited version.  Note the dialogue balloon is unchanged, even though there's no actual weapons fire in the edited version!
Edited version
 This last page is radically-different! Prepare yourself!
Proceed...but remember, I warned you...
Original version
The edited pages were from Race for the Moon #1 (1958)
The original story was from Witches' Tales #21 (1953)
As you can see, the Comics Code Authority insisted on some major redos, including most of the last page!

Whenever possible, we'll present examples of similar "reworking" of stories pre and post-Comics Code!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Best of Reading Room: RACE FOR THE MOON "Invasion"

Some people called early television "just radio with pictures"...
...a premise taken to an obvious extreme in this tale...
Unfortunately, the technological level of tv fx in 1958, when this story was published in Race for the Moon #1, make the events of the story highly unlikely.
The primary reason the inspiration for this story, the 1938 War of the Worlds radio hoax by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre of the Air, worked was because peoples' imaginations ran wild, fueled by sound effects and well-written dialogue!
The "visuals" were in their heads!
Nonetheless, the unknown writer and artist Bob Powell did their best in only five pages.
And, the comic's intended audience, kids aged 9-15, could accept the premise, especially if they had no knowledge of the Welles radio show, which wasn't often rebroadcast until old radio show reruns made a comeback in the mid-1960s on college radio stations and lp albums.

NOTE: This story is a radically toned-down version of a tale that appeared a decade earlier!
Tomorrow we'll show you how it ORIGINALLY looked...pre-Comics Code, which has NEVER been reprinted!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MOPSY "Taxes"

The average person's fear of April 15th hasn't changed in decades... this page from Charlton's TV Teens #9 (1955) shows!
If the fashions seem a little dated for 1955, that's because this series consisted of reprints of 1940s newspaper strips along with several stories created for Mopsy's first comic book series in the late 1940s.
Creator Gladys Parker wrote and drew all Mopsy material without "ghosts" to help, and when she retired in 1965, the strip ended.
Parker passed away the following year.

Trivia: The filing deadline for individuals was March 1 in 1913 (the first year of a federal income tax), and was changed to March 15 in 1918 (inspiring many jokes about having to "beware the Ides of March"), then to April 15 in 1955.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Reading Room ALIEN ENCOUNTERS "Earth Invasion"

There's a twist ending to this alien invasion tale you won't see coming...
...if you're under 30!
I'm serious!
Ah, video arcades...
Kids today have no idea how important those darkened chambers filled with video consoles and pinball machines were to us in the pre-XBox/PlayStation/Nintendo days...and how much money we spent, quarter-by-quarter, in them!
Yeah, there's still Chuck E Cheese, Dave & Busters, and their ilk, but those are kiddie venues!

Written by Larry Shell and illustrated by Steve (Swamp Thing) Bissette, this never-reprinted tale from FantaCo's Alien Encounters one-shot (1981) captures the long-lost era perfectly.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Best of Reading Room SPACEHAWK "Creeping Death from Neptune"

How could you not want to read a story with a title like that?
Plus: story and art by the unique (to put it mildly) Basil Wolverton!
This premiere appearance from Novelty's Target Comics V1 N5 (1940), written and illustrated by Wolverton, was just the tip of the iceberg!
SpaceHawk "unmasked" a couple of issues later, but the legend was already well-established, and the fact he was a "mere" human who could take down aliens several times his size and strength only made him even more fearsome to his foes...

BTW, we're packing to make the move to a new home (almost double the size of our current digs), so some of the posts over the next two weeks (like this one) will be "Best of..." re-presentations mixed in with some new ones (like on Easter).
Things will be back to normal by the beginning of May.