Saturday, July 18, 2015

Reading Room: SPACE PATROL "Gambling Den of Space"

Here's a tale featuring an evil Plutonian who runs a mobile gambling den...
...from a short-lived series about a pair of interstellar cops in Centaur's Amazing Mystery Funnies!
(Does Kodi look like a prototype for Star Trek: the Next Generation's Ferengi?)
The multi-talented Basil Wolverton wrote, illustrated, lettered, and probably colored, this tale from Amazing Mystery Funnies #22 (1940).
It's one of the first of the "law enforcement in space" sub-genre that prospered in pulp and comic sci-fi in the 1930s and 40s, and carried over to TV in the 1950s.
Note: the 1950s TV/radio series Space Patrol was not based on Wolverton's strip.
(Could you imagine them trying to do the aliens in the gambling ship using 1950s-level makeup techniques?)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Reading Room NORGE BENSON "Frozen Famine"

Let's visit Pluto, world of talking penguins... stranded spaceman Norge Benson's existence may come to an end since the food supply on the frozen world seems to be running out!
As you can see, life on Pluto had its' charms back in 1942, as this never-reprinted tale from Fiction House's Planet Comics #16 proves!
Artist Al Walker and whoever was scripting under the name "Olaf Bjorn" did a heck of a job with this whimsical tale, providing comedy relief amidst all the deadly-series tales of space emperors and alien invasions.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Norge Benson and the Penguins of Pluto

Yep, you read that right...
Pluto's inhabited by intelligent, talking penguins.
Lots of them!
Some are "hoodlums" who wear sweatshirts and newsboy caps and talk with thick Brooklyn accents!
Didn't know that, did you?
The Cosmo Corrigan strip proved to be less than a smash hit, so the editors retooled the concept, adding even more juvenile humor (plus a talking polar bear and penguins) and dropping the sexual innuendo and frat-boy antics, while renaming the lead "Norge Benson" and having him crash-land on Pluto, rather than simply being assigned there to get him out of his superiors' hair!
The new character was still what we politely call a "doofus", but Norge proved to be far more popular than Cosmo, lasting for almost two dozen appearances!
We've run four of his never-reprinted tales HERE, and we'll be presenting another on Friday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Saga of Cosmo Corrigan on Pluto!

The Life on Other Worlds feature about Pluto wasn't Planet Comics' first look at that frozen world...
The editors of Planet Comics gave two different characters their own strips set on the most recently-discovered planet in our Solar System.
However, unlike most of the deadly-serious features of the period, these strips played both series as sci-fi sitcoms, starring "heroes" who could best be described as spacegoing slackers, or "party animals of the galaxy"!

You can read the complete run of the first guy, Cosmo Corrigan, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Yeah, he only lasted three issues.
Then be back tomorrow as we introduce you to his even lazier and loonier successor, Norge Benson!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Reading Room PLANET COMICS "Life on Other Worlds: Pluto"

...let's have a look at what we thought it might be like in 1946!
Mind you, Pluto was a planet when this chapter of the ongoing feature Life on Other Worlds appeared in Fiction House's Planet Comics #45 (1946).
In fact, it had only been discovered 16 years earlier and little was known about it beyond the fact that it was sitting out there at the edge of the Solar System!
So, it was a blank slate for sci fi writers to play with, as artist Murphy Anderson and the unknown writer did in this "cool" 2-pager!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Reading Room KIDNAPPED BY A SPACE SHIP "Part 5 - Into New Peril"

...and transported to another world.
Ever get the feeling we're about to go from "space opera" to "horse opera"?
This tale from Treasure Chest V14N15 (1959) introduces other aliens, but they're apparently extremely-primitive!
Next Monday, we'll see if the writer and artist follow the then-standard Western story motif of "explorers/settlers meet noble savages and make friends", or if they go off on a different tangent!
Writer Frances Crandall followed the accepted concepts of space travel postulated by scientist Wener Von Braun and, illustrated by Chesley Bonestell in various books and magazines like Conquest of Space, and popularized in numerous 1950s movies like Destination Moon and Angry Red Planet!
Artist Fran Matera was also the art director/art editor for Treasure Chest, but is best known for his long run on the Steve Roper and Mike Nomad newspaper strip.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

San Diego "Tales from ComicCon" 5th Anniversary Shirts & Stuff!

On July 24th, 2010, at the San Diego ComicCon, reality became far more frightening than any horror comic book!
Thankfully, the victim survived, and  a suspect was quickly taken into custody.

Sadly, nerd-on-nerd crime is becoming a more common problem in our society than most people realize!
It is THE Threat to Our Way of Life that Dare Not Speak It's Name...mostly because people would roll on the floor laughing hysterically.

But this is NO laughing matter, citizens!
To draw attention to this growing menace to our way of life, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have produced this line of kool kollectibles for you to display at conventions so that this incident is not quickly forgotten by a jaded populace eager for the next cheap thrill!
We were warned!
We didn't listen!
We paid the price!
Remind everyone!