Saturday, April 7, 2018

Reading Room WEIRD THRILLERS "Graveyard in the Antarctic"

While a mini-series about ill-fated Arctic explorers, The Terror, airs on AMC, here's a true tale of frozen fear...
...from the back of Ziff-Davis' Weird Thrillers #4 (1952)!
Illustrated by Marvin Stein, it's purportedly based on a true story.
But I've been unable to verify it, as all of Levick's known studies were about penguins, not seals!
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Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday Fun JETTA OF THE 21st CENTURY "My Cosmic Hero" as long as we're completing re-presenting the Jetta series, we'll upgrade with these superior scans thanks to the amazing Kracalactaka!
Let's look at a typical evening at the drive-in, supposedly set in the early 21st Century (aka NOW) presented in 1952!
(I'm still waiting for my flying car!)
If the art style looks familiar, it's the work of Dan DeCarlo, who helped establish the iconic "look" of Archie Comics!
Dan actually started at Atlas Comics (the 1940s-50s predecessor to Marvel Comics) doing a variety of humor strips before beginning a long-term run on various Archie titles in 1951.
Even then, he continued to work for a number of other publishers, including Standard Comics, who asked him to create, write, and illustrate a teen-humor series.
(Every publisher had at least one of them!)
Jetta of the 21st Century was the only one set in the future.
This particular tale is from the series' premiere issue, #5 (1952)!
In the 1950s, Standard tended to begin series with #5, believing readers would pick up the book, wondering "How did I miss the first four issues of this kool book?"
It rarely worked...
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Dan DeCarlo's Jetta

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Reading Room WILD "Frozen North"

A never-reprinted story from one of Atlas Comics' many MAD clones... our snowbound story for today, as winter weather continues to cover America!
Did you catch the cameo by the Golden Age Human Torch on page 3 panel 3, asking if this book was Young Men Comics (where he was appearing in 1954)?
This tale from Wild! #1 (1954) was illustrated by Sol Brodsky, who, while better-known to aficionados as Atlas/Marvel's production manager than as an artist, actually had over 1,000 stories and covers to his credit!
(He inked Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four #3 and #4 as well as Kirby's iconic cover for Avengers #16!)
Sadly, little of the material from Atlas' four humor titles from the 1950s has been reprinted, despite the fact that some of their "big names" like Bill Everett, Joe Maneely, Gene Colan, and Russ Heath all contributed stories that went far afield from their usual "realistic" styles with amazing results!
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder CARSON OF VENUS "Girl in the Garden"

...attempting to reach Mars, Carson Napier fails to take the Moon's gravity into consideration and his trajectory takes him to Venus instead!
Ejecting from the ship before it crashes, Napier encounters a giant crustacean which almost devours him but for the intervention of three humanoids who bring the shaken and stranded Earthman to their home...
Writer Len Wein and illustrator Mike Kaluta continue the high adventure with the second installment of their adaptation of Burroughs' Pirates of Venus from DC's Korak: Son of Tarzan #47 (1972).
To readers of the time, it must have been frustrating to only have 5 to 7 pages of Carson at a time, since the book was bi-monthly!
But it was probably the only thing keeping the detail-oriented, but notoriously-slow Kaluta on Carson, The Spawn of Frankenstein strip in Phantom Stranger, and The Shadow (both of which which were also bi-monthly) along with several cover assignments per month!
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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

50 Years Ago Today...2001 Arrived!

No, I haven't gone senile...yet!
On this date in 1968, Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece 2001: a Space Odyssey, hit movie theatres like an atom bomb!
Eight years after that, a comic adaptation finally the now-defunct, tabloid-sized "Treasury" format by none other than Jack (King) Kirby...
(You can read it at this amazing site!)
...followed by an ongoing series by Kirby that, to this day, generates controversy among comics aficionados!
Due to licensing limitations, neither the movie adaptation or the sequel series have been reprinted in the US, but we've re-presented the complete set of these otherwise lost tales on this blog!
Click on the titles below the covers to go to each story!
Blow Your Mind, True Believer!
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Monday, April 2, 2018

Reading Room NORGE BENSON "Time Travel Terror"

In the far future of Pluto's Norge Benson... is sorta arbitrary and time travel is as easy as being swept up by a cyclone!
"Murphy the Mammoth"?
With Frosting the Polar Bear's mysterious reduction from full-size bear to puppy dog-sized cub, the editors must have felt they needed a character who could do "bull in a china shop" slapstick he used to do, as well as provide occasional sheer muscle in dangerous situations.
As a result, Murphy was added to the cast in this Lily Renee-rendered tale from Fiction House's Planet Comics #31 (1944)!
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Planet Comics
Vol. 8

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter & April Fool's Day Reading Room SPEED BUGGY COMICS "Magic Easter Candy"

Here's a never-reprinted tale from Charlton's Speed Buggy #3 (1975)...
...just in time for the first joint Easter/April Fools Day in 62 years!
Scripted by Mike Pellowski and illustrated by Alan James Hanley (not to be confused with the NYC comic book store owner), this was one of numerous one-off text features created to fulfill the second-class (magazine) privilege requirements for subscription copies when they didn't have a letters page or short story based on the specific comic's characters!