Saturday, February 1, 2020

Baker Reading Room ALARMING TALES "Half Man-Half What"

"Scientists tampering with things Man should not meddle in" is an old cliche...
Art by John Severin
...given a new look by a most unusual assortment of least four, along with the writer...
Art by the Bob Powell Studio
Let's identify the talents involved in this never-reprinted tale from Harvey's Alarming Tales #5 (1958)...
Cover art by John Severin
Script by Dick Wood.
Opening page (which was actually the lower part of the contents page) by the Bob Powell Studio.
Story pencils by Matt Baker (who's the reason this is included in Black History Month, as you'll see Tuesday).
Story inks by Al Williamson.
the entire story (and cover) in original art form, with some revealing alterations and footnotes!
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Friday, January 31, 2020

Mort Drucker's "Disguised Humor"

Can you name what DC Comic this never-reprinted page appeared in?
It was during the period Drucker was also working for MAD!
It was during the Silver Age of Comics!
(I didn't say they were great hints!)
Obvious Trivia: Mort would go on to illustrate a number of the Man of Steel's media incarnations in MAD, including Christopher Reeve's movie version and the tv series Smallville.
Find Out Next Friday!
(Can ya bear the suspense?)
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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Reading Room WORLD OF SUSPENSE "Bright New World!"

How do you prove the "unprovable"?
This never-reprinted story from Atlas' World of Suspense #1 (1956) presents one way!
It's a cute story with a kool "gotcha" ending...if you don't think about it too much!
But writer Carl Wessler and artist Al Hartley ignored a number of simple (and obvious) facts...
1) Jet engines aren't rockets.
They require an atmosphere to function, otherwise they konk out!
2) Commercial aircraft, while somewhat airtight, are not designed for use in a total vacuum, where there's no external pressure!
The hull and windows would blow out within minutes!
3) Any phenomenon creating a "tunnel" between Earth and Uranus in our atmosphere would've been noticed by scientists, even with the relatively-unsophisticated instruments of the period!
(They wouldn't have understood it...but they would have noticed it!)
4) Nobody paid attention to the little green tourists (in magenta robes)wandering around?
5) Though I love the point that Earth (Most likely just America) was, even then, expensive to live in, I have to ask; what were the Uranians using for money?
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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder HARSH REALM "Case" Part 2

...actually, that's just "historical" background to put what you're reading in context.
In this future world, private investigator Dexter Green is hired by a couple whose teenage son has disappeared...
This James Hudnall-scripted, Yannick Paquette-penciled, and John Ridgeway-inked tale from the now-HTF Harris' Harsh Realm #1 (1994) seems extremely prophetic 26 years later!
Remember this was the era of...
..a not-exactly immersive experience, especially when compared to our "Virtual Reality" tech today!
Find Out Next Wednesday!
The comic is far different from the TV series by Chris Carter that it "inspired"!
Without the restraint of a TV series budget, writer James Hudnall, penciler Yannick Paquette and inker John Ridgeway let their imaginations run free in this intro tale!
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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "Unknown Element!"

Here's a never-reprinted tale...
...about the perils of exploring Inner (rather than Outer) Space, illustrated by a most unexpected artist!
This short story from Charlton's Space Adventures #12 (1954) was one of the last tales penciled by Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, who ended his comics career doing work for Fawcett and Charlton.
The inker was Spurs Jackson's John Belfi, but the writer is unknown.
BTW, when I said the story was "never-reprinted", I was somewhat incorrect.
(Yeah, it's hard to believe, but true!)
While the tale itself has never been re-presented in print, the splash page was modified and used as the cover for IW's Jet Power #1 (1958), which reprinted material from Magazine Enterprises' Jet and Space Ace comics!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Monday Madness HILLBILLY COMICS "Man Who Hated the Moon!"

Here's a tale of the good ol' boys who support the disgraced, impeached President...
...from a short-lived 1950s title telling their stories!
Yep, these are the people Don da Con and other Republicans play to while decrying the "educated elites".
"Bubbleville', according to Repug Mike Huckabee, represents the big cities of New York, Washington and Hollywood where the educated (but not smart) people live.
"Bubbaville", I guess, is everywhere else in the good ol' USA.
And that's where the real people are.
The ones who are smart...without all that fancy book-learnin'. 
The ones we city-folk call "deplorables"!
Written and illustrated by the highly-underrated Art Gates, this never-reprinted piece from Charlton's Hillbilly Comics #1 (1955) shows the "wisdom" the Cheeto Benito's audience are famous for!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Reading Room STRANGE TALES "Beware of Meeks Bringing Gifts!"

...but, while it has never been reprinted, that doesn't mean the story wasn't reused...this time with an oddly-contemporary aspect...
Newspeople have a responsibility to uncover and tell the truth objectively and honestly?
Please don't tell FoxNews that...
We do know that Jack Kirby penciled this (also) never-reprinted story from Atlas' Strange Tales #86 (1961).
However, everything else is pure speculation.
It's thought Sol Brodsky inked the story (though it has aspects of Dick Ayers' style as well).
And, since it's not signed "Stan Lee" (as most confirmed Lee-scripted tales were),  the consensus is that Stan's brother Larry Lieber penned the story.