Saturday, March 21, 2020

Love in the Time of CoronaVirus!

For the foreseeable future, our "sister" RetroBlog...
(There seem to be a lot of them, most involving nurses and handsome doctors!)
Click HERE if you want to cry your eyes out!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Friday Fun & CoronaVirus Comics "How I Conquered a Terrible Plague"

Here's a combination I never thought we'd do...
...but if you can't occasionally laugh at a problem (even one as terrifying as coronavirus), all you can do is cry!
At the end of World War II, writer/artist Dick Briefer took the horror strip Monster of Frankenstein and revamped it into a humor series that predated TV's The Munsters by two decades!
(My personal favorite from this period has Frankie meeting Boris Karloff surrogate "Boris Karload"!)
This particular tale from Prize's Frankenstein #5 (1946) was part of a book-length story about Frankie's attempt to interact with others and solve their problems.
Other chapters involved pet dinosaurs, genies, and ghosts!
BTW, a "chocolate frappe" is a whipped drink with chocolate syrup, cream/ half-and-half, sugar, and ice.
Unlike a chocolate egg-cream, it has no seltzer/soda.
They were part of the standard assortment of beverages "soda jerks" would make fresh at luncheonettes and pharmacy lunch counters from the early 1900s to the early 1970s.
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Thursday, March 19, 2020

CoronaVirus Comics MARVEL TALES "Dictator!"

There's a rumor floating though the 'Net that the current coronavirus is a man-made disease!
It's unlikely, but, what if someone did do that horrible deed?
Did artist John Forte and an unknown writer of this story about a fat, insecure dictator from Atlas' Marvel Tales #125 (1954) predict something that could happen over 65 years later?
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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder HARSH REALM "City" Conclusion

Private detective Dexter Gordon's consciousness enters the virtual-reality world of Harsh Realm, looking for his clients' son Dan Crawford!
(One important factor to remember...if you die in Harsh Realm, your body in the real world also dies!)
He meets Moira, whom he initially believes to be merely a character in the fictional world, but who turns out to be both a real human given form (like him) and a friend of Dan!
After a night of virtual-world passion...
So this won't be a one-night stand?
What other perils must Dex overcome?
Can two humans produce a virtual-reality child?
Will Dex find Dan?
For the Answers to These and Other Questions...
Be Here Next Wednesday!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

CoronaVirus Comics STRANGE TALES "Earth is Off-Limits!"

Once more we open the squeeky vault door...
...(Why are they always squeeky?) and present a long-unseen, never-reprinted tale of disease and death from a pair of Silver Age legends!
If you're thinking "why don't they just keep transmitting audio and video signals and someone else will hear them and relay the info to everyone on Earth?", remember this was written in 1963.
No Internet.
No personal computers.
No home video (VHS/DVD/Blu-Ray) recording devices.
Few people had ham/short wave radios, and even if they picked up the astronauts' signals, they had no way to tell (or show) the world what they saw and heard.
So, in that context, the story works!
Of course, today it would be another matter...
The Human Torch had taken over the cover and front of Strange Tales as of #101, but the back half of the book still had the sci-fi/fantasy short stories that served as the core of the anthology from its' beginning.
Though the Torch stories have been reprinted, most of the shorts, like this one, haven't been seen by readers since their initial publication.
It's a pity, since they're classic examples of some of the Marvel Bullpen's better non-superhero stuff.
This particular story, from Strange Tales #109 (1963), is by the guys who would co-create Dr Strange in the very next issue...Stan Lee and Steve Ditko!
That would mark the end of the shorts in the back of Strange Tales.
Though The Torch (despite being joined by The Thing) would be displaced by Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. , Doctor Strange would not only survive, but take over Strange Tales as of #169.
(Nick Fury got his own book beginning with #1)
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Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday Madness GET LOST "The Circle, the Triangle and the Square"

Sometimes, a comic tale doesn't need perspective, anatomy, or even characters to tell a story... this classic bit of storytelling from Mikeross' Get Lost #3 (1954) proves!
The graphics are simple, but effective...but the key is the captions and their use of slang to deliver the punchline!
Though it only lasted three issues, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito's Get Lost was one of the best of the MAD comic knock-offs, never quite hitting the heights of Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder's lunacy, but coming close with several tales, including this one!
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Sunday, March 15, 2020

CoronaVirus Comics OUT OF THIS WORLD "Plague!"

Even when (believe it or not) created for benevolent purposes...
...a deliberately-contagious virus is no laughing matter!
OK, how can we read other peoples' thoughts in our own dreams, as happens on pages 2 and 3?
Beyond that deliberately-deceptive plot element, this tale from Charlton's Out of This World #6 (1957) written by Charlton mainstay Joe Gill and illustrated by future Spider-Man and Dr Strange co-creator Steve Ditko hangs together fairly well!
Would someone deliberately-conceive and implement a biological weapon (whether for good or evil) today?
Some Reich-wingers believe the current coronavirus epidemic was engineered by North Korea and/or Communist China!
What do you think, dear reader?
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(which reprints this tale!)