Saturday, March 27, 2021

Space Force Saturdays SPACE SQUADRON & SPEED CARTER: SPACEMAN "Famous Explorers of Space" Part 4

Both Atlas' Space Squadron and Speed Carter: SpaceMan had "future history" features...
...set in the "past", like this never-reprinted story from Atlas' Space Squadron #4 (1951), which took place in the then-future of 1965!
So the scientist let a guy with no depth perception fly his experimental ship?
He's lucky they didn't crash into anything!a
Let's look at how such "Future History" was told in Speed Carter...
Ah, the good ol' days of 2006, when a spaceport sat outside New York City...
...funny, I don't remember the skyline looking like that in 2007!
I guess I developed amnesia after I hit my head falling out of my flying car...
I'm wondering what Joe's gonna do when he runs out of cigarettes!
Nicotine withdrawal is rough enough on Earth.
But on Jupiter...without even nicotine gum...
This story from Speed Carter: SpaceMan #4 (1953) references previous Famous Explorers tales in its' first paragraph, mentioning the explorations of Venus, Mercury, and Mars.
Written by Hank Chapman, and illustrated by Joe Maneely, in his final Speed Carter interior art job.
Joe would later do the cover for #6, the final issue of the series.

Note: the astronauts in this story, which takes place three generations in the "past" of Speed Carter, have different uniforms and lower-end technology than what's shown in the Maneely-rendered Speed Carter tales.
But since Mike Sekowsky, who illustrated the rest of this issue, redesigned both the uniforms and tech in the "present-day" stories, that whole aspect now falls by the wayside for the remainder of the series' run.
Besides "Famous Explorers", Space Squadron also presented "future history tales" about the guy who was young hotshot Jet Dixon's crusty Commander-in-Chief when he was a young hotshot pilot...
While the writer for this never-reprinted tale (also from Atlas' Space Squadron #4 [1951]) is unknown, the artist is George Klein, who's best known as an amazingly-versatile inker, but could pencil (albeit slowly) as well!
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(under the pen-name "Paul French") Omnibus of ALL Six Space-Opera Sagas!David Starr: Space Ranger, Pirates of the Asteroids, Oceans of Venus, Big Sun of Mercury, Moons of Jupiter, Rings of Saturn

Friday, March 26, 2021

Friday Fun / Easter Reading Room EASTER WITH MOTHER GOOSE "Ten Little Easter Eggs"

Here's a perfect rhyme for the little ones...
...from the typewriter and brush of legendary comic creator Walt (Pogo) Kelly.
Published in Dell's Four Color Comics #103: Easter with Mother Goose (1946), this "gentle" little piece is a classic example of innocently-violent, yet kid-friendly material rarely-seen today.
(And please, no politically-correct comments about the "Two little Easter eggs playing with a gun" rhyme.)

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Reading Room OUTER SPACE "For Amusement Only"

Ever wonder if all the natural disasters we experience...
...are truly "natural" in origin?
"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport."
King Lear Act 4, Scene 1
"Submitted for your approval...
A tale by writer Joe Gill and artist Steve Ditko from Charlton's Outer Space #18 (1958) that Repugs would love since it disproves "global warming".
But, it replaces it with something else cons don't believe on other worlds!
A conundrum that may never be least not in...The Twilight Zone!"
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...which reprints this tale and numerous other long out-of-print short stories illustrated by Ditko!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder LOST WORLD "The Coming Storm"

...they were making a jaunt across the country, attempting to link various surviving groups of humans into a unified fighting force against the invading VoltaMen...
Note the opening paragraph mentions it's 1975, so the invasion had to be sometime between 1946 (the then-present) and the late 1960s!
I had believed it was half a century to a century after the invasion due to the decay shown...
That was a tsunami (or tidal wave), not a hurricane!
A hurricane is a large storm system that forms in the atmosphere over warm ocean water. A tsunami is large set of waves triggered by some sort of vertical movement of rocks under water (earthquake, large landslide, volcanic explosion).
Between this and the mis-identified dinosaur in the previous story, I'm beginning to wonder if "Thorncliffe Herrick" passed high school science!

Discover MORE Amazing Factoids...
Next Wednesday!
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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Easter Reading Room TICK-TOCK TALES "Koko and Kola Meet the Red Easter Bunny!"

Walt (Pogo) Kelly didn't have a monopoly on Easter-themed stories... fact, Magazine Entertainment's Tick Tock Tales #4 (1946) presented both a cover and several stories (including this one) featuring it's ongoing characters teamed-up with the Easter Bunny!
The artwork is by Leon Jason Comic Art Studios who supplied funny-animal art to numerous publishers including Magazine EntertainmentSpotlight PublishingNovelty Press and EC Comics (before they did horror) during the 1940s and '50s.

Monday, March 22, 2021


In the early 1970s, due to the success of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian...

...comics went pulp-mad, looking for other properties that were doing well in paperback reprints to adapt into the four-color format.
DC latched onto The ShadowThe Avenger, and Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd and Gray Mouser well as the entire Edgar Rice Burroughs library including TarzanCarson of Venus, and John Carter of Mars.
Marvel grabbed Doc Savage, added Kull the Conqueror (also a Robert E Howard character), and looked for another barbarian/swashbuckling hero.
They ended up adding two, Gullivar Jones and Lin Carter's new character, Thongor, neither of whom ran more than eight issues.

Gullivar Jones had the advantage of only one novel to adapt, then the door would be open to totally-new adventures.
Art by Frank Frazetta
Interestingly, Gullivar Jones predated John Carter by over a decade, but the novel featuring him, Lieutenant Gulliver Jones: His Vacation (Brown, Langham & Company, 1905) by Edwin L Arnold was never reprinted until 1964 when Ace Books (which was also publishing ERB's and JRR Tolkien's books) added it to their lineup under a superb Frank Frazetta cover.
Ironic note: Edwin Arnold was so disgusted by the book's lack of sales, he gave up fiction writing!
Personally, I suspect the less-than-exciting title might have had something to do with it!
Readers had no idea the book was a "scientific romance"...what we now call "science fiction!
You can read the entire Gullivar Jones series (including both the color Creatures on the Loose stories and the b/w Monsters Unleashed tales starting HERE!
And HERE's a follow-up featuring more (ahem) marvelous Mars art!

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Great Goodies for Your Easter Basket!

Back in the 1940s and '50s, comic book companies produced a prodigious number of holiday annuals and one-shots.|
For example, a multitude of Christmas-themed comic books flooded America's magazine racks every November and December!
(In fact, a large part of our popular Cool Christmas collection is based on them.)
But, did you know that several publishers also did Easter-oriented books?
And, that noted comics illustrators including Walt Kelly (Pogo) contributed art to them?
Believing that there's always room for more classic comics collectibles, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ added a new line of goodies to our Happy Holidays section entitled Exciting Easter!
Yes, it's eggs, bunnies, chicks, and other fuzzy animals galore digitally-restored and remastered from Baby Boomer-era classic comics covers on baby bibs, infant creepers / onesies, toddler and kid t-shirts, greeting cards, mugs, and a plethora of kool kollectibles!
They make great Easter basket stuffers! (And they won't rot your kids' teeth like marshmallow chicks or chocolate bunnies!)
So click over and see what's in our basket!