Saturday, April 10, 2021

Space Force Saturday SPEED CARTER "Invaders from the Moon!"

The Chinese Commies of space strike again... the Saturnians unleash another diabolical plot against Earth!
Let's overlook the fact that Earthmen are about to move in on Lunar natives the way settlers overran Native Americans in the Old West, and wonder how the Saturnians knew the PositPeople and NegaNatives (not to mention the Lunanimals) were even on the Moon, when humans (who presumably had explored the Lunar surface) had no idea anyone lived there!
Mike Sekowsky's redesign of everything in the Speed Carter universe apparently extended to existing aliens as well, since the Saturnian shown in this tale doesn't match their original appearance in this story, illustrated by Joe Maneely.
But at least the Saturnians in this never-reprinted story from Speed Carter: SpaceMan #4 (1953) act the way they did previously, no doubt attributable to the fact that the same writer, Hank Chapman wrote both tales!
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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, April 9, 2021

Friday Fun FUNNYMAN: the Other SuperHero from the Co-Creators of Superman!


What do you do after you've created the ULTIMATE comics character...and lost the rights to him?

Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster faced that problem in 1947!
When they sued DC Comics (then National Periodicals Publications), they lost all the assignments (both individually and as a team) they were working on.
To pay the bills, they solicited work from other comics companies both on existing characters and, in one case, creating a NEW character...FunnyMan for Magazine Enterprises!
FunnyMan was Larry Davis, a comedian looking for a shtick.
His girlfriend / agent June suggested a publicity stunt with Larry dressing in his trademark clown outfit, "accidentally" coming upon a (staged with actors) "crime scene" and disarming and capturing the "criminals" using his props, all the while being photographed by conveniently-placed cameramen.
As you might have guessed, Larry stumbled on a real crime in progress, and thinking it was the pre-planned stunt, captured a real criminal!
When he discovered he had captured an actual criminal, Larry decided to continue battling crime, using mocking humor and embarrassing tricks to punish evildoers!
The editor at Magazine Enterprises who bought FunnyMan was Vin Sullivan, who also bought Superman from Siegel & Shuster when he was an editor at National Periodical Publications!
Larry Davis, FunnyMan's civilian identity, was based on movie / radio comedian Danny Kaye!
It was a clever idea, and pretty well executed.
Unfortunately, it didn't catch on.
The book only lasted six issues.
There was also a short-lived newspaper strip.
After FunnyMan failed and Siegel & Shuster lost their lawsuit, they went their separate ways.

But...FunnyMan has NOT been forgotten!
There's a book about the character--Siegel & Shuster's Funnyman: the First Jewish Superhero from the Creators of Superman by Thomas Andrae and Mel Gordon!

Besides the actual comic stories, there's a wealth of background info about Siegel & Shuster, the Danny Kaye connection, as well as the cultural influences that inspired the character!

Plus: we've brought FunnyMan back with a line of kool kollectibles (including mugs, t-shirts, iPad bags, etc.) in our Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™ collection!

So why not get a gift set of the new book and one of our collectibles for the pop culture aficionado in your life?
What could it hurt? ;-)

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Reading Room ALARMING ADVENTURES "Secret of the Mountain"

Many people believe we've explored every inch of our home world, the Earth.
They'd be totally-wrong, as shown in this tale from Harvey's Alarming Adventures #3 (1963).
Penciled by Al Williamson and inked by Angelo Torres, this tale was probably intended for the never-published Race for the Moon #5.
The scripter is unknown, but it might have been Joe Simon, who was "packaging" the book after his partnership with Jack Kirby ended!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder LOST WORLD "The Revolution Will be Televised!"

The battle against the invading VoltaMen continues as we finally see some of the other races the evil aliens have enslaved...
Decades before Don da Con, "Fake News" was a thing!
Note that we not only see a third race of Venusians, but finally meet Martians, Jupiterians, Saturnians, and others whom the VoltaMen have defeated and enslaved!
Will the rebellion spread beyond Earth?
Watch and see...

Discover MORE Amazing Factoids...
Next Wednesday!
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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Reading Room REALITY "Endless Chain!"

Long before the internet and sites like DeviantArt, up-and-coming artists were published in fanzines... get their work in front of an audience, receive feedback, and make a few bucks!
Originally-drawn for Web of Horror, this early tale by Frank Brunner ended up in the first issue of Reality, a fanzine published in 1970 by 15-year old Robert Gerson.
When Web died after only three issues, a number of writers and artists had no market for their material without losing all the rights to it, so, in order to get it published to make a few bucks for their labor (and retain the copyrights), they let young entrepreneurs use the stories in their fanzines, which were sold at conventions and in used book stores and head shops alongside underground comics.
(There were no comic book shops until the late 1970s.)
NOTE: This story has never been reprinted...anywhere!
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Monday, April 5, 2021

Monday Mars Madness: When the Co-Creator of Superman Helped Mars Invade Earth...TWICE!

The writer who co-created the most famous alien in pop culture...

...tried twice in the 1950s to introduce ongoing Martian superheroes to comics (and potentially other media)!
First up was Lars of Mars!
What if 1950s sci-fi shows like Captain Video or Space Patrol were real?
And the aliens were real aliens, including the TV show's hero who was a heroic Martian secret agent pretending to be an American actor playing a heroic Martian superhero?
That was the "meta-before there-was-meta" premise of the 1951 short-lived (two issue) series, Lars of Mars.
During his run, Lars battled other aliens, Commies, and crooks, while protecting his "secret identity" from his nosy producer (who bore a disturbing resemblance to Lois Lane).
That's not suprising since the writer was also the editor of the Ziff-Davis comics line...Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman!
Despite first-rate art by Murphy Anderson (who would later become a major Superman illustrator in the 1970s) the premise didn't sell.
So Siegel tried again the next year, adding a couple of twists to the concept!
Tarka, the Crusader from Mars, was the first Martian to commit murder in over half a century.
(It was actually manslaughter since it was an accidental killing while fighting with another man over a woman.)
Instead of being imprisoned, he was sent to Earth, where he (and the woman he was fighting for) were given cover identities as a businessman and his secretary.
The pair were given assignments by the Martian government with the caveat that if they failed, the Earth (with them still on it) would be obliterated rather than allow a threat they couldn't stop to spread to other worlds!

You can read the entire Lars of Mars series...including a never-reprinted conclusion (in 3-D, no less) by clicking HERE!
You can read the entire Crusader from Mars series by clicking HERE!

featuring the covers of both issues of Lars of Mars!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter!

Art by the legendary Walt Kelly

Time for our annual Feast of the Marshmallow Peeps and the Devouring of the Chocolate Bunnies (always start with the ears)!

Our thanks to all of you who ordered goodies from Atomic Kommie Comics™ line of retro-design collectibles in our Exciting Easter section!