Saturday, July 17, 2021

Space Force Saturdays SPEED CARTER "Sting of the Scorpion, Cunning of the Centaur"

What's cooler than dealing with an alien menace in deep space?
Why, dealing with two alien menaces (who are also fighting each other) in deep space, of course!
The names of the constellations "Scorpio" and "Sagittarius" are Earth culture-based and their shapes as scorpions and centaurs can only be discerned from Earth.
So, why did evolution produce species that resemble Earth-based creatures in those distant star-systems?
And, why do centaurs have wings?
Probably tight deadlines, because it's an inherently-silly premise.
(And I won't even go into why Johnny says they're crashing into a star, when it's obviously a planet...)
This concludes our re-presentation of the never-reprinted Speed Carter: SpaceMan series.
Though next week is the final Space Squadron tale, that's not the end of those series here!
In two weeks, we'll present a gallery of the complete covers from both series along with a couple of interesting foreign variants!
After that...we're still considering if we should go with more military/police space opera (we have several kool series available) or just return Saturday posts to being whatever strikes our fancy!
Your opinion would be appreciated...
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Friday, July 16, 2021

Friday Fun PUZZLE-FUN COMICS "Alec in FumbleLand"

While this short-lived (two issue) title featured (what else) puzzles... also featured this non-puzzle comedy comic strip, based loosely on Alice in Wonderland, in both issues!
Obvious question...who pays the King?
Isn't he the boss of the whole country?
That point aside, the never-reprinted tale from George W Dougherty Publishing's Puzzle-Fun Comics #1 (1946) by sadly-neglected writer/artist George Carlson is beautifully-done, playing cleverly on the concepts of Lewis Carroll's books.
Carlson, who created and produced the amazing Jingle Jangle Tales for Eastern Color, was a book and slick magazine cartoonist illustrator who did comic books "on the side".
His only comic book work was Jingle Jangle Comics, this title, and a few one-pagers for Eastern Comics!
99% of his comic book output has never been reprinted.
Once we can assemble it, we're going to do a blogathon of his astounding work!
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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Reading Room CAPTAIN SCIENCE COMICS "Robots of Ra"

For sheer weirdness (not to mention incomprehensibility), few stories can top this tale...
...from the back of Youthful's Captain Science #2 (1951)
You'll note the art style for this never-reprinted story varies wildly from page to page.
The credited artist, Walter Johnson, depended heavily on assistants to produce a high volume of pages for the various comics companies (including Avon, St John, Fiction House, and Youthful Publications) he supplied art to!
The work of several different illustrators with varying levels of draftsmanship is apparent on this one story, including one or more who swipe from both Flash Gordon's Alex Raymond and Phantom Lady's Matt Baker!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder LOST WORLD "Volta's Vichy Vassal"

We finally discover what far-distant future era Lost World takes place in...
Well, when this tale from Fiction House's Planet Comics #59 (1949) was published, it was the "far future"...

The title reference is to the puppet government Nazi Germany installed in southern France to attempt to convince the French they weren't really conquered and occupied.
The implication was that if the Resistance stopped operations, northern France could be given (illusory) self-governance again!
It didn't work.
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Planet Comics
Volume 12
(contains issues 54 to 59)

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Reading Room MYSTERIES OF UNEXPLORED WORLDS "Forbidden Formula"

Before Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four #13 (1963)...
...there was 
...The Watcher!
We're talking big bald alien in a cloak, part of a legion of cosmic observers keeping an eye on the doings of other races throughout the universe (and, presumably, the multiverse)!
Here's his first (and only, AFAIK) non-Marvel appearance from Charlton's Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #18 (1960)
Unlike Marvel's Watchers, Codin and his fellows deliberately interfere directly with others, albeit surreptitiously.
But, I'm compelled to ask...did this story influence either Stan or Jack several years later when they introduced their Watcher?
Guess we'll never know...

Both the writer and artist of this never-reprinted tale are, ironically, unknown.
(Too bad the Watcher can't tell us...)
The Grand Comics Database speculates the illustrator is Bill Fraccio, a long-time Charlton mainstay who did everything from romance to Westerns to war to sci-fi!
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(featuring the first appearance of Marvel's Watcher)

Monday, July 12, 2021

Monday Mars Madness ATTACK ON PLANET MARS "Chapter 2: Princess of the Electronized Tower"

Art by Gene Fawcette
In the year 2430, Tarrano, an Earthman, has seized control of both the planet Venus and its outpost on Earth, Venia.
At that outpost, the tyrant has kidnapped Elza and Georg, children of the recently-murdered scientist, Dr Brende, along with reporter Jac Hallen.
Tarrano's agents have assassinated all the national leaders of Earth, leaving the various governments in a state of confusion.
Meanwhile, back in Venia...
"Here goes"...what?
Can the trio defeat an entire city?
Based on the novel Tarrano the Conqueror by Ray Cummings, this chapter of the 1951 comic adaptation was penciled by Carmine Infantino and inked by Vince Alascia.
The writer of the adaptation is unknown.
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Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Annual RetroBlog Summer Blogathon is Under Way...

...with this long-lost, never-reprinted, Silver-Age Captain America novel!

If you haven't had a chance to read it, start HERE at the beginning!
If you've been a True Believer (as Stan the Man Lee would say) and already devoured the first six pulse-pounding chapters, click HERE on Monday and continue with Chapter 7!