Saturday, November 6, 2021

Space Force Saturdays INTERPLANETARY POLICE "Mirror of Doom" Part 1

Strap on your rocketpacks, Space Cadets... we present the final tale of the InterPlanetary Police and their ongoing battle with the Space Siren!
And, with that, we temporarily break contact with the brave spacemen of the InterPlanetary Police until next Saturday!
This high-adventure story from Buster Brown Comic Book #32 (1953) was written by Hobart Donovan, penciled by Reed Crandall, and inked by Ray Wilner.
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Friday, November 5, 2021

Friday Fun SPACE PATROL COMICS "Testtube Tyler"

Let's jump into the weekend with a workplace joke...but with a sci-fi twist!
This never-reprinted one pager from Ziff-Davis' Space Patrol #2 (1952) was Testtube Tyler's sole appearance.
Obviously, Cedrick never reappeared either.
And, to top it off, the writer and artist (who may be one and the same or two different people) are unknown.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Reading Room MARVEL PREVIEW "Man-Gods from Beyond the Stars" Part 1

Chariots of the Gods? was the primary inspiration for Jack Kirby's Eternals...
So let's look at a strip from the same era also inspired by Erich Von Daniken's concepts!
The story continues..Tuesday!
Written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Alex Nino.
Though largely discredited today, Von Daniken's books about "ancient astronauts" influenced pop culture from the 1970s to the present, including tv (BattleStar Galactica), movies (Prometheus and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull), and comics (Tragg and the Sky Gods)
The Eternals was originally called Return of the Gods and, like Mister Machine/Machine Man was intentionally not intended to be part of the Marvel Universe!
We'll go more into that next week...
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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder ROCKET TO THE MOON Part 1

Here's a comic story adapted from a sci-fi high adventure novel...
...see if you can guess which one?
Hint: the comic's name is not the same as the novel's!
Note: May be NSFW due to racial stereotypes common to eras of both the original novel and the comic.
And, if you haven't figured out what novel this story is adapted from, you'll see the cover of the book!
(We'll give you a clue, the novel was written in the same era as Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter/Barsoom and Carson of Venus stories by an author who also wrote high adventure series set on Mars and Venus!
This 1951 one-shot comic from Avon Comics was scripted by Walter (The Shadow) Gibson and illustrated by Joe Orlando and Wally Wood, who shared penciling and inking duties! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Reading Room WORLD OF FANTASY "I Was Stranded in Space"

In 1959, one of the hot shows on TV was a new sci-fi/fantasy anthology series called Twilight Zone...
...which specialized in surprise endings, turning everything topsy-turvy at the climax, much like this never-reprinted short story from Atlas' World of Fantasy #19 (1959)
Probably written by either Stan Lee or his brother Larry Lieber and illustrated by Joe Sinnott, the tale's not bad, but the over-written explanations in the last few panels make the city's residents seem like a bunch of sadistic, smug SOBs...
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Science Fiction Comics

Monday, November 1, 2021

BARSOOM! (You call it "Mars")

He's 110 years old, but not only was he the basis for a recent big-budget sci-fi / fantasy film, his multi-volume high-adventure saga is the inspiration for almost every major space opera in print or on-screen since his debut in 1911*!
He's John Carter!

The first pulp adventure/scientific romance series created by Edgar Rice Burroughs (predating Tarzan by several months). the six-part serial "Under the Moons of Mars" detailed how soldier-of-fortune John Carter, mortally-wounded by Indians while prospecting for gold in 1870s Arizona, somehow projects his consciousness to Mars, where it is reincarnated in a body identical to his Earthbound form.
BTW, Burroughs suggests that Carter (on Earth) was immortal.
In the opening pages of "Under the Moons of Mars", the author reveals that Carter can't remember his childhood, having always been a man of about thirty years old.
Generations referred to him as "Uncle Jack," but he always lived to see all the members of the families grow old and die, while he remained young.
In Mars' lesser gravity, Carter's normal-human strength is, literally, superhuman!
He can lift over a ton, and can leap over a quarter of a mile!
And, yes, he can breathe, because the Barsoomians operate atmosphere-generating facilities bringing the oxygen content of the air to near-Earth levels.
He rescues and falls in love with the beautiful princess of the city/state Helium, Dejah Thoris, and joins with her in battling tyrannical enemies in a world filled with hidden cities, exotic creatures, and advanced technology (sometimes disguised as "magic").
It's the prototypical "high adventure" series, and its' concepts and tropes can be found in most later sf/fantasy from Flash Gordon to Captain Future to Star Wars.

Probably because of heavy special-effects requirements, there were no film or tv adaptations of John Carter stories until 2009, when a low-budget direct-to-video version of A Princess of Mars was released.
Legendary animator Bob Clampett attempted to produce an animated version in 1936, going so far as to produce an illustrated bible and test footage. But no studio wanted to bankroll the project, believing "realistic" animation wouldn't sell. Several years later, the Fleischer Studio produced the classic Superman cartoons, proving them wrong.

Kerry Conran had just finished the first all-CGI movie, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and wanted John Carter of Mars to be his next project!

You can read about the regrettable fate of Clampett and Conran's attempts HERE!

With public interest in Mars peaking over the past year, Atomic Kommie Comics™ feels it's the right time to re-present some of the best art of past versions of Barsoom and John Carter and offer our fans the chance to acquire collectibles in our Martians! Martians! Martians!™  collection including mugs, t-shirts, and an Art of Barsoom 2022 12-Month Calendar!featuring comic book and pulp magazine art!
With Christmas coming, any of our collectibles combined with one of the books, comics, or dvd/blu-ray as a gift set would make a great Christmas present for the pop-culture/high adventure/sci-fi fan in your life!
(Hey, everybody else is already promoting Christmas gifts!)
For the remainder of November, we'll be presenting never-reprinted John Carter/Barsoom comic stories!
Don't miss them!

*Though The All-Story magazine the first chapter of "Under the Moons of Mars" appeared in is cover-dated February, 1912, the magazine was actually on sale in November-December 1911
Cover-dating fiction magazines (including pulps and comic books) 3-4 months ahead of the actual release date was standard practice until the 1990s.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS "Headless Horseman Rides Again" Cover

Here's the cover from the never-reprinted 1973 story we ran this week HERE and HERE...
...and here's the original art by penciler Gil Kane and inker Ernie Chua aka Ernie Chan!
Bonus: here's the Gil Kane layout that Chua/Chan lightboxed to produce the final art!
The creative process is an absolutely beautiful thing, eh?
Happy Halloween!