Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Reading Room: LARS OF MARS "Terror from the Sky"

Commies and atomic weapons!
As the song says, "They go together like Love and Marriage..."
Could this be an attempt to set up an ongoing Lex Luthor-esque arch-enemy (but with lots of hair) for our hero in this final story from Ziff-Davis' Lars of Mars #10 (1951)?
Consider the fact that this Lars tale was produced by the duo who created the short-lived character, writer Jerry (Superman) Siegel and and artist Murphy (Buck Rogers) Anderson (who also did a lot of work on Superman during the Silver and Bronze Ages) and you'll see a lot of Man of Steel-style elements.
And, yes, Raskov returned the next issue with new super-scientific weapons...
Trivia:
The cover paintings for both issues of Lars of Mars were painted by Allen Anderson, who was not related to interior artist Murphy Anderson!
Here's a "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"-style fact (done in four degrees)...
1) Ziff-Davis also published a short-lived adaptation of an actual sci-fi tv series, Space Patrol, illustrated by Bernie Krigstein.
2) Krigstein illustrated the first issue of another Ziff-Davis sci-fi series: Space Busters!
3) Bernie was replaced on interior art for the second (and final) issue of Space Busters by...Murphy Anderson!
4) Allen Anderson did the painted cover for the Space Busters issue illustrated by Murphy! (Norm Saunders had painted the first issue's cover!)
featuring the covers of both issues of Lars of Mars!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reading Room OUT OF THIS WORLD "Spymaster"

With a cover by Dick Giordano...
...and interiors by Matt Baker, this never-reprinted tale from 1959 has a moral that'll be lost on most of the readers of 2014!
If retold in the cynical, dog-eat-dog world of 2014, the "big chain" drugstore would be welcomed with open arms since its' prices would be lower, the little drugstore would be driven out of business, and the Earth would fall under alien control...
An ironic lesson in lost morality originally-published in Charlton's Out of This World #14 (1959) by writer Joe Gill, penciler Matt Baker and inker Vince Colletta.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Reading Room BLAZE BARTON "Bat Men of Venus"

The World of the Future ain't exactly a fun place...
...but will the Venusians be friends...or foes?
Oddly, Earth seems to have moved backwards in time since the previous story was set in 50,017, not 3000!
The writer of this tale from Quality's Hit Comics #2 (1940) is unknown (and may not even be the first story's scripter), but the artist was Henry Kiefer, a craftsman with over 400 comics stories and covers from 1935 to 1954 including numerous Classics Illustrated adaptations.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Reading Room OUT OF THIS WORLD "Antique Collectors"

What's "antique" really depends on your point of view...
...as this tiny tale (from 1959) demonstrates!
Cars from 1959 are extremely collectible now, and it's only 55 years later!
Both the writer and artist of this story from Charlton's Out of This World #13 (1959) are, sadly, unknown.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Reading Room SPACE BUMS "Venus or Bust"

Abbott & Costello were the most popular comedy team of the late 1940s - early 1950s.
So it's not unusual that there were numerous attempts to capture their style of humor on the comics page, including this .
This one-shot tale from Ziff-Davis' Crusader from Mars #2 (1952) was not one of the successful attempts.
It does, however, predate the movie Abbott & Costello Go to Mars by a year.
The flick features them going (by accident) to Venus, which is populated by scantly-clad, beautiful women.
Did the strip inspire the movie?
I have no idea.
In fact, nobody seems to know who wrote or drew this strip.
So many questions...so few answers.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

All 12-Month Calendars are NOW 25% Off!

From now until July 4, 2014, all calendars are discounted from $19.99 to $14.99!
And they now have customizable"start dates", so you can give them as birthday presents with the recepient's 2014 birthday month as the first month on the calendar, then running 12 months to their birthday in 2015!
(Can't do that with a store-bought calendar!)
NOT available in stores, only on-line! Order now...before time runs out! ;-)
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