Friday, April 21, 2017

Reading Room SPACE SQUADRON / MARVEL TALES "Fiends with Four Arms / Starmen"

Going over our previous posts...
...we realized we had stopped posting the saga of Jet Dixon and the Space Squadron long before the conclusion!
Let's continue with a rarity for Atlas Comics...a text feature based on the cover!
We don't know who the scripter is for the text feature from Atlas' Space Squadron #2 (1951), but the artist is George Tuska, who was also illustrating most of the Jet Dixon strips in the book.
Oddly, the feature was reprinted a couple of years later in Atlas' Marvel Tales #116 (1953)...when Jet Dixon's replacement series, Speed Carter: SpaceMan, was being published!
Since the Marvel Tales cover wasn't a reprint of the earlier cover, the title was changed, and the insert art replaced by a generic spaceship.
But the character names remained the same!
Note: This is the only Jet Dixon story to ever be reprinted!
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES / UNUSUAL TALES "They Say It Really Happened"

Here's a kool one-pager by writer Joe Gill and artist Dick Giordano...
...originally presented in Charlton's Space Adventures #4 (1953) in b/w (it was on the inside cover, which is usually black line/grayscale or two-color)!
But when it was reprinted two years later in Charlton's Unusual Tales #1 (1955), it was in color.
As you can see, the gray tones were left intact, giving the color art a really unique look. 
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A tribute to this kool, eccentric, comics company!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reading Room VANGUARD ILLUSTRATED "Be It What It Will, I'll Go To It Laughing"

A title based on a line from Moby-Dick becomes appropriate...
...when you reach the last page of the story!
If you don't get the reference, Ray Bradbury penned the screenplay for the 1956 Moby Dick movie.
Written by David Campiti and illustrated by Tom Yeates, this never-reprinted story from Pacific Comics' Vanguard Illustrated #3 (1984) is a sincere tribute to Bradbury and other SF creators, though overwritten and a bit too "self-fanservice" for my taste.
The underappreciated Tom Yeates' superb artwork compensates for that, and makes reading it worthwhile.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Reading Room SKYROCKET STEELE " the Year X !"

Though best-known as the creator of Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner....
...Bill Everett's first published strip featured this Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers clone...
In this premiere chapter, the series starts "mid-stream", indicating events crucial to the plot occurred before we join Skyrocket and his buddies.
The captions and dialogue balloons are heavier than normal as expositional dialogue is used to clue the readers in on the situations in the "world of the future".
You'll also note the use of upper and lower-case lettering, unique, even then.
Everett's unique inking style is already developing, though crude in comparison to his later work.
To his credit, Bill doesn't swipe layouts from Alex (Flash Gordon) Raymond, Hal (Tarzan/Prince Valiant) Foster, or any of the already-established masters of the graphic storytelling form as so many of his comic book contemporaries do!
He's not afraid to try his own "camera angles" to tell the story...not always succeeding, but experimenting and learning!
Trivia: Though the character debuted in this tale which appeared in Centaur's Amazing Mystery Funnies #2 (1938), he was the cover feature of issue #1...
....where no sign of him can be found on the inside of the book!
No one knows why!
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Trump Reading Room WORLD WAR 3 ILLUSTRATED "Old Pals"

As the world nervously-watches Don the Con joust with the equally-unstable Kim Jong Un...
...let's look back at the last time our country was run by an unstable Republican!
Things haven't changed all that much in 35 years, eh?
Written and illustrated by noted underground creator Peter Bagge,  this short appeared in the premiere issue of World War 3 Illustrated (1980) and has been reprinted in various anthologies since.
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(which reprints the story above and numerous others from the series)
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