Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Reading Room SKATEMAN COMICS "FutureWorld"

Here's a "lost" tale by a talented artist nobody remembers...
...from a 1980s comic most people would rather forget!
With story and layouts by Jack Arata, inks by Andy Kubert, this never-reprinted tale from Pacific's SkateMan #1 (1983) is one of three sci-fi stories from Arata's brief comics career that spanned less than two dozen tales from 1982 to 1986.
A graduate of the Kubert School, he worked mostly for DC before returning to his farming roots in California, where he passed away in 2013.
As to why SkateMan the comic is so...well...reviled...this synopsis may explain it to those who didn't, like myself, live through it.
Oddly, despite its' reputation, the book is now extremely Hard to Find...and pricey!
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Monday, June 26, 2017

We're GLOWing this Summer...

With the success of GLOW on Netflix...
...we thought we'd look back at the original version, via their short-lived, (and very HTF) magazine from 1986-87!
(Try finding it on eBay or Amazon!)
Lord, was it 30 years ago?
I feel so old...
 The mag featured both in-character pieces and behind-the-scenes features as well as lots of pix!

BTW, Jackie Stallone is Sylvester's mother!
She played the manager of the "good" wrestlers!
We'll be doing a mini-marathon of the best of the magazine's features and photo spreads on our "sister" RetroBlog Heroines! (when fighting women in tights are the very reason for the blog's existence) during our annual RetroBlog Blogathon in July and August!
It'll be Hot...Hot...HOT!
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Note: this is a VHS, but unlike the DVD-R produced from it, the VHS is complete!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Steve Savage: Battling North Korean Commies over 60 years later!

One of the benefits of running Atomic Kommie Comics™ is being able to do customized presents for birthdays, holidays, and joyous events like bridal and baby showers (and, at cost, yet)...
I was preparing items for one such baby shower whose invite had...unusual...suggestions for nursery decor gifts; aircraft, specifically fighter aircraft!
(The baby will be a boy, and his dad is in the Air National Guard!)
"No problem", we thought!
After all, Atomic Kommie Comics™ has a whole section on War: Past, Present, & Future™!
So, we planned several customized items, including a bib, newborn onesie, wall clock, and 12-month wall calendar, all with the required fighter theme!
However, a quick glance revealed a minor problem; while we had over a dozen covers with military aircraft, we had only nine with fighters! The others were bombers!
We needed twelve for the calendar!
A quick look thru the extensive Atomic Kommie Comics™ archives showed a whole set of classic comics we hadn't yet touched...Captain Steve Savage and his Jet Fighters!
We selected the three best covers and loaded them up to the calendar template to give us an even dozen images!
Problem solved!

After doing the baby's calendar, we decided to add all three Captain Steve Savage covers to our Korean Police Action kool kollectibles collection for the perusal (and purchase) of all you veterans, relatives of vets, and / or war comics fans!
With North Korea still rattling sabers at the rest of the world (at least when the Mid-East isn't exploding into the headlines), it seemed like the right time (just before the 4th of July!) to return Steve Savage to duty!

Get Steve Savage in your sights, before he gets his sights on you!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Disguised Humor" by Mort Drucker

Can you name what DC Comic this never-reprinted page appeared in?
Hint...it was during the period Drucker was also working for MAD!
(I didn't say it was a great hint!)
Obvious Trivia: Mort would go on to illustrate a number of the Man of Steel's media incarnations, including Christopher Reeve's movie version and the tv series Smallville.
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Fun BIG APPLE COMIX "A Nice Place to Visit, But..."

We New Yorkers are proud of our metropolis...
...and we deal appropriately with those who put it down, as exemplified by this short scripted and illustrated by Marvel writer/editorial assistant Linda Fite, who, no doubt, based it on real-life visits from out-of-towners!
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Reading Room WORLDS UNKNOWN "A Gun for Dinosaur" Conclusion

After you gaze at this eye-catching cover by an unknown penciler and penciler/inker John Romita Sr...
...we'll recap What Has Gone Before!
Time-traveling safari guide/hunter Reginald Rivers offers a cautionary tale to an overly-enthusiastic prospective client.
His story concerns two other clients who disregarded the experienced Rivers' warnings...
To enhance your appreciation of this tale, here's a couple of unique treats...
Plus, the illustrations by Emsh (Ed Emshwiller) from the original prose tale in Galaxy Magazine!
Be here tomorrow for more Friday Fun with Big Apple Comix!
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featuring the complete time travel adventures of Reginald Rivers!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reading Room WORLDS UNKNOWN "A Gun for Dinosaur" Part 1

One of the great hokey time travel stories of all time...
...beautifully-adapted by some of Bronze Age Marvel's best creatives!
Originally written in 1956 by L Sprague deCamp for Galaxy Magazine as a counterpoint to Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder"...
Art by Ed Emshwiller
...the one-shot spawned a series of stories about time traveling hunter Reginald Rivers!
The adaptation in Marvel's Worlds Unknown #2 (1973) by writer Roy Thomas and illustrators Val Mayerick and Ernie Chua/Chan is extremely faithful to the prose tale.
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featuring the complete time travel adventures of Reginald Rivers!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Reading Room FANTASTIC COMICS "Space Smith in the Battle of the Earth Against the Martian Ogres"

One of the longest story titles ever leads into our "When Last We Left Our Hero" synopsis...
...so buckle up your space-safety belts, 'cause now the action is non-stop!
An epic space battle worthy of feature-film treatment in only six pages!
Try doing that in today's comics!
BTW, isn't it odd how these Martians from Fox's Fantastic Comics #2 (1939) don't resemble the ones seen in Space Smith's previous adventure?
Some call Fletcher Hanks the "Ed Wood of comics", but there's no mistaking the sheer imagination behind the primitive art.
When comic books featuring new material (they were initially comic strip reprints) first appeared in the late 1930s, it was an "anything goes" market as publishers would run whatever they could lay their hands on from both comic strip and pulp magazine professionals and talented (read "cheap") amateurs.
Some, like Siegel & Shuster, Simon & Kirby, and Finger & Kane created what would become American icons.
Others. like Hanks, were like mayflies, briefly appearing...then disappearing, leaving little behind.
Even comics geeks had forgotten about Hanks' material, which sat un-reprinted for over half a century, until Fantagraphics produced a couple of books collecting his work from the various anthologies it appeared in!
We'll be running the entire Space Smith series over the next year, including both Hanks'  work and the later, more conventional tales by others.
Watch for them...
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Reading Room WEIRD WORLDS "Space Vampires"

...end up being used (almost verbatim) in Eerie Publications' Weird Worlds #V1N10 (1970)?
Eerie Publications had been using photostats and negatives from defunct comics companies as the source material for their b/w magazine line.
About a year in, they started using South American artists eager to break into the comics market and American artists like Dick Ayers and Chic Stone who were losing work as the Silver Age ended and comics companies cut back their lines, to re-do old stories with a more contemporary style.
Some illustrators totally-redid the art, using new "camera angles" and clothing/technology designs reflecting contemporary tastes.
In this particular case, artist Cirilo Munoz just lightboxed and re-inked the existing Wally Wood/Joe Orlando artwork!
Editor Carl (Golden Age Human Torch) Burgos rewrote the opening captions and changed the hero's name, but otherwise left Gardner Fox's original script intact.
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