Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reading Room OUT OF THIS WORLD "What Happened?"

It's a question I've groggily-asked on more than one New Year's Day...
...but here it's the title of an example of classic Ditko storytelling!
Most likely scripted by Joe Gill, this taut tale from Charlton's Out of This World #3 (1957) is one of those fun "gotcha" shorts in the vein of both EC Comics' sci-fi line and, later, TV's The Twilight Zone.
Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve, and be here tomorrow for the 50th Anniversary debut of Europe's Star Trek, Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion (or Space Patrol: the Fantastic Adventures of the Starship Orion)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reading Room WEIRD ADVENTURES "Man Who Lived Backwards"

What if someone tried to prevent you from reaching tomorrow...
...and the only way you could move forward was to kill him in the past?
Check out this never-reprinted tale from Ziff-Davis' one-shot Weird Adventures #10 (1951) for the answer!
So, even though Paul had a change of heart, and tried to save David, his rival for Peggy died anyway, and Paul ended up with the woman they both loved!
What's the moral?
You can change history, even if you don't intend to?
Being good, even if it may be to your personal detriment, will be rewarded in the end?
Ah, well, I guess there are some things we're not meant to understand...
It may be just as well that both the writer and artist are unknown.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best of Reading Room UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION "Behold the Man" Conclusion

Art by Frank Brunner
Time traveler Karl Glogauer journeys to Palestine almost 2,000 years in the past to confirm the existence of Jesus Christ.
With his time machine damaged beyond repair and discovering he's gone a decade too far back, the now-stranded Glogauer encounters John the Baptist...
Published in the British sci-fi magazine New Worlds (which Moorcock himself edited) in 1966, the non-linear story running two parallel plot/timelines won the Nebula Award for "best novella".
Moorcock expanded it to novel length...
Art by Robert Foster
...and it is that currently OOP version which is best-known to American audiences and served as the basis of this never-reprinted adaptation in Marvel's Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #6 (1975) by writer Doug Moench and artist Alex Nino.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Best of Reading Room UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION "Behold the Man" Part 1

With Christmas behind us and New Year's Day just ahead...
...we're going to re-present a controversial (albeit award-winning) time-travel tale about the guy whose birthday we just celebrated!
In the 1960s, science fiction experienced an influx of a "New Wave" of writers who wanted to go beyond "hard" sf and experiment, both in form and in content, with a more literary/artistic sensibility.
New Wave writers often saw themselves as part of the modernist tradition, writing "soft" or metaphysical stories instead of the technology-oriented or "hard" sf of Asimov, Heinlein, et al.
The leading proponent of the movement was Michael Moorcock, editor of the British magazine New Worlds as well as an established and successful "hard" sf writer.
...to be continued

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Coming January 1st...Raumpatrouille!

What if Captain Kirk and his crew were a bunch of rule-breaking, hard-partying jerks...
...who still managed to save the universe on a weekly basis?
Meet Major Cliff Alistair McLaine and his international crew on this blog every Friday from January 1st onward!
Here's a trailer from a theatrical feature film compiled from several episodes to give you a taste...
And here's the title sequence with its variation of the "Space: the final frontier.." narration...

The 1966 seven-episode series was never broadcast in the US, but matches its' contemporary, Star Trek, for high adventure, drama, and innovative special effects, plus a really kool jazz soundtrack!
NOTE: It's in German with English subtitles.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

25% OFF Exclusive 2016 Pop Culture 12-Month Calendars!

Plus MANY MORE!
Classic comic book and pulp magazine covers and movie posters, scanned from the originals and digitally-remastered and restored!
NOT available in stores, only on-line!
And, until January 1, 2016, they're FIVE BUCKS CHEAPER!
Normally $19.99, this week they're only $14.99!
Order now...before time runs out! ;-)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus' World War II-era attempt at updating his transportation...
...doesn't quite go as planned in this wraparound cover from Dell's Santa Claus Funnies #1 (1942).
Unfortunately, the artist didn't sign it, and the experts at various comic indexing sites have been unable to offer possible illustrators.
Personally, I'm thinking Walt Kelly.
(The snarky reindeer are an obvious giveaway)
Any suggestions?
Merry Christmas to All!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holiday Reading Room FIRST CHRISTMAS IN NEW SUPER 3DIMENSION Conclusion

...he had just been born!
So get out those red-blue glasses and let's continue..

This never-reprinted 1953 comic from Fiction House was one of numerous Bible-themed titles put out by various comics publishers to try to counteract the growing tide of anti-comics sentiment created by Fredric (Seduction of the Innocent) Wertham and his ilk, showing comic books could also be wholesome entertainment.
You can see Atlas/Marvel's version of the Nativity HERE, and DC/EC's take on the story HERE.
The writer and artist are unknown, but it's a sure bet they were part of the Iger Studio which "packaged" (provided editorial and art) for Fiction House's comics division.
The cover is by legendary sci-fi pulp and book illustrator Kelly Freas!
MERRY
CHRISTMAS!!!
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