Monday, December 08, 2014

Comic Roundup

Sort a miscellaneous post today.  Not a lot going on today, but at least it's sunny.  I'll take that most any day.  I ran across the above comic on the website.  They have domain free comics to read or download.  The above comic is a #1 Amazing Adventures and has some neat content, like a young Wally Wood story "Winged Death on Venus", check around page 14 or so.  These early comics don't have a proper table of contents nor gave the artist and writers proper billing or credit the way modern comics do these days.  At any rate, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you can see the contents of the comic.  There's also a "The Asteroid Witch" by Murphy Anderson.  His more recent work can be seen in Astro City.

There's also a Ogden Whitney story, who also used to do an oddball comic called Herbie.  Herbie Popnecker was sort of a pudgy, lollipop licking, super hero character or a parody of the medium.  He could fly and talk to animals, among other strange powers. The story in Amazing Adventures, however, is more akin to SF. 

There's also a short five page story by Alex Schomburg called Trespasser in Time.  He went on to become a great illustrator for SF magazine and doing Marvel covers for early Captain American, the Human Torch, and Sub-Mariner, among others.

You can find a link to the comic here.   

While over at the site check out their fanzines.  I noticed they had the first ten issues to Roy Thomas's Alter Ego.  Who wrote many things for Marvel like Conan, the Avengers, and many other. There's an interview with Gil Kane in one of them.  I love looking through old fanzines like Alter Ego as they give you a look into what things were like among fans of comics and SF before the days of the internet. 

Also over there you'll find some Charlton issues of Tales of the Mysterious Traveler.  The #10 issue has some art by Steve Ditko, of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange acclaim.  The mysterious short stories based on the radio drama from the same name of the late 1950's were inventive in their design and draughtsmanship applied to eerie tales of a man who walks in the shadows of life.  Charlton paid their artist and writers pretty badly, or so it is said.  So it might be hard to understand why any of them would work for such a publication.  The answer is that they allowed their artist more leeway and freedom.  I believe these Mysterious Traveler tales predate his Dr. Strange stories for Marvel, and were books where Ditko honed and developed his unique style when conjuring up Dr. Strange's mystical, magical dimensions.  Others when working on the "magic parts" of the story would use a special effect like an op-art pastdown, or shattered glass panel shape, and the like.  Dikto did it however, with within conventional panel borders, achieving it all with imaginative design.  Mood is also achieved by the way people are posed and designed.  Perhaps by contemporary standards his designs might seem conservative, but in the fifties, they couldn't help but stand out.

And one to grow on--

I ran across this Nightmare Yearbook, published by Skywald comics over at  I was searching for some Tom Sutton comics, as I read an interview by him, and I know I have some comics that contain his artwork around here somewhere, but off the top of my head I couldn't remember what they might be.  At any rate, the Nightmare Yearbook has some cool art, and the last story has a story where Sutton does the artwork. 

Here's a good interview with Tom Sutton. 


At 8:28 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

It's hard not to love classic comics, especially the precodes of the 40s and 50s. I'm glad to see many of them getting reprinted or posted online.

EC in particular did fun, inventive, and edgy stuff. My favorite EC story is when they adapted a Ray Bradbury tale without permission. Bradbury praised the issue and wrote that his check "inadvertently" had failed to arrive. EC sent one and negotiated terms for future stories.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yes, comics can be a lot of fun, and some of the older ones can be as weird or weirder than the modern comics. Plus a lot of the younger talent is influenced by the older creators. I love these comics sites where you can find some of these gems that are domain free and allow the public to peruse them.

I think I may have that EC/Bradbury comic, although there appears quite a few adapted from his stories. The one I'm thinking of is, "There Will Come Soft Rains."


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