Monday, June 09, 2014

Number 1589: Invaded Earth

This is the first posting of a theme week. I'm calling it Skiffy Week, recognizing those science fiction fans who deplore the term “sci-fi,” pronouncing it skiffy. These are the kinds of stories that probably qualify for such a title...old-fashioned, corny, oddball. You know, skiffy.

First up, a chapter from the long series of post-invasion tales, “The Lost World,” illustrated by Graham Ingels. The villains are the usual Voltamen, but it’s early enough in the series (it began in Planet Comics #21*) that the Voltamen had not yet adopted their Yoda-speak. Dialogue that in this that story reads, “The old one is dead. We will take the female,” would soon be written as, “Dead the old one is. Take we will the female.”

This story shocks my sense of cultural heritage when our two protagonists, Lyssa and Hunt, burn movie film. Outrageous!

From Planet Comics #26 (1943):


*I posted that first story last year. Click on the thumbnail to read it.


Daniel [] said...

I think that the fans of speculative fiction who deplore the term “sci[-]fi” associate it not with the corny nor old-fashioned as such, but with Hollywood's deliberate stripping-away of those aspects of science fiction that appeal to the intellect.

For example, Curt Newton a/k/a “Captain Future”, a pulp hero of the '40s, was one of my boyhood heroes and had been so for my father. Certainly old-fashioned, and surely in some ways very corny. But he wasn't some slacker fantasy like Neo, nor an “action hero” who just kicked, punched, and shot his way to triumph.

Brian Barnes said...

Page 9, Panel 1, is a proto-typical Ingels face. His style, though still evolving, had a lot of stuff in place. Square-jawed men, arched-eyebrow women, fine-lined monster skin. A true master of the craft, and an artist that should really be in the same league with your Toths and Raymonds and Kirbys, etc.

You can see the start of all his spot blacks he'd use to much great effect in the horror era, a lot of artists would use blacks to conceal mistakes in the art, he really uses it perfectly for shadow and depth.

Can say much about the story which has many convenient parts to it (why do some patrols have weapons, and others throw rocks?) but it's always great to see Ingels work.

So, thanks Pappy!

Pappy said...

Daniel, if I remember correctly it was Forrest J. Ackerman who came up with the term "sci-fi," which may have something to do with why it is looked down upon by members of the science fiction community.

I read paperback reprints of the Captain Future novels when they were published and found them entertaining. I have always liked author Edmond Hamilton, and at the time didn't realize he was writing comic books for the same editor (Mort Weisinger of Superman fame), who had created Captain Future while editing pulps for the Thrilling group. Hamilton had a reputation as a "world saver" — I remember his stories as being well thought out.

The science fiction I'm most familiar with is that from the forties and fifties, which is when the anthologies of the best stories started to appear. I read every one of them I could, and got familiar with the authors who wrote fantasy and those who wrote stories based on hard science. I liked it all. A good story is a good story, no matter what it is based on.

I don't believe I have ever uttered the phrase "sci-fi," unless it is in reference to the Sci-Fi (now spelled SyFy) Channel. I don't have anything against it, I just never use it to refer to science fiction.

Pappy said...

Brian, good observation. One of the fun things to do is look at a story and pick out those Ingels touches that were the precursors of what later cemented his reputation as one of the best horror artists of all.

I have wondered if Ingels's alcoholism helped to create his dark and shadow-drenched style. Maybe he was depressed.

Michael Wurl said...

Headline: Happy Pappy Posts Spiffy Skiffy - sub head: Artwork From Ingels Tingles -
page 1: Hunt Bowman pokes head through page, gets concussion hitting giant fire hydrant.
To Brian's point, there is confusion about why sometimes they have weapons and other times not. On page 5 Lyssa rushes to help Runt Bowflex, and Max Headroom says "don't go unarmed, I'll get the electron guns." "Uh, those could've come in real handy when we got attacked earlier and I was throwing rocks!" As far as why the re-Voltas weren't all carrying guns, they are ranked by power and battery life - the ones with guns are 9 Voltas, while the ones throwing rocks were only AAA.

Page 8 panel 2 - boot on face action - brutal.

Finally, do not cry over burnt film, Pappy. Looking under extreme magnification, celluloid that was set on fire was "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo".

Talk about dystopian future.

Pappy said...

Michael, you are funny.

If I were on battery power I'd be an A and 1/2. I have low energy today.

Thank goodness Hunt and Lyssa weren't burning the all-time classic film, Love Goddesses of Blood Island. That would distress me even more.