Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Number 1611: Bradbury and Sutton, “The Exiles”

Ray Bradbury’s imaginative tale, “The Exiles” was interpreted by artist Tom Sutton in Eclipse Comics’ Alien Encounters in 1986.

“The Exiles” in its original prose form has been oft-reprinted. Using authors like Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens as writers whose works have been banned in some future society seems improbable, but Bradbury liked to use startling ideas. Having long-dead authors holing up on Mars as their works are discarded on Earth is a concept I don’t think could come from any but Bradbury.

Tom Sutton did an excellent job in visualizing the Bradbury style. Both of these talented men are now sadly deceased.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Number 1610: Flying gorillas from outer space!

Last week I showed some gorilla horror stories, and now a gorilla science fiction tale from DC. Flying monkeys have been around since the Wizard of Oz, but flying King Kong-sized gorillas, well, that's new.

Not only are they flying giant gorillas, they come from a planetoid which has parked itself in Earth’s sky so the flying giant gorillas can steal our atmosphere. Atom bombs can’t stop them, so our scientists use fear gas* on them. What a crazy plot.

Script is by Gardner Fox. Fox wrote it for editor Julius Schwartz, who used high concepts when planning out stories for his magazines. It’s drawn by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson, and it appeared originally in Strange Adventures #125 (1961). The striking cover is by Sid Greene.

I bought this issue of Strange Adventures when it came out. As goofy as the story is, and despite my love for gorilla-fiction, what I remember most about the comic were the full page ads that heralded Joe Kubert’s Hawkman and the first full-length Aquaman comic.

*There really is such a thing as fear gas, although that name implies that is the gas’s sole effect. It does a lot more damage than that. You can read about it here.

UPDATE: I found this incredible Chinese fireworks package  on the Design/Destroy website a few days after posting the story. I love a coincidence.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Number 1609: Russ Heath,“The Executioner”

“The Executioner” has beautiful artwork, and a real feeling of the setting and time, Chicago, 1928. Russ Heath drew this violent crime tale.

The most jarring aspect of the tale is that it was published in Creepy magazine. Not that a stone killer isn’t creepy in his own right, but we expect more of the supernatural from that magazine. I assume Russ’s bona fides as one of the premier comic artists in the industry had something to do with its inclusion. Heath is credited with the story, although either he or the editor didn’t feel he was up to the task of dialogue, because they handed that to Cary Bates.

From Creepy #92 (1977):

Pappy’s enters its ninth year

July 26, 2006 was the day I launched this blog, and as I’ve said before, I did not intend for it to go on this long. The reason it does is because I can still find things that inspire me to share. I guess as long as that is the case, or until I cannot physically do it any longer, I believe I will keep doing what I have been doing.

I was told when I was a kid that I did not have the patience to complete projects, and my critics were right. I guess I grew out of that short attention span (and got on good meds). I managed to hold down the same job for 32 1/2 years before I retired, and I’ve been blogging on a regular schedule for a few years, so to all those people who said I could not do it, HAH! What a burner on you, huh? (Quoting Clark Bent to Lois Pain, from Mad #4.)

When I’ve had some time, I have been going back to my early posts to get rid of the connection I had to Photobucket in the early years. Blogger did not offer much free bandwidth in those days, and I figured I could make up for it by also using Photobucket. But I see there are some links that don’t work because I exceeded the space Photobucket made available to me. It has been a slow process re-doing the old posts, and for a time I was re-editing them. That is an advantage when using the Internet, where unlike print I can go back and change something that now embarrasses me. But after a few of those I thought why do it? If it is an egregious error I can fix it, but the everyday things I said back when this blog was young, embarrassing or not, are part of the record. Besides, I got lazy; it was too much trouble to fix it. Re-doing the old posts is a time consuming task, and I will work on it when I can, but for now if you encounter a dead link, just wait a couple of years. I might get around to fixing it.

A tip of the Pap cap to those readers who have stuck with me so far. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Number 1608: Herman goes to the birds; Wood’s Munsters story

 A tip of the Pap-cap to Ken Landgraf, who supplied the raw scans for this 1965 story from Gold Key’s The Munsters #8. Wallace Wood and his assistants did the artwork. According to an e-mail from Landgraf:
I spoke to [Dan] Adkins before he died...He and [Richard] Bassford penciled the job. Most likely they used faces from other Munster comics... Wood inked all the main figures, the assistants mostly filled in black areas and worked on inking the backgrounds ... KEN
Thanks, Ken. That provides an interesting insight into the Wallace Wood studio of the era. “Strictly For the Birds” isn’t a great story, and just pops up in the midst of a series mostly written, penciled and inked by artist Fred Fredericks. But anything done by Wood has its place on any Golden Age fan’s comic radar.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Number 1607: Go-Go gorillas

As a kid I bought comics with gorillas on the covers. I still perk up when I see a story featuring those powerful creatures.

These two stories fit the bill. Both of them are tales about turning men into gorillas. Naturally, “the best laid plans...” you know...they often don’t go as we expect.

“Killer’s Arms!” is from Charlton’s Strange Suspense Stories #22 (1954), drawn by Leon Winik and Ray Osrin. “The Beast,” credited to Manny Stallman, is from Atlas’ Strange Tales #1 (1951).

Ook! Ook!