Friday, December 29, 2017

Number 2148: Ray Bradbury, Albert Feldstein and Wallace Wood...Comics is Heaven!

“Mars is Heaven” by Ray Bradbury was originally published in the Fall, 1948 issue of Planet Stories. It was adapted by Al Feldstein for the EC version, published in Weird Science #18 (1953). Wallace Wood did the artwork.

These are scans of the original artwork, and once again, a big thank you to Heritage Auctions for posting this on their website. While his drawing is top notch, I think Wood got a bit fancy with technique. It is a minor complaint, though. He was going for visual interest in his panels. You will see where there are pasteovers; some of them were drawn on coquille board, which is pebbled, and useful for making shading effects with dots by using a pencil or Conté Crayon. Another technique, used in a couple of panels (including the last panel on page 8), is done on scratchboard, which the artist does in black ink, then uses a knife or similar tool to scratch away ink.

The story is more fantasy than science fiction, but the trip to Mars gave Wood the opportunity to draw his incredible spaceship interiors. Once on Mars the astronauts find their own nostalgic pasts. One reviewer said the original story was too much a nostalgia piece from Bradbury’s upbringing in the 1920s, but that is his opinion. In the Weird Science adaptation Wood did a fine job setting the time and place.

In those days no one expected anyone to be putting comic art on their walls or in galleries, Wood could paste-up all he wanted. Later in his career Wood was more careful about keeping a clean page.


This will be the last Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine posting for an indefinite period. I will be taking at least a couple of months, and maybe more, away from this blog. I will be working on some other projects unrelated to Pappy’s.

I have stuck to a regular schedule for this blog for over a decade, and that makes me proud. But there comes a time when fatigue takes over mind and body. It’s time to do something else. While preparing the blog posts has been work, it was always a labor of love. It had to be love because I never asked for money. Even during times of frustration and struggles with recalcitrant computer equipment, if I had not enjoyed it I would not have been able to do it that long.

Naturally, I will leave my archives available for anyone to access.

I very much appreciate the support I have received over the past 11 1/2 years. Best wishes to you all. Until we meet again, I remain your friend, Pappy


Daniel [] said...

I think that, in general, Bradbury tended to write ostensible science fiction that was or bordered upon fantasy. I don't think that there were anything wrong with that, so long as it were recognized for what it were.

Years before Bradbury wrote ‘Mars Is Heaven’, John Campbell wrote The Moon Is Hell, a work of ‘hard’ science fiction. It might have been something of an initial inspiration for ‘Mars Is Heaven’. As it happens, The Moon Is Hell has a happy ending, as the crew are saved in the nick-of-time after heroic efforts all-around.

I will very much miss your 'blog during your absence, Pappy. As I have had various challenges in life, I pared-back the 'blogs that I regularly followed, and ultimately yours was the only one that remained. But, while I will grieve, I will do so without resentment. I understand that you had and have no obligation to us, that each installment has been a gift, and I am grateful for what I have received from you. I hope that, whatever you now do, it will provide a strong sense of satisfaction for you.

Rick Heg said...

So many of my everyday comic book blogs are ending or taking a break. I thank you for all your hard work, and hope this is not the end and you are back soon.

Russ said...

I hope you feel the love coming back at you from all of us, Pappy. Thanks for the long run and if you decide on an occasional April Fool's post, I won't complain. Enjoy your well-deserved break... and long may you wave.

wmeisel said...

Pappy - I just wanted to say thanks for this blog which I have enjoyed for I don't remrmber how many years now.

Best wishes to you, wherever you are headed next.

Mr. Cavin said...

Aw, Pappy, I sure will miss you and this place while you're gone. According to my records, my first comment on this Golden Age Comics Blogzine was April fifteenth, 2008. So I've been reading here for at least nine years eight months and change. It's hard to believe it's been that long since spring 2008, isn't it? Sheesh.

I certainly hope you make it back one day--if only on weekends, or full moons, or select holidays, or maybe just your own birthday. (But maybe not Thanksgiving--oh, who am I kidding? Those are some of my favorites.) Even more than that, I hope you have a relaxing, rewarding time concentrating on whatever it is you are redirecting to do now. You've already done hero's work here; it's amazing how much effort you've put into my entertainment. Thank you.

randygrf said...

I am a relatively new yet quickly appreciative fan of yours. I "retired" a few years ago, only to be called back by my employer. But I really enjoyed retirement and can't wait to get back to it in a few years. I appreciate your archives being available and I'll be mining it for a good amount of time. I've benefitted from your good taste and wisdom in comics, and your archived work will continue to offer those benefits.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Hi, Pappy. It's been a long time since I made a comment on this wonderful blog, but the last 12 months have been real hard times for me, due to the increasing health problems of my parents.
My lifestyle has changed a lot, and not for the better. I've learned the true value of spare time, and how precious is this treasure we too often call everyday's plain, boring life.
No more facebook, blogs or emails for a long time, lack of concentration was an obstacle to reading and writing in English (a decent one at least), and still it is, I fear.
So, I really hope you will come back to us, but I understand and strongly support your wish to explore new projects and possibilities.
I will perhaps write you a mail, if you don't mind and the old address is still effective.
And above all, stay strong and well Pappy, all the best from a distant member of your "family".

Mr. Karswell said...

I'm looking forward to starting from the very beginning of your blog and going through it all over again! Without you, I would've never started THOIA, and that's the truth. All hail the King!

Pappy said...

My sincere thanks to all of you who are sending notes. I also hope I can get done what needs to be done and come back to the blog. I am in good health (so far) and I believe I have a few good years left.

The one thing I can't give is a timetable, but I am planning on coming back at some point.

Reading all the nice things you readers have written has been...well. surprising. What I had anticipated were death threats. Okay, maybe not that that. bad. I do very much appreciate your thoughts...but if I've pissed you off I will accept criticism, also.

Kirk said...

Sorry to see you go. I hope you're not gone long.

William Byron said...

Oh man! Pappy, you've become like part of MY family and I'll certainly miss you but support your other ventures. Thank you for everything Sir and thank you for leaving your archives up.

Larry Rippee and Molly Rea said...

Sorry to see you go. I've enjoyed checking in (almost daily). I guess it's time to re-read the archives until your return.

Thank you, Larry

Neil Hansen said...

Pappy, best of luck with your time away from the blog. It has always been a pleasure looking through here, and seeing what obscurities you could find. Looking forward to your return whenever it may be.

Brian Barnes said...

You have given us so much entertainment; it was my pleasure to comment on this wonderful blog, and if you never come back, I will consider your work perfect and done. So thank you for this blog, thank you for the time, and thank you for being a pal.

Pappy said...

Once again, thanks for the good words. I am very grateful to hear that I added something to your day.

But...I am having some computer problems right now, so I am typing this on a Samsung Chromebook, which is good for communicating, but not for preparing Pappy postings.

It was convenient in that the problem to my Pappy PC manifested itself once my announcement was made. If I were superstitious I could take it as some sort of sign, but what is not yet clear to me. Oh, what the hell, I confess: am superstitious -- and wondering about the coincidental timing of the breakdown.

Mike Britt said...

Looking forward to your return. Hopefully you will continue to post on FB. Your present day political cartoons are to my twisted-mind liking. Turns out that Trump is your special muse. How I found your blog was by googling my own name and came across your posting about the first fanzine you ever saw, my 1959 ditto SQUATRONT.

William A. Nericcio said...

Wow. What a major loss to the internet comics-loving community. Thanks for everything you have shared--what a unique treasure trove of semiotic (and occasionally, semi-idiotic!) wonder.

By far and away, this is the best site on the internets for comics-adoring readers (and scholars). Your archive has deepened my understanding of American popular culture, 20th Century Art History, and, curiously enough, the evolution of racism in the United States as mirrored in popular ephemeral entertainments.

PLUS, your wit and clever commentaries never failed to entertain and educate.

You are one in a million and I, for one, owe you a huge debt of gratitude--you can see some of the work you have inspired (and that I have stolen from you) here!

If I coded that link wrong, here it is for easy cutting and pasting into the browser of your choice!

P. Ryan Anthony said...

I don't know if you'll read this one, since I'm a day late commenting, but I'm sad to see you go on hiatus, especially now that I'm back! But I understand completely and I wish you good luck. I just hope you do come back at some point, and I'll check in here in a couple of months to see. In the meantime, I've got many posts to catch up on, so I'll still have you for a while.

BTW, if you ever feel like looking, I'm doing my own blog now. Not a big deal, few know about it yet. It's writing themed. Check it out if you're feeling generous:

All the best, my good friend.

Darci said...

I can only echo the sentiments of the others. We appreciate what you've accomplished and we'll miss this little bright spot of the day. Best of luck in your new endeavors.

Steven Thompson said...

Will miss your blogging but at the same time, as I continue to appreciate my own blogging retirement since August, I can relate on at least some levels. Enjoy your sabbatical.

Jared Mitchell said...

Pappy you are the damn man, whatever you decide to do I hope it provides you with joy and fulfillment, your blog has been a part of my morning routine now for years and I cant thank you enough for all your hard work in helping me start my day off right. Your blog is, by far, the greatest thing I've stumbled upon in the vast and confusing internet. You have been and will continue to be an essential part of my, and many other people's days as I sift and peruse through old posts I may have missed. Thank you again, all the best to you.

Pappy said...

Again, my deepest appreciation to those who care enough to write and let me know how they feel about the blog.

Sorry I am so late in posting your comments, folks. I have just gone through a bout of the flu that is sweeping the country. In my case I had a better time than most, although it still knocked me off my feet for several days.

I am also mindful of history: 100 years ago this year the flu killed over 50 million people worldwide.

Along with some computer problems, wifi problems, the flu has made me think I have a hoodoo on me. I'm not serious. Or am I? To be safe I don't let any ladders cross my path, nor do I walk under any black cats.