Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12/17/2014 -- Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, the Comic Book

Usually when I think of Dell Comics' movie adaptations of the 50s & 60s, I think there was a lot of potential, but the comics are fairly dull takes on the subjects at hand.

Dell also presented the kinds of films kids were most likely wanting to see. I don't recall any romance movies. I do remember lots of action films, sci fi, horror (Dell did the first horror comics based on the Universal Monsters without Comics Code approval). They never placed the Code seal on their covers. Marvel and DC never could have done that.

Having said that, the comic I'm here to show you doesn't need a Seal. It does need a good script and acting. Before Santa Claus Conquers the Martians became tht one of two Christmas movies shown on Mystery Science Theatre 3000, it was a film in the 60s that was released every year in November through December (as was K Gordon Murray's weirdo masterpiece, Santa Claus). This allowed parents to drop their kids off while they went out shopping for their yompers. This plan worked so well that even dogs like this movie could become box office hits every year.

So, turn down your lights, except the one you read by.. and pray that your parents aren't just trying to sneak in a nooner... even though you're too young to know what a nooner is. For your entertainment pleasure, here's Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Click on the images to see the larger legible vertsions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12/11/2014 -- Coming Attractions - Invasion of the Saucer-Men

Here's something a little bit different. Though it may appear to be so, it isn't a page from the "Invasion of the Martian Men" comic story from Creepsville #1 that I've been showing here on the Blog.

What is it, you may ask? Years ago when I drew this, I was thinking of doing a monster magazine. My adolescent years were filled with reading issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland, reducing them to tatters. I also thought I would have to do something that Uncle Forry wasn't doing to get any attention.

As luck would have it, a friend of mine had given me a couple of videotapes filled with horror movie trailers. One of the tapes was very American International Pictures heavy. I watched these tapes quite a bit and finally decided to use them. Since these old prevues were in the public domain, I knew I could recreate material from them without getting in trouble. I drew this 2 page adaptation of the trailer for one of my favorite monster movies with plans to do more. I thought I could have a trailer adapted in every issue. It was a fun idea, but I was distracted. At that time, I was back at Northern Illinois University trying to get my Comprehensive Design art school sheepskin. I was also running a comic book store that I owned. Oh, and a friend of mine and I started working on a motion picture (a monster movie called Carnivore, which did get done, was released and even got shown on the SciFi Channel).

Still, I think this basic, simple idea does have has potential. Let's see what happpens down the road a way.

Click on the pictures below to see the larger, legible images.

Monday, December 8, 2014

12/08/2014 -- Classics Illustrated's A Christmas Carol

Classics Illustrated was an excellent idea turned into a moneymaker by the Gilberton publishing company. It started out under the name Classics Comics. CI began its long run in the 40s and lasting until the early 70s. Atypical of comic books at that time, when a new issue came out, it would also be added to a mail order house ad. The book would be kept in print, allowing fans to order issues they
missed or hadn't seen at their local magazine stand. 

Collectors of this comic series genarally agree that there are  3 periods of publication that are easy to identify at a glance. The first period is from are the original issues published under the logo of Classic Comics. The artwork on the cover is line art, though calling it "Art" may be too generous. The second period is when the series names was changed to Classics Illustrated. Within this period, many of the issues previously published were now redrawn with much better art. The third period saw a few more changes to the comics' packaging, including painted cover illustrations on a heavier light cardboard stock.
The issue that I am presenting here features an adapation of Charles Dicken' classic holiday story: A Christmas Carol.

It was common prcatice for popular authors' projects to first be seen seralized in magazines or newspapers. It should be noted that Christmas was not the popular holiday it is today. Charles Dickens drew from his memories of Christmas past and of things he enjoyed or wished for when he was young. 

As an early Christmas gift, I'm posting the full issue of CI. An interesting bit of additional info should be noted. This issue of CI was only published once and never reprinted.

Perhaps the reason for that could be that the Dickens family still retained the rights to his books when the comic was published, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, with the Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.

So, here's A Christmas Carol, absolutely my favorite Christmas strory and Dickens novel. This comic book is believed to now be in the public domain. Click on the individual page images below to see the larger legible scans. Once you have done so, you can use the graphics on the bottom of the screen to go page by page.

This is the first of my postings tied into Christmas that may pop up any iem before the holiday. Many Christmas pages are coming, some reverent, while others run the gamut from silly to strange. Hope you enjoy them.