Tuesday, January 24, 2012
COLD WAR ADVENTURES INTO WEIRD WORLDS
newsstands in the month of my birthday, December, 1951. The cover
is by Joe Maneely.
To the best of my knowledge, none of the comics stories in this 36-
page issue have been reprinted. That’s a shame because I’d really
like to read them. The descriptions I’ve read of four of the five
tales make them sound like terrific examples of cold war paranoia,
even when “Commies” aren’t specifically mentioned.
“A Shriek in the Night”: A man becomes the victim of underground
creatures who abduct humans in order to study them so as to prepare
for an invasion.
“The Thing That Waited”: Stalin and Soviet troops stand revealed as
shape-shifting alien invaders.
“The Quiet Men”: Martians encounter a 'ghost ship' from Earth which
is a bomber responsible for dropping the bomb that initiated an
atomic holocaust on Earth.
“The Empty City”: A reporter stumbles upon aliens who are taking
the place of humans. He tries to give the story to his editor, but
his editor is one of...them.
The fifth story isn’t “cold war.” It’s about a weak guy who takes
a serum derived from a gorilla to increase his strength and ends up
turning into a gorilla. Cold war or not, you can’t go wrong with
a gorilla story.
In the order of the stories as listed above, the artists for this
issue were: Werner Roth, Joe Maneely, Harry Lazarus (not certain),
Bob Fujitani, and Bill Walton. My most recent copy of Overstreet’s
Comic Book Price Guide opines a range of $400 for a near-mint copy
of the issue to $30 for a good copy.
The information above was provided by three great websites:
Mike’s Amazing World of Comics,
the Grand Comics Database
and Atlas Tales.
They are invaluable resources.
of a stack of old comics sent to me by one of my readers. Archie
#274 [September, 1978] is notable for “Can You Top This?”, a spiffy
story we can all relate to as Archie and pals meet “Brag” Bostwick,
one of those people who has to take anything anyone says and try to
top it. I’m terrible at guessing writers and artists, so I won’t
attempt that here, but it’s a clever tale worthy of being reprinted
in a “best of Archie” collection.
Archie and Me #104 [September, 1978] has a quartet of stories with
Archie and Principal Weatherbee interacting outside Riverdale High.
Waldo should be a candidate for sainthood.
Archie Giant Series Magazine #472 [September, 1976] has a cover by
Dan DeCarlo and only one interior story that fits the “summer fun”
promised in the title. But those stories were drawn by DeCarlo and
three of them were written by Frank Doyle, so I can easily overlook
Everything’s Archie #68 [August, 1978] features a scavenger hunt,
a first aid class, hat shopping, and a baseball story. No classic
stories here, but all are fun.
Going from Riverdale to Duckburg, Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge #137
[February, 1977] reprints “All in Sea” by Carl Barks from 1960 and,
from 1955, the Tony Strobl-drawn “Santa’s Unexpected Visit.” The
Barks adventure is a delightful Scrooge versus the Beagle Boys on
the high seas story while the Christmas-themed tale is a charming
take on Scrooge’s character.
Yeah, I know I didn’t have much to say about these comic books, but
wasn’t it fun to look at their covers? My thanks to the generous
reader who sent them my way.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella