Monday, April 29, 2013


Veteran bloggy thing readers know I’m fascinated with comic books
published in my birth month of December 1951.  For today’s vintage
cover, we have Tom Corbett, Space Cadet #378 [Dell; February 1952],
a.k.a. Four Color #378.  The Four Color title was used to test the
market for new titles.  After three Four Color issues, Tom Corbett
got his own ongoing title which ran until September–November 1954.
Tom Corbett comic books have also been published by Prize (1955),
Eternity (1990) and Bluewater (2009). Since I’ve never read Tom
Corbett’s comic books and juvenile novels or watched the TV series
that ran from 1950-1955 on five different networks, all I know of
the character is what I just looked up on Wikipedia:

Tom Corbett is the main character in a series of Tom Corbett, Space 
Cadet stories that were depicted in television, radio, books,
comic books, comic strips, coloring books, punch-out books and
View-Master reels in the 1950s. The stories followed the adventures
of Tom Corbett, Astro and Roger Manning, cadets at the Space
Academy as they train to become members of the elite Solar Guard.
The action takes place at the Academy in classrooms and bunkrooms,
aboard their training ship the rocket cruiser Polaris, and on alien
worlds, both within our solar system and in orbit around nearby

However, thanks to the wondrous Grand Comics Database, I can tell
you quite about Tom Corbett, Space Cadet #378.  The cover painting
is by Alden McWilliams. Who also illustrated the 32-page interior
comics story written by Paul S. Newman.  The GCD even has a brief
synopsis of the story:

In the year 2351, Captain Strong and three Space Cadets, Tom
Corbett, Astro, and Roger Manning, are sent on a training mission
to Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The quartet must convince the
inhabitants of Titan that they aren't spies from Earth, planning to
take the radioactive ore that provides life-sustaining heat to
their cities.

“Space Academy: The University of the Planets!” runs on the inside
front cover of the comic book.  Drawn by McWilliams, it describes
the Space Academy.

The inside back cover is a photo of Mars with a brief description
of the planet’s climate.  The photo came from the American Museum
of Natural History in New York.

The back cover features a full-page drawing of a “rocket blasting
off from crater-marked moon, with Saturn in the background.”  The
artist is McWilliams.

Keep watching this bloggy thing for more vintage comic-book covers
from my birth month.


There’s some “me” stuff to catch up on today, but I’ll be back to
reviews by Thursday.  First up...Free Comic Book Day.

I’ll be appearing at Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop on that most
stellar of holidays.  Their store is located at Kamm’s Plaza, 17462
Lorain Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.  That’s Saturday, May 4, and I’ll
be signing from 3-5 pm.  John says the first 100 people who show up
for my signing get a free copy of Essential Marvel Horror Volume 2,
which reprints a number of my 1970s stories.  It’s a generous offer
and I hope my area readers take advantage of it.


Garage Sales A Go-Go

My legendary garage sales are almost upon us.  As usual, I’ll have
lots of comic books priced at a quarter each or five for a dollar.
I’ll have comic books suitable for all ages at the same low prices,
along with magazines and regular paperbacks.  I’ll have the usual
$2 trade paperbacks and $5 hardcovers.  In addition...

I’ll be selling copies of my 1000 Comic Books You Must Read for a
mere $20.  I’ll be selling rare Superman posters at $20 each.  I’ll
have a selection of Isabella-written comic books, books and stuff
at around the going rate for such items.  But, wait...there’s more!

Depending on how much I can fit into the garage, I’ll have DVDs and
VCR tapes for sale.  I’ll have comics-oriented shirts and jackets,
some of them limited editions.  I’ll have a selection of toys and
stuffed animals and Beanie Babies.  But, wait, there’s still more.

For the first time, I’ll have a selection of higher-priced comics
and books.  While they won’t be at the bargain prices of the other
comics and books, they’ll be priced substantially below their going
rates.  I expect most of these to go fast.

My first garage sales of the year are scheduled for...

Thursday, May 9 (9 am to 2 pm)

Friday, May 10 (9 am to 2 pm)

Normally, the garage sales are held on Fridays and Saturdays, but
one of my nephews is getting married that weekend.  If the Thursday
sale proves successful, I might had some Thursdays to the regular
Friday and Saturday mix.

My garage sales are held at 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio.  There
is some parking on Bradley Court, which is where my driveway is and
some parking on Damon Drive across from my home.  However, you must
read and obey the parking signs and not block any mailboxes.  I’m
not responsible if you get ticketed.

I started setting up the garage on Friday and I’m already getting
excited.  I hope to see many of my bloggy thing readers
well as comics fans from all over the area and the regulars coming
up from as far south as Columbus. Hoo-hah!


My next convention appearance will be at the East Coast Black Age
of Comics Convention
(ECBACC) on Saturday, May 18, from 11 am to 7
pm at the Enterprise Center, 4548 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA.
The activities include a comic book marketplace filled with amazing
new works by cartoonists and other creative types, a kids corner,
panel discussions and workshops.  The guest list includes Jonathan
Gayles, Eric Battle, Jerry Craft, Chris Cross, William Foster III,
N Steven Harris, Joe Illidge, Alex Simmons and more.  I’ll have a
bit more to say about this great event in the very near future, but
for now, I urge you to check out the East Coast Black Age of Comics
Convention (ECBACC) page on Facebook.


Going forward, these bloggy things of mine are going to break down
something like this.  Three days out of the week, you’re going to
get comics.  Wednesdays are for the Rawhide Kid and that’s extra!
Three days are going to be other things: movie reviews, blasts from
my past (which may be about comics) and social and political stuff.
I’m not going to be religious about this, but that’s the plan for
the time being.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. Alden McWilliams would later draw some issues of Gold Key's Star Trek comic.


  2. You're doubtless aware — from being just one state over or being up on current events or simply looking up Tom Corbett in Wikipedia — that our current governor here in PA shares the name of that famed (well, semi-famed; he's from before my time but I'd still heard of him) Space Cadet.

    Even stranger? Our lieutenant governor used to be Captain Midnight, although once elected to office he had to change his name Jet Jackson. 100% true story!

  3. The Tom Corbett comics were before my time (believe it or not), and I have no memory of the TV show since I was only four when the show went off the air. However, I did read three or four of the novels. I was aleady hooked in junior high on the Tom Swift, Jr. books by Victor Appleton, and one of my relatives bought me the first TC book (Stand By For Mars) for either Christmas or my birthday. Over the next couple of years I read a few more, but by that time I had begun reading the juvenile books of Asimov & Heinlein, so the Corbett books seemed a bit too simplistic I guess.