May 072014
 

I've been on a bit of a Lin Carter binge of late, catching up with some of the author's fantasy series that had previously eluded me. I'm currently reading his five-volume "Green Star" sword & planet cycle (and will probably write something about those books over on my Perils On Planet X blog), but I also recently purchased the initial three books in his Prince Zarkon, Lord Of The Unknown, series.... which I intend to read next.

The Zarkon books are Carter's take on the Lester Dent "Doc Savage" school of adventure pulp fiction, and I look forward to reading them once I finish with the "Green Star" novels. I specifically sought out the original printings because I thought artist Don Maitz's cover paintings on those paperbacks were especially cool. See if you agree....

Oct 302013
 
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What coulda/shoulda been: Back in the late 1990s, my pal James Chambers and I briefly had our own comics company called Shadow House Press. We published five issues of our horror anthology title Shadow House ('natch!) before we ran out of money and had to call it quits.

This gorgeous wrap-around cover by Kirk Van Wormer and Kevin Nowlan was intended to grace our (ultimately unpublished) Shadow House Halloween Special and features our horror hostess character, Autumn, offering some tricky treats to Jim's creation, the Lil' Ghoul Gang....
Sep 252013
 
I'm currently reading the Paizo Press/Planet Stories edition of Northwest Of Earth, a collection of gothic space opera stories originally published in Weird Tales back in the 30s. They're written by C.L. (Catherine) Moore, a well-regarded pulpster best known for her sword & sorcery heroine Jirel of Joiry.

The Paizo Press/Planet Stories hardcover I own has a nice enough cover painting, but I prefer the vintage duotone illustration above, which graced a 50's edition of the material. I don't know who the artist is, but I really dig the Old School space opera vibe of the illustration.
Sep 182013
 
Art by George Perez & Bob McLeod
Marvel's Man-Wolf was a weird character. Originally John Jameson, astronaut son of Spider-Man foil J. Jonah Jameson, he was briefly known as the super-powered "Jupiter Man," before discovering a strange, supernatural ruby on the moon, which caused him to transform into a pseudo werewolf. Later, he journeyed to an alien dimension, where he became a sword-wielding barbarian hero fighting wizards and other fantastic menaces.

Art by George Perez & Terry Austin
Anyway, I enjoyed some of those sword & sorcery-styled exploits when the character took over a couple issues of Marvel Premiere in 1978. Here are the covers to those issues, penciled by the great George Perez!
Sep 042013
 
A couple weeks ago, I chose as my "Wednesday Cover" the 1953 Fiction House sci-fi one-shot, Man O' Mars. Well, that comic, featuring the heroic John Hunter of the Marsmen, has been reprinted a couple of times, including this edition from a shady outfit known as I.W. Publishing in 1958. The Grand Comics Database tentatively credits the art to Sid Check.

Whoever actually drew it, it's a terrific pulp space opera tableau, with all the elements - flying saucers, bubble helmets, rayguns, etc. - that make the genre such a personal favorite.
Aug 152013
 
Monark Starstalker was, despite a nigh-impossible to say aloud name, a cool Howard Chaykin sci-fi creation for Marvel Comics. The interstellar bounty hunter appeared in Issue #32 of the company's "try-out" title, Marvel Premiere in 1976, but failed to earn his own series. In fact, he wasn't seen again until 2009, guest starring in Nova, and then, a few years later, a Wolverine(!) miniseries.

I have not seen any of those later appearances, but from what I've read online, they really don't sound much like the character Chaykin create in '76.