Wednesday Cover: Abandon Galaxy!

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Jun 252014
Abandon Galaxy! is the second of two “Commander Craig Galactic Adventures” by “Bart Somers,” one of the countless pseudonyms used by the prolific Gardner F. Fox
Although published in the late Sixties, the “Commander Craig” books (the first tome is called Beyond The Black Enigma) harken back to 30’s-styled space opera pulp, and are outrageously plotted. Great fun. I’m not certain who the cover artist is, but it’s been suggested to me that it might be the work of Jack Gaughn.

Wednesday Covers: Cap Kennedy

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Jun 042014

I don’t know much about DAW Books’ “Cap Kennedy” series, written by British sci-fi scribe E.C. Tubb under the pseudonym of “Gregory Kern.” Nor do I know the name of the artist (I’m now told that it’s Jack Gaughan) that painted these covers. What I do know is that the series was published in the 1970s and ran for at least 17 volumes.

I’ve never read any of these, but being as the tagline “Secret Agent of the Spaceways” appears to combine at least two of my favorite genres, I suspect that I’ll hunt down a copy or two one of these days.

Wednesday Cover(s): Zarkon, Lord Of The Unknown

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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….

Wednesday Cover: Shadow House Halloween Special

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Oct 302013
Click To Enlarge

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….

Wednesday Cover: Northwest Of Earth

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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.

Wednesday Covers: Man-Wolf

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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!

Wednesday Cover: Man O’ Mars Redux

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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.