Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
There's a great horror story to be found in this. And you can't beat those pre-graphic arts programs days of cutting, pasting and stenciling your own home-made ad copy.
From Teen-Age Hotrodders #4 (1963).
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Planet Comics #44 (Sept 1946) brings a multi-part story and some continuity to Mysta's story. This chapter also gives the reader some insight into the politics of Mysta and the society in which she lives.
Recognizing the need to appear friendly and cooperative, Mysta agrees with the Science Council to host a student (an ambassador and perhaps spy) at her fortress for a year. The student, Bron, will learn science at the feet of the "Queen of Science" and presumably go back to his own world wiser about the application of dangerous technology or at the least as an agreeable public face of Mysta's benevolence.
It appears the Science Council is using Mysta who is also not above using them and any propaganda tools she can apply. Mysta recognizes the power of not only atoms but good public relations as well. Unfortunately an old enemy interferes with her plans with designs to wrest control of forbidden sciences from Mysta. The villain of this chapter, The Face kidnaps and replaces Mysta's student with a ringer. That the villains fool Mysta and everyone else is somewhat odd. Not being able to verify someone's identity seems somewhat unlikely but human society is probably still fragmented and rebuilding from the the Anti-Science Wars caused by Mars. It could be that even the most recovered worlds would have official databases that are easily compromised via corruption or carelessness. That a thriving space pirate and vast institutionalized criminal network exists under Mysta's watchful probes lends credence to the theory.
Using threats to return Fake-Bron to the living Hell of the "Kafka Colony" he rescued him from, the Face plans to have the Fake-Bron betray Mysta. It isn't clear what the Kafka Colony is but a clue might be found in the name. It may be a prison or place of exile but the name may also be ironic in nature. If not, it says a lot about how a rebuilt human civilization is treating their prisoners of war or other criminals. Again, Mysta is keeping to her policy of non-interference in day-to-day politics and culture choosing to control dangerous knowledge instead of righting wrongs and improving the general quality of life. Also, not an animal lover.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Found on the back of Planet Comics #43 (July 1946) is this house ad for Jumbo Comics featuring Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, a popular Fiction House jungle-themed heroine with origins going back to Britain in 1937. In the ad a letter from a school faculty sponsor addressed to the house pseudonym responsible for creating Sheena declares that the character has been chosen as the mascot for the 1947 Graduating Class of John Bartram High School in Philadelphia.
When I showed this ad to my Mom she asserted that her school would never have allowed such an icon to be used as a mascot since Sheena was such a provocative female figure. I can only speculate that the parents and faculty of the school of the 1940s didn't mind as they had friends and family that were used to glamorous pin-ups in the home, workplace and military barracks and a culture that was a little more rough and tumble from years of war and working the shipyards. I don't know what the long ago class of that high school was like but I can't help thinking that Sheena would not go over as well today with the students as it may have done in 1947. The image of a Caucasian female dressed in leopard skin as the Queen of an African region would be as more unpopular (though for different reasons) than their current school mascot, what some have called a stereotypical Indian brave.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Planet Comics #43 (July 1946) has Mysta of the Moon still acting in her role as protector/comptroller departing this time by not fighting a mad scientist tinkering in forbidden science but a terrorist space pirate with access to dangerous technology. The space thug Rolkor is threatening commerce between the planets by demanding protection fees for safe passage of space ships. If not paid the criminal destroys the ships with a disintegrator ray. To make sure everyone knows he is serious Ralkor even fires upon a space ship transporting orphans to space school and killing all the children.
While those about her are losing their heads Mysta calmly and even coolly keeps hers by coming to the aid of the helpless Star Patrol and a beleaguered industrialist. Mysta is determined to take Rolkor out of action. Perhaps not because Rolkor is a criminal and is killing people (his organization appears to be well established) but because he is in control of devices that could upset the status quo. Guns and lasers are probably fine to use in the pirate trade, but disintegrator rays that can cut open ships at interplanetary distances is something Mysta is not going to allow. The Science Council makes no appearance in this story.
The images of Mysta and her robot fighting the local fauna of 'Jupiter' could fill a paragraph or two in The Seduction of the Innocent. The fortunate result of the battle with the worm being the destruction of Rolkor (or at least his fortress) almost as an after-thought.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I'm not having to replace those pricey pens so often which means more money for Hayley Mills memorabilia and I'm not coming down every other week with colds and horrible intestinal misery anymore.
Serious. I thought I was deteriorating to death since I felt so bad so often. It could be, but I doubt that it is a coincidence that when I consciously stopped letting people use my pen I stopped getting ill.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Planet Comics #42 from May 1946 depicts Mysta of the Moon in a not so favorable light. It appears that Mysta is making tough choices and at this point is the de facto ruler of humankind. The machines that humanity used were not so much destroyed when Mars, the God of War attacked, but the knowledge required to use and maintain them was lost and only Mysta has the smarts required to keep humanity from entering another stone age.
Mysta, aiding in rebuilding a civilization that was nearly destroyed is ensuring that all the reclaimed knowledge is released to humanity at a pace civilization can safely apply. It may be that her decisions are sometimes not popular as industrial leaders and politicians are probably chomping to exploit regained sciences only to be interfered with by Mysta. After all, you don't let people fiddle with the settings of the Star-Snuffer if they are not fully trained. And you just know that in the future mankind will build a machine to turn off the sun just because they can.
When a scientist with the touch of death refuses to stop meddling in banned science Mysta resorts to some draconian measures and comes off as pretty cold and frightening. The way Mysta parcels out or allows knowledge to be re-discovered or used could mean she is either insane with power, misguidedly believes only she is fit to rule or else is terrified that humanity will destroy themselves and fall into barbarism with out her guidance.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
That's right. I held back my green because the restaurant didn't hold theirs. I asked the server not to include any garnish or parsley with our meals. They included it anyways. Look at that horrible waste. It isn't like the parsley was taking up space on the plate that could have been occupied by real food as it was completely buried under my french fries and my wife's salad. Yes, the house salad included a garnish that was found under the lettuce.
Somewhere, a family of gun-toting Marylanders who always have plenty of money for bullets and beer but not soap or meals are staring at their empty food stamps envelope wishing they had something to nibble on. This parsley, added to other sprigs collected from all over the nation could have made a horrible if nutritious yet possibly health-threatening soup. Somewhere, a pasta sauce is denied little bits of green floating in it that might be basil or not. Or gnats, depending on if the kitchen window was open during food preparation.
Save the planet and Hold the Green!
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
There is the impossible, fantastic, supernatural horror that thrills and excites and then there is the cruel, callous evil of bastards who know better whose actions and lies have real world implications of death, pain, misery and despair.
DDT sprayed from a TIFA (Todd Insecticidal Fog Applicator) around model Kay Heffernon to supposedly demonstrate it won't contaminate her food (a hot dog and coke), Jones Beach, New York. (Photo by George Silk, 1948)From Google TIME-LIFE archive.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
"In his house at R'lyeh the Orange Nut Roll waits dreaming." From H.P. Lovecraft, The Cult of C-Rat.
Where ever armies have marched and where ever crazed survivalist rednecks have squatted there remains behind scenes of devastation and horror. One of those horrors is the Orange Nut Roll.
A variety of nut rolls have long been a part of the soldier's meal while on the march. Historically they were a tasty treat to consume after eating the giant can of beef stew offered in C-Rations. The nut rolls were favored enough that they largely made a successful transition from the larger canned military rations to the lighter and more compact MRE or Meal, Ready-To-Eat of modern field supplies.
Anywhere a group of soldiers have gathered the evidence of their meals is left behind and used by the local population. The MRE was designed to be 100% useful in the field. The boxes, filled with sand or dirt, are packed tightly in a case and can slide into a sleeve. The packaging is water-resistant and filled with sand can be used to make bunkers, furniture and in some places in the world entire living quarters. The plastic pouches are used for storage and shingles on a roof. The cans are used for cooking or beaten down into knives or other useful items.
The exception being the Orange Nut Roll. The ONG is dry and has the consistency of a shoe. The taste resembles not so much an orange, but the wooden crate the oranges may have originally been shipped in. Fire that melts an 81mm mortar leaves the Orange Nut Roll unharmed. Insects, vultures and other opportunistic scavengers ignore and treat a found Orange Nut Roll as they would a piece of slate or length of bark they came across while wandering the forest. In places where the local population eagerly, desperately receives the leftovers of a soldier's meal either in food to feed their families or the useful packaging to build shelters the Orange Nut Roll is thrown away or refused. Entire rebellions have arisen in native populations because all they are given to win their hearts and minds are Orange Nut Roll packages from visiting soldiers. Give an Orange Nut Roll to a starving homeless person in any metropolitan city and they will sneer and possibly assault you.
There are beaches in Subic Bay covered in slowly rusting cans of discarded Orange Nut Rolls. Oddly shaped, orange hued rocks cover the sand and ocean floor in the region as Orange Nut Rolls tumble free from cans that disintegrate against the forces of nature. But the eternal majesty of the sea and wind are unable to breakdown the Orange Nut Roll. Like lava builds new land off the shores of Hawaiian islands so do Orange Nut Rolls serve as the foundation for reefs and future land bridges across the water. So imagine what one of those things, either in the old rounded or newer yet still inedible flat toaster pastry forms will do to the insides of a human.
Future archeologists will undoubtedly use as provenance of ancient battlefields the layers of uneaten Orange Nut Rolls that like ancient honey found in Egyptian tombs, will show no signs of rot or decomposition. Unlike 5000 year old honey though, the Orange Nut Roll is largely inedible as it comes fresh off the production line.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Planet Comics #41 (March 1946) is the first issue with Mysta of the Moon specifically featured on the cover. Her humanoid robot servant also makes an appearance on the cover. As is typical the cover has almost nothing in common with the interior story. In this case the only similarity between the cover and story is the robot crashing through the wall.
This chapter of Mysta continues the back story of mankind rebuilding their society after the War-God/Alien Mars nearly destroyed civilization. The villain is again deformed and evil and has the goal of destroying everything he can while using his weird fetish to accomplish destruction. This time the weapon of choice is worthy of a Clive Barker story and has less to do with phallus shapes as shown on the cover and more with reanimation and horror.