Sunday, March 25, 2007
Perhaps Gold Key's most famous TV adaptation was Star Trek. Trek has been published by many companies through the years but Gold Key was the first and possibly most unique. The stories were sometimes a little flat but the art was always pretty good. The issue, #10 from May, 1971, features a painted cover by George Wilson and interior art by Italian artists Alberto Giolitti and Giovanni Ticci. The script was by a young writer named Len Wein. It was one of his first scripting assignments. The sorceror on the front looks a little like Gene Kelly to me. A very cool series dealing with the best SF TV show of all time in my book.
Another great series from Irwin Allen was The Time Tunnel. In fact, it's my favorite of the many series he put out during the late 1960's. It dealt with the continuing adventures of two scientists who keep going back and forth through time to make sure history doesn't change. Some of the stories were kind of hokey but for the most part it holds up pretty well. Gold Key produced two issues in conjunction with the series' premiere in 1966. Once again, a beautiful painted cover adorns the first issue. I have this series on DVD and I recommend picking it up. It's truly one of the unsung SF series of the '60's.
Gold Key Comics was the preeminent company in the 1960's of TV show adaptations. They had the rights to many of the cool genre shows of the period. This is the first issue of their adaptation of Irwin Allen's classic SF series Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea. The artists on these stories sometimes had trouble because they weren't always given the proper visual guides for the show they were adapting. I think they did a pretty good job getting the feel for the different series. They were unique comics in that they had a definite European feel in the art. That's because they used a lot of Italian artists in their books. This particular issue came out in December, 1964 and features a beautiful cover painting. Alas, the Grand Comic Database isn't sure who did the art. The 32 page story inside was drawn by the prolific Mike Sekowsky, who was also drawing DC's Justice League Of America at the time. I recommend these Gold Key books simply for the good art and the nostalgia for the TV shows themselves.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
All Star Squadron wasn't the first WWII era super team Roy Thomas wrote. About eight years before he conceived and wrote the adventures of Marvel's elite 1940's superteam, The Invaders. This was a pet project Roy wanted to do while he was Editor-In-Chief at Marvel during the early '70's. In 1975, he finally got his wish. This was a very unique book art wise. Frank Robbins was the first penciller on the book and his unique style made it look totally different than any other book Marvel was putting out at the time. I really didn't like it when I first saw it but I gradually learned to appreciate it as time went on. This particular cover was pencilled by Jack "King" Kirby and inked (very heavily) by the equally great John Romita. At first glance this looked nothing like Kirby. He must have used a very light layout and Romita did a lot of the finishing. It looks much more like Romita than Kirby, especially the faces. Anyway, this is a great series. I hope the good folks at Marvel put this together in an Essentials volume. I'd buy it right away.
One of my all time favorite writers is the great Roy Thomas. He's probably best known for his incredibly long run on Conan The Barbarian but I was first exposed to his work on this series. All Star Squadron was one of the first series he wrote for DC Comics after working at Marvel for several years. This book was a no brainer for me because it featured a lot of the heroes from the Justice Society, which were my favorite super hero team at the time. Roy's love for the 1940's heroes comes through very well in this well scripted series set during World War II. This particular issue, from March, 1982, is one of my favorites. The awesome Joe Kubert did many covers for All Star Squadron during its 67 issue run and this one is one of the best. Very few artists could compose a cover like Kubert. The interior art in this issue is by Adrian Gonzales and Jerry Ordway. For a complete history of this title, check out Roy's outstanding All Star Companion Volume 2, available from Twomorrows Publishing.
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