Friday, October 02, 2015
EC publisher Bill Gaines had a word for them: “springboards.” Springboards were ideas he got when going through books and magazines. The less generous in use of language would call them swipes, since he was stealing someone else’s ideas. (He and editor/writer Al Feldstein got caught at it, too, by Ray Bradbury.)
Published in Weird Fantasy #17 (1951).
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
In some cases, the Influencing Machine was described as projecting images. In the pre-movie era, more like a magic lantern, but to our modern minds sounding like television. Our worst nightmares are realized...the Influencing Machine is real and in everyone’s home.
Where was I? Oh, yeah...there is a comic book story involved. “The Thing in the Box” is a reprint, drawn by Fred Guardineer. It was originally published in ME’s Manhunt #2 (1947) as “The Being in the Box,” and scanned here from its appearance in Space Ace #5, a one-shot comic book from 1952.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Ever notice something about this style of science fiction? It is a pirate story, transplanted from Earth’s seas into outer space. One of the tricks used to make it sound more spacy is to insert the word space: space billiards, space coppers, space racketeer. Here's my friendly advice to would-be science fiction writers: do not emulate that outdated and cornball technique.
From Planet Comics #32 (1944):
Friday, September 25, 2015
It wasn’t uncommon for comics to have stories about pathetic characters who are ugly and treated horribly because of it. It evokes emotion in the reader, leading to a revenge ending. (“Hop-Frog” by Poe springs to mind as one of the best examples.*) There is a lesson in tolerance in there, somewhere, or at least a warning. If you are a bully and ridicule someone you may end up thrown off the battlement. You would deserve it, in my opinion.
From Atlas Comics’ Crime Can’t Win #43 (actual #3), 1951. Signed by Myron Fass.