Friday, July 30, 2010

Chilling Adventures In Sorcery #5: "Barometer Falling..."

Download Chilling Adventures In Sorcery #5

"The Old Ones... a superstitious dread was still connected with everything to do with them. This place would be shunned by all who passed by. Only a fool or a madman would linger here... or perhaps--a hero."

Featuring the traditional Gray Morrow-style barbarian, two mercenary-warriors discover a hidden chamber with a genetically altered spiderwoman inside and mistakenly believe they've found their pot of gold. Of course, there's a surprise ending as this was written and illustrated by the phenomenally talented Gray Morrow, but you'll have to read the story for yourself in order to find out.

Chilling Adventures in Sorcery #5 also sports one of the best looking comic book covers of all time, in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Unexpected #144: "Curse of the Black Cat!"

Download Tales of the Unexpected v1 #144

One good cat cover deserves another, I say. The Unexpected #144 I picked up in Canada while vacationing as a kid with my family, which brings back some really nice memories of the Great White North. That gorgeous Nick Cardy cover sold me on this one, but being a small child at the time I was genuinely disappointed that none of the stories inside contained a monstrously huge black cat as the cover implied. Instead, we're treated to a story about Johnny Dodge, who's an escaped inmate desperately trying to elude the law and the bloodhounds hot on his trail. Of course, bad luck crosses Mr. Dodge's path in the form of Charcoal, an all-black feral cat. This is a short story so I'll let you folks read what happens next. This isn't an especially great story, but it's okay, nicely illustrated, and the comic book itself has a lot of nostalgic value for me. While I have no idea who wrote the actual story "Curse of the Black Cat!," I do know that John Calnan did the penciling while Ernie Chan was responsible for the inking.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

House of Secrets #125: "Catch As Cats Can!"

Download House of Secrets v1 #125

When I picked this one up off the spinner rack at Rexall's Drug Store, I was surprised that this tale of Medieval sorcery was written by E. Nelson Bridwell as I was used to seeing his byline on Superman or Action Comics. However, my surprise turned out to be a pleasant one as I thought this story was pretty good. The always capable Luis Dominguez illustrated "Catch As Cats Can!"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Star Spangled War Stories #183: Unknown Soldier in "8,000 to One"

Download Star Spangled War Stories #183

"Remember, soldier, one slip-up and 8,000 innocent people... will die!"

I recall purchasing this comic book when I was a kid because I found the Joe Kubert cover very intriguing, but I came away from the experience genuinely moved by the story inside. In "8,000 to One," the Unknown Soldier is forced to choose killing a collaborator or permit 8,000 others to perish. The final scenes are very dramatic and worth the read to get there. While the Unknown Soldier was created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert and first appeared in Our Army At War #168, this story was written by David Michelinie and illustrated by Gerry Talaoc.

The back-up story features the Balloon Buster, whose real name is Steve Savage, Jr. Born and raised in Mustang River, Wyoming, Savage was trained by his poverty-stricken father to be a consummate marksman, learning that the gun is merely an extension of the man who wields it.

Enlisting in the Army Air Corps at the onset of World War I, Savage repeatedly disobeyed orders, breaking formation to attack and destroy the German combat balloons, which earned him his nickname.

"Hell's Angel! Featuring Enemy Ace and the Balloon Buster, Part III: To End in Flames!" is an Enemy Ace back-up story, which was written by Robert Kanigher and illustrated by Frank Thorne.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A1 Book #1: Warpsmiths of Hod in "Ghostdance"

Download A1 Book 1 "Ghostdance"

The Warpsmiths of Hod were created by Alan Moore when he was a teenager for a small publication by an arts lab in his native Northampton, England. He and artist Garry Leach expanded on the characters for the UK magazine Warrior, and figuring into a fictional timeline and universe developed by Alan Moore and Steve Moore (no relation), the Warpsmiths only appeared in two stories before the end of Warrior. The first appearance of a Warpsmith was in the 1982 Warrior 4# or "Summer Special," which can be read online by clicking here. Leach retained ownership of the characters, and lent them to Moore's series Marvleman and later Miracleman (which Leach had illustrated earlier in Warrior) in which they became a major part of the story, with art by John Totleben based on Leach's designs. In 1989, Leach began a new anthology title, A1, the first issue of which included the Warpsmith short story "Ghost Dance," which was written by Alan Moore. Subsequent issues would feature stories by other writers.

In this story, the Warpsmiths mourn one of their dead and contemplate the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

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