Today we bring you five cautionary tales to help prepare you for the horrors and mind-bending strangeness that could issue from your television at any time, and not the ones coming from your satellite hookup. No, that thing has come unplugged, what you are seeing is issuing from somewhere else, perhaps even from your own mind. But who can tell?
We here at the WFMU Comic Supplement worry enough about the dangers of unbridled radio listening, but we also keep an eye on what's happening on 'telly', and what we see there isn't good. In fact, it is downright terrifying.
And, on the artistic side, we are VERY pleased to welcome comic book creative genius JACK KIRBY to the blog today, in two different tales. We've been searching high and low for stories of his to present here, and this week we realized that we actually had two in our files that would be appropriate, so, one of our favorite storytellers is the guest of honor today, along with a couple of other fine artists.
Put down that remote control for a bit, and join us for this highly educational post - right after the jump!
The J.I.M. cover is by Kirby, with Steve Ditko inks, and the story itself is penciled by Kirby, and again inked by Ditko (I always enjoyed their team-ups), and written by Stan Lee and younger brother Larry Leiber.
We'll begin this one with the front cover (of the reprint) and inside front cover, with Stan himself introducing, and move right into the story.
The plot on that one reminds me an awful lot of some of the themes used in the British mini-series of 1958-59, Quatermass and the Pit (as well as the feature film version). Probably a coincidence, since it's unlikely that BBC series was seen in the U.S. in those days.
Now we'll roll back in time a bit for another Atlas - era story, this one from Mystery Tales #1, March 1952, with an unknown cover artist, and the story illustrated by Pete Tumlinson and scripted by Stan Lee.
Come to think of it, a tip of the hat here - for presenting this story on their blog on the very week that we were specifically looking for Atlas / Marvel stories involving television for our blog - goes out to the folks over at that excellent blog Four-Color Shadows, from where I had to 'borrow' this set of files, and I think they would understand why, since it fits our theme this week so nicely.
Next we will pass the storytelling over to the terrific Don Heck, with a script by Lee and Leiber (Stan supplying rough plot and Larry filling in the details). It's a short and wicked yarn from Strange Tales #98, July 1962. Cover by Kirby and Ditko.
Now, who saw that coming? I can't help but mention those really awful-looking paste-ups promoting The Hulk comic book. They're lettered so badly and pasted in crudely to boot. Well, let's cleanse out the bad taste left by that nasty guy and turn this over to Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, and a tale from Amazing Adult Fantasy ("The Magazine that Respects Your Intelligence") #13, June 1962. Watch for another pasted-in come-on for the Hulk in this one too.
bringing us a cautionary tale from Journey Into Mystery #73, October 1961, as scripted by Lee and Leiber.
And, since we own two copies of this piece, the original as well as a re-print from ten years later, as re-presented in Fear #5, November 1971, let's put them side-by side and see how much the story suffers when reproduced again and re-colored (the 1971 colorist seems like they would have just as soon color everything violet as bother to choose shades at all). The original edition on the left, and a decade later on the right.
As you can see, your television may well be your bitter enemy.
Just don't say that WFMU didn't warn you.
Be sure to join us in two weeks right here at the Comic Supplement for a surprising new batch of vintage comics!
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