Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Countdown to Halloween 2016: ARCHIE COMICS "Halloween Hi-Jinx"

We end our contribution to the Countdown to Halloween 2016 blogathon as we began...
with a pop culture icon celebrating the holiday!
As you can see from the cover (which is actually from the issue before the one the story appears in (which had a Christmas cover) and contents page by Harry Sahle, the Dan DeCarlo-created "look" that defines the characters to this day hadn't yet been implemented!

Note the caption about an Archie radio show.
Despite lack of success in movies and live-action TV, Archie and his friends had a long-running (1943-1952) radio show on NBC Blue (which became ABC) and the Mutual Network
It started as a daily 15-minute broadcast but converted to a weekly half-hour.
(As a seasonal treat, HERE'S a Halloween-themed episode from 1948!)
Back to the matter at hand...This tale from MLJ's Archie Comics #6 (1944) was written and penciled by Harry Sahle and inked by Janice Valleau.
Sahle might have also written it, but we can't confirm that.
Next week:
The Return of Reach for Happiness...
You'll Cry Your Eyes Out if You Miss It!
(Things are really getting juicy...)
And now a word from our sponsor...
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Countdown to Halloween 2016: SPACE ADVENTURES "Imitation People" Part 2

Though it doesn't look like a love story...
...that's what this cover-featured tale from Charlton's Space Adventures V2N4 (1968) most definitely is!
We Have Already Seen...
Scientist Warren Simms' human-looking robots populate Earth II, a planetoid on the edge of the Solar System that serves as a first line of defense against alien incursions.
Simms' robots are programmed to mimic human behavior and emotions...but some of them (his aide Clarissa, particularly) seem to be transcending their programming!
While meeting with Earth's Grand Council to acquire additional funding and resources, Clarissa makes a startling revelation...
Don't you just love a happy ending?
Since the Simms robot is, for all intents and purposes, Simms, we could say that love is eternal and transcends death.
But, what of his soul?
Writer Joe Gill and artist Jim Aparo don't address that matter in this never-reprinted tale.
But that doesn't mean we can't speculate about it, eh?
And now a word from our sponsor...
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Countdown to Halloween 2016: WEIRD THRILLERS "Princess of the Sea"

Though the cover may not look like it, this is a love story...
Art by Allen Anderson it's a perfect post to add to our Countdown to Halloween!
Well, it sure ain't Little Mermaid, or even Splash!
Penciled by Dan Barry and inked by John Giunta, the writer of this tale of love beneath the waves from Ziff-Davis' Weird Thrillers #3 (1952) is, sadly, unknown.
Note: when the story was reprinted in the 1990s Eclipse Comics anthology Weird Romance, it was again given the cover...
...also by an artist named "Anderson", but in this case it was Brent (no relation to Allen) Anderson!
 Next week:
We haven't decided yet what it'll be, but we can guarantee that...
You'll Cry Your Eyes Out if You Miss It!
(Oh, you've heard that, eh?)
And now a word from out sponsor...
Please Support True Love Comics Tales!
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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Countdown to Halloween 2016: BARBIE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL EDITION "Secret of Creepington Castle"

Let's start off with a gentle Gothic Halloween adventure...
...featuring the adventures of the world's most famous fashion doll!
Writer Trina Robbins and penciler Mary Wilshire certainly deliver "girl power" in this short, but sweet, All Hallows Eve tale in Marvel's Barbie Halloween Special #1a (1993) giveaway issued to comics stores for promotional purposes at Halloween.
NOTE: The giveaway "book" was just the 8-page story reprinted from Marvel's Barbie #11 (1991).
The other Halloween-themed story from that issue was re-purposed into Halloween Special #1b and also given out in 1993.
Barbie, and its' sister title Barbie Fashion, were two secret success stories for Marvel in the 1990s.
Because they weren't superhero titles, hardcore, mostly male, fans never even noticed them, but the two books ran an impressive 63 and 53 issues respectively at a time when many titles lasted 12 issues or less!
Barbara Slate, who wrote 65 issues of the two series, told the tale...
In the 90s, Tom DeFalco, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, started a girls’ line.
It was a courageous move because ‘girls don’t buy comics’ was the catch phrase whenever the subject was brought up.
But Tom boldly went where no man had gone before and got licenses for Barbie (Mattel) and then a few years later, Belle (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) and Ariel (Disney’s Little Mermaid).
I wrote 65 Barbie comics. Every month Barbie would have a different profession.
She was an astronaut, a teacher, and a designer, to name a few of her seemingly endless career paths.
Barbie could do anything and live anywhere.
We won the Parents Choice Award two years in a row.
Even Ms. Magazine loved Barbie comics!
Her breasts were normal size.
Because under the keen eye of the marvelous Marvel editor, Hildy Mesnik, a team of women wrote, drew and adored Barbie.
We were all conscious of the fact that young girls would be reading our work and we wanted them to grow up to be strong, independent and successful women.

Of course our sales couldn’t compete with Spider-Man and other male dominated superheroes.
Comic book readers were, after all, 95% boys.
But every month our numbers increased.
To make a very sad story short, just as the girls’ line was getting traction, some a-hole who knew nothing about comics bought Marvel, looked at our monthly sales numbers, and eliminated the entire girls’ line while sending Marvel into bankruptcy. (Don’t get me started.)
From "Let the Girls Take the Lead", available HERE.
Next week...
Our Annual Halloween presentation of spooky,  sci-fi, and Gothic romance tales continues with a tale of a man and a mermaid!
You'll Cry Your Eyes Out if You Miss It!
(Oh, you've heard that, eh?)

And now a word from out sponsor...
Please Support True Love Comics Tales
Visit Amazon and Order... 
Barbie Halloween Witch Doll