Thursday, January 25, 2018


Weird original draft of Bowie's "Space Oddity..."
Mark of the Sun
w/a Mike Arens

Former Disney animator Mike Arens provides one of the most distinctly Golden Age-like stories in the expansive catalog of Wham-O Giant Comics genres. A space adventure featuring unlikely aliens in over-simplified conflict use a luckily gifted human as the go-between, using only a pretty specific set of superpowers to save the day. This all should be part of the Hero's Journey, I think. Steps 3 through 7. Why do we even need to visit the innermost cave? Let's simplify this...

Colonel Ray Starkey undertakes an incomprehensible space mission which sends him speeding past Mercury and right into the sun. Unless that was part of the plan, I don't think you can consider his inevitable fiery death to be "a roaring success." Take the L, NASA.

Rather than fizzling out like a sparkler, Starkey is rescued by the people who live on the sun, the Sun-People, and their King, the Sun-King. Although they don't mention it by name, I bet I can guess what they call their cities, their, police, their dogs and their bathrooms. None of these comic book alien races ever know when to let a prefix die.

I'm not sure that they heard him.

The Sun-King warns "Star-Key," as he calls the errant astronaut, about the menace poised by the Kelp People. A wet race of world-conquering, shape-changing aliens, they infiltrate distant worlds, cool them down dramatically with extra-terrestrial fog machines and rising damp, and kill the native populace. Starkey is given a "Sun Disk" (see?) which allows him to retain the powers temporarily granted him as he walks on the sun. He'll retain these because his mortal form will be powered by his "Sun Body" (SEE?) and will draw strength from "heat, flame or the sun wherever it shines on Earth."

Starkey gets back to Earth and, unsurprisingly, finds loads of Kelp People freezing Earth with their chilling fog. They're being led by Dr.Waterman, a bulb-headed, pointy-eared sinister-type who has a mole on Star-Key's team of Kelp People Beaters. Nonetheless, the Sun-Disk and the powers it allows Starkey to employ -- including the straightforward "Ask the Sun-King to materialize and take care of my problems for me" power which actually if he used it first, they'd be done with the Kelp People.

The visible crop of Kelpies are put down, leaving Starkey and his pals to relax on the warm, sunny beach - anathema to Kelp People. But under the water, a cliffhanger is brewing. Too bad a lack of a second issue kills 'em once and for all.

He did it!

w/a Dennis Ellefson

Another CARtoons alum provides a half-page gag strip with an EC Comics twist. Tiny aliens land on a sphere, believing they've discovered a new asteroid -- only to find that they've landed on a baseball, and the game is in play. Besides having the trademark ironic ending, the strip also has a visual sense which recalls the EC stable, Wally Wood in particular. And since it's a half-pager, heck, here it is:


John said...

That Kelpie in the "Attack" panel is clearly making a "Get lost, buddy" gesture.

Eric said...

I heard from credible sources that around the Sun-King everybody's laughing, everybody's happy.

At least until mean Mr. Mustard (he's such a mean old man, such a dirty old man) shows up with his sister, Pam, who's so good looking but she looks like a man.

Any chance this comic confirms or denies these rumors?

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