Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, April 21, 2018

TIT-BITS SCIENCE FICTION COMICS #1 (1953)

In 1953 British publisher C. Arthur Pearson ventured into science fiction with his terribly titles Tit-Bits line.  Nineteen 64-page science fiction paperbacks were published from 1953 to 1955 by some of the most prolific British SF writers of the time -- E. C. Tubb, "John Rackham," John Russell Fearn, and Francis G. Rayer among them, most writing under pseudonyms.  At the same time Pearson also published Tit-Bits Science Fiction Comics, created (and mostly drawn by) legendary artist Ron Turner.  The comic book line, alas, was around for only six issues; a seventh had been prepared but was later issued only in French.

Tit-Bits Science Fiction Comics offered decent stories, great art, and truly alien aliens.  The first issue offers three stories:
  • "The Dome of Survival" - Due to "a process of electrostatic decomposition," the natives of Pluto are losing their air.  Ships were sent out to see if one of the inner planets could be colonized.  No viable planets were found.  Earth itself was just a pile of molten rock, a long way from becoming the verdant planet we know.  Faced with certain doom, the Plutonians sent eight robots throughout the solar system, one each to orbit a planet...and wait.  In the meantime, the Plutonians built the Dome of Survival, with would house five selected Plutonians (or, Tegali, in their own language) in suspended animation while the rest of the planet died.  Flash forward to our future.  Mankind is about to build its first space station and spacemen Rex Ripley and Max Henchman are bringing materials to place in orbit when they are contacted by the Plutonian robot.  Rex, Max, and their space ship are kidnapped by the robot and are rushed to Pluto, where the robot releases the five Tegali from their suspension.  The Tegali are basically giant six-armed starfish, where the arms can roll up (fruit roll-up-style).  They are immensely strong and scientifically advanced...and they are determined to destroy humanity and claim Earth for their own.  Can Rex and Max foil their evil plans?
  • "The Inner World" - Taking a page from Ray Cummings' Worlds-within-Worlds motif.  Professor Elmo Cately has invented a ship capable of shrinking into an atom, where Cately believes a miniature universe exists.  This particular atom is located in the graphite point of a pencil.  Communication with Cately is lost as he passes an electron "the size of the moon."  Captain Ace Diamond of the Interplanetary Investigation Bureau is sent. with two crewmen, to find out what happened to Cately.  They end up on the subatomic planet Zepos and are met by a humanoid-ish alien with an ant-like head and a disintegrating ray.  Zepos is afraid that the graphite pencil point which holds their universe might be destroyed.  To prevent that from happening, the planet is sending out a space army to destroy humanity.  How can Ace and the gang stop this foul plot?  And can they still find and rescue Cately?  And when all is said and done, can they destroy the submicroscopic universe?  I mean, really?  A whole universe of sentient beings?  SPOILER ALERT!  Of course they do...by blowing up the tiny piece of graphite with an atomic bomb!  overkill, much?
  • "Escape from Varl!" - The ruler of the planet Varl is the evil Skor, who has enslaved humans to work in his uranium mines under the brutal supervision of Skor's Tigermen -- giant striped humanoids with Sphinx-like heads.  One slave, Lestos, manages to to escape and free a number of the slaves.  They manages to get to a ship and pilot to an unexplored planet "on the other side of the heavens -- far from Varl!"  They are met by a T-Rex type monster (with longer arms, an ovoid head, bulging eyes, long forked tongue...and not really reptilian).  Before the monster can eat them, another monster appears and they fight to the death.  Because the monsters are so big, Lestos figures they must be the only two on the planet.  (Lestos is a little short in the brain department.)  They build a city, defeat another monster, and decide to go back and free all the slaves of Varl.  Phew!
Enjoy.

http://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=24988


P.S.  The remaining five issues are also available st comicbookplus.com.  Check them out.

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