Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, October 24, 2015


In 1950 publishing giant Ziff Davis decided to enter the comic book field.  Among their many successful properties were the science fiction pulps Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures.  When it came time to add a science fiction comic book, the title Amazing Adventures was a nature choice.  Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel served as art director for the entire comic line, so it was probably his decision to use full colored paintings on the covers of Amazing Adventures to give the comic the look of a pulp magazine; the comic book also used the typography from Amazing Stories for the word Amazing in its title -- a move sure to conflate the comic book with the successful pulp in the minds of younger purchasers.

Amazing Adventures, as with most of the comic books Ziff Davis published (the company killed off most of its titles by 1953, keeping only a few titles, such as G.I. Joe, Kid Cowboy, and Romantic Love) had a short run, lasting only six issues plus an unnumbered 8-page trial issue.

Issue number 1 (no month given) had a cover painting by well-known pulp artist Robert Gibson Jones.  Siegel himself provided the script for the cover story, "The Asteroid Witch." Artists in this issue included Wally Wood, Alex Schomburg, Ogden Whitney, Murphy Anderson*,  and Harry Sahle.  An impressive line-up. If only the stories were as impressive.

I hesitate to say the stories here were on the level of the pulp stories in Amazing Stories at the time, if only because the pulp had a few good tales at the time.  The stories in the comic book were written in a slap dash manner, with some internal inconsistencies, yet appear to be satisfactory fare for its target audience -- adolescent boys.  The use of the female form certainly added to the charm of the comic book for those fantasizing boys.

The art is pretty good.  The stories IMHO, meh.

What do you think?

*  Just found out that comic book artist Murphy Anderson passed away yesterday.  Born in 1926,  Anderson co-created the Atomic Knight and Zatanna, as well as working on a number of major title.  Rest in peace, good sir.

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