Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Veteran science fiction and comics writer Otto Binder gets the credit for adapting Irving Pitchel's 1950 film classic Destination Moon for Fawcett Comics.  Based (in part) on Robert A. Heinlein's YA novel Rocket Ship Galeleo, the movie was scripted by Heinlein, Alford "Rip" von Ronkel, and James O'Hanlon.  Heinlein also served as a technical advisor on the film, while famed artist Chesley Bonestell served as a technical advisor for astronomical art.  This was the first American science fiction film to strive for accurate technical detail. The highly promoted film was produced by George Pal and was filmed in Technicolor.  It won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

The comic closely follows the film.  After a failed rocket launch. the army washes its hands with the effort to go into space, yet one army general and a rocket designer are determined to continue on.  With financing from private business, a type of atomic fuel is developed which should take a manned rocket beyond Earth's atmosphere.  A crew is selected but before the flight could take place, word come that the government is issuing an injunction, fearing what might happen if the atomic fuel should explode.  Before the injunction can reach them, the general, the dessigner, and the main busness inestor decide they would test the rocket themseles, taking along a communications expert.  The remainder of the story details the very real problems that may be encountered on a space to the moon and back.

I'm from the Gosh Wow Sense of Wonder gemeration.  I believe strongly in a space program and that space exploration hold's mankind's best chances for survival.  Reading this comic book I got the same thrill that I had when I first saw the motion picture -- a great thrill, but nothing like the thrill I got in front of a television when Neil Armsrong first stepped on the moon.

There's a strong sense of patriotism in both the film and the comic book, which was fine with me even I believe space is mankind's challenge, not just America's.

The artwork by Dick Rockwell does much to support the story.

Read it for yourself, and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Jerry, this sounds entertaining. I haven't seen a lot of early sf films. But that link to the comic book is what I'm eyeing right now.