Sci-Fi before the Space Age
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...when all we had was our imaginations

 

So I've recently embarked on a new collecting area, that of Golden Age Sci-Fi. When I first re-started collecting a few years ago I had a few GA Sci-Fi books, but then turned my attention elsewhere.

 

But now I'm back.

 

I'm going to use this journal to 1) show books I've added to my collection and 2) document books I might be targeting. My end goal is to have an example from each Sci-Fi themed title from the Golden Age, and some examples of non-Sci-Fi GA titles that happen to have a particularly Sci-fi themed cover.

 

As heretical as it may sound, I'm not all that interested in EC books. I think the art on the covers is amazing, and the stories are too (I've read most of them in reprints over the years), but for some reason the book cover layout (with the big title taking up the top 1/4 of the book) just feels boring to me when I see them (compared to non-EC counterparts). Im sure I'll get around to owning some of them, but right now they aren't tickling my fancy.

 

What I am interested in is pre-spacerace images of space. I love the idea that before 1966 we had not seen photos taken from "deep space" (beyond our earth orbit), and that our ideas of "outer space" were still fantastical. Artists and writers created alien landscapes, creatures, and amazing starships to fill this void of information, and I love them.

 

By the time we reached the 60s space was far more realistic, and we knew the nuts and bolts of how to travel there, even if we hadn't done it yet (FF #1 from 1962 had a relatively realistic rocket takeoff to space). But before the 60s it was still a place of wonder, and that's what I've decided to focus on, pre 1960 Sci-Fi comics.

 

See more journals by miraclemet

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Here's my first book.

 

Journey into Unknown Worlds #37 (#2 in the series)

 

I have such a soft spot for misconceptions of the effects of space on bare skin. Bill Everett's cover (amazing) has a scantily clad blond in a short skirt present it what appears to be a spacecraft with an open air cockpit. And our hero, also apparently got warm out in space, and opted for the short sleeve version of the spacesuit.

 

PD9Z9r8.jpg

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So I've recently embarked on a new collecting area, that of Golden Age Sci-Fi.

 

Oddly enough, I've been thinking about doing the same thing. I love the covers. The old paperback book covers are amazing too.

 

Good luck with the new focus.

 

 

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So I've recently embarked on a new collecting area, that of Golden Age Sci-Fi.

 

Oddly enough, I've been thinking about doing the same thing. I love the covers. The old paperback book covers are amazing too.

 

Good luck with the new focus.

 

 

Thanks! (thumbs u

 

I too LOVE the pulp covers, they are beautiful. I dont understand their market or how they are graded at all, and the fact they arent slabbed/graded is about the only reason I don't pick them up.

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Apparently starting a journal is good USPS mojo.

Had two books arrive.

Attack On Planet Mars #nn

 

With a Gene Fawcette cover, and interiors including Carmine Infantino & Wally Wood (noted as "Wallace")

 

In the year 2430, Tarrano, an Earthman, has seized control of both the planet Venus and its outpost on Earth, Venia.

To that outpost, the tyrant has kidnapped Elza and Georg, children of the recently-murdered scientist, Dr Brende, along with reporter Jac Hallen.

While Tarrano plots his upcoming conquest of Earth and Mars, Georg and the captive Venusian princess Maida escape, and then aid Earth's government in planning a pre-emptive attack on Venia.

 

XMu85DB.jpg

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Rocket to the Moon #nn

 

Joe Orlando cover

 

This comic is an uncredited adaptation of the novel "Maza of the Moon" by Otis Adelbert Kline. Gary Watson disputes the art credits on the main story, saying it looks like a combination of Wally Wood and Joe Orlando with no Charles Nicholas

 

 

Zfi6tZE.jpg

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Looking forward to how this journal pans out. I do dig seeing the older sci fi covers and older covers in general. I've never really read this stuff but might have to check it out one day. Good luck with your additions.

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What an awesome theme to collect, I'm looking forward to seeing more entries in this journal. I like the cover for Rocket to the Moon #1, best of luck to you!

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Even though you are admitting to an almost unforgivable, almost inconceivable, lack of interest in the EC's, I think this is a great subject to collect. I have always wanted to collect the run of Frazetta covers for Famous Funnies. Not only are they Frazetta, but they are just incredible examples of what you are talking about. The imagination of the artist run wild, people exposed to the vacuum of space with no protection (or some minimal bit of costume such as a glass fishbowl over their head to indicate that they are, in fact, in space) and no effect of vacuum - more of a Fantasy in space than Science Fiction. Good luck and I hope to see more from this endeavor!

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Even though you are admitting to an almost unforgivable, almost inconceivable, lack of interest in the EC's, I think this is a great subject to collect. I have always wanted to collect the run of Frazetta covers for Famous Funnies. Not only are they Frazetta, but they are just incredible examples of what you are talking about. The imagination of the artist run wild, people exposed to the vacuum of space with no protection (or some minimal bit of costume such as a glass fishbowl over their head to indicate that they are, in fact, in space) and no effect of vacuum - more of a Fantasy in space than Science Fiction. Good luck and I hope to see more from this endeavor!

 

I do enjoy the art on the covers, But something about the layout, the oversized Title taking up the top 1/3 of the book, the fact that they border it all out (rather than just having the title overlay the larger cover art it all seems repetitive to me. And thus a bit monotonus.

 

The art INSIDE the space on the cover is beautiful, some of the most amazing rendered Sci-Fi images around, but the design of the covers leave me lacking.

 

FhQK5Sj.jpg

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I understand - I find the layout to have a pop-art cool about it (I bought the Russ Cochran full color cover reprints and started framing them. To me the whole thing is art). Neither of us is right, its a preference. I recently had a moment where I thought Marvels habit of putting the little box in the upper left hand corner with a small portrait of the titles star was odd and broke up the flow of the cover (until I realized they did that because when the comics were displayed at the newstand sometimes only an inch or do of the spine might show and this gave the customers a reliable and easy way to pick out their favorite comics). I have always found my tastes and collecting proclivities evolve over time anyway.

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Time for another cover.

 

This is Planet #71 with a Maurice Whitman cover.

 

It is the best.

 

Planet Comics in general are awesome, but #71? It looks like some combination of Steranko, Dave Stevens and Heaven.

 

I don't even understand everything that's going on with that space suit, but it's awesome. Like best space suit from the 50s awesome. The mix of colors on the suit, that contrast with the colors of space. Knee pads, Self Propulsion, a ray gun. Air tanks, some sort of hand held rocket to throw/aim at people.

 

There's great detail in the spacecraft below (see the guy in restraints on the examining table?

 

Is that New York City being towed into space off on the right? It looks like someone wrapped the Statue of Liberty for transport!

 

I wish my work scanner was better... After buying a few CGC 2s and a few 4s, I definitely think 4s are my threshold. Less than that and the condition is distracting from the book/cover image. Lesson learned.

WOXUYWe.jpg

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Super excited that this book is on the way...

 

It's a beater, but so hard to find I had to jump on the one that popped onto eBay.

 

A strange 6 issue mash-up of two genres. Issue #40 is my favorite due to the extreme prominence of both the western and space/sci-fi theme.

 

Before issue #40 it was just the western title Cowboy Western Comics by Charlton, and after issue #45, it returned to its original title.

 

7CIwrG1.jpg

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Had a Golden Age Sci-Fi lot arrive from HA today.

While the books were all as described, I do so wish that HA would provide scans of all the books in the lot... but all the same Im happy to have a batch of fun Sci-Fi books. Seems like lots are usually more affordable than single books on HA.

 

Flying Saucers #nn

Just realized that what I thought were paper tears (on the S and the C in Saucer in the title) is really nothing more than dirt that seems to be easily coming off.

FlyingSaucersnn_zpsc929795d.jpg

 

Atomic Age Combat #6

Love the colors on this one, though dont love the couple of little stains. There's also a small tear at the main character's neck that goes all the way through.

AtomicAge5_zpsf9c06338.jpg

 

Strange Journey 4

Again nice colors

StrangeJourney4_zpsacf8c508.jpg

 

Speed Carter Spaceman 5

Hard to find, but well beat. Wish HA would have noted the cover writing.

SpeedCarterSpaceman5_zpse3c7a98b.jpg

 

Now for the two books I was really interested in when I bought the lot...

 

Captain Rocket #nn

Always love a nice "bubble helmet" cover. Just a great rocket ship cover.

CaptainRocketnn_zps1f20a5dc.jpg

 

and the piece de resistance

Speed Carter Spaceman #6

nice colors, no major creases across the image, nice OW pages...

Love this Joe Maneely cover.

SpeedCarterSpaceman6_zpsf5b3042e.jpg

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Consoling my loss of a few different auctions on HA, CLINK and eBay I found solace in the forums.

 

In a coincidence, this undercopy was available because the seller had out bid me on a sweet 7.0 copy a few weeks ago.

 

Space Squadron #2

 

Another of the short run Atlas Sci-Fi titles.

Five issues in this short run. A George Tuska cover (who actually did all of the covers for the series and a ton of the interior art along with Sol Brodsky). Apparently this title is something of a Tom Corbett, Space Cadet-rip off.

 

WbWX4tz.jpg

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Just arrived from last months CLINK auction.

 

jYWU86Q.jpg

 

I've been on the look out for a Stan Lee SS that was priced under the "cost to create" amount for a Stan Lee book (at minimum $150 or so thru DWC for a non-modern book). So I had my eye on this book. Ended up getting it for $141 total out the door, so I felt good on the price, espcially considering that it was on a Golden Age Sci-Fi cover, and one of my favorite pre-hero Tales of Suspense covers ever.

 

I love the reds and yellows in the cover, and the contrasting grey people running in horror. One question; while the aliens have advanced flying saucer technology, and some sort of laser guns and translator technology... they still have to climb down a ROPE LADDER to get out of their saucer?

 

I kid, but I do also love that this is an older Stan Lee signature (2009 was 5 years ago man!) so Stan was not quite in "autograph churn factory" mode, and still took the time to sign his full name, with a legible "L" in Lee and either placed it well, or stayed in the window box. And luckily it was a medium tip sharpie, not those fat tips he uses now that just creates a blob of silver. Now I've got my Stan signature I can move on to other targets.

 

I missed out on a Space Western #43 copy (in 7.0). Sold for $231, which was past my $200 target. The 7.0 is second highest, but I just couldnt get a bead on a reasonable price for the copy since the only public sales were a pedigree 9.6 ($900) and a 4.0 for $65 back in 2010. Based on values of surrounding issues (42 and 44) that had sales of a 6.5 at $100 and the harder to find #44 had a 6.0 sale at $278, I thought low to mid $200s was right, but I had someone bidding against me, and I decided to just bail out and go after other Sci-fi books in upcoming auctions. Really targeting the $200 mid-grade copies, so trying to stick to my budgetary guns.

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Great idea for a thread. I can make some contributions...

 

Space Adventures 7, note the story 'Transformation'. I cracked this one open to read it, it's about two people stranded on a planet . The 'Transformation' is a sex change .

http://www.myslabbedcomics.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=11808&GSub=889

 

Strange Worlds #3 (1951 Avon)

http://www.myslabbedcomics.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=14547&GSub=889

 

Tales of the Unexpected #1

http://www.myslabbedcomics.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=11548&GSub=889

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Thanks for sharing! Those Avon and Charlton titles are great, and still very affordable when they come up in auctions. I had my eye on a few early ones in CLINK last month, but was holding out hope for the Space Western... now alas, this month there's nary a GA Sci-Fi cover in CLINK...

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