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Monthly Archives: August 2011
Construction Photos of the Airship USS Macon, ca. 1932

Filed under Found on the Web

construction photos of the USS Macon

A terrific series of photographs of the USS Macon’s construction, ca. 1932 – at How to be a Retronaut.

[tags]zeppelin, dirigible, macon, 1932, construction, vintage, photography, aircraft, airship[/tags]

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Thrilling Tales – new page update for The Lair of the Clockwork Book

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story The Lair of the Clockwork Book, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
Vanguard’s Wally Wood Collection Grows to 208 pages; coming in November

Filed under Found on the Web

Wally Wood Sci fi EC comics

There’s an unusual amount of activity on the Wally Wood retrospective front, with collections coming soon from both Vanguard and IDW. This pleases me. I’ve always felt that Wood wasn’t valued highly enough and now there’ll be hundreds and hundreds of pages on the bookstore shelves to show everybody why I think so.

Vanguard’s all color Wally Wood: Strange Worlds of Science Fiction was originally announced with 136 pages of Wood’s EC-era science fiction comics stories: but in a last minute expansion that page count has now been raised to 208 (count ’em! 208!) pages.

Wally Wood comics art from VanguardThat’s a lot of Wally Wood in there.

According to Vanguard, much of the new content is Wood’s complete science fiction work for Avon, the paperback publisher whose comics arm was a competitor with EC Comics up to the mid-1950’s with titles like Strange Worlds and Out of This World Adventures.

One of the many things to look forward to, then, is that this collection will include not only the EC Comics stories, but an even larger amount of the work Wood’s best remembered for – his science fiction comics stories from the 1950s. And while sentences like that infuriated Wood later in his life… well, it’s true. That is the work he’s best remembered for. But it may still act as a gateway drug to get you all to look at the wonderful work he did later on in his life.

Wally Wood EC ComicsI was thinking a lot about Wood last week while I was lighting a couple of scenes. His inking was powerful and unique; his body of work has a lot to offer to anyone who makes pictures.

Folks – especially on the Internet – tend to repeat some of Wood’s most sarcastic comments like Never draw what you can copy; never copy what you can trace; never trace what you can photostat and paste down. Most of these came about when Wood was a disappointed and angry man, and because they’re a direct reversal of what he did in this work from the 1950’s I see them as instructions he was drumming into his own brain – because they were in fact at odds with his nature.

Wally Wood tried to reform himself into a hack because he’d been so frustrated by being the artist he started out to be. That’s one of the reasons why Wood makes us sad. These hundreds of pages, from a time before he’d beaten his head bloody against his own career, are the reasons why he should make us happy.

A Continuing History of Pulp Science Fiction Art at io9

Filed under Found on the Web

Amazing Stories Pulp magazine cover

Over at io9 Natalie Baaklini continues her series of articles about the science fiction pulp magazines and their art, this time covering the years of 1930-1949 before spilling over to the paperbacks of the 1950s. (Part One, if you missed it, is here.)

There’s a great collection of cover images (with credits, happily) and even a link to the web site of one of the still-practicing artists. Expect some analysis, though nothing too artsy, as an old friend of mine might say ("But some of my best friends are artsy people!") and anyhow an aesthetic and philosophical analysis of women being lowered into giant test tubes has got to beat most kinds of analysis you can find.

I tried to Google the author for some background but the only thing I discovered is that there are a bunch of Natalie Baaklinis, which surprised me just as much as finding out how many people share my own unlikely name. So whichever Natalie you are, keep it up. Nice stuff.

Thrilling Tales – new page update for The Lair of the Clockwork Book

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story The Lair of the Clockwork Book, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
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Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.