Saturday, 28 May 2011

Strange Adventures #240 (1973)

Strange Adventures #240 from February 1973.  That's the last of the Strange Adventures archive of spacemen covers and what have we learnt?  Well regardless of whats going on around them in the real world or what innovative design is being cooked up in the movies, your average comic artist is perpetually drawn to a the classic fishbowl style of space helmet simply because it allows him to illustrate the human face and its many expressions.  Although I'm not entirely sure which one this is meant to be.

Name checking of the artist in the comments below by Mister Snitch!  Many thanks, Sir. 


Strange Adventures #238 (1972)

Strange Adventures #238 from October 1972.  Look!  little tiny spacemen.  Green boots, red trousers and a white top?  There's no excuse for that, whatever your size.


Strange Adventures #230 (1971)

Strange Adventures # 230 from June of 1971.  Get that Moon Sphinx!


Strange Adventures #150 (1963)

Strange Adventures #150 from March 1963.  I have little more to add to that except to say that it's a bit of a lovely looking cover, this one. And I'm strangely drawn to the colour scheme of the suits.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Strange Adventures #140 (1962)

The Prisoner of the Space-Patch, eh? and with added hyphenation to suggest that a Space-Patch is a particular thing. I'm impressed by the madness of it all and can't help wondering why the menace of the Space-Patch has not been exploited by other sci-fi writers over the years.  It's a rather splendidly tricky dilemma that can't even be fixed with a good poke from a broom handle!

Well that was Strange Adventures #140, for you.  Out in May of 1962 and with a spacesuit design that's beginning to acknowledge reality over ideas perpetuated from 50's cinema.


Strange Adventures #93 (1958)

Strange Adventures #93 from June 1958.  Now that's a cover that should be far better known than it is.  A classic as yet to be discovered.  Well done that cover artist, who ever he may be.  I will name check him here just as soon as I find out who he is.

Read the comment below by Mister Snitch! for possible naming of that artist.  Many thanks, Sir.  Really appreciate the feedback.


Strange Adventures # 64 (1956)

Strange Adventures #64 from January 1956 brings us one of our earliest examples of apes in spacesuits.  There's a bit more of this sort of thing around here than I previously thought so I think I'll add us an; Apes in Space, label so we can keep track of them all


Strange Adventures #1 (1950)

The first issue of DC Comics' Strange Adventures has a cover date of August 1950 and promises a preview of Destination Moon as well as those astonishing science fiction tales.  Whats not to like!  Well the covers is a bit dull really as it seems to be a straight copy of a film still.  Ah well! It is a cracking film I suppose and future covers get much more creative as we will see


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Vertigo's Strange Adventures #1 (2011)

This isn't meant to be an advert but it just so happens that this comic book is out in the shops this week.  I am a bit of a Vertigo fan it has to be said but as a general rule they never quite get it right when they do the broad SF thing.  Still, lets hope this one works out for them as there are some good creators involved and  #1 is adorned with this vibrantly eye catching artwork by the wonderful Paul Pope and Lovern Kindzierski.
And we'll be back in future blogs to look at some other examples of much older Strange Adventures covers from back when it was just a plain old DC title.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Armageddon (1998)

Head's Up!  Its; Armageddon
This film came out only a couple of months after Deep Impact, another very similar film about a giant asteroid on a collision course with the Earth.  This one has a rather large list of acting talents and in excess of 160 impossible things lurking within its plot as identified by NASA employees who use the film as part of their Management Training Program.
Me?  well I just think its a load of old toffee that's far too busy trying to make a hero out of Mr American Everyman that it forgot to simply engage the audience.  Lets just not talk about it any more and look at the spacesuits instead.

They're sort of interesting although they remind me too much of the space suits used in Event Horizon the year before.  I've notion they were made by the same company but I'll check that out when I blog on that far superior film.


Planet of the Apes (2001)

Lets cover a couple of films I'm not too keen on just so that we can get them out the way with.  And when I say not too keen on what I actually mean, at least with the first of these two blogs, is a film I really hate.
Tim Burton's 2001 remake of  Planet of the Apes offends me on just about every level.  Its a terrible, stupid film that has only three redeeming facets; which are the talents of Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter and a chimpanzee in a space suit called Pericles.

Here are a couple of pictures of our simian astronaut for your visual pleasure

...and for the joys of our two talented English thesps may I suggest renting just about anything they have ever done with the obvious exception of the the above mentioned film.

Even thinking about this film makes me cross!


Friday, 20 May 2011

Moon Zero Two (1969) black and white

It's time to revisit Moon Zero Two, which regular readers here at; Say; Hello Spaceman, will know is the source of my all time favorite spacesuit design.

Now the film its self was shot in lovely lurid colour and the varied pallet of the spacesuits is one of its many joys but, just for now, I'm going to present a gallery of black and white images so that we can marvel at the sleek, simple and sexy design of them all.  So Enjoy.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Go Compare Insurance Advert (2011)

If you live over here then you'll have seen the Go Compare TV ads and you're either going to love or loath them but as catchy jingles go, its got one of the most virulent.  I try very hard to remain indifferent and thus immune to them but this one I quite like and for obvious reasons.


Planeta Bur (1962) Gallery

I was thinking about Planeta Bur again today and I reminded myself of just how wonderful the visuals were generally and the space suits in particular....and now I'm going to remind you to, with a little gallery of images not seen over here before.  Enjoy.


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Unexpected #219 and #221 (1982)

And here's the February 219 issue of DC Comics' Unexpected with a cover by the mighty Joe Kubert featuring tiny little spacemen...or a giant little girl?
And two months later here's another Kubert rendered spaceman from Unexpected's penultimate issue; number 221.


Unexpected #217 (1981)

Nearing the end of its 222 issues run, here we have the cover of Unexpected #217.  Featuring Abe Lincoln Space President, which to say the least....somewhat Unexpected!

Art is by Ernie Colon.


Friday, 6 May 2011

Weird Fantasy #21 (1953)

Say; Hello Spacegirl.....
with this cover art from Weird Fantasy #21 published in 1953
Art is jointly credited to both Frank Frazetta and Al Williamson


Overstreet Comicbook Quarterly #4 (1994)

The Overstreet Comic Book Quarterly #4 published in 1994 with some very nice art by Al Williams
text free for your viewing pleasure.


Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction Special Vol1 #1 (1976)

We've previously looked at a couple of nice covers from this short lived comic magazine; Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction, and here's one more
This is the cover of the Special, published in 1976.  It's by artist Don Newton and here it is again without the text
What an absolutely wonderful bit of work with a lovely retro 50's feel.


Monday, 2 May 2011

Space Man - Dell Comics (1962)

Feast your eyes upon the following rather splendid comic covers and pay little heed to the words that follow for they will most probably only confuse you.
This isn’t the first issue of Dell Comics Space Man but rather issue 1253 of Dell’s Four Color Comics.  Don’t let the title at the top mislead you although you may care to know that issue 9 of Space Man looked almost exactly like this being a reprint published some 8 years after the preceding issue.
So this is the first actual issue of the Space Man comic but its better known as issue 2.  But you may want to bear in mind that the very final issue of Space Man; issue 10 looked almost identical as it too was also a straight reprint.
Issue 3 (Cover art by John Schoenherr)
Issue 4 (Kelly Freas - ?)
Issue 5 (Richard Powers - ?)
Issue 6
Issue 7
And Issue 8 which brought the whole series to an end in 1964....except for the next two issues, the previously stated reprints that resurfaced the following decade.

I’m informed that the interior strip, in both story and art, is nothing to get too nostalgic about, being described by one modern day reviewer as little more than product to occupy shelf space but still; how fantastic are the covers and how sad is it that I can’t track down a credit for them.

Updated and with many thanks to Ian Schoenherr and Beamjockey
John Schoenherr for issue 3
Kelly Freas for issue 4
Richard Powers for issue 5


Smash Mash TV Advert (1970)

This is a Smash Mash Martian from the hugely influential and much loved 70’s TV campaign.  These guys appeared in a number of ads over the years mocking humanity for the lengthy and arduous process we employed when making mashed potato.  The cause of their derision was the fact that we peeled, boiled and then smashed up real potatoes when we could have been embracing the future by simply adding boiling water and reconstituting the dried potato granules available in the supermarkets.  The ads were phenomenally successful and not only did they sell a lot of Smash but they also sold a fare few plastic Martian toys as well as infecting the  nation with  the viral tag line; For Mash Get Smash.

The campaign was created by the Boase Massimi Pollitt Agency and the first of the Martian ads went out in 1974.

And what’s all this got to do with Spacemen?
Well this...
You see that isn’t a picture from Gerry Anderson's UFO TV series but the opening scene of a Smash Mash advert that precedes all of the above.

Now I’ve been trying to date this advert for a while and it’s proving difficult but I’m going to best guess it at 1970 from a process of zeroing in.
The BMP agency was founded in 1968 and one of their first contracts was with Cadbury for their Smash Mash which was launched in 1969.  This is the year of the moon landing and height of the public’s fascination with space and the future, which was used to sell just about everything.

There were two ads made prior to the Martians and this was the second of them.  (The first reveals a future in which a child is so used to eating powdered potatoes that when she sees a real potato she doesn’t even recognise it)
The space suits seen here are those originally created for Doppelganger and then reused in UFO.  The helmets are only ever a deep orange in the original film whereas here there is an orange and a yellow one which would suggest that the ad is from post production of UFO.   I also read that some of the set is recycled from the TV series too so that would confirm that fact.
Except that what we discovered in previous posts was that UFO had a 5 month break in production (November 1969 to May 1970)  while they found new studios and that during that time these  same suits were hired out and used by the BBC for their Doomwatch episode;  Re-entry Forbidden. (Filmed Feb 1970)
Also featured in this advert are some of the space helmets from Moon Zero Two that were also popping up all over the place that year in Doctor Who and the Ambassadors of Death and an episode of Here Come the Double Deckers.
This is the first but not the last time these two suits would come together and I feel sure that there are outings for both of them that have yet to re-surface.  There’s certainly a couple more I’ve yet to tell you about.
Which is a whole load of research and words to date an advert that hardly anyone remembers now but if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that we're talking about a couple of my very favourite space suits here so it’s a mystery I’m happy to pour effort into.
And also I would like to do my bit to remind a generation that the good spacemen of the moon were Smashing their Mash way before a bunch of condescending metal Martians came on the scene.