Closeout Price! Three slipcased copies as a set. Highly Recommended. Art by Norman Sanders et al. Three great pre-code series, originally published by Ziff-Davis, one of the best publishers outside of EC in the early 1950s. These were collected by PS Artbooks in 2016, and now are together at a bargain price, a three-volume set of Space Busters/Space Patrol/Nightmare, Weird Adventures/Weird Thrillers, and Amazing Adventures (lots of title changes). These have lots to love: gorgeous painted cover art by Norman Saunders & Allen Anderson, art from the great Murphy Anderson and others. PS Artbooks, 2018. Out of Print.
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Three great pre-code series, originally published by Ziff-Davis, one of the best publishers outside of EC in the early 1950s. These were collected by PS Artbooks in 2016, and now are together at a bargain price, a three-volume set of Space Busters/Space Patrol/Nightmare, Weird Adventures/Weird Thrillers, and Amazing Adventures (lots of title changes). These have lots to love: gorgeous painted cover art by Norman Saunders & Allen Anderson, art from the great Murphy Anderson and others.
Publisher Ziff-Davis didn’t last long in comics, but they did first class work, as good as any comics of the period. It’s been widely accepted that Ziff-Davis came into comics with a serious budget and an eye to success. They hired the best artists and writers, including Superman’s own Jerry Siegel and veteran pulp cover painter, Norman Saunders. And Allen Anderson was no slouch either, having created dozens of striking covers for the pulps, among them Planet Stories covers still much admired today.
Here are the individual descriptions for each volume:
Space Busters – This one’s got it all: EC’s Bernie Krigstein (principal artist in all four “Space” issues), and “The True Story of Flying Saucers” written by Harry Harrison, who went on to win Hugo awards as one of the big names in Science Fiction. Murphy Anderson does a story here, and Everett Raymond Kinstler and George Tuska also contribute!
Amazing Adventures – Oh, boy, we got an out ‘n’ out doozy for you this time, with the six 1950’s issues of Ziff Davis’ Amazing Adventures, brim full with work from the likes of Murphy Anderson, Jerry Siegel (editor/writer), Ogden Whitney, Wally Wood, Norman Saunders, Carmine Infantino, Ross Andru, and a host of other talented writers and artists. #2 contains “The Steel Monster,” a kickass riff on Ted Sturgeon’s “Killdozer” yarn from 1944 (also homaged by Marvel some 20 years later).
Murphy Anderson had been doing great sci-for Planet Comics. Norman Saunders was the premier cover illustrator for pulps and comics. Carmine Infantino was coming into his own, already doing wonderful work for DC’s Strange Adventures and Mystery In Space. And the stories are GOOD! “The Cosmic Brain,” “Escape on a Planetoid,” “Mutineers of Ganymede,” “The Asteroid Treasure,” “Invasion of the Love Robots,” “Secret of the Crater-Men,” “Space Pirates of Xarpot,” “Earth vs. Mars…The Man Who Killed a World, ” “Winged Death on Venus,” “Asteroid Witch,” “Trespasser in Time,” and the list goes on and on.
Weird Adventures – By Frank Giacola, Alex Toth, Howard Nostrand, George Tuska, Murphy Anderson, Sy Barry et al. Sporting what must surely be one of the finest (albeit short) runs of painted covers, Weird Thrillers and the one-shot (numbered 10, go figure) Weird Adventures remain one of the field’s most overlooked entries. Until now. Here also are Gene Colan, Bob Powell, George Tuska, Bill Everett and Joe Kubert! These issues are in a class by themselves, as well as being some great sci-fi, fantasy and horror. And, oh, the covers…each one is a gem.
Collects Weird Adventures #1 (July/August 1951) and Weird Thrillers #1-5 (September/October 1951 to October/November 1952).
Stories include “The Man Who Lived Backward,” “The Seeker from Beyond,” “The Monster and the Model,” “Sandflower of Venus,” a beauty by Alex Toth, robots strike in “The Menace of R-Day,” “The Fisherman of Space,” all the world had perished except “The Last Man.” And how about death strikes twice in “The Cycle of Time,” the monster and the mermaid in “Princess of the Sea,” and “The Stalking Doom.”
The painted covers alone on these are just superb. I remember discovering these as a young collector in the 1960s, and there’d never been fully-painted, pulp style covers in my wheelhouse before. I was entranced, and then you’d open up the comic and find favorite artists, from Wood to Murphy Anderson, doing SCIENCE-FICTION? It just doesn’t get much better than this. They could give EC a run for their money, but Ziff-Davis came into the field when it was flooded with titles, and they pulled the plug rather quickly, leaving only the popular G.I. Joe under their comics banner. But what they did do, they did superbly. Enjoy these, they are head and shoulders above the norm.
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