Monday, December 07, 2009

STRANGE ADVENTURES No. 237 "The Skyscraper That Came to Life!"

Above: obviously, a mint collector's edition, huh? This well loved comic with an anthropomorphic Empire State Building was one of the first comics I bought. I got rid of it in 1986 when I sold a lot of my comics and, seeing it for sale years later, bought it back again for 2 1/2 times its 20 cents cover price at a NYC comic book store.

This is STRANGE ADVENTURES No. 237, July-August, 1972. It's copyright 1972 by National Periodical Publications. Now, this story, "The Skyscraper That Came to Life!" by John Broome, is by no means a classic in literature, but it had a unique take on alien invasion.

The 7 page story is actually a rerun, having been originally published in STRANGE ADVENTURES #72 in September 1956.

You can see the serious spine roll in this read and re-read comic book.

So, here's the "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" moment: the invading aliens have CGI (or, at best, really, really good PowerPoint animations). 1950s Earth does not!

After seeing that uninvited couple crash the White House event last week, the idea that any slob (human or alien) can walk into a movie producer's office and get a Hollywood deal is more believable.

All of the aliens look like they work at Sterling Cooper.

"The invasion of Earth is cancelled!" Well, there you have it. 7 pages of fun and, for me, happy memories.

And, of course, what's a comic without the ads!

I wonder if this "Cartoon for Money" correspondence school ever had any famous grads?

Oh, and it looks like there's this little convention in San Diego. Might be worth going to. Hmm.

Postscript: Reading this comic in Lawrence, Kansas, I never thought that one day I would actually know one of the guys who drew it. I'm glad to say that I've known Joe Giella, who now draws MARY WORTH, for years now -- having first met him at a Long Island Chapter National Cartoonists Society lunch -- and many lunches and get togethers since!

Small cartoony world! I think I'm growing to love and admire this planet!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was one of those titles I remember seeing but missed getting a chance to read; thanks for allowing me to make up for lost time...

A few observations:

* So how the heck does animating a skyscraper make it a threat? Assuming you can get over the whole structural instability issue (the fact that such shocks the structure would take might make it shake apart every time it took a step), there's the whole problem of just how far you can make a building run on such legs.

* Yeah, I know, during the 50s you had artistes like Herschell Gordon Lewis and Roger Corman releasing films, but that had to be a ridiculously easy pitch meeting...

* The story was not half as exciting as the add for the first ComicCon; now THAT was a find!

Thanks again for this piece.