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Week 155 - Adrift In Space

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topic icon Author Topic: Week 155 - Adrift In Space  (Read 826 times)

MarkWarner

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Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« on: February 09, 2017, 07:31:36 PM »

I'm in a bit of a rush as I have to sort out a ham I have just cooked before the dogs decide to lend a hand (or is that a paw) and I have beans on toast instead.

This week's book has been on "the list" for a bit of time now.  It is an Aussie Sci-fi comic, so my bet is that it will get a collective thumbs up from the group. It appears to be one c2c story so my advice is to get cracking on it!

Adrift In Space can be found here: http://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=29672. Got to dash ...

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Captain Audio

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2017, 08:31:23 PM »

Ah yes the great Jupiterian invasion of 1990, I remember it well.

The story was good and the artwork not bad at all, but the way the panels are laid out made choosing which panel was next in sequence a bit vexing at times.
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misappear

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2017, 11:18:58 PM »

I don't now if I've ever read a comic quite like this one.  The art was alternately crude and amazing.  Photo reference use here was obvious.  Also, do I remember the metro view of Sydney as a swipe from Metropolis? 

I know......a product of its time, but the lettering was distractingly bad. 

The narration also kept switching from the present to the past tense.  Mistakes like that really annoy me.  But then, look at the present pathetic popular media to see grammar at its worst.....

The story did move at quite the pace.  And our heroes did blow up Terror Planet regardless of friend or foe on the surface, right? 

Still and all.....a unique vision
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narfstar

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2017, 12:31:45 PM »

I sometimes felt like I was reading Ax Cop. It seemed to written on the fly by a young teen. By a teen who had been bullied based on his torture of being pinched and having his nose hair pulled. Why Boris did no just escape when the girl let him free baffles me. Well a lot of the book baffles me actually. When Boris does escape he passes, the more developed, Mars to go to unknown Earth. I would not enjoy the comic if it was a newly written masterpiece, but as a product of the times I can say it was fun.
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Morgus

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2017, 10:00:32 PM »

The echoes and re-takes of FLASH GORDON pop up in the most curious places. Two panels on page 21 and 24 have characters that seem to rise in the background the same way the ghosts did in the CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED comics. Can't figure out why the Jupiterians looked like Mexican bandidos. It is also one of the few times that a Canadian city has been singled out for destruction...Ottawa...I think we had to wait until the WAR OF THE WORLDS movie for the next moment in the sun.
Like narfstar and misappear, the comic books sense of style and point of view is pretty fascinating to me. Who were these guys? How long did they have to do this?
Guess we'll never know.
Would things have gotten better if this had been a hit, or would it have stayed the same quality wise? And would it have gotten less weird?
A fun read that kept things moving.
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crashryan

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 02:32:24 AM »

With its hyper-manic energy, this comic is so much fun that I forgive it (almost) for being a complete mess. I agree with Narf: it reads like it was written by an eager schoolboy. The chaotic script is full of contradictions, not to mention poor grammar and a maddening tendency to bounce between past and present tense narration in the same panel. It also annoys me that the first half of the book is Boris Aladra's extended flashback. I kept expecting him to turn out to be a bad guy. That's what happens when you name your hero Boris. Cook shovels in enough bizarre creatures to fill ten ordinary s-f comics. I wonder about those taunting one-eyed bullies who pull Boris' nose hair and pinch him. Oh, sorry, that was nose and hair.

Digression: I've seen residents of Jupiter called Jovians and Jupiterians, but "Jupitean" is new to me. How do you pronounce it? Joo-PITT-ee-yun? Or Joo-pit-EE-yun?

The art is as haphazard as the story. There's no logic in the panel-to-panel progression. Even when Cook breaks down and uses arrows, it's not clear which arrow to follow first! The art looks good, thanks to copious swipes from Flash Gordon and photographs. Noel Cook must also have collected s-f pulps. Panel two on page six is lifted, astronauts and all, from a Frank Paul illustration in the Autumn, 1930, Wonder Stories Quarterly and the "mother ships" on the next page come from the Spring, 1930 Amazing Stories Quarterly.

With so much wrong about this comic, I should find it pitiful. For whatever reason (perhaps mental deficiency) I love it instead. I wonder if Noel Cook produced any more comics.

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crashryan

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 02:55:45 AM »

I should have Googled first and asked questions later. I easily found information about Noel Cook. He turns out to have had a long, successful career of some importance. He was no teenager. Cook was born in New Zealand 1896 and died in 1981. After creating a ton of comics in Australia, including a couple of newspaper strips, he moved to London in 1950 and became an art director at Fleetway.

Here is an extensive biography of Cook. It includes a bibliography which dates Adrift in Space somewhere around 1945.

http://noelcook.comics.org.nz/
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 03:00:20 AM by crashryan »
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paw broon

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2017, 05:35:03 PM »

I'm a bit late getting to this new selection, having been trying to get my pc back to what I'm used to after the shop repaired it.  This comic intrigued me and before I read it, I thought I'd try to track down Koala Comics.  Crash got there a bit before me with his info. on Noel Cook, but I've had a search for histories of Aus. comics and, as the indicia at the back says, this is published by Emvee Publishing Company, Sydney.
The site, https://ausreprints.net  , lists 5 series of Koala Comics, 4 one shots - 1945/6 - and another series of 5 issues running to 1949.  #6 appears to be a rip off of Spy Smasher by Noel Cook, even down to the Spy Smasher drawing on the front page.  I've now noticed that "Spy Breaker" also features in #2.
Have a look at the site here:-
https://ausreprints.net/publisher/603
Any further info. on this publisher/imprint greatly received.
I'll have a read at the comic later
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 06:19:04 PM by paw broon »
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Captain Audio

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2017, 07:31:19 PM »

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EHowie60

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 02:52:15 PM »

This is an interesting one. As others have noted, this comic seems sort of rough around the edges. Was this a one-man job? The strange pace and black and white format end up reminding me of black and white indie comic from the 1980s. Maybe Cook was ahead of his time.

The way he breaks panel captions in mid...

sentence really messes with the flow of the story. The panel order is also weird, the arrows don't help much.

But pacing aside, the art is pretty good. Love the spaceships on p. 6, the robots on p. 8. Everybody's outfits are very Flash Gordon.

The aliens attack Earth's largest cities! New York! London! Ottawa! ...Ottawa? I love how that was the alien's first pick. If the author wanted more impact, why not throw Brisbane or Auckland in there? Can't do Sydney, the story is set in Sydney.

Love the train on p. 27. Reminds me of the German experimental Schienenzeppelin. And the cosmic ray machine on p. 30! Sci fi machinery is definitely Cook's strong suit.

All in all, a fun read. But am I wrong, or was no one in the comic ever adrift in space?
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paw broon

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 04:22:32 PM »

As E notes, this is an interesting one.  The idea is really rather good and the art at times is well done, then it looks as if he was rushed or got fed up.  But the layout is confusing.  At times Cook inserts an arrow leading to the next panel, and occasionally numbers a panel.  None of which in any way makes this easier to follow. Then there's the writing and the disconnect when sentences are broken up between panels, plus the tense changes.
Yet, with all that in mind the reader gets future civilisation, atom ships, space travel, scientific gobbledygook, bad aliens, a wee bit of torture, adventure, monsters, fights, chases, ray guns.  It's such a pity that it doesn't flow.  There's something to be said for a six square panel page.
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Captain Audio

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2017, 05:23:54 AM »

I'd really like to see some of his other work.
The 1926 comic "Lost in Space" looks like a good one.
I've always liked stories with derelict space craft discovered by human explorers.
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SuperScrounge

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2017, 11:25:49 PM »

Adrift In Space - Ah, the future... the year 1990... what will things be like then?  ;) Confusing use of panel order. The typos are annoying as well. Otherwise not necesarily bad for an old sci-fi comic. Not sure what year this was done, but recognized one swipe from a Flash Gordon strip.
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bowers

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 02:25:12 AM »

 It took me three tries to make it through this one. Illogical panel sequences and a very choppy narration was enough to pretty much put me off this one. It was almost more trouble than it was worth to finish it. The art was sometimes good, often crude. The writing was a bit childish and hard to follow in places. Interesting as a product of it's time, but really nothing special. Cheers, Bowers 
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MarkWarner

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2017, 03:33:58 PM »

An Aussie got me and I guess the site into "the mess" we are in today. Using late 80's  terminology I was a "user" and Steve a "Computing Contractor". He was one of the 4 or 5 people who helped me break down the granite wall and transfer into my work's IT department. And the rest is history! So I have a soft spot for those residing "down-under".

Plus I like Australian's general gung-ho attitude to life and sport. However, this does not transfer too well when laying out a comic book page. I frequently got lost and confused about where I was in the story and what to read next

Verdict: Not a very good performance and only just a "cosmic powered" hit. The art work was rather good which just about saved it.
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John Kerry

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Re: Week 155 - Adrift In Space
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2017, 11:08:22 PM »

Neglected to put in my two cents worth earlier. This would have been a pretty decent story back in the early days of sci-fi. Unfortunately  once the pictures got added it became a bit more difficult to follow. The art was actully pretty decent, just not as linear in panel presentation as I would have liked. I enjoyed it though. Of course this the type of SF the Spec- Fic crowd of the seventies would have hated. Ah well, their lost.
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