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Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus

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topic icon Author Topic: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus  (Read 234 times)

MarkWarner

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Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« on: September 13, 2017, 05:40:57 PM »

I have a BIG CONFESSION to make, I think I have lost some reading group suggestions. So if we have not already read yours PLEASE message me them again. And of course let me know of any new ideas you have!

This week's book comes from a suggestion I received way back early February  2016. It has somehow slipped the net. I am not sure how as it has a really great title and an even better cover.

The main story "An Earth Man on Venus" is a 25 pager and the book can be found here!  http://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=14923.

Happy reading!!

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narfstar

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 08:32:57 PM »

Can we say Wally Wood art? Oh yes we can and lots of it. Every splash page made this book fun to look at. Reading it was another matter. If I want to read Burroughs then I would read Burroughs. If I wanted to read a Burroughs knock off I would read Klien.
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SuperScrounge

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2017, 02:24:10 PM »

An Earth Man On Venus - When I was a kid I thought I read the book version, but I guess I must have read a sequel to the original novel. Sadly the reducing of a novel to 25 pages tends to make the story suffer. I assume the sense of wonder and descriptions of things in the original novel were more entertaining. One wonders how this comic would have read if they had the miniseries format back then and could have focused on elements that seem more like a travelogue here?

The Lost Princess - Eh. Amazing that the princess' language sounded exactly like English.

Seems like the last two ad pages are out of order.
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Kracalactaka

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2017, 07:59:08 PM »

another "fun to look at" but story lacks book, but that's ok (most of the time I don't read the story any how  ;D )

I'd have loved to see EC's take on this cover
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The Australian Panther

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2017, 06:18:20 AM »

-   Frontispiece – Wood’s Art looks so much better in black and white.
-   Reading notes contained in a pure gold cylinder that fell out of the sky’
-   Interesting way to tell a story Very wordy but I think Wood does an excellent job of adapting the story.
-   How does he lose his clothes? He has a fight and then is dressed like the hulk.
-   The Kerkool looks more like a motorbike.
-   Headhones that amplify the sound of radiation? Geiger counter in other words. So, entirely logical.
-   ‘The Lost Princess’ – Idea comes from Rider Haggards’ SHE but it is well done.
Just had to share this, because I think most of us would   agree with the conclusion,
“[Ralph Milne Farley - Roger Sherman Hoar] was the real deal.   This was a genuinely brilliant, highly educated, extremely competent man.   The other thing was that he didn't have to write.   A Radio Man novel wasn't putting bread on his table, not in the 1920s.   Rather, he loved the stuff.   His novels, and his obvious inspiration from Burroughs' Martian works, were hardly commercial.   If the Radio Man series was ERB inspired, it wasn't a commercial rip off, rather, it was an honest to god tribute.  A labour of love by a man who was simply swept away by John Carter and Barsoom, and was inspired to write his own.   Frankly, I think that's just terrific, and that kind of inspired native enthusiasm, the simple love of the story and the craft, that makes me forgive a lot.
 The thing is that as readers, its important that we love what we read.   We read Burroughs for the sheer joy of the experience, the pleasure of it.   Other readers get it from John Updike I suppose, good for them.   But I think it's a wonderful testament when someone is so inspired and so joyed by what he reads, that he's motivated to pick up pen and join the art”.

http://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1514.html

Another great choice to read and think about.


 
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K1ngcat

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2017, 10:37:00 AM »

First read this as a kid in an IW reprint in Strange Planets (on CB+ here: http://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=62145 ) which excised the B&W intro page, and suffered from very poor colour printing, but you can't disguise the quality of Wally Wood's work here and it's a fine tale, with its similarities to H Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs which the Panther points out.  A childhood favourite which loses nothing over time.
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crashryan

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2017, 05:42:55 AM »

The generic cover is nothing special, but when you turn the page--bang! Wallace Wood hits you with a brilliant black-and-white inside cover and doesn't let up until the last ant is trampled. Wood was just hitting his stride here, warming up for his EC masterpieces. His art alone earns the book 10 stars.

The story isn't bad. On the whole I like comics adapted from novels. Books offer richer, more complex stories than most comics. This story captures the original's spirit of adventure in a strange world. Unfortunately it also demonstrates the downside of adapting plot-heavy novels. The writer must rush through many scenes in order to squeeze everything in, leaving too many pages with too many small panels. The claustrophobic feeling is abetted by unusually large Leroy lettering. They could have gained a couple of pages by dumping the framing sequence.

As others have pointed out, the story is derivative. That doesn't bother me. It's a fun romp. Farley could have used help naming his critters, though. "Blue-Jawed Woofus" doesn't exactly curdle the blood.

The Valley of Howling Stones is a clever idea. When Myles is dumped there he's hammered by deafening noise.  But when he loses his strap-on radio, Myles discovers that in reality the valley is silent. The rocks generate painful interference which the Cupians' internal radios "hear" as noise. Myles is lucky: unlike the Cupians he can turn his receiver off.

The final story, She Light, is competently done, but it suffers from having to follow Wood's incredible art.
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Morgus

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2017, 03:02:01 PM »

you know crash, it would be interesting to trace back how far 'fan fiction' goes...because this is what it is...about half way through I remembered a MAD magazine parody of a Readers Digest condensation of GONE WITH THE WIND where someone says something like; "This is going so fast it's going to be World War I before the next page." There was very much that sort of jet thrust. Great art and cool babes by Wally Wood. Wonderful way to end the summer. If we are lucky, my grandkids will be reading Burroughs and Haggard. And now, thanks to DVD, the black and white version of the movie of SHE will be around too.
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SuperScrounge

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2017, 07:50:15 PM »

Thanks for the link Panther. The book I read was The Radio Beasts.

Morgus - The cartoonist who does (did?) the webcomic King Arthur Through Time And Space once suggested that The Odyssey was just Homer doing the ultimate fanfic uniting various myths and legends of the Trojan War. While on the surface his comment was very tongue-in-cheek, I think he felt there was some truth to it.

Depending on how you define fanfic it's probably almost as old as literature itself (or what we consider literature to be). I believe there were ripoffs and pastiches of Sherlock Holmes while Doyle was still writing stories. Of course, some feel that Holmes was a copy/fanfic of Poe's C. Auguste Dupin.

Then there are all the 'bastard' children of Tarzan out there, running around in different jungles, some genderbent, some disguised as superheroes, etc.
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narfstar

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2017, 12:44:05 AM »

I may re-read this as a homage rather than a rip-off. I don't mind another jungle man or adventurer on Mars. This story just seemed too similar to me. I felt the same when I read Klein. It seemed more like they were following a Burroughs formula rather than writing their own stories.
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paw broon

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 05:29:27 PM »

Lovely to look at, too wordy to read. Not knowing this was an adaptation, I read it as an original and it didn't really work for me.  He grew a beard sharpish.  Lots of action with the hero falling into one danger after another.
Did the ants know Formia was connected to formic acid? Which wouldn't have been called that in Antish.
Sorry, nitpicking.
As for SuperScrounge mentioning ripoffs and pastiches of Holmes, well, yes there were. Here we had a tv series featuring some of those rivals:-
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167703/
There's a book collecting some of the stories:-
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1735782.The_Rivals_of_Sherlock_Holmes
Going back to Venus, I think now that it's the size of the type that makes it all seem so wordy.
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The Australian Panther

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venusand is excellent.
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2017, 05:51:58 AM »

Re Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.

These were reprints of work done during the same era when the Holmes stories were originally published.  More accurately, 'Contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes.'   

They were collected by Hugh Greene and his more famous brother Grahame Green who were both huge fans and collectors of what you might call 'Victorian Pulps'

From their collections, there were 4 Rivals of Holmes books,
 
    The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: Early Detective Stories (1971)
    Cosmopolitan Crimes: Foreign Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1971)
    The Further Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1973)
    The American Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1979)

and one book on classic spy stories.

The Spy's Bedside Book (ed. with Graham Greene) (1957)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Greene

The TV series would have been produced while Hugh was Director of the BBC. it is excellent. Worth getting the box set.
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neil meikle

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2017, 09:46:01 AM »

If anybody would like to read The Radio Man or The Radio Planet they can both be downloaded from Project Gutenberg.
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MarkWarner

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Re: Week 178 - Avon Fantasy - An Earth Man on Venus
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2017, 03:56:52 PM »

This was a strange book as I started off really not liking it, cursing the amount of words and thinking of all the 101 things I should be doing.

But page by page it sucked me in and by the end I had forgotten about all the undone chores and was thoroughly enjoying it. Yes the story really was rather corny, but the art was excellent throughout.

Verdict: A hit. An act that got better the longer it run!
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