Review: 'My Favorite Martian: The Complete Series, Volume One'

My Favorite Martian: The Complete Series, Volume One, Hermes Press, $49.99


I applaud Hermes Press for reprinting all the Gold Key books that Dark Horse and Dynamite Entertainment don't have the rights to, which is pretty much all the TV-to-comics stuff. So I want to read My Favorite Martian: The Complete Series, Volume One, and Volume Two, if there is one.

 

But let's not kid ourselves. This is bad comics, derived from bad TV. I'm buying and reading it pro forma. There's no other reason to.

 

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Not to threadjack this discussion of My Favorite Martian comic books (How much longer can it go on, really?), but yesterday EKDJ requested information about the Dark Shadows Story digest. Last October I posted the following:

Dark Shadows Story Digest: In 1970, released 144-page “Story digest Magazines” of four of its best-selling titles. There weren’t second issues of any of them, from which we may infer they didn’t sell too well. They featured prose stories accompanied by dozens of full-page illustrations, much like “Big Little Books.” Dark Shadows Story Digest was written by Donald J, Arneson and illustrated by Joe Certa, both of whom worked on the Gold Key Dark Shadows comic book series. Certa supplied 35 full-page, two-color illustrations plus six smaller pieces for the beginnings of certain chapters. The original illustrations were either black-and-purple or black-and-green, but they’ve been recolored to match the comics for this reprint edition.

The 24 chapter “Interrupted Voyage” features Barnabas (who is not a vampire in this story) and Angelique from the TV series, and introduces Captain Daniel Collins, his daughter Annabella, her fiancé Michael, and a witch named Calandra, all of whom lived in Salem Massachusetts in the year 1810. The ghost of Annabella appears to Barnabas in a room at Collinwood which was built by her father from pieces of the shipwrecked Silent Arrow, in which she drowned when she was 18 years old. Barnabas travels in time to save her life and reunite her with Michael, whose soul never reached the afterlife because he had been transformed into a zombie by Calandra.

“Interrupted Voyage” is a juvenile tale of black magic, romance, vampirism and a (historically inaccurate) Salem witchcraft trial. I think it would appeal to little kids who are familiar with the original series, but any kids who will first encounter the world of Dark Shadows via the upcoming theatrical movie will likely not care for it.

Captain Comics:

"But let's not kid ourselves. This is bad comics, derived from bad TV. I'm buying and reading it pro forma. There's no other reason to."

Why would you want to do that?

Incidentally, I clicked on this thread out of curiosity because, a couple years ago, I plowed thru re-reading some of my oldest, most obscure comics, and was reminded I have one issue of MY FAVORITE MARTIAN. And, from the POV of age and maturity, I was quite surprised at the level of profesionalism in the issue I had. The art was nice, it captured the likenesses of the actors, and the writing was MUCH better than most comics I have from that period, and it seemed to me, better than that on the TV show.

Of course, that one issue may be a fluke. I know a lot of these kind of books didn't have regular creative teams. I mean, look at King's MANDRAKE. If memory serves, nobody who worked on the 1st issue came back for later ones.

Okay , thank you , I guess I hadn't seen or had forgotten that .

  What were the other 3 SDs ? Ripley's , and...I am NOT HAPPY about that re-coloring !!!!!!!!!

  WHY THE F*CK DO THEY - PAH !!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Not to threadjack this discussion of My Favorite Martian comic books (How much longer can it go on, really?), but yesterday EKDJ requested information about the Dark Shadows Story digest. Last October I posted the following:

Dark Shadows Story Digest: In 1970, released 144-page “Story digest Magazines” of four of its best-selling titles. There weren’t second issues of any of them, from which we may infer they didn’t sell too well. They featured prose stories accompanied by dozens of full-page illustrations, much like “Big Little Books.” Dark Shadows Story Digest was written by Donald J, Arneson and illustrated by Joe Certa, both of whom worked on the Gold Key Dark Shadows comic book series. Certa supplied 35 full-page, two-color illustrations plus six smaller pieces for the beginnings of certain chapters. The original illustrations were either black-and-purple or black-and-green, but they’ve been recolored to match the comics for this reprint edition.

The 24 chapter “Interrupted Voyage” features Barnabas (who is not a vampire in this story) and Angelique from the TV series, and introduces Captain Daniel Collins, his daughter Annabella, her fiancé Michael, and a witch named Calandra, all of whom lived in Salem Massachusetts in the year 1810. The ghost of Annabella appears to Barnabas in a room at Collinwood which was built by her father from pieces of the shipwrecked Silent Arrow, in which she drowned when she was 18 years old. Barnabas travels in time to save her life and reunite her with Michael, whose soul never reached the afterlife because he had been transformed into a zombie by Calandra.

“Interrupted Voyage” is a juvenile tale of black magic, romance, vampirism and a (historically inaccurate) Salem witchcraft trial. I think it would appeal to little kids who are familiar with the original series, but any kids who will first encounter the world of Dark Shadows via the upcoming theatrical movie will likely not care for it.

...I've meant to start a line about King Comics in general .

  BTW , didn't 1965 see a big rise in the number of comics issued , even before the Batman TV series happened , with several new start-up companies , for one ???????????

  Including King...I think KIng was started from a place of attempting to copy Gold Key , thee earlier Kings even bypassed the Code , as GK did !!!!!!!!!

Henry R. Kujawa said:

Captain Comics:

"But let's not kid ourselves. This is bad comics, derived from bad TV. I'm buying and reading it pro forma. There's no other reason to."

Why would you want to do that?

Incidentally, I clicked on this thread out of curiosity because, a couple years ago, I plowed thru re-reading some of my oldest, most obscure comics, and was reminded I have one issue of MY FAVORITE MARTIAN. And, from the POV of age and maturity, I was quite surprised at the level of profesionalism in the issue I had. The art was nice, it captured the likenesses of the actors, and the writing was MUCH better than most comics I have from that period, and it seemed to me, better than that on the TV show.

Of course, that one issue may be a fluke. I know a lot of these kind of books didn't have regular creative teams. I mean, look at King's MANDRAKE. If memory serves, nobody who worked on the 1st issue came back for later ones.

I think the only 2 King Comics I have in my entire collection are MANDRAKE #1 and FLASH GORDON #5.  The first I got around when it came out, the other decades later.  I'd already been reading about Al Williamson, I may have already seen his work on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, when I picked up that one as a back-issue out of curiosity.  GORGEOUS artwork!

The MANDRAKE comic, by the way, featured work by both Don Heck and Werner Roth-- but on separate stories. Isn't it amazing how they were teamed up later for X-MEN?  The strange thing is, I found Roth's MANDRAKE storytelling much more interesting and exciting than anything he did on X-MEN (until he started pencilling over Heck's layouts).

I have far more Gold Keys... most of which are issues of BORIS KARLOFF.

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