Weird Science-Fantasy

Weird Science-Fantasy was an American science fiction-fantasy anthology comic, that was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. Over a 14-month span, the comic ran for seven issues, starting in March 1954 with issue #23 and ending with issue #29 in May/June 1955.

Weird Science-Fantasy
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Publication information
PublisherEC Comics
ScheduleQuarterly(1954)/Bimonthly(1955)
FormatAnthology
Publication dateMarch 1954 - May/June 1955
No. of issues7
Creative team
Created byWilliam Gaines
Al Feldstein

Origin

The comic, published by Bill Gaines and edited by Al Feldstein, was a merger of two previous bi-monthly titles, Weird Science and Weird Fantasy, which ran from 1950 to 1953, both ending at issue #22. Because of the losses suffered from those two comics, Gaines and Feldstein combined the two into a single comic, published quarterly and priced at 15 cents. The price would be lowered back down to 10 cents after the first two issues. The comic reverted to a bi-monthly schedule with issue #27 in January/February 1955. In the summer of 1955, there was yet another title change as Weird Science-Fantasy became Incredible Science Fiction for the final four issues.

Artists and writers

Cover illustrations were by Feldstein, Wally Wood, Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta. Artists who drew stories for this EC title were Feldstein, Wood, Williamson, Frazetta, Joe Orlando, Bernard Krigstein, Angelo Torres, George Evans, Reed Crandall and Jack Kamen. Writers included Feldstein, Gaines, Harlan Ellison (who contributed a single story in issue 24), Otto Binder, Jack Oleck, and Carl Wessler.[1]

The final issue featured a cover by Frank Frazetta originally intended for a Famous Funnies cover illustrating Buck Rogers, but it was considered too violent for that comic book. Gaines bought the rights to use the cover (the only instance at EC where Gaines bought only the rights to the art, and not the art itself), and it was used with some minor revisions. The cover was later described by publisher Russ Cochran as "the most outstanding cover ever put on a comic book".[2]

Stories and themes

Issue 26 was a special issue about real reported encounters with flying saucers. Feldstein worked with Major Donald Keyhoe, a former marine pilot who was considered the leading popular writer on the subject at the time.[2]

Influences and adaptations

As with the other EC comics edited by Feldstein, the stories in this comic were primarily based on Gaines reading a large number of science fiction stories and using them to develop "springboards" from which he and Feldstein could launch new stories. Specific story influences that have been identified include the following:

Other stories were authorized adaptations, sometimes with the active participation of the original author. Otto Binder adapted some stories that he and his brother Earl had published in the 1940s. This included "The Teacher From Mars" (#24) and the three-part Adam Link series that appeared in issues 27 through 29.[4]

"The Flying Machine" (#23) and "A Sound of Thunder" (#25) were official adaptations of short stories by Ray Bradbury.[5]

Issue guide

# Date Cover Artist Story Story Artist
23 March 1954 Wally Wood The Children Wally Wood
Fish Story Al Williamson
The Flying Machine Bernard Krigstein
Fair Trade Joe Orlando
24 June 1954 Al Feldstein ...For Posterity Wally Wood
The Teacher From Mars Joe Orlando
The Pioneer Bernard Krigstein
Upheaval! Al Williamson
25 Sept 1954 Al Williamson Flying Saucer Report Wally Wood
A Sound of Thunder Al Williamson
Bellyful Bernard Krigstein
Harvest Joe Orlando
26 Dec 1954 Al Feldstein Special UFO Issue Wally Wood
Joe Orlando
Reed Crandall
George Evans
27 Jan/Feb 1955 Wally Wood Adaptability Wally Wood
Close Shave Reed Crandall
4th Degree Jack Kamen
I, Robot Joe Orlando
28 March/April 1955 Al Feldstein The Inferiors Wally Wood
Lost in Space Al Williamson
Round Trip Jack Kamen
The Trial of Adam Link Joe Orlando
29 May/June 1955 Frank Frazetta The Chosen One Wally Wood
Vicious Circle Al Williamson
Genesis Reed Crandall
Adam Link in Business Joe Orlando

References

  1. ^ Von Bernewitz, Fred and Geissman, Grant. Tales of Terror: The EC Companion (Gemstone Publishing and Fantagraphics Books, Timonium, MD & Seattle, WA, 2000) p. 141-142
  2. ^ a b The Complete EC Library: Weird Science-Fantasy Volume 1. Russ Cochran. 1982.
  3. ^ Von Bernewitz, Fred and Geissman, Grant Tales of Terror: The EC Companion (Gemstone Publishing and Fantagraphics Books, Timonium, MD & Seattle, WA, 2000) p. 141-2
  4. ^ Von Bernewitz, Fred and Geissman, Grant Tales of Terror: The EC Companion (Gemstone Publishing and Fantagraphics Books, Timonium, MD & Seattle, WA, 2000) p. 227
  5. ^ Von Bernewitz, Fred and Geissman, Grant Tales of Terror: The EC Companion (Gemstone Publishing and Fantagraphics Books, Timonium, MD & Seattle, WA, 2000) p. 226

External links

Adam Link

Adam Link is a fictional robot, made in the likeness of a man, who becomes self-aware, and the protagonist of several science fiction short stories written by Eando Binder (Earl and Otto Binder). The stories were originally published in Amazing Stories from 1939 to 1942.

In all, ten Adam Link stories were published. The first was "I, Robot" (not to be confused with the book by Isaac Asimov; see the article on Eando Binder).

Al Williamson

Alfonso Williamson (March 21, 1931 – June 12, 2010) was an American cartoonist, comic book artist and illustrator specializing in adventure, Western and science-fiction/fantasy.

Born in New York City, he spent much of his early childhood in Bogotá, Colombia before moving back to the United States at the age of 12. In his youth, Williamson developed an interest in comic strips, particularly Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon. He took art classes at Burne Hogarth's Cartoonists and Illustrators School, there befriending future cartoonists Wally Wood and Roy Krenkel, who introduced him to the work of illustrators who had influenced adventure strips. Before long, he was working professionally in the comics industry. His most notable works include his science-fiction/heroic fantasy art for EC Comics in the 1950s, on titles including Weird Science and Weird Fantasy.

In the 1960s, he gained recognition for continuing Raymond's illustrative tradition with his work on the Flash Gordon comic-book series, and was a seminal contributor to the Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror comics magazines Creepy and Eerie. Williamson spent most of the 1970s working on his own credited strip, another Raymond creation, Secret Agent X-9. The following decade, he became known for his work adapting Star Wars films to comic books and newspaper strips. From the mid-1980s to 2003, he was primarily active as an inker, mainly on Marvel Comics superhero titles starring such characters as Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Spider-Girl.

Williamson is known for his collaborations with a group of artists including Frank Frazetta, Roy Krenkel, Angelo Torres, and George Woodbridge, which was affectionately known as the "Fleagle Gang". Williamson has been cited as a stylistic influence on a number of younger artists, and encouraged many, helping such newcomers as Bernie Wrightson and Michael Kaluta enter the profession. He has won several industry awards, and six career-retrospective books about him have been published since 1998. Living in Pennsylvania with his wife Corina, Williamson retired in his seventies.

Williamson was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2000.

Carl Wessler

Carroll O. Wessler (May 25, 1913 – April 9, 1989), better known as Carl Wessler, was an American animator of the 1930s and a comic book writer from the 1940s though the 1980s for such companies as DC Comics, EC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Warren Publishing.

Wessler was one of at least five staff writers (officially titled editors) under editor-in-chief Stan Lee at Marvel's 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics.

Gemstone Publishing

Gemstone Publishing is an American company that publishes comic book price guides. The company was formed by Diamond Comic Distributors President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Geppi in 1994 when he bought Overstreet.Gemstone published licensed Disney comic books from June 2003 until November 2008. The company has also reprinted EC Comics of the 1950s.

BOOM! Kids acquired all comic publishing licenses regarding Disney characters in the second half of 2009.

I, Robot (1964 The Outer Limits)

"I, Robot" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 14 November 1964, during the second season. It was remade under the same title in 1995. Leonard Nimoy appeared in both versions.

I, Robot (short story)

"I, Robot" is a science fiction short story by Eando Binder (nom de plume for Earl and Otto Binder), part of a series about a robot named Adam Link. It was published in the January 1939 issue of Amazing Stories, well before the related and better-known book I, Robot (1950), a collection of short stories, by Isaac Asimov. Asimov was heavily influenced by the Binder short story.

Incredible Science Fiction

Incredible Science Fiction was an American science fiction anthology comic published by EC Comics in 1955 and 1956, lasting a total of four issues.

Jack Oleck

Jack Oleck (March 1, 1914 – March 10, 1981) was an American novelist and comic book writer particularly known for his work in the horror genre.

The brother-in-law of comics pioneer Joe Simon, Oleck's comic book career was basically in two parts. During the Golden Age of comics Oleck wrote for EC Comics and the Simon-Jack Kirby Studio. After the mid-1950s temporary collapse of the industry following the publication of Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent and the establishment of the Comics Code Authority, Oleck left comics, instead writing novels and publishing an interior design magazine. From the late 1960s until his death in 1981, Oleck worked for DC Comics as a writer for their extensive line of horror/suspense titles.

Joe Orlando

Joseph "Joe" Orlando (April 4, 1927 – December 23, 1998) was an Italian American illustrator, writer, editor and cartoonist during a lengthy career spanning six decades. He was the associate publisher of Mad and the vice president of DC Comics, where he edited numerous titles and ran DC's Special Projects department.

List of Entertaining Comics publications

Entertaining Comics, commonly known as EC Comics, was a major publisher of comic books in the 1940s and 1950s. The letters EC originally stood for Educational Comics. EC's Pre-Trend titles are those published by Max Gaines and his son William M. Gaines, who took over the family business after his father's death in 1947.

In 1950, with the addition of writer and artist Al Feldstein, EC found success with their New Trend line, including their horror titles Tales From the Crypt The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror. A line of science fiction titles soon followed, Weird Science and Weird Fantasy, illustrated by the best artists in the business, such as Wallace Wood, Reed Crandall, Johnny Craig, George Evans, Graham Ingels, Jack Davis, Bill Elder, Joe Orlando, Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta. In addition to original stories, the books also featured adaptations of Ray Bradbury's short stories.

The New Direction group was a response to the Comics Code Authority. Picto-Fiction was a short-lived line of heavily illustrated short story magazines. Beginning in 1958, EC published annual and special editions of Mad.

Otto Binder

Otto Oscar Binder (August 26, 1911 – October 13, 1974) was an American author of science fiction and non-fiction books and stories, and comic books. He is best known for his many scripts for Captain Marvel Adventures and other stories involving the entire superhero Marvel Family. He was prolific in the comic book field and is credited with writing over 4400 stories across a variety of publishers under his own name, as well as more than 160 stories under the pen-name Eando Binder.

Robert Bernstein (comics)

Robert Bernstein (May 23, 1919 – December 19, 1988), sometimes credited as R. Berns, was an American comic book writer, playwright and concert impresario, notable as the founder of the Island Concert Hall recital series which ran for 15 years on Long Island.

Roy Krenkel

Roy Gerald Krenkel (11 July 1918 – 24 February 1983), who often signed his work RGK, was an American illustrator who specialized in fantasy and historical drawings and paintings for books, magazines and comic books.

Russ Cochran (publisher)

Russ Cochran (; born July 3, 1937) is a publisher of EC Comics reprints, Disney comics and books on Hopalong Cassidy, Chet Atkins, Les Paul and vacuum tubes. He has been a publisher for over 30 years, after quitting his job as a physics professor.

His EC Comics reprints include the black-and-white The Complete EC Library, the four-color EC Annuals, and the full-color hardcover EC Archives.

Cochran has been associated with Another Rainbow Publishing, Gladstone Publishing and Gemstone Publishing.

Sheldon Moldoff

Sheldon Moldoff (; April 14, 1920 – February 29, 2012) was an American comics artist best known for his early work on the DC Comics characters Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and as one of Bob Kane's primary "ghost artists" (uncredited collaborators) on the superhero Batman. He co-created the Batman supervillains Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, the second Clayface, and Bat-Mite, as well as the original heroes Bat-Girl, Batwoman, and Ace the Bat-Hound. Moldoff is the sole creator of the Black Pirate. Moldoff is not to be confused with fellow Golden Age comics professional Sheldon Mayer.

Three Dimensional E.C. Classics

Three Dimensional E.C. Classics was a quarterly comic book anthology series published by EC Comics in 1954. It began publication with its Spring 1954 issue and ceased with its March 1954 issue, producing a total of two issues. The stories it contained were classics in that they were recyclings of stories that had already appeared in earlier EC comic books. They were three-dimensional because they were presented in Anaglyph 3-D. Two 3-D viewers were included with each issue.

Weird Fantasy

Weird Fantasy is a dark fantasy and science fiction anthology comic that was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. The companion comic for Weird Fantasy was Weird Science. Over a four-year span, Weird Fantasy ran for 22 issues, ending with the November–December 1953 issue.

Weird Science (comics)

Weird Science was an American science fiction comic book magazine that was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. Over a four-year span, the comic ran for 22 issues, ending with the November–December, 1953 issue. Weird Fantasy was a sister title published during the same time frame.

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