5 Fingers

Been watching a lot of noir lately and came across this poster for the movie 5 Fingers (1952).

Poster art seems to be a lost skill these days as research shows that big giant, recognizable heads heads on a display is what sells tickets and DVDs. Compare the original 5 Fingers poster with the DVD packaging for the 2006 remake Five Fingers, loosely-based upon the original.

But it isn’t the evolution of movie art that moves me today. Fashion is. The original 5 Fingers poster inspired me to make a proof-of-concept glove inspired by the poster.

I could totally see some hot, dangerous, billiards-playing woman wearing a glove with LUST, GREED, PASSION, DESIRE and SIN embroidered on the fingers in heavy, silver metallic thread. Any wolf that got fresh with her would end up having those words bruise-embossed into his forehead.

Hmm. This idea will probably be ripped off and for sale in a Hot Topic or an Etsy store within the month.

Mysta of the Moon – Chapter 1

Mysta of the Moon is a science fiction adventure serial that ran in Planet Comics from 1945 to 1952. Mysta is one of the most consistent serials in regards to art and story quality to have been published by Fiction House. Mysta originally appeared as a young woman in issue #35 of Planet Comics (March 1945) as a victim of the machinations of Mars, the God of War. Mysta, as the repository of the sum of all knowledge, takes it upon herself to fight Mars and assist humanity out of the ruins of civilization.

Mars was the featured character of an earlier and respected Planet Comics serial. In those stories, the evil Mars would travel the galaxy and possess different people, forcing them to commit horrific acts and spread terror and strife all in the name of conflict. What made this serial different is that often Mars would emerge victorious being defeated only after spreading widespread chaos.

In Planet Comics #35 Mars is waging a war against science and intellectualism when he crosses paths with Mysta and her brother. While this story details Mars’ greatest success, effectively destroying human civilization, it also marks the marginalization of the Mars character as the far more visually appealing Mysta is brought to the forefront as the protector and savior of humanity. By the following issue Mysta headlined her own series and Mars was delegated to only a final cameo.

Out of all the female characters featured in Planet Comics it is Mysta of the Moon that was the strongest in terms of characterization. Unlike many other contemporary characters Mysta largely stood on her own in her adventures. Typically in almost any comic book tale of the era, where a female would often act as the lead in a story it was not unusual to have a man show up near the end of the tale and take charge, wrapping things up as the female character shed angst-filled thought balloons expressing gratitude and unrequited love. Among the Planet Comics entries this was most common among the Gale Allen serial. Mysta, being the most intelligent person in the Universe, would have none of that even though the creative team in the beginning used the “Diana Prince” trope and there is a greater than average amount of gratuitous cheesecake in the stories. Anyone interested in researching a good example of early female empowerment in comic books could do worse than reading the Mysta of the Moon series.

Like many superheroes Mysta, who was the repository of all knowledge, maintained a secret identity so the public at large would not know she was acting as their savior and defender. In her guise as an older and unappealing librarian or technician, Mysta fought criminals, mutant zombies and solved mysteries with the aid of a lab assistant and an unstoppable robot with which she shared a telepathic link.

Planet Comics 35 - Mysta (March 1945) 01

Planet Comics 35 - Mysta (March 1945) 02

Planet Comics 35 - Mysta (March 1945) 03

Planet Comics 35 - Mysta (March 1945) 04

Planet Comics 35 - Mysta (March 1945) 05

Planet Comics 35 - Mysta (March 1945) 06

Planet Comics 35 - Mysta (March 1945) 07

Planet Comics 35 - Mysta (March 1945) 08

Handyman’s Book

Binder and loose-leaf pages found complete at a dollar book sale. Loaded with useful repair tips, diagrams and detailed how-to instructions. Still basically useful except for the parts about vacuum tubes and cloth-insulated wiring.

BH & G Handyman's book cover (1957-1966)

Nice retro cover illustration featuring the swooning, enamored housewife proud of, and presumably wanting to copulate with, her man George.

BH & G Handyman's book interior (1957-1966)

I don’t know about this living room. An aquamarine color scheme with the chair camouflaged to disappear into the carpeting. I never knew the Camelot era was so tacky.

Better Homes and Gardens Handyman’s Book (1957 cover binder, updated to 1966 interior loose-leaf pages).

One for the Wish List

With my birthday coming up in the next couple of weeks the wife asked me what I wanted as a gift. Without hesitation I told her I want bed covers embroidered on the side with the phrase CONTINUED AFTER NEXT PAGE.

When the wife asked for what purpose I could possibly want anything like that I informed her that it was so I could throw myself sobbing on the bed in order to perfectly emulate this comic book panel from Personal Love #2 (Nov-Dec 1958).

I don’t think a day would pass where I wouldn’t act out the scene at least twice.

I’ll probably just get a new Leatherman or Gerber multi-tool, though. My wife doesn’t get my humor.

Essential Futura

For those who don’t have the patience to search backwards, forwards and all over the site for the Futura tales here is a collection of handy links to the complete essential and awesomely butt-kicking Futura Saga.

Futura vs. Futura (Some Words on the Futura Saga)

Futura – Chapter 1

Futura – Chapter 2

Futura – Chapter 3

Futura – Chapter 4

Futura – Chapter 5

Futura – Chapter 6

Futura – Chapter 7

Futura – Chapter 8

Futura – Chapter 9

Futura – Chapter 10

Futura – Chapter 11

Futura – Chapter 12

Futura – Chapter 13

Futura – Chapter 14

Futura – Chapter 15

Futura – Chapter 16

Futura – Chapter 17

Futura – Chapter 18

Futura – Chapter 19

Futura – Chapter 20

Futura – Chapter 21

Futura – Chapter 22

The Vizigraph: Planet Comics letters pages featuring Futura

1980s Planet Comics characters revival featuring Futura, Gale Allen and Mysta (Adult Themes).