Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Worlds Unknown in local comic book shop

This past weekend I was in a Nashville comic book store with a young friend. While he was looking over the used video games my eye fell on the comics just beneath the PS3 shelves and I spotted the cover of a 1973 Marvel comic called Worlds Unknown. I’m a fan of the comics of the 1970s as those are the books I grew up reading and I love revisiting those four color dramas of my youth as well as reading the ones I missed. Growing up in rural Tennessee and Alabama meant that I was never able to get every issue of any comic no matter how much I loved it or how hard I tried to make to the few places that sold the beloved things. Marvel comics of that era are especially fun for me and when I get the chance to look through boxes of cheap old comics it is invariably that company's output I gravitate toward. But I had never seen a single copy of this particular title. In the box before me there were six different issues and as I flipped through the bagged and boarded books I realized that the short lived series featured adaptations of classic science fiction short stories. I was interested but not over much until I saw the cover of issue number 3. HOLY CRAP!

This issue contains an adaptation of Harry Bates’ story ‘Farewell to the Master’ that has now been filmed twice by Hollywood as THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. How had I never heard of this comic book version until now? A while back I read Bates tale and re-watched the 1951 film in preparation for the new version’s theatrical release. At the time I thought I had covered the subject as well as I could but I clearly missed this. Of course I grabbed the issue immediately and happily paid the $2.99 asking price to take it home. I’d love to tell you if it’s any good or if it’s a close adaptation of the short story but I still haven’t pulled it from its comic bag. I just keep staring at the cover in wonder. I even found a scan of the first page online instead of reading the book right in front of me.

I’ll read it soon – really I will. But right now I’m just enjoying the fact that I can still find things of this vintage that I have no knowledge of at all. In an odd way it makes me very happy.

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