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Starlog #20 — 50th Happy Birthday Buck Rogers

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:55 pm    Post subject: Starlog #20 — 50th Happy Birthday Buck Rogers Reply with quote

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I found this little gem in Starlog issue #20. Very Happy

Click on each page here to see a large, easy-to-read version you can zoom in on. Click on the large version again, and then zoom in as close as you want!

Below each image you'll see this:

Click here to see the original page above, before I enhanced it.

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~ Click here to see the original page above, before I enhanced it.




~ Click here to see the original page above, before I enhanced it.




~ Click here to see the original page above, before I enhanced it.




~ Click here to see the original page above, before I enhanced it.




~ Click here to see the original page above, before I enhanced it.

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I’m happy to report that this article relates the origin and history of Buck Rogers, rather than just presenting a retelling of the original plot and subsequent versions. In fact, it’s a treasure trove of information about the birth and development of the character, and the people who made it all happen.

One of the many interesting things I learned was that John Flint Dille (the president of the National Newspaper Service Syndicate in 1930) wanted to start a science fiction comic strip, and he not only established a strip for Buck Rogers, the stories sometimes focused on the space adventures of Buddy Derring (Wilma Derrings younger brother) and Princess Alura of Mars! These two madcap teens explored the solar system and got in to perilous situations, often being rescued by Buck and Wilma!

The article gives full credit to the writers and artists who created the strip — which means that Buck Brewster of the 21st Century can use his “computer” and the World Wide Web to find more information about these men, along with examples of their work!

Gosh, I just love living in the future . . . Cool

The daily and Sunday comic strips ran from 1930 until the mid-1960s — a thirty-five year run of imaginative space adventures which would probably make a wonderful soft-bound book in the large size, with all the strips beautifully printed like a giant comic book!

Here’s what one page might have looked like, with a remarkably long strip from the 1937 Sunday edition of the LA Times!






Looks great, doesn’t it? Very Happy

In 1939, Buck Rogers leapt off the pages of newspapers nation wide and conquered the big screen in the Universal serial. But way back in 1931, John Dille and writer Phil Nowland had plans for a Buck Rogers movie, encouraged by the success of a hit radio version which premiered in 1932.

In 1933 they campaigned to get a serial made which starred Buster Crabb, whom they deemed the perfect choice for Buck Rogers. But a serial didn’t interest Hollywood until Buster Crab thrilled the world in three Flash Gordon serials between 1936 and 1940.

In the original comic strips, Buck was working in a mine when a strange gas put him into suspended animation for 500 years. In the serial, he and his sidekick Buddy were flying a Zeppelin over the North Pole, and when it crashed the escaping gas in the Zeppelin — Nirvano (I kid you not . . . ) — put the boys out for half-a-millennium.

A theatrical version of the serial (edited together from the serials) was released in 1953, and re-released in 1965. Believe it or not, it was released again in the late 1970s, and I went to see it with a friend and fellow artist from my college art classes.

We tried to love it, but as we all know, serials don’t really work when you watch them back-to-back, and they’re even worse when you cut them up and try to make them into a movie.

After all, none of the chapters have any quiet, character-building moments, romantic interludes, or thoughtful plot exposition. So, a condensed version is just one long, action-packed buildup to cliffhangers which are instantly resolved, with no chance whatsoever for us to wonder how the heroes survived the fall-from-a-cliff, or the violent explosion, or the horrible collapse of a cave.

The rest of this fine article provides additional information about other aspects of the Buck Rogers craze, including the toys which were sold to promote Buck and his various adventures, along with quotes from interviews with Buster Crabb as to why there were three Flash Gordon serials, but only one Buck Rogers serial.

I’ve only commented on the first half of the article, so there’s a lot more for you guys to enjoy. I highly recommend this fine review of Buck Rogers and all his many incarnations over the last 88 years!

Enjoy it, folks! I did. Very Happy

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I found ten good copies of the Sunday newspaper comic strips of Buck Rogers, and I've posted them here with 700-pixel-wide "display friendly" versions which fit well on laptop monitors, along with 1325-pixel-wide "super sharp" versions embedded in each jpeg below. Very Happy

I realize that some of our members wonder why I request that images on All Sci-Fi be no larger than 700 pixels wide. For the record, most image hosting service like Imgur list 640 pixels as the right size for message boards.






In fact, other message boards like Star Trek BBS have "posting rule" like the one below for their members. (The rule I've quoted is located about halfway down the page at the link below).
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Picture size. Short guide: The smaller, the better. If it stretches the page, you've messed up. Also - if you're quoting someone who used pictures in their post, there's no need to repeat that picture in your thread.
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A few years ago I discussed this issue with our late co-site administrator and technical whiz Randy Everett, and during our discussion he suddenly discovered that his large 26" monitor was actually set at 66% zoom, instead of the standard 100%, which was why he hadn't understood until that moment my request for the 700 pixel wide jpegs. Shocked

Once Randy realized that large monitors like the one he used were displaying All Sci-Fi very differently than laptops like mine (and those belonging to other members), he understood my request for 700 pixel wide images. Very Happy

So, please don't think I'm being unreasonable concerning All Sci-Fi's courteous request to keep jpegs at 700 pixels or smaller.

I know that our members who have desktop computers with large displays don't have the same problem that those of us with laptops do. But I want All Sci-Fi to work well for all our members!

After all, All Sci-Fi is supposed to look like this on your computer, with a 700px wide image which fills the screen.






It isn't supposed to look like it does on this laptop, which one of our members posted a picture of several years ago to show why he felt that 700-pixel-wide images were much smaller than they needed to be.





It turned out that he too had his monitor set well below 100%, the same way Randy did. Notice how much smaller my current avatar is on his screen when compared to my old avatar on my monitor in the picture above his. Very Happy

Your help in making all of our jpegs work well with the text they share our computer screens with will be greatly appreciated. Cool

And now . . . Buck Rogers!






















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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:36 am; edited 3 times in total
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a marvelous book collecting a great many of the earliest strips called THE COLLECTED BUCK ROGERS from 1966.



A huge book.....



including dailies and a color section of sundays.





Copies show up on Ebay frequently and I've seen it offered on Amazon. I have my original hardcover, but I believe a softcover edition was also released.

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

That is wonderful!

And those pictures are stunning. Thanks, Gord.

Amazon has a few dozen copies from various sellers, with the conditions ranging from "very good" to "acceptable".

Prices range from about $6.00 to well over $100. I'm tempted by one of them which is rated "Used: like new" for $25.00. It's the lowest priced "like new" copy which Amazon offers.

The only thing that's causing me to waiver is this. About how many pages of the book (or what fraction of it) have the Sunday color strips? Do you happen to know, Gord?




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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:30 am; edited 2 times in total
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Custer
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at the isfdb listings, the first Buck Rogers story by Philip Francis Nowlan, Armageddon - 2419 AD, wasn't featured on the cover of Amazing Stories (August 1928)- but the second story, The Airlords of Han, the following March, was, by the top sf artist of his time, Frank R. Paul:



The similarities between Paul's sf covers and the depiction of the 25th Century in the comic strip are rather interesting...


Librivox links for audiobook versions:


https://librivox.org/armageddon-2419-a-d-by-philip-francis-nowlan/

https://librivox.org/the-airlords-of-han-by-philip-francis-nowland/
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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As a matter of fact, the article above says this about the story that inspired the Buck Roger comic strip.

"[Philip Francis] Nowlan, following the publication of Armageddon - 2419 AD, sent a copy of the story, which had been illustrated by the immortal Frank R. Paul, to John Flint Dillle, president of Nation Newspaper Services Syndicate, for possible serialization."

So, Frank R. Paul did provide one full-page illustration for Buck Rogers.

And I'll be doggone if archive.org doesn't have the complete story at the link below!

Here's the Frank R. Paul illustration.






I debated posting the entire story, but it's 29 pages long, and each page of text needs a little work to make it as sharp as possible, so I decided to just post the link to it below and let all interested parties read it at achive.org.

The cover art below for that issue is by Frank R. Paul, but the illustration is for The Skylark of Space. However, it's obvious that the artists who drew the Buck Rogers strips were influence by Frank R. Paul's work.

The article above states that the strip's "producer" was famed artist Richard W. Calkin, and he actually signed the artwork, but it was really done by his assistant, Russel Keaton until it was taken over in 1933 by Richard Sidney Yager.



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Here's the link to the sequel Custer mentioned, although the scans of the March issue of Amazing Stories are worse than the issue that has the first story. The pages have darkened with age, but it's still quite readable.


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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
About how many pages of the book (or what fraction of it) have the Sunday color strips? Do you happen to know, Gord?

I can answer that.

Out of some 376 total, pages 65 through 128 are in color. (That's slightly better than one day out of seven.)

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Thanks, Wayne-O! I wish the whole books was in color, but you know what they say. "Wish in one hand, spit in the other, and see which one fills up first!" Rolling Eyes

Let's see now, page 65 through 128 is . . . ummm . . . how many pages? Let me hit the calculator key on my keyboard and find out.

128 — 65 = "enough color pages to buy the book, Bud!"

Well, you can't argue with math, so I guess I'll get it. Very Happy

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