Saturday, 3 August 2019

Time Warp



Time Warp was a nice little Bronze Age return to the kind of Sci-Fi anthologies DC used to put out all through the Silver Age. Mystery In Space, but with a modern twist.
The only thing really wrong with Time Warp was that the stories weren't actually that great, being ideas that, even as kids, we'd all seen a million times before. You know the kind of thing. Spacemen killing friendly aliens before bawling in closeup: It was us!! WE were the monsters!!!!
But what Time Warp did have going for it was some superb art, which as we all know is the great get out clause you can always use when your mates say: What you buying THAT for??!!
Every issue sported a magnificent Mike Kaluta cover, and in this issue you've got Jim Aparo, Don Newton & Dan Adkins, Tom Sutton, Jerry Grandanetti and Dick Giordano, Steve Ditko, and Rich Buckler. Not a bad line-up in anyone's eyes. Oh, look, here come those spacemen and friendly aliens I was talking about. It was us!! WE were the monsters!!!!






















































31 comments:

  1. Yes, it's true - this book was a real snore-fest. Despite some nice Kaluta covers & occasional interior art from the likes of Ditko and Giordano, TIMEWARP was utterly forgettable - and like Pete says, that was mainly due to the rather predictable or outright bad stories.

    The first story in this particular issue - by Denny O'Neil - is especially awful. It reminds me that - back in the Bronze Age, anyway - you never knew if you were going to get a classic or a stinker from the guy. He was certainly capable of delivering both. Anybody recall the first & only issue of DC's SHERLOCK HOLMES? The one who ol' Sherlock went around bashing criminals in the chops like he was Batman?

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    1. Well, that prefigures Robert Downey Jr.'s take on Holmes. ;)

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  2. I remember this when it came out, but didn't buy it. Kaluta's cover drawing is fine, but the colours are a bit garish (typical of late '70s DC).

    Rich Buckler's story has some Neal Adams-like moments (swipes?), no doubt enhanced by Dick Giordano's inks.

    I have to say that the interior printing in this one looks much better than most DC comics of that era (with flexographic plates).

    By the way, the fourth story is missing page one. Did you forget to upload the scan?

    Regards,
    Chris A.

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  3. Whoops, is it? I'll fix that, thanks Chris. See, I've got a backlog of about a hundred posts I put together last year, so I just pick from them till I run out ( and I don't always remember to re-check them before posting )

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    1. Wow, a hundred? England expects of every man indeed!

      Regards,
      Chris A.

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  4. Yes, it seems very derivative of what had come before. The whole "WE are the monsters!" shtick was used a lot at EC and Timely/Atlas/early Marvel.

    Interesting that Bruce Jones was nowhere near this series. It was only a few year later that Pacific Comics launched Alien Worlds, a much handsomer series with better printing and paper.

    Gene Poole

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  5. By 1979 Steve Ditko and Jerry Grandenetti were hacks, but do a Google search for Grandenetti's covers for some of the DC war books in the early '60s and you'll be amazed at how good they are. Many of them were done in ink wash, too.

    - Neil

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    1. Grandanetti did some wonderful wash pieces for early Warren too if I remember, have to put some of those up as well.

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    2. Yes, Ditko's Warren washes look great.

      - Neil

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  6. In the lettercol it says that "the suits" at WB greenlit DC's Timewarp series because of the success of sci-fi movies like Star Wars and Close Encounters. In hindsight we see that comics and movies are like apples and oranges in that the success of one does not always translate to the other.

    Gene Poole

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  7. There must have been one editor associated with the whole project, since I don't see an editor credit on any of the story-pages. I assume the "guilty party" gets mentioned in the letters page or in the indicia...?

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  8. The indicia syas Joe Orlando & Jack C. Harris, Gene. I suspect Orlando's was a supervisory role though. Harris was one of the Junior Woodchucks I think, fans who became pro's. I remember he wrote Supergirl in the Superman Family dollar comic for a while.

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  9. At times Dan Adkins' inks give Don Newton's pencils a Wally Wood vibe which I'm sure was intentional.

    Did anyone else here feel that Tom Sutton's drawings looked squishy? The figures had an unintentionally amorphous, shape-shifting quality about them. That wasn't the norm for him.

    Regards,
    Chris A.

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  10. Fwiw Chris, Tom Sutton's work here doesn't seem out of character to me. It is fairly loose, but his work generally was when he did his own inks - it was part of his appeal as an artist (well, for me at least).
    Maybe it just seems more noticeable with science-fiction than horror?

    Sort of agree with your intro Pete, but I think calling the artwork "superb" is a bit of an exaggeration. Nothing against the artists, but even the better ones didn't seem particularly inspired by the material.
    Apart from the Kaluta covers Time Warp was a real disappointment. Especially when you could buy 2000AD for 8p (or whatever it was at that point) - at least the Future Shocks got to the predictable endings in just three pages!

    -sean

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    1. I always wondered about the skinny lettering fonts in 2000AD----was it so that more dialog could be crammed in? ;)

      Regards,
      Chris A.

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    2. This is the opening paragraph of his Lambiek Comiclopedia entry:

      Tom Sutton broke into comic books in 1967 and worked almost non-stop on various projects until the early 1990s. Sutton's work has ranged from beautifully crafted genre work - horror stories for Warren and Charlton, 'Daredevil', 'Planet of the Apes' - to simple hackwork - 'Seeker 3000', 'Godzilla'.

      Ouch!

      (No dis)regards,

      Chris A.

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    3. "Seeker 3000" hackwork? Bah and indeed humbug, sir!

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    4. Yeah, whoever wrote that is wrong with a capital Ruh.

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    5. Indeed. I can see how someone might consider Seeker 3000 standard generic s-f so far as the writing goes, but Sutton's artwork was great.
      Not sure if Chris maybe quoted that because of my comment, but just to be clear I don't think Sutton wasn't as good at science-fiction as horror (quite the opposite actually).

      Come to think of it, its somewhat surprising Seeker 3000 hasn't appeared here yet Pete...

      -sean

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    6. I googled some of Sutton's work, liked what I saw, but was totally gobsmacked when I saw that bit of Lambiek cheek.

      Regards,
      Chris A.

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    7. Seeker 3000 is actually one of my all-time faves - The only reason it hasn't appeared yet is that it's been readily available on Diversions Of The Groovy Kind for ages, and as mostly the same people come on this site and The Groovester's, I didn't want us to be posting too much of the same stuff. It will appear though.

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    8. Chris, have you never seen Sutton's Planet Of The Apes stuff? I must post some of that, it's breathtaking.

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    9. I'd enjoy seeing it.

      C.

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    10. The Psychedrome - that was the story Sutton did in POTA wasn't it?
      I remember it from the reprint weekly. Pretty strange stuff... yeah, post that at some point Pete.

      Must have missed Seeker at Diversions - thanks for the pointer.

      -sean

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  11. I never noticed, but that would make sense.

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  12. Somehow I doubt a middle-aged editor like Joe Orlando took the name of this comic from a "Rocky Horror Picture Show" tune, but you never know.

    Gene Poole

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    1. Lol more likely he was watching an old episode of Star Trek like The Naked Time where the enterprise goes into an unexpected time warp and he said, Aha, that's it!

      - Neil

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  13. No one has mentioned it yet, but TimeWarp had the best Bronze age logo, ever. I bought it for that alone.

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    1. Gaspar Saladino's Swamp Thing logo was quite innovative. I believe Plop! was his, too.

      Regards,
      Chris A.

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    2. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaspar_Saladino#Logos

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