Friday, September 6, 2013

Jules Verne, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

My overview of various comics & audio versions of  
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA continues!

Wonderland Records specialized in original "radio-style" dramatic recordings aimed at children.  Their take on 20,000 LEAGUES was apparently even more afield than the Disneyland Records version, but it did have some nice cover art.

WONDERLAND LP  /  cover art by WALLY WOOD   (1973)
Gilberton's CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED line was shut down in 1971.
In 1973, Pendulum Press, Inc. picked up the ball, doing brand-new versions of old stories in hardbound editions.  The line was headed up by Vince Fago, most known for funny-animal comics, and a brief run as Marvel's Editor during WW2.  Pendulum's 20,000 LEAGUES was written by Otto Binder and had interior art by Romy Gaboa & Ernie Patricio.  Apparently it was first serialized in WEEKLY READER, a publication distributed in classrooms, before being collected in book form.  There've been 5 different editions of this (so far) over the years!

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by Romy Gaboa & Ernie Patricio   (Pendulum Press, Inc.  /  1973)
Peter Pan Records' specialty was packages that combined recordings of stories aimed at children with comic-books.  Their version marked at least the 3rd such recording of the story! 

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  PR-42  /
cover by Rich Buckler & Dick Giordano   (Peter Pan Records  /  1974)
Look And Learn Ltd. in England published a weekly magazine which contained, among other things, adaptations of classic stories.
In 1975 they did a version of "20,000 LEAGUES" that ran for 11 weeks from September 2-October 11, 1975 (22 pages total).  It was later collected and reprinted in the LION ANNUAL 1981 (Christmas 1980).

LOOK AND LEARN 707
cover by ??   (Look And Learn Ltd.  /  September 2, 1975) 
LOOK AND LEARN #715  /  Episode 9
art by BILL BAKER   (Look And Learn Ltd.  /  September 27, 1975)
MARVEL CLASSICS COMICS was one more area Marvel Comics decided to expand into, if in a half-hearted way.   Running 36 issues from 1976-78, they began with reprints of the earlier versions from Pendulum Press, Inc. under new covers-- all of which were terrible!  It's no wonder these slipped completely under my radar when they came out. 

MARVEL CLASSICS COMICS 4  /
cover by Gil Kane & Dan Adkins   (Marvel  /  1976)
EN VERDENSOMSEILING UNDER HAVET  /
cover by (??)   (Hjemmet  /  Norway  /  1976)
No, this next one isn't here by accident... apparently, the 1954 movie adaptation was reprinted, serialized, over several issues of this magazine.
The 1st 11 pages are included in this issue.

THE NEW MICKEY MOUSE CLUB FUNBOOK #11190  /
(Western  /  October 1977)
King Features Syndicate, mostly associated with newspaper strips, had their own short-lived line of comic-books in the mid-60's.  They dipped into the market again briefly from 1977-79 with their own line of CLASSICS, although I'm not sure if these were new versions, or reprints-- and if the latter, of which versions!  Their 20,000 LEAGUES, at least, had one of the best covers yet. 

KING CLASSICS 8  /
cover by ??   (King Features Syndicate  /  1978)
Fleetway published a series of "Annuals" which were a mix of new and reprint material.  The LION ANNUAL 1981 collected the 1975 version of
"20,000 LEAGUES" from LOOK AND LEARN.

LION ANNUAL 1981  /
cover by ??   (Fleetway  /  Christmas 1980)
OMNI Magazine article "Light Voyager"  /
painting by JOHN BERKEY   (1982)
In 1984, Academic Industries Inc. did a series of B&W paperback-sized reprints of the 1973 Pendulum CLASSICS (which had previously been reprinted by Marvel).  Aside from my general dislike for shinking art that way, the new covers weren't impressive, either.

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  C12  /
cover by Romy Gaboa & Ernie Patricio   (Academic Industries, Inc.  /  1984)
In 1990, Pendulum Press, Inc. decided to reprint their early-70's books in "prestige format" editions, with new painted covers.  Only 6 or a projected 72 were actually published, but it's interesting how the cover format is IDENTICAL to that used by Berkeley / First the SAME year. 

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by ??   (Pendulum Press, Inc.  /  1990)
First Comics was a successful "small" publisher in the 80's, until they teamed with Berkeley to do CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED.  They'd been over-expanding for some time, but the new deal, which involved a series of brand-new, "prestige format" adaptations, many with fully-painted color, pushed them over the edge into bankruptcy.  It might have worked, if they'd limited themselves to 1 such book a month-- instead of 4 or more...!

One of the books announced but cancelled wound up being published some time later by Dark Horse Comics, who seemed to understand more about "limited" runs.  The project was scaled down to a standard comic-book format, printed in B&W on newsprint paper.  Kind of a shame, as according to his website, artist Gary Gianni spent "over a year" working on the book-- with STUNNING results!

DARK HORSE CLASSICS  /
cover by GARY GIANNI   (Dark Horse Comics  /  1992)
DARK HORSE CLASSICS  /  page 25  /  art by GARY GIANNI

From 1990 to 2001, BOYS' LIFE magazine featured Bank Street Classics,  
25 brand-new adaptations, each clocking in at a mind-boggling 16 pages per novel.  Despite the extreme compression, the results were very impressive!

BOYS' LIFE  /  Bank Street Classics  /  page 11  /
art by ERNIE COLON   (November 1996)
After the stylish new Berkely / First / Dark Horse adaptations, it must have seemed a step backwards when Acclaim Entertainment (the company that bought out Valiant Comics) decided to reprint the original versions, once again with NEW covers.  Still, it's fun to compare versions, and this gave younger audiences a chance to read the older ones without going broke on expensive back-issues.

CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED 23  /
cover by J.P. LEON   (Acclaim Entertainment  /  1996)
9 years after its original publication, Gary Gianni's adaptation was reprinted
in a limited edition (50 copies!!) available only from his websiteFittingly, the new cover is in the style of a 19th Century publication! 

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by GARY GIANNI   (Hieronymus Press  /  2001)
In 2008, a far-more "cartoony" adaptation was done, in a style apparently inspired by Japanese comic-books ("manga").

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by JOSE ALFONSO OCAMPO RUIZ
(Capstone Publishers / Stone Arch Books / Graphic Resolve  /  January 2008)
Pin-up by JOSE ALFONSO OCAMPO RUIZ  /  color by Benny Fuentes
In 2008, 18 years after it was finished, Gary Gianni's adaptation was finally issued in an expensive, full-color package as originally intended! 

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by GARY GIANNI   (Flesk Publications  /  September 2008)
In 2010, Saddleback Publishing, Inc. reprinted Pendulum Press's version as part of their "Illustrated Classics" series, reusing the 1990 cover painting and format, with only the lettering changed to reflect the different publisher.  I'm not sure if the interiors were in color here for the 1st time, or if they had color added for the 1990 edition. 

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by ??   (Saddleback Publishing, Inc.  /  2010)
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA   (2010)  /
page 11  /  adaptation by Otto Binder  /  art by Romy Gaboa & Ernie Petricio
From 2010, some promotional art from a proposed REMAKE of the 1954 film.
It's obvious they're using the same design for The Nautilus here.

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /  promo art
art by ??  (Walt Disney  /  2010)
Campfire Classics is yet ANOTHER publisher getting into the market of doing graphic novels based on "classic" novels, doing an entire series of books based on the SAME stories (how many versions does the world really need, anyway?).  This one appears to be based in India, and while their cover artists are good on the technical side, their depictions of people seem strangely "off" to me. Also odd is that I've found 2 completely different covers for their version of this story.

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by BHUPENDRA AHLUWALIA   (Campfire Classics  /  2010)
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by BHUPENDRA AHLUWALIA   (Campfire Classics  /  2010)
The Paul J. Smith music score to the 1954 had never been released until 2008 when it became available on iTunes as a download.  3 years later, Intrada (who did the original extensive remastering job on Jerry Goldsmith's PLANET OF THE APES score years earlier) finally put it out on CD.  Note that the cover art includes the actual logo from the movie poster!  (I GOTTA get this.)

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA  /
cover by ??  (Intrada  /  November 2011)
In the "How many versions of a story does anyone need?" category this adaptation by Dan Ross.  The art is either very amateurish, rather "primitive",
or reminiscent of various "Eastern-Bloc country" art styles I've seen.  (He's actually from New Zealand.)  It also reminds me a bit of the art in the 1969 film "YELLOW SUBMARINE".

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
art by DAN ROSS   (Dan Ross Art  /  August 2012)
Page 16
Finally, here's artist Ken Taylor's "Mondo Print" poster for the 1954 film.  WOW!

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
art by KEN TAYLOR   (Mondo Print  /  2012)
Copyright (C) the various artists & publishers.

Scans of DARK HORSE CLASSICS from my collection

Scan of 1982 John Berkey painting from the Heritage Auctions site

Scan of EN VERDENSOMSEILING UNDER HAVET  (1976),
     THE NEW MICKEY MOUSE CLUB FUNBOOK,
     & CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED #23 (1996)
     from the GCD site

Scan of Wonderland LP from the Masterworks site
Scan of 1973 & 1990 Pendulum Press editions from the
     Kleefeld On Comics blog
Scan of Peter Pan Records 45 & book from the ComicVine site
Scan of 1975 Look And Learn version from the Bear Alley blog
Scan of MARVEL CLASSICS COMICS #4 from the Classics Central site
Scan of KING CLASSICS #8 from the Classics Central Store site
Scan of LION ANNUAL 1981 from the Comic Vine site
Scan of Academic Industries #C12
     the 2001 Hieronymus Press edition
     & the 2010 Saddleback Publishing edition
     from the My Comics Shop site
Scan of 1996 Bank Street Classics version from the BOYS' LIFE website

Scans of 2008 Stone Arch version from the Google Books & Deviant Art sites
Scan of 2008 Flesk Publications reprint from their website
Scan of 2010 promo art from the Michael May Adventure blog
Scan of 2011 Intrada CD from The Second Disc site
Scans of 2010 Campfire Classics book from their website
     & from My Comics Shop
Scans of 2012 Dan Ross version from the Freelanced.com and Dan Ross Art sites
Scan of 2012 Ken Taylor Mondo Print
     from the Into The Mouth Of Madness blog

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

For more:
Visit the Vern.ca site to see various editions of the original novel!
Read about the 1916 20,000 LEAGUES film at the Silent Volume blog.
Read about the history of Gilberton & Classics Illustrated at Wikipedia.
See production art & posters for the 1954 film at the Disney And More blog!
See & read the RCA Victor album book at the Mountain Ear Song blog!
Read a fascinating examination of the 1954 film
     at the Steampunk.WonderHowTo site!
See the 1954 View Master pics at the Selling Tourists Info site!
Read FROM HERE TO INSANITY #11 at the Mars Will Send No More blog!
Read Perspective magazine's article on Dell Movie Classics.
Read about the 1963 Disneyland Records LP
     at the Voyages Extraordinaire blog.
Read Scott M's article about Marvel Classic Comics
     at the Seduction Of The Indifferent blog.
Read about the 20,000 LEAGUES theme park ride at Micechat.com.
Read more about the WDW ride and watch a video
     at the DisneyAndMore blog.
Read about Vincent Fago's Pendulum Press at the Kleefeld On Comics blog
Read about Look And Learn Ltd. at the Bear Alley blog
Read about artist Bill Baker at the Illustration Art Gallery site
Read about the Moby Books "Illustrated Classic Editions"
     at the Lost In The Cloud blog.
Read more about the Moby Books edition and see more interior artwork
     at the Mars Will Send No More blog.
See Sam Ita's 20,000 LEAGUES pop-up book on Youtube!
See Jim Tierney's innovative book cover design at the 2PenniesWorth site.
See Dan Ross's art as his website.

See the 20,000 LEAGUES overview!
Read the Jesse Marsh 20,000 LEAGUES adaptation!
Read the Frank Thorne 20,000 LEAGUES adaptation!
Read the Wally Wood 20,000 LEAGUES parody!
Read the Jack Kirby 20,000 LEAGUES parody!
Read the Dan Spiegle CAPTAIN NEMO series!

Read the Jim Fair CAPTAIN NEMO series!
Read the Bill Baker 20,000 LEAGUES adaptation!
Read the Gary Gianni 20,000 LEAGUES adaptation!
Read the Ernie Colon 20,000 LEAGUES adaptation!

Special thanks to Luke Blanchard for supplying info
     on LOOK AND LEARN.

And for something really crazy & fun-- check out...
NEMO'S REVENGE: THE QUEST FOR THE LOST PEARL
...an online video game using the Disney "Nautilus" and a giant squid!

(Continued in Part 3)

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