Sunday, May 24, 2015

Poe 1977, Pt. 6

(Continued from Poe 1977, Pt. 5)

NOW AGE BOOKS  64-2693  /  THE BEST OF POE
"THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM"


Since Gilberton's CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED went belly-up in the late 1960s,
a few other publishers had decided to fill the void.  First you had Editorial Bruguera in Spain with their marvelous JOYAS LITERARIAS JUVENILES ("Literary Youth Jewels"), which ran some 270 titles between 1970-83.  The only problem there was, only 32 out of those 270 comics were ever translated into English.

Then you had Pendulum Press and their NOW AGE BOOKS, edited by Vincent Fago, which did at least 20 books between 1971-77, some of which, like their Spanish counterparts, had begun life as serials in children's magazines before being reprinted in book form.  The only "problem", from my point of view, is that although these books originated in New York, every single one of them was illustrated by artists from the Phillipines.  (Can you say... "OUT-SOURCING" ??)  All 3 of these lines (Gilberton, Bruguera, Pendulum) have been reprinted multiple times over the years.

Since Marvel began doing their own versions of Classics, it may have seemed like a race to see which publisher would do POE first.  They each wound up doing one book apiece; Marvel's had 3 stories, Pendulum's had 4.  Versions of 2 of the stories appeared in BOTH books!

First up:  "THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM".

     This was the 13th comics adaptation of this story, following...
Charlton's YELLOWJACKET COMICS #3 (Nov'44),  
Gilberton's CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED #40 (Aug'47),
Marvel's SPELLBOUND #2 (Apr'52),   
Youthful's BEWARE #10 (Jun'52),
Ziff-Davis's NIGHTMARE #2 (Fall'52),
Continental's CLASSICOS DE TERROR #9 (1960),
Temporae's EL MONJE LOCO #40 (Sep 4, 1968), 
Skywald's SCREAM #2 (Oct'73),
Warren's CREEPY #69 (Feb'75),
Valenciana's SOS #1 (Feb'75),
Novaro's CUENTOS EDGAR ALLAN POE (1975), and
Marvel's MARVEL CLASSICS COMICS #28 (May'77)
     ...released the SAME year.  This Pendulum version was exactly ONE-THIRD the length of Don McGregor's!

The artist for this one is Gerry Talaoc.  I know nothing about him, except that I thought he may have been one of the WORST inkers who ever worked for Marvel (and that's saying a LOT).  Oh well, here we go...

I have no idea who did the cover of the book, but this image took MONTHS of searching before it turned up online!  It also wound up being one of the most involved restoration jobs I've done in this entire mammoth POE project!!  (Meaning, it took a HELL of a lot of work to get it to look this good.)

One other thing besides the use of cheap foreign labor putting hard-working talented DOMESTIC craftsmen out of work bugs me.  NOWHERE in the books-- and NOWHERE on the website of Saddleback Publishing (who are doing the current reprints, in color, as "prestige format" books) do they mention their many "Classics" comics are REPRINTS-- who they were originally published by and when-- nor any of the names of the writers or artists who created the comics.  They may be striving to improve literacy among young readers, but they're setting the comics business back by DECADES.

NOW AGE BOOKS  64-2693
cover by ??   (Pendulum Press  /  1977)
"THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM"  /  Version 13
Adaptation by Naunerle Farr  /  Art by GERRY TALAOC  /  Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
In 1984, Academic Industries Inc., the parent company of Pendulum Press, did a series of B&W paperback-sized reprints of the Pendulum CLASSICS (some of which had previously been reprinted by Marvel).  Aside from my general dislike for shinking the art, the new covers weren't impressive, either.

THE BEST OF POE  PC33
cover by GERRY TALAOC   (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 of 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.   I'm pretty sure THE BEST OF POE was not one of those that made it.  The question I have is, did they color it and have a new painted cover done at the time, or did it take another 17 years for that to happen?

In 2007, Saddleback Publishing, Inc. finally reprinted Pendulum Press's version as part of their "Illustrated Classics" series, using the painted cover format designed for the ill-fated 1990 reprint series. Thanks to their total lack of any kind of credits, I have no idea who did the cover painting.

THE BEST OF POE  SP-8840
cover by ??   (Saddleback Publishing, Inc.  /  2007)
Back cover
Copyright (C) Pendulum Press  &  Saddleback Publishing.

Scan of 1977 THE BEST OF POE cover from the Open Library / Archive.org site.
Scan of 1984 THE BEST OF POE cover from the My Comics Shop site.
Scans of 2007 THE BEST OF POE covers from the Saddleback Publishing site.
Scans of the 2007 THE BEST OF POE interiors from the Slideshare site.

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

For more:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.

Read about The Spanish Inquisition at Wikipedia.

Read about Pendulum Press at Wikipedia.
Read about Vincent Fago at Wikipedia.
Read about Gerry Talaoc at Wikipedia.
Visit the Saddleback Publishing website.

Read about Basil Rathbone at Wikipedia.
Read about the SUSPENSE radio show at Wikipedia.
Read about Henry Hull at Wikipedia.
Read about Jose Ferrer at Wikipedia.
Read about Vincent Price at Wikipedia.
Read about Raymond Burr at Wikipedia.
Read about the CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER at Wikipedia.
Read about Tony Roberts at Wikipedia.

Read about THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM at Wikipedia.
Read the complete story at the Poe Stories site.
Read the complete story at the About.com Classic Literature site.

Hear the Basil Rathbone recording!
See the Vincent Price performance!
Hear the Henry Hull SUSPENSE episode!
Hear the Jose Ferrer SUSPENSE episode!
Hear the Vincent Price SUSPENSE episode!
Hear the Raymond Burr SUSPENSE episode!
Hear the Tony Roberts CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER episode!

Read the Gus Schrotter PENDULUM adaptation!
Read the August M. Froehlich PENDULUM adaptation!
Read the Russ Heath PENDULUM adaptation!  (coming soon!)
Read the Doug Wildey PENDULUM adaptation!
Read the Everett Raymond Kinstler PENDULUM adaptation!

Read the Gedeone Malagola PENDULUM adaptation!
Read the Ruben Lara Romero PENDULUM adaptation!
     See the Pablo Marcos PENDULUM tribute!
Read the Ricardo Villamonte PENDULUM adaptation!
Read the Jose Ortiz PENDULUM adaptation!
Read the De La Rosa PENDULUM adaptation!   (coming soon!)

Read the Guido Del Carpio Rivera PENDULUM illustrated story!
     (coming soon)
Read the Don McGregor / Rudy Mesina PENDULUM adaptation!
Read the Gerry Talaoc PENDULUM adaptation!

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

Saddleback Publishing's CLASSICS are currently in print--
     go to the SADDLBACK PUBLISHING site to BUY your own copies!!!

(Continued in Poe 1977, Pt. 7

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