Saturday, August 31, 2019

TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET Comic Strip - Week 9 (1951)

All Hail Space Cadet Larry Paschelke, without whom this presentation would not be possible. See the first eight weeks HERE.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Forgotten Books: THE MARK OF ZORRO by Johnston McCulley (1919)

Zorro is 100. He made his debut in the first installment of Johnston McCulley's "The Curse of Capistrano" in the August 9, 1919 issue of All-Story Weekly. That serial, good as it is, might have been forgotten but for Douglas Fairbanks, who bought the film rights and turned it into the huge hit "The Mark of Zorro" in 1920. That film is still plenty of fun, as you can see for yourself at the end of this post. But McCulley's original story is even better.

Released in book form as The Mark of Zorro in 1924, it's the perfect blend of adventure, romance and humor.  I've lost track of how many times I've read it (and seen the three film versions, and listened to an Old Time Radio version, an audio dramatization and two audiobooks), and it delivers every time. It's also been adapted as a musical, which I want to see.

The book also gave life to dozens of other films made in the US, Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Turkey and India, at least five live action and several animated TV series, novels, short stories, comic strips, comic books, records, Halloween costumes and enough toys to fill a museum.

Johnston McCulley himself went on to write four more Zorro novels and 57 shorter stories, the last of which was published after his death in 1958. After a couple of failed attempts, the entire series was finally released in 2016 as a six-volume set from Bold Venture Press. (Vol. 1, as you'd expect, contains The Mark of Zorro.) You should buy them.

But every man, woman and child (and his or her dog) on the planet should read at least The Mark of Zorro. The book has been reprinted in many editions and many languages. If you're thrifty, there are three different ebook editions available on Amazon for 99 cents. And if you're really thrifty, you can write me at and I'll shoot you the book in either kindle-friendly Word or PDF format. Or both.

And if that ain't enough for you, you're invited to read "A Promise to Zorro," my own humble (but absolutely true) account of Don Diego's 100th birthday party. That's HERE.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Here's an extremely swell item, as employed and heartily endorsed by Almanack reader Charly Gordon (you should see the muscles on that guy!). I'd sure like to my grubby mitts on that brace of rubber guns. Sorry you can't read all the fine print below (I can't either), but you get the idea. That's what we get for not paying our $2 (or $3.95) when we had the chance.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Alex Schomburg, Jerry Siegel, JON JUAN and "The Lady in the Dark"

Another adventure from the one and only issue of Jon Juan Comics, from Spring 1950. You can read "Jon Juan and the Sleeping Beauty" HERE