Friday, February 5, 2016

Adventures in Science- Classics Illustrated 138A (1957)

To kick off my February selection of Classics Illustrated space comics we have "Adventures in Science."

I primary collect non-fiction for children but most comics are fiction. Classics Illustrated was an important exception, along with their comic adaptations of famous fictional stories they also had non-fiction titles known as "Classics Illustrated Special Issues" and "The World Around Us." This one primarily has a nice space cover.

Classics Illustrated. Adventures in Science. New York : Gilberton. (96 p.) 26 cm.  Has “The Story of Flight”. Includes illustrations of rockets on the last page of the story and  a missile on the cover. "Classics Illustrated Special" (Issue #138A) June 1957.

The end of "The Story of Flight" has this nice page about the future.

What is the real hidden gem (of non-fiction) is this story "Andy's Atomic Adventure".

The story is basic in many ways illustrating how Timmy learns about how atoms work and how atomic energy will bring a bright new future. What is unexpected is how Timmy happens to lose his dog on an atomic bomb test site.

Yes, the dog survives and Timmy learns that "atoms don't kill every thing."
But I am not sure how healthy Spot will be if he has been dusted with fallout. They clean-up and incarcerate Spot while Timmy learns more about the atom. Most uses of the atom are energy and medical treatment, but then there is this last disturbing panel I will leave you with (not explained any further.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

7th year of Dreams of Space!

Not meant to be ironic, but it would be nice if this came true for my kids. There is some optimism about our future in space but I am giving up on my being there personally.

Time keeps passing and this is beginning my 7th year of blogging about these space books. So for my "blogiversary" I will will share some non-fiction comic books for the month of Feb.
Thanks for the comments and the continued interest. I am really happy to know there are others out there who find this stuff amazing. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Maxton Book About Space Travel (1958)

A Maxton Book About Space Travel  is a happily dated book from the late 1950s. I say dated because many of the design ideas were outmoded within 2 years of publication.

This post is a re-run/expansion of this Sept 23, 2011 posting:

Written by Spielberg, Dr. Kurt. Illustrated by Hutchinson, William M. Space Travel. New York: Maxton Publishing Co. (28 p.) 27 cm.

The author's son, James N Spielberg wrote me: "My late father, Dr. Kurt Spielberg, wrote the entire text for this book in 1958. He was a PhD in physics and taught at City College of New York at the time.He is world famous for his work in Operations Research.  In the mid-60s, this book was in my fourth grade class library, and none of the other children would believe me when I told them that my father was the author. But he was. He was a great man, had a career that spanned decades at IBM, and is sadly missed."

 A simple book covering all aspect of space travel including history, physics, U.S. and Russian space efforts, building a space station, manned exploration of the Moon, and exploration of the planets. It has wonderful paintings of all these things devoting a page or two to each topic. "A Maxton Book about" series. See 1960 update and 1963 UK Reprint

William Hutchinson is a wonderful illustrator. I like his soft touch illustrating these different space topics.

 I also like the prediction of future exploration. The "space flight progression" is illustrated nicely as we move from earth orbit, to the Moon, to planetary exploration.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Stray Leaves from the Book of Nature (1859)

So this is a strange post for you all. Back there in the 1800s there were science philosophers.  I was struck by this passage written at the time about "A Trip to the Moon." Based in science but with a eye towards imagination and poetry. So imagine you have a telescope and a little science and want to expand people's ideas of what might be possible.

The whole book (because it is out of copyright) is online here:

So poetic but watch how he tries to bring you to the surface of the moon.

The most popular theory of where craters came from at the time was volcanic actions

Friday, January 8, 2016

Astronauts on the Moon (1970)

One of the few pop-up books I have found with a cover, so this is what is under the cover, most people find it used this way.

This is another one of those books that used to be in used book stores everywhere. It is always challenging to show off a pop-up but the paintings in this one are very nice.

Hendricks, Stanley. Illustrated by Muenchen, Al. Paper mechanics and layout by Howard Lohnes.Astronauts on the Moon. New York: Hallmark Cards. (16 p.) 24 cm. Illustrated Boards.

One of the most popular juvenile pop-up space books. Has nice illustrations and good paper engineering for the pop-ups. This book is inexpensive to find used and is fun to look at.  The pop-up of the lunar landing is particularly striking. Reprinted in 1974 with board cover with color photograph.