Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Juvenile Cold War Space Fiction

Front Cover:  Thank goodness for Rip and his brave friends!  Oops.  Looks like he pulled a Luke Skywalker and lost yet another gunner.

Inspired by a recent post at Richard's Writing Ball blog, I pulled out an acquisition from earlier this year.  Featuring the heroic Rip Foster, Assignment In Space is copyrighted 1958 and written by someone who chose the equally heroic sounding pseudonym of Blake Savage.

Savage, indeed.  I read a couple of paragraphs out loud to my fourteen year old and felt my IQ drop several points.  For safety's sake, I'm turning a portion of this entry over to the Olympia SM9.

Hmm.  The graph paper has green lines but doesn't scan all that well.  Perhaps I will give the SM9 a black/red ribbon and see how that works.  Comments on unusual vintage paper choices are welcome.

Let's take a look at the back and some of the in between pages:

Back Cover:  Looking mighty Soviet what with the typography and the red suits.  Nice shot, Rip!

Mining thorium is hard.

Getting shot in Zero G is even harder.

"You shoot that ship while I kick a planet into the other one's path!"

Wow.  I just realized how sarcastic this post became.  Really, I did not intend it to be this snarky.  I guess too many standards committee conference calls in one day makes me peevish. 

So why did I bring this book home?  Extreme snark aside, I actually love the cover art and illustrations.  In retrospect, I realize now that my kids have access to much better literature than I ever did.  Hey old folks - remember "Dick and Jane" in first grade?  "Assignment in Space" is high literature in comparison.

Despite my diss, this is the kind of stuff I loved as a kid growing up in the Space Age.  Yes, worrying about nuclear Armageddon was no fun at all.  But dang, I watched the first lunar landing live on TV.  How cool is that?


  1. Although my age was in single digits in the 1950s, I do remember the all-pervading chill of the Cold War and its propaganda. This comic book very much reflects that vein.

    Great artwork -- thanks for sharing this!

  2. Man, 2-color trap printwork is a dead art. I love it, though. Some pastel color + black line art == awesome!

  3. That stationery is incredibly cool! It perfectly matches the space-age-post.


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