Saturday, October 28, 2006

Flashback Sequence: UFO Encounters

As you may be able to tell, I haven't been to the local comic shop in a few weeks, which is tolerable since I've discovered a lot of old comics I had stashed away over the years and had forgotten about. Today, I bring you UFO Encounters

This is my first graphic novel, I guess you could say. Published by The Western Publishing Company through their Golden Press line in 1978, UFO Encounters is 224 pages of reprinted material from god-knows-where. There are no writer or artist credits throughout, and the 68 stories run about 2 to 5 pages in length. Near as I can tell, these are a collection of back-up stories from some other Western book. The copyright dates stretch back to 1968.

You may be able to tell from the scan, I carried this comic everywhere. To my younger self, it was an endless source of entertainment and vital information. The cover says it all; these are illustrated stories of UFO encounters, man. I couldn't let this tome get too far out of my sight, you know, just in case.

Mostly, the stories are brief, near-nonsensical brushes with "extraterrestrial" life, told in a confessional "I was walking through the woods when...". A few stories pre-date X-Files by a few decades in their speculation that aliens live among us, or aliens has some sinister influence on real-life events. There a even a string of shorts that are hosted by the "Hoaxmaster", who resembles a dark version of Willy Wonka, that threatens to dubunk UFO stories, but always leaves the door open for the unknown.

The stories, while similar, range greatly in their depiction of the aliens and their modus operandi. My young brain struggled to make sense of everything, looking for the thread that tied it all together. As I write this, I realize this may have been the birth of my awareness of continuity in comics. Ironic that it was a fruitless search for meaning between stories that weren't meant for that (insert crossover event of your choice here for joke).

Here are some scans from a 2-page spread titled Who Flies the Saucers?

This one kind of goes against the modern conventional "hairless" E.T. so popularized by, um, E.T....


This would be around the time David Bowie fell to Earth...


Okay...


Alright, now you're just ripping off old 50's sci-fi movies...


Ah, that's just Montgomery Burns, all hopped up on ether...


I'd like to scan more, but this thing looks like I might have dropped it in the tub at some point. The newsprint is downright brittle. This is important information I need to share, yet it looks like the aliens have won.


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2 Comments:

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Rex said...

I found one in my barn, its the same one, name , year & publisher.
What should I sell it for on e-bay.
Thanks,
Senkbeil@yahoo.com

 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger Mark Allen said...

Found one at a convention a few years ago. Like you, MD, I had treasured it greatly as a young comics reader. It was worth the seven or eight bucks I paid to have it in my collection again.

 

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