News: MARS ATTACKS! Again!!! - 50th Anniversary Collectables Announced...

Written by Whitney Scott Bain Friday, 10 August 2012

Comic Book News

Mars Attacks!

Back when I was a kid, I was able to purchase two 5-cent gum packs of MARS ATTACKS! a day, before the local grade school Parent Teacher Association (PTA) banished them into obscurity because they were too violent for children.

Obviously, they never read any of the EC line of comic books and didn't get my collection.

Ha, ha, revenge on them!

I marveled at the artwork of ‘Destroying a Dog’, ‘Prize Captive’ among others including the MARS ATTACKS! checklist of cards that I would never see, wondering what horrors the Martians had in store for the helpless earthlings!

Created by Topps cards in 1962, product developer Len Brown was inspired by Wally Wood's EC Weird Science cover #16.

Brown brought on Woody Gelman who created the story creating rough sketches that Wood fleshed out and artist, Bob Powell finished them, but it was pulp cover/men's adventure magazine artist and contributor to Captain Billy's Whiz Bang series, Norman Saunders who painted the 55 card set that became legendary.

Norman Saunders

Originally titled, ATTACK FROM SPACE the cards were test marketed at 5-cents a pack through the dummy corporation name, ‘Bubbles Inc’ in several key areas where they became an instant success. Topps then expanded the marketing and changed the name to MARS ATTACKS!

Kids thought the cards were cool, but the series created outrage with parents and school groups charging that they were sexually inappropriate and too violent worrying that their little precious would turn into a juvenile delinquent.

As the evil Dr. Wertham once said, children know where to look to see things, Topps quickly repainted 13 of the cards to appease the angry groups. All was good, until a Connecticut district attorney decided to hold a few inquires into the subject matter and the cards were immediately pulled off the shelves falling into the black hole of obscurity.

Now, for the 50th anniversary of this incredible, sought after series, Topps Trading Card Company has created a cornucopia of wonderful items celebrating their return that includes reprints of all 55 of the original cards as well as 10 deleted scenes storyboarded by Wally Wood and Bob Powell that are painted by Jason Edmiston and 15 'New Universe' ones. Not only that, but we're also getting a Martian Commander bobble head and vinyl dolls (Funko Company); Halloween masks and costumes (slated for 2013 by Incogneato); a new comic books series (IDW is publishing); action figures and plush ones (Mezco Toyz); statues and busts (Quarantine Studios), electronics skins (Gelaskins); a holiday ornament for the tree at Christmas; a hardcover commemorative book (Abrams Books) and an all-new MARS ATTACKS universe that will expand into toys, games, T-shirts, future trading cards and new entertainment.

[Now if only we could get a worthy MARS ATTACKS! movie off the ground... - Ed]

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