Satan’s Satellites

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Satan’s Satellites (1958) is the feature version of the 1952 serial ‘Zombies of the Stratosphere.’ I haven’t seen any of these, but the poster graphics are terrific.

‘…this sci-fi thriller features atomic superhero Rocket Man as he battles invading aliens and Earthly bad guys in his special flight suit. With Leonard Nimoy as an alien!’

SCI-FI MOVIES

Paper Madness

3 posters from the series:

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‘Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl’ – A WWII Canadian Icon

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Veronica Foster, popularly known as 'Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl'

Veronica Foster, popularly known as ‘Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl’

Veronica Foster, popularly known as “Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl”, was a Canadian icon representing nearly one million Canadian women who worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and materiel during World War II. Foster worked for John Inglis Co. Ltd producing Bren light machine guns on a production line on Strachan Avenue in Toronto, Ontario.

Veronica Foster, popularly known as 'Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl'

Veronica Foster, popularly known as 'Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl'

Veronica Foster, popularly known as 'Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl'

Veronica Foster, popularly known as 'Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl'

Source: War History Online

Surviving An A-Bomb Or An H-Bomb Blast – These Comics Show You How

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On August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb. After the initial shock, President Truman and the United States government put the entire nation on high alert – the Cold War had begun. Americans began to question their own safety. During the 1950s the federal and state governments put a lot of effort into producing information that was intended not only to teach the public about emergency preparedness and survival, but also to assuage the fears and hopelessness associated with the thought of total annihilation.

Below are a few government publications that were printed in the 1950s as part of that propaganda campaign. They are available for complete viewing and download online – if you are interested in further viewing of any of them just click the title and you will be taken to either The Digital Comic Museum or The Government Comics Collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln web site.

First off, the icon of the atomic era – often thought of as somewhat laughable and naive by today’s standards, Bert The Turtle reassured children and adults alike that one could find protection in the event of an atomic blast.

Bert The Turtle Says Duck And Cover (1951)

Bert The Turtle Says Duck And Cover Civil Defense Pamplet

Bert The Turtle Says Duck And Cover Civil Defense Pamphlet

Bert The Turtle: And This Is Very Important

Bert The Turtle: The bomb might come without any warning!

Do It Instantly - Don't Stand And Look

Do It Instantly – Don’t Stand And Look. Duck And Cover!

Next is an adult oriented publication:

Many people believe that there is no defense against the atom bomb. Let us look in at a community meeting where Mr. Reed, a civil defense authority, is going to explain that there is a defense and will show us what to do in case of an atomic bomb attack.

If An ‘A’ Bomb Falls (1951)

Cover Illustration: If An A-Bomb Falls

Cover Illustration: If An A-Bomb Falls

A 1951 Lesson About Radioactivity

A 1951 Lesson About Radioactivity

Below is a publication geared at youth. It’s an overall emergency preparedness comic that deals with both natural and wartime disasters. It includes a crossword puzzle, a disaster quiz, and a glossary of ‘civil defense terms’ which mostly deal with the atomic bomb. The cover art features Li’l Abner and is signed Al Capp. It includes an extended dream sequence originating in a bomb shelter.

Operation Survival (c1957)

Cover: Operation Survival - Art By Al Capp (c1957)

Cover: Operation Survival – Art By Al Capp (c1957)

Operation Survival: Gloassary Of Terms

Operation Survival: Glossary Of Terms

And the last in this post – a pamphlet issued by the state of Maryland and endorsed by the then governor, Theodore R. McKeldin. This one discusses the civil defense procedures for surviving the power of the H-Bomb. Like the adult oriented, ‘If An A-Bomb Falls,’ this comic is meant to reassure the citizens that survival is indeed possible – it is intended for high-school age students.

The H-Bomb And You (1955)

Cover: The H-Bomb And You (1955)

Cover: The H-Bomb And You (1955)

Students are shown a film demonstrating the power of the H-Bomb.

Students are shown a film demonstrating the power of the H-Bomb. Johnny the student is impressed and questions any possibility of survival. The teacher goes on to reassure him that ‘…no matter how powerful a weapon seemed at first, ways were always found to offset the effects and survive.’

The Bottom Line: Get Used To The Threat Of War

And The Bottom Line: ‘…Get Used To The Threat Of War As A New Way Of Life.’

Some things never change.

Jet Age Design For The Free-spirited Individual – The 1960 Plymouth XNR

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1960 Plymouth XNR Concept (Photo: RM Auctions)

The 1960 Plymouth XNR Concept Car

The 1960 Plymouth XNR is an unusual and storied little sports roadster. Reflecting creative designer Virgil Exner’s affection for Indy style – XNR being a play on Exner’s name –  it’s asymmetrical makeup has always divided observers. Plymouth proudly promoted the XNR’s driver-centric stance describing it as, ‘Functional, beautiful, unprecedented: the entire design is concentrated around the driver.’  Unlike other concept vehicles of the time which were developed with fiberglass, the Plymouth NXR was built entirely of steel by Ghia craftsmen in Turin. Virgil Exner had his ‘dream car’ design built to last, and to drive.

Plymouth XR Front-Side View

Plymouth XNR – A Driver’s Car: A large, offset hood scoop led to an extended sculptured rise, which faired into the cowl and embraced a low, driver’s side curved windscreen, then flowed smoothly into a single offset tailfin.

Plymouth XNR Driver's Side

Plymouth XNR Driver’s Side: View Of Low Curved Windscreen, (The Glovebox To The Right Could Be Removed And Used As A Camera Bag.)

Plymouth XNR Top SHot

Plymouth XNR – A Driver’s Car: On the passenger side, a folding, Brooklands-style, flat windshield was accented by a snug-fitting, steel tonneau cover.

Plymouth XNR Seating

Plymouth XNR – A Driver’s Car: with a black leather interior, twin bucket seats, deep door cavities with zipper pockets, and a stowage area for luggage. Its passenger seat was positioned four-inches lower than the driver’s, and there was a padded headrest for the driver.

Exner was also a true believer in the tailfin – not just for the jet-age aesthetic, but also because he believed in the stability enhancing qualities that the fin provided. He even involved himself with wind-test studies in Michigan. The XNR sports a tall side tailfin.

Plymouth XNR - Side Tailfin:

Plymouth XNR – Rear Tailfin: Exner believed its prominent fin, besides being a visual treat, helped high-speed stability.

The XNR’s front and rear views were given great style and design attention as well.

Plymouth XNR Front View

Plymouth XNR Front View: A bold, extended nose, framed with a thin chrome surround, outlined a solid aluminum grille with holes drilled for cooling, and incorporated a set of then-popular quad headlights. A slender reveal on each side was fronted by a small running light in an aircraft-inspired nacelle.

Plymouth XNR Top Front View

Plymouth XNR – Top Front View: Sidefins reflect the inspiration from jet aircraft.

Plymouth XNR Rear View

Plymouth XNR Rear View: In back, a vertical strip emerged from the tall fin, flowed under the lower deck, and tee-ed into another thin blade, forming a bold cross that served as a bumper.

Plymouth XNR Top Rear View

Plymouth XNR Top Rear View: The XNR’s radical rear dramatically emphasized its asymmetrical theme.

Even the instrument panel had its unique characteristics.

Plymouth XNR Instrumentation

Plymouth XNR Instrumentation: Full instrumentation included an 8,000 rpm tachometer, which incorporated a vacuum gauge. Mr. Exner had an affinity for photography and incorporated his personal hobby into the instruments. The dials have individual, inverted lenses that mimic camera optics.

On Saturday, 18 August 2012, the Plymouth XNR concept car was put on auction in Monterrey, California. Early expectations were that this unique and storied (read below) treasure would sell for over one-million dollars. It seems that the XNR still holds its controversial status – the winning bid was $935,000. That’s certainly not a paltry sum by any length of the imagination, but it is an indication that even to wealthy collectors Exner’s ‘Dream Car’ is still undervalued for its singularity.

While this post focused on the exterior aspects of the XNR design, there is much more to note about this rare one off concept vehicle.  For instance, the power plant of this street ready vehicle used the same design as that used in the 1960 Daytona NASCAR compact class race program – RM Auctions points out that, ‘(t)his slant six went on to dominate the top seven places, subsequently canceling the class due to lack of competition!’ Also of great note is the 50 year history of how the XNR went from Michigan to Europe, winding it’s way to the Middle East and into the hands of the Shah of Iran, ending up in Lebanon for the duration of that country’s civil war (1975–1991), and finally back to North America to win the coveted Gran Turismo Trophy at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

If you’re at all interested in those details and much more you can visit the RM Auctions page by clicking here.

— All photos by Shooterz.biz, via RM Auctions
— Photo caption information source: RM Auctions