May 5, 2012

Unusual Tales - The Great Martian Drought


"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.


"The Great Martian Drought" is a 5-page story from Charlton's SPACE ADVENTURES #25 [1958], featuring the last few survivors of our neighbouring planet trying to survive a lack of water.  This story was inspired by some observations of a large "W" shape on Mars in 1954, and gives a more fanciful explanation than the reality:

Before opposition, observers should be watching for the famous W clouds, so-called because the clouds grow so large that they form a "W" shape. These were noticed by E. C. Slipher in 1954 to be forming every late-spring afternoon over the Tharsis-Amazonis region. A decade later, it was proposed that the clouds were orographic in origin, and this was confirmed in 1971 when Mariner 9 images showed the clouds forming as wind passed over the volcanoes Olympus Mons, Ascraeus Mons, and Pavonis Mons.

Regardless, some really nice Ditko designs on the Martian cities and ships.

But before the story, some links:

Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
Including single edition complete longer works like STATIC and THE MOCKER
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Back issues and subscriptions available
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
CREEPER hardcover available from DC
Download public domain comics, likely including the one this story is from
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

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