Friday, June 1, 2012

The Red Planet (part 4) (1961)

As part of my hunt for non-fiction stuff about space flight I have a few comics books in the collections. In this case the illustrations were hidden inside The World Around Us: Undersea Adventures (#30) 1961. The World Around Us was Classics Illustrated's non-fiction series of comics. While not unique it was one of the few companies that published non-fiction and fiction comics.

As you can see from the cover, this issue contained part 4 of "The Red Planet". This was a 3 page feature about Mars and its features. It was used as filler to expand the size of the issue. I was lucky enough to pick up a page of art from this story which was drawn by Angelo Torres (a well know artist from EC and other comics).

Each panel is a scene from a trip taken from the Moon to a manned landing on Mars. The first panel (above) shows the take off from our Moonbase. It points out that to get to Mars you need to leave the Earth-Moon system before Mars is closest to Earth.

This panel points out how it is not a straight trip but rather a great curve. A optimal least fuel/least time trajectory.

We are reminded that Mars is flat. You will see dunes and craters and occasional hills (unless you land near the many canyons).
This final panel is one of my favorites as humans stand on another world. This was the 2nd page of the 3 page installment. For the 1st and 3rd pages that I did not purchase see below.


  1. And in the panel about the Martian surface being a world of plains, I note the circle-within-a-circle porthole from Chesley Bonestell's illustrations for The Conquest of Space.
    The same porthole was later used in the Tom Corbett Space Cadet TV show.

  2. This is fantastic. I never knew that there were non fictional comics about seemingly sci-fi subject matter. This is way better than fiction. I would love to see some of the art from the undersea adventures book.

  3. thanks for sharing.