You can finish a Blue Beetle story!
Can you conclude the unfinished golden age Blue Beetle story ‘The Threat from Saturn’?Comic publisher Gwandanaland wants you to try! The best one gets published!
An interview with Lance Jones
by Joeseph Simon
Lance Jones is the publisher of Gwandanaland. Gwandanaland has over 2,000 trade paperbacks collections on Amazon archiving the golden age of comics. He is hosting a contest that can bring royalties plus a complete set 11 volume set of the golden age Blue Beetle or $300 in free comics from Gwandanaland. Plus you will have a published credit to your name! A Blue Beetle published credit!
What? How can this be?
Let’s find out!
Lance, tell me about this Blue Beetle. This IS the Blue Beetle, but not the Blue Beetle from DC Comics?
DC Comics has a character named Blue Beetle? Huh.
Just kidding. No, this is the Golden Age Blue Beetle, who was first published in Mystery Men Comics #1 back in 1939. His stories from the 30s to the 60s, spanning three different publishers, are public domain. The DC character is loosely based on the Golden Age character, but they are not the same.
11 volumes of Blue Beetle. That’s an amazing run. Longer than the DC hero in fact!
The 11-Volume set that we offer covers most of his stories from 1939-1967, almost 30 years! Only a handful of Golden Age characters lasted that long, and the Blue Beetle also had a popular radio show. We have put together collections of his stories that constitute the largest in print. We do not have all the issues – we’re missing a few that we would love to include in Volumes 7-9, so contact us if you have some of the Blue Beetle issues from #32-60!
This is pretty cool. You’re holding a contest for anyone who is creative to conclude a multi-part Dan Garrett Blue Beetle story. What is the background to this story. Give us more details!
I am not going to tell you about the story itself, because I think that if you are interested you should read it cold. But during the 1944-45 period ‘THE THREAT FROM SATURN’ Chapters 1-6 appeared in Blue Beetle Comics, starting in #33. It skipped an issue here and there, but at the end of Chapter 6 Blue Beetle was left with a critical and drastic decision to make. Lives hung in the balance and the story was left unfinished.
We thought that it would be a great idea to have Gwandanaland readers finish the story in whatever form he/she thinks best: comic book form, prose story, slideshow, painting, drawing, I suppose even song or some other form. We’re not going to tell the reader HOW to finish it!
Sounds like creative fun! How will the winner be decided? And what does the winner receive?
In early January we will make the entries available to Gwandanaland Readers for a vote. I will have no say in that part of the process. It’ll be up to Gwandanalanders completely.
The winner will have his/her choice of either the 11-book Gwandanaland Comics Blue Beetle collection, or $300 in Gwandanaland Comics books. He/she will also have the conclusion published at the end of the book, and will receive royalties on any future sales of that book. It’s not enough to retire on, but better than a sharp stick in your ear!
Given ‘The Threat from Saturn’ is an rare Blue Beetle multipart story and it was never concluded, do we know why the creative team or publisher never finished the story?
We don’t have a clue. The Blue Beetle series continued for another 20 issues with that publisher, and the illustrators of THE THREAT FROM SATURN (E.C. Stoner) continued to draw the hero, but we don’t know who the writer was. Maybe he left the series, maybe he fell into a sinkhole, or maybe he didn’t know how to complete it! I’d be interested in learning more if any of our comic- knowledgeable readers has secret information…. but we just don’t know.
There are many stories that other companies have yet to bring to a conclusion (I’m looking at you Marvel and DC!) It’s very cool that you are giving Blue Beetle fans an ending to The Threat from Saturn! I’m interested in seeing who wins. Your page has fans who love and understand the golden age of comics. For those who are interested in the contest, what do they have to do?
Complete the story in whatever form you think best, and send it to me via email (email@example.com) by New Years Eve. You can read the first six chapters by sending me your email address so I can send you the PDF, or you can buy the book on Amazon if you prefer to have it in hand. You don’t have to buy it, though – no purchase necessary and all that other fine print.
Good luck to those who enter. I’m looking forward to reading what people come up with for their conclusions to the “The Threat from Saturn”. For those who just want to read the conclusion and not create an ending, where can they go to read the submissions?
Once the contest submissions have ended they will be posted on Facebook and available via email. The actualy voting will take place on the FOG Fans of Gwandanaland Facebook Page. There will be more details once we know what types of submissions people send — it could be anything!
Thank you Lance! If people are interested in finding out more about Gwandanaland, what would your elevator pitch be and where should they go?
You can join our Facebook page, Gwandanaland Comics, or take a look at the fan-operated FOG Fans of Gwandanaland page on Facebook. There we have daily posts and discussions about all things Gwandanaland. You can send me a Facebook message or an email and get a copy of our Guide, which tells you everything we think you need to know about Gwandanaland Comics, and get copy of our latest updated list of titles, which is over 2,500 books and climbing every day.
Bart Bush (Alter Ego contributor, fell comic journalist and Gwandanaland admin) discovered interesting and historically important information surrounding the artist of “The Threat from Saturn” : “One of the more fascinating things is that OTIS aka E.C. STONER (1897-1969) was the FIRST African-American to draw comic books! A decade before Matt Baker, Al Hollingsworth and others. In fact, Stoner’s work appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #1 and and many various titles afterwords, with his BLUE BEETLE run being some of his most impressive work. As another forgotten trivia piece: E.C. Stoner designed the MR. PEANUT character in 1916 at age 19!!!” – Bart Bush