Friday, December 30, 2011

Retro Campaign Solar System For Any Science Fiction Rpg


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A I've received a few emails asking me about what I've been doing about campaign worlds & such why has there been smattering of references to Planet Comics? The truth is that I've been using the worlds of Planet Comics for years. These vintage comics were put out by Fiction House which existed from the 1920s to the 1950s. Planet Comics were a spin off of Planet Stories. From January 1940 to Winter 1953 the comic ran 73 issues. I ran across the below article on Io9 & loved the kitsch cool look of these retro beauties. The science is crap but who cares I'm running science fantasy anyway. I  won't get in trouble because its all in the public domain. I needed instant worlds & whoa here they are. Information on Fiction House can be found Here. Time& again I've needed an instant campaign for a one shot or convention game. This has always done the trick. Over the weekend I'll be doing a retrospective on Planet Comics & some of their heroes for your favorite role playing games. Can't wait? Well go Here  to download the entire run!
If your reading this blog then you know that Planet Comics featured space operatic tales of muscular, heroic space adventurers who were quick with their "ray pistols" and always running into gorgeous females who needed rescuing from bug-eyed space aliens or fiendish interstellar bad guys.Below is the article that inspired some of the great worlds my players have visited ! An enterprising dungeon master might make use of these for something like Spell Jammer or even Planscape or another  world.
Need to know what all of the issues were? Here's an index of issues Here

Big big props to the Atomic Surgery. blog who wrote all of the original material! 

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The planets of the Solar System, according to crazed pulp comics of the 1940s

Back in the Forties, the science fiction rag Planet Comics published the ongoing feature "Life On Other Worlds." This section peppered scientific know-how amongst whatever gonzo shit the writer happened to make up. Here's a tour of our Solar System using old issues of Planet Comics. Did you know that Mars is occupied by gargantuan Romans?
Let's kick it off with Mercury. Notice how the synopsis sputters out many a fact without acknowledging the deadly toucan mutants.
I'm pretty sure the male astronaut knowingly used his female colleague as a lure. The rollicking Forties, everyone.
Finally, this description eschews facts for vague warnings about Mercury's giant caterpillars. And here I was afraid this wouldn't be educational. [Via]
I enjoy how this article on Venus begins with a fairly academic remark that the planet could support life, but then immediately transforms the damn place into Land of the Lost.
But lo! Here's an entirely different interpretation of planetary life on Venus. Do note that the Venusian men are busted as angler fish, but the women are hotter than dugongs.
Also, Venusians love to fist pump, cavort with horned orcas, and live in clams. Venus, you're okay in my book, despite your tentacled horrors of the deep. [Via]
Mars is filled with gladiators who attend summer school. Thanks, Planet Comics! [Via]
According to Planet ComicsJupiter will be rife with pygmy centaurs, giant naked dudes with ankle flagella, and hilariously quaint one-seater rocket tanks to protect astronauts from the crushing pressure. [Via]
Let's take a pit stop to Callisto. This moon is inhabited by depressing anteater people and those omnipresent space dragons. In the 1940s, cosmic dragons were an invasive species on every planet, save Earth. [Via]

Hey, Saturn is filled with robust extraterrestrial bodybuilders too! Astronomy was indescribably sexier in the 1940s.
According to Planet Comics, the Hawkmen of Saturn are a bunch of genial naturists. On my own Personal Taxonomy of Hawkmen, these guys rank above Carter Hall but below those dudes from Flash Gordon. [Via]
Planet Comics really phoned in this snapshot of Uranus (rimshot). All we can really glean is that retrofuture NASA ran out of funding for spacesuits in women's sizes.
Oh, and Uranusians are corpulent and sluggish. I'm never putting a terrarium on my head and riding my asbestos rocket to that slop heap. [Via]
Dinosaurs on Neptune. Duly noted. [Via]
I'm not sure what's going on this tableau of Pluto, so I'm just going to assume that green condor is the Secretary of Agriculture. [Via]
This Plutonian scene is from another issue ofPlanet Comics. This depiction of Pluto seems decidedly more habitable. Also, bike shorts are the planetary uniform. [Via]

Big ups to Atomic Surgery.


  1. Thanks for the great comment about this Bill! Hope your having an awesome night tonight! Stay tuned there will be more to come!

  2. Nonsense! We all know that there is no life on Yuggoth... I mean Pluto!

    Now, will someone kindly disconnect me? I find that I drop off into a deep sleep with such fantastic and vivid dreams...

  3. Thanks School Master! I just found the comment now! Hope you had a fantastic holiday! There's lots more to come!


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