Break out the Spider-Turntable – Invasion of the Dragonmen (PR24)
Thanks to his status as Marvel’s biggest star, Spider-Man is bound to show up the most in associated merchandise. Everything from crappy Spider-cars to Aurora model kits and their associated comics are going to get turned out by the never-resting money-making machine. Even a comic book/record fusion, a twist on the treasured old vinyl read-alongs. Tchotchkes never sleep. When you think about it, a read-along book taking the form of a comic is obvious, if a bit redundant. The multiple sequential pictures accompanying the words take away from the fired imagination that spoken word stories have. Yet the education component — a not insignificant part of the enterprise — is still there, though perhaps the whole endeavor gets muddled with combination of looking, reading and listening.
That said, these old comic-records, produced by Power Records and the associated IP holders, weren’t totally slapdash affairs. In fact, they actually have a distinctive visual elan at times, something growing out of sequential art designed specifically for the ear — if that makes any sense.
This particular tale — eschewing adaptations of previously told plots for original content – opens with Dragonmen from wherever coming to Earth to do whatever, and first appearing, as with many a 1950s sci-fi.suspense/horror B-movie, to necking teens in the woods:
Go easier on the lipstick next time, lad.
The storytelling is fairly simple, though not distilled down to an Electric Company level. And there are times when you get big, expansive layouts like the following:
The things isn’t great. The storytelling is simplistic, the plot is warmed over, and the art is adequate, if not scintillating. The Power Records books have their place as oddities, and little more. And that’s really all you can say about them.
If you’re some sort of savant who had the ability to read the ridges of a record from a scan of said record, here you go:
Here’s a selection of other vintage Power Records titles for your old-timey enjoyment — Space: 1999! Star Trek!:
And lastly, the entire audio from the record, fused with scanned images from the comic — again, if you’re curious: