You know: in a foolish, undiscriminating way, I've been happy these last few months. I don't know why. I just am. I love my friends; I love my pupils; I love what I read; I -- dammit -- love my thoughts. I love the taste of oranges.
Thornton Wilder in a letter to Gertrude Stein, Aug 14, 1936

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


 1) HIGHLY ACCELERATED LIGHT WAVES -- chosen method for interplanetary travel by the Super Wizard Stardust

2) ANTI-GRAVITY RAY - self explanatory

3) ATOM SMASHER WITH LONG-RANGE AUTOMATED FINDER -- scary sounding weapon that doesn't work because Stardust unleashes his ---

4) BOOMERANG RAY -- capable or reverse the direction of any other ray
Stardust's sense of justice has a Dantesque quality

5) MAGNETIC RAY -- can attract people as well as metals

6) SUSPENDING RAY -- prevents anything caught by magnetic rays from falling to the ground once magnetic ray is turned off

6) SECRET RAY -- possibly has multiple functions, but Stardust uses it to materialize the skeletons of criminals' victims (scary)

7) JU-JU DRUM -- drum with hypnotic powers used by Org to control giant, flesh-eating spiders

8) SUPER SUPERIORITY BEAM -- used by Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle, to defeat Org
When Fantomah gets angry she gets ugly

9) SUPER INTERPLANETARY TELEVISION SET -- used by Stardust when spying on criminal activity anywhere in the universe -- comes equipped with a Thought Recorder

10) PANORAMIC CONCENTRATION UNIT -- somehow different the Super Interplanetary Television set (see #9 above)

11) FUSING RAYS -- turns airplanes into blobs of steel

12) CONCENTRATED THOUGHT WAVES -- allow Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle, to fly (similar to Highly Accelerated Light Waves, see # 1 above.)

13) SIMPLIFIED TELEVISION UNIT -- a handheld version of the Super Interplanetary Television Set (See # 9 above)

14) POWERFUL RAY -- undefined weapon; very powerful

15) DISINTEGRATING RAY -- self-explanatory

16) ANTI-SOLAR RAY -- capable of stopping the earth's rotation, thus destroying gravity

Anti-solar ray in action

17) HYDRAULIC BALANCE RAY -- used to keep water on the planet after Anti-Solar ray is deployed ( see # 16 above)

18) ATTRACTOR BEAMS -- used by Stardust to retrieve humans floating away from earth after deployment of anti-solar ray (see # 16 above)

19) THE CONCENTRATOR -- allows Stardust to combine many men into one man

All images and rays are from the comics of Fletcher Hanks, published in the late 1930's and early 1940's, anthologized in I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets, edited by Paul Karasik. (Fantographics Books, 2007. You can read my review of I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets here)