Sunday, 27 May 2012
Alien skull simulacrum
The iconic image of the “gray alien”—big eyes, big forehead, small mouth, small nose, no ears, no hair—has become a deeply ingrained part of modern culture. But it’s a relatively recent phenomenon, and it’s interesting to spot them turning up in anachronistic settings, such as the Alien simulacrum in the coat of arms of Florence, and this Alien-looking demon from a 1941 pulp magazine.
A few days ago I was looking at issue #1 of Dell’s Flying Saucer Comics, published in April 1967. This was well before the image of the gray alien was imprinted on the public consciousness in the 1980s and 90s. But many of the aliens featured in the comic have gray-like characteristics -- much more so than most popular-culture aliens of the period. In particular, there’s a six-page story called “Far-Out Physical” which features aliens that not only look a bit like grays, but indulge in gray-like activities such as abducting earthlings and subjecting them to medical examinations... as can be seen in the sequence below. I don’t think the alien dialog has been censored (although “bloody” was still quite risqué in the sixties)... I think the empty speech bubbles are meant to signify that their language is unintelligible to humans!