Thursday, November 15, 2012

METEOR (1979) Tie-In Magazines

As I've noted before, American-International's 1979 release, Meteor, had a surprising number of tie-ins and merchandise, especially for what was, in essence, just another all-star disaster flick in the vein of The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure. Of course, there wasn't a Marvel Comics adaptation (or Viewmaster reel or pinball machine) done for those films, was there? So what was different about Meteor?


Two years after the box-office double-punch of Star Wars and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, the kids (namely, us) were still buying the toys, comic books and other memorabilia those films had generated... and Hollywood was paying attention. In 1979, the same year as Meteor, we had Alien, The Black Hole, Star Trek - The Motion Picture, the theatrical version of Universal's Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, and Moonraker. Even James Bond knew that the gold was in outer space.

And while the action in Meteor was almost strictly Earthbound, and there were no robots, laser guns or even any action figure potential (Henry Fonda as The President... with button-pushing action!) it did have a great big rock... from space! Which is no doubt why American-International's PR and marketing division worked so hard to get coverage in fan mags like Starlog and Future Life.

So Meteor got itself an official Warren movie magazine, complete with behind-the-scenes photos, articles and cast interviews (and inevitable Captain Company ads in the back) and a Marvel Comics Super Special adaptation with a Frank Miller (and Peter Ledger) cover. Actually, it's a pretty fair comic book, all things considered, with nice art by Gene Colan & Tom Palmer.

Of course, the movie bombed and took American-International with it.  Maybe they should have put out a Sean Connery "Dr. Paul Bradley" action figure after all...


  1. I remember reading about it in the fan mags where it was really hyped up by the Director, I couldn't believe how shonky it was when I actually saw. In all fairness it was ahead of its time as a few other asteroid hit epics have appeared in the last decade or so

  2. Gene Colan and Tom Palmer? I HAVE TO FIND THIS. Gene Colan drawing mustache-and-toupee Sean Connery has to be great. It can't possibly be full of stiff photo-referencing; it's Gene Colan.

    Has anyone seen this art? Is it as good as 'Tomb of Dracula' or 'Night Force?' Or is it about what you'd expect of a movie adaptation -- confusing and stilted, with gobs of narration?

  3. @Rockie Bee: I saw a couple of pages of the comic in a magazine that was doing a retrospective on Colan's work (but this was a few years before he passed away). It looked quite good, like all of Colan's work. Palmer's inks to the work to a whole 'nother level.

    And I actually have a copy of this magazine (the Official Magazine)! I picked it at a comic shop in New York some years back. I have...well, let's just say that METEOR is a guilty pleasure for me. It is awful--I will admit that--but every time it's on TV, I end up watching the whole thing.