Here's some of the email I got last week.
Marlon Fields writes:
You’ve probably already received an explanation, but:
“Martians Go Home!” is a science fiction story by Frederick Brown. It’s largely remembered for the cover illustration by Kelly Freas.
The “Do Not Panic” illustration you printed a few emails back was an early (pre-Spiderman) collaboration between Steve Ditko and Stan Lee . The story dealt with Martians and unwanted visitors, which likely sparked the “Martian Go Home!” reference.
Kelly Freas was also well known for painting Mad Magazine covers. The Alfred Newman character (derived from various advertising images dating back half a century) was refined by Norman Mingo, and after Mingo painted Newman for seven issues of Mad, Freas took over for about four years. Mingo later returned and painted over a hundred more covers.
Freas won 10 Hugo awards for Science Fiction Artist of the Year, and adapted one of his paintings to be the cover for Queen’s "News of the the World”.
While looking up Freas images, I ran across some stuff by quirky SF artist Hannes Bok (real name, Wayne Woodard). His pseudonym was based on Johann Sebastian Bach. Bok had a low output, partially because he loved Maxfield Parrish, and used the Parrish technique of applying layers of varnish between layers of paint. Which requires a lot of time. It also causes the paintings to become dark and cloudy as time passes, since they can’t be cleaned with standard methods.
John W. Campbell's “Who Goes There?” story was the basis for both of “The Thing” movies. John W. Campbell was also the science fiction editor who gave the most work to Kelly Freas.
Since I wasn't feeling much like doing an email this week, I'm grateful to Marlon for helping me out!
My own teenaged daughter deigned to write me, a thrill that any parent can understand. Tess writes:
This is an official request for more Little Lulu panels to be included. I expect action to be taken immediately, or you will be hearing from my attorney, the notorious 5'0'', curly-haired punk icon Elaine Lohse.
Much as I fear the onslaught of the tiny terror of Teen Town (Elaine) who has enough hair to frighten any sexagenarian, I am currently unable to comply with your request and will take my legal troubles like a man and a father.
My most constant reader, David Udell, who well knows the sweet relief a mere gesture brings to the unjustly-neglected artist, moaning with bitter regret after a wasted lifetime of creative effort, writes:
The Wolverines and Bestertester. I forgot how cultured you were. My dad would have been proud!
David's dad, the legendary Gaslight Square/LaClede Town bartender, Jerry Udell, played his own original 78 rpm disc of Bix Biederbecke (of the Wolverine Orchestra) for me when we all lived in the P-Funk Party Lab on Sydney street in the 1970s. I recorded the solemn moment on a cassette tape, which I still have somewhere around here, I think. I wrote back:
I think constantly of Bestertester, thanks to ingrown toenails on both of my big toes. This is something I can only discuss candidly with my most intimate friends.
Isn't this MUCH BETTER than facebook? Thanks for writing, everyone!