Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mars Attacks!

One of the neatest things about the Internet is it allows material to be published that might never see the light of day otherwise.

For example, an interview I had with Len Brown has been rotting on my hard drive for five years -- until today. Brown was one of the guiding forces behind MARS ATTACKS, a 55-card trading set released in 1962 by Topps, the company famous for baseball cards.

MARS ATTACKS rocketed to notoriety by featuring painted depictions of a brutal alien invasion. Some of the images were pretty strong stuff for a set of cards aimed at kids, and after some backlash from the public, Topps abandoned its plans to release the cards nationally. Thus was a collector's item born.

While the original set of trading cards sells for prices far beyond my means, a reprint edition that came out around the time of Tim Burton's generally disappointing film version is much more affordable. Best of all, that series included new cards painted by Zina Saunders, daughter of Norm Saunders, who painted the 55 originals.

The interview with Brown was phenomenal, but only a small handful of his quotes appeared in my sidebar story timed for release around the time of M. Night Shyamalan's SIGNS. I always hoped to someday find a home for Brown's comments, which were (and are) probably of interest to MARS ATTACKS fanatics.

If you're predisposed to like things like this...

...then click here to read the interview in its entirety.

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