Pendulum Press

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Pendulum Press
Parent company Academic Industries, Inc.
Status Defunct (1994)
Founded 1970
Founder David Oliphant
Country of origin U.S.A.
Headquarters location West Haven, Connecticut
Key people Vincent Fago, Nestor Redondo, Alex Niño, Gerry Talaoc, Naunerle Farr, John Norwood Fago, Kin Platt
Publication types Comics, Books
Fiction genres adaptations of literary classics
Imprints Pendulum Now Age Classics Series
Pendulum Illustrated Original

Pendulum Press was a publishing company most well known for their comic book adaptations of literary classics such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The War of the Worlds, and Moby-Dick. Founded by David Oliphant[1] and based in West Haven, Connecticut, the company operated from 1970[2] to 1994,[1] producing the bulk of their material in the 1970s. A division of Academic Industries, Inc., the company received Title One funds from the U.S. government to produce comics with an educational focus.[2][3]

History[edit]

Pendulum Illustrated Classics[edit]

Logo for Pendulum's Now Age Books line

In 1970, former Timely Comics editor-in-chief Vincent Fago was hired by Pendulum to produce the Pendulum Now Age Classics series, which were black-and-white paperback adaptations of literary classics. Specifically designed for classroom use, they used typeset instead of hand lettering, vocabulary appropriate for grade levels, and included word lists and questions at the back.[4]

From his studio in Bethel, Vermont, Fago edited and handled production on the nearly one hundred titles in the series.[3] Adaptations were handled by writers like Otto Binder, Naunerle Farr, Kin Platt, Irwin Shapiro, and Fago's son John Norwood Fago.[5]

After having difficulty finding American artists to illustrate the comics,[2] Fago turned to Filipino artist Nestor Redondo, who offered to help recruit some of his fellow Filipino comics artists[2] — these artists ended up illustrating almost every comic Pendulum produced. In addition to the work of Redondo, who illustrated more than 20 books in the series, the Pendulum Illustrated Classics featured the artwork of Alex Niño,[6] Gerry Talaoc,[7] Vicatan, Rudy Nebres, Jun Lofamia, Nestor Leonidez, and E. R. Cruz. (Redondo's brothers Virgilio and Frank also illustrated books in the series.)

Comics in the series were published from 1973–1980; the series ended with a selection of Shakespeare plays adapted into comics form.

Ancillaries and reprints[edit]

From 1976–1981, Fago produced a multimedia read-along program for the series, called New Matter Sounds. Each packet contained a reading booklet, a student activity booklet, a sound cassette, and an answer key sheet. Some of the packets contained a narrated film strip along with the other materials.

Many of the early issues in the Pendulum Illustrated Classics series were reprinted, in color with new covers, in 1976 by Marvel Comics as Marvel Classics Comics.[8]

In 1984, Pendulum's parent company Academic Industries reprinted a number of the Illustrated Classics (as well as other Pendulum comics) in a smaller format.[9]

From 1984–1988, Pendulum and the Indian publisher Pai and Company co-published Paico Illustrated Classics, which were reprints of the Pendulum Illustrated Classics translated into various Indian languages (as well as the original English). Paico republished the series in 1998–2000.

In 1990–1991, Pendulum itself reprinted a selection of Pendulum Illustrated Classics, now titled Pendulum's Illustrated Stories, in colorized versions with new painted covers. Originally planned to run 72 issues, the company only produced six issues before abandoning the project.[3]

In 1994, Pendulum reprinted its 1974 adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, colorized in a prestige format comic under the banner of the Phonics Classic Achievement Series. It announced more titles but these were also abandoned when the company closed down.

Also in 1994, Lake Illustrated Classics (a division of AGS Secondary) reprinted many of the Pendulum Illustrated Classics under their own banner.

Other publications[edit]

In 1976, to tie in with America's bicentennial, Pendulum published a line of historical comics called the Basic Illustrated History of America. This line was edited by Vince Fago's wife, D'ann Calhoun, and written by Naunerle Farr.

In 1978 Pendulum also published a primer on the value of comics as an education tool.

In 1978–79, Pendulum published a line of comic book biographies under the series title Pendulum Illustrated Biography Series. The books were flip books — half the book would feature one notable person, and then the reader would flip the book over to read the biography of the other featured notable.

In 1979, the company introduced the Pendulum Illustrated Original series, mostly featuring the new superhero Solarman, created by Pendulum founder and president David Oliphant.[1] Solarman was later revived by Marvel Comics in a 1989 series.

Pendulum also published a small line of prose books, by authors such as David M. Kennedy, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, and Joseph Payne Brennan, including biographical, sociology, and poetry titles.

Titles[edit]

Comics[edit]

Pendulum Illustrated Classics[edit]

Title Pub. date Adaptation Artist(s) Notes
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 1973 Otto Binder Romy Gaboa & Ernie Patricio hardcover book[10] collecting a version which had been previously serialized in Weekly Reader magazine. Later reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #4 (1976), in 1991 by Pendulum, with a new painted cover, and in 2010 by Saddleback Publishing, Inc. as part of their Illustrated Classics series.
Black Beauty 1973 Naunerle Farr Rudy Nebres Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #5 (1976)
The Call of the Wild 1973 Kin Platt Fred Carrillo
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1973 Kin Platt Nestor Redondo Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #1 (1976); colorized and reprinted by Pendulum in 1990 with a new painted cover
Dracula 1973 Naunerle Farr Nestor Redondo Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #9 (1976)
Frankenstein 1973 Otto Binder Nardo Cruz[11]
Huckleberry Finn 1973 Naunerle Farr Frank Redondo[4]
Moby-Dick 1973 Irwin Shapiro Alex Niño & Dan Adkins Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #8 (1976); colorized and reprinted by Pendulum in 1990 with a new painted cover
The Time Machine 1973 Otto Binder Alex Niño Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #2 (1976)
Tom Sawyer 1973 Irwin Shapiro E. R. Cruz[4] Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #7 (1976)
Treasure Island 1973 John Norwood Fago Nardo Cruz Colorized and reprinted by Pendulum in 1990 with a new painted cover
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Great Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 1974 Kin Platt (as Nick Tall) Nestor Redondo
Gulliver's Travels 1974 John Norwood Fago E. R. Cruz Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #6 (1976)
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame 1974 Jun Lofamia Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #3 (1976); colorized and reprinted by Pendulum in 1994 (the first [and only] issue of the Phonics Classic Achievement Series)
The Invisible Man 1974 Otto Binder Alex Niño
Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped 1974 Kin Platt] (as Nick Tall) Frank Redondo
The Mysterious Island 1974 Otto Binder E. R. Cruz Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #11 (1976)
The Red Badge of Courage 1974 Irwin Shapiro E. R. Cruz Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #10 (1976)
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter 1974 Naunerle Farr Virgilio Redondo
The Story of My Life, by Helen Keller 1974 C. N. Douglas Tony DeZuniga
A Tale of Two Cities 1974 Naunerle Farr Alfredo Alcala
The Three Musketeers 1974 Naunerle Farr Alex Niño Reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #12 (1976)
The War of the Worlds 1974 Naunerle Farr Alex Niño
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 1976 John Norwood Fago Frank Redondo[4]
Journey to the Center of the Earth 1976 Naunerle Farr Val Calaquian
White Fang 1976 Naunerle Farr Fred Carrillo
Around the World in Eighty Days 1977 D'ann Calhoun Frank Redondo part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet, including a student activity book by Gerald Dackerman and Marcia Sohl and filmstrip narration by Jan Leighton
The Best of Poe Naunerle Farr Gerry Talaoc, Nestor Redondo, Noly Zamora, and E. R. Cruz
The Best of O. Henry 1977 John Norwood Fago Antonio Caravana a.k.a. Tony Caravana part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet with film-strip narration by Chris Davala
Captains Courageous 1977 John Norwood Fago Leonardo Patricia part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
The Hound of the Baskervilles 1977 John Norwood Fago E. R. Cruz
The House of the Seven Gables 1977 Naunerle Farr Domy Guitierez & Angel Trinidad
Jane Eyre 1977 Naunerle Farr N. Olimar
The Last of the Mohicans 1977 Naunerle Farr Fred Carrillo
Two Years Before the Mast 1977 John Norwood Fago E. R. Cruz
Wuthering Heights 1977 Naunerle Farr Jo Amongo
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ 1978 Naunerle Farr Nestor Redondo
A Christmas Carol 1978 Tom Fagen Jun Lofamia Colorized and reprinted by Pendulum in 1991 with a new painted cover
The Food of the Gods 1978 John Norwood Fago Tony Caravana a.k.a. Antonio Caravana part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
Ivanhoe 1978 Naunerle Farr Gerry Talaoc
The Man in the Iron Mask 1978 Naunerle Farr Frank Redondo part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
The Prince and the Pauper 1978 John Norwood Fago E. R. Cruz[4]
The Prisoner of Zenda 1978 John Norwood Fago Nestor Leonidez
The Return of the Native 1978 D'ann Calhoun Fred Carrillo
Robinson Crusoe 1978 John Norwood Fago E. R. Cruz
The Sea-Wolf 1979 John Norwood Fago Domy Guitierez & Angel Trinidad
The Scarlet Pimpernel 1978 Naunerle Farr Rudy Florese
The Swiss Family Robinson 1978 Naunerle Farr Fred Carrillo part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
Billy Budd 1979 Stella Alico Vicatan
Crime and Punishment 1979 John Norwood Fago Vicatan part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
Don Quixote 1979 John Norwood Fago Fred Carrillo 64-page hardcover edition
Great Expectations 1979 Stella Alico Angel Trinidad part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
Heidi 1979 Sally Grindley Pamela Venus
The Iliad 1979 John Norwood Fago E. R. Cruz
Lord Jim 1979 John Norwood Fago Frank Redondo
The Mutiny on Board H. M. S. Bounty 1979 John Norwood Fago Rudy Florese part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
The Odyssey 1979 John Norwood Fago Nestor Redondo
Oliver Twist 1979 Stella Alico Fred Carrillo
Pride and Prejudice 1979 Naunerle Farr Nestor Leonidez
The Turn of the Screw 1979 Susan Conforti Gerry Talaoc part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
Romeo and Juliet 1979 Rich Margopoulous Nestor Redondo
As You Like It 1980 Naunerle Farr Nestor Leonidez
Julius Caesar 1980 Naunerle Farr Vicatan
King Lear 1980 Naunerle Farr Gerry Talaoc part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
Macbeth 1980 Rich Margopoulos Vicatan
A Midsummer Night's Dream 1980 John Norwood Fago Fred Carrillo Colorized and reprinted by Pendulum in 1991 with a new painted cover
Othello 1980 D'ann Calhoun Vicatan
The Tempest 1980 Rich Margopoulos Gerry Talaoc
Twelfth Night 1980 Naunerle Farr E. R. Cruz
The Merchant of Venice 1981 Naunerle Farr Jun Lofamia part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet

Pendulum's Illustrated Stories[edit]

Colorized reprints of the Pendulum Illustrated Classics
  1. Moby-Dick (1990)[12]
  2. Treasure Island (1990)
  3. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1990)
  4. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Mar. 1991)
  5. A Christmas Carol (1991)
  6. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1991)

Basic Illustrated History of America[edit]

edited by D'Ann Calhoun with Lawrence Bloch
  • The New World, 1500-1750 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by E. R. Cruz; part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
  • The Fight for Freedom, 1750–1783 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by Virgilio Redondo
  • The United States Emerges, 1783–1800 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by Fred Carrillo
  • Problems of the New Nation, 1800-1830 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr & Dennis Dostert, and illustrated by Jun Lofamia
  • Americans Move Westward, 1800-1850 (1977) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by Frank Redondo; 16 pp.
  • Before the Civil War, 1830-1860 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr & Dennis Dostert] and illustrated by E. R. Cruz
  • The Civil War, 1850-1876 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by Nestor Redondo; part of New Matter Sounds multimedia packet
  • The Industrial Era, 1865-1915 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr & Dennis Dostert, and illustrated by Fred Carrillo
  • America Becomes a World Power, 1890-1920 (1977) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by Resty Ronguillo
  • The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, 1920–1940 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by Tony Caravana
  • World War II, 1940-1945 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by N. E. Phillips
  • America Today, 1945-1976 (1976) — written by Naunerle Farr and illustrated by Nardo Cruz

Pendulum Illustrated Biography Series[edit]

Solarman (1979–1980)[edit]

Books[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Oliphant entry, Who's Who in American Comics Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Jan. 31, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Fago, Vincent. "Nestor Redondo and the Pendulum Classics," in Arthur Conan Doyle: Rosebud Graphic Classics (Eureka Productions, 2002), pp. 4-6.
  3. ^ a b c Kleefeld, Sean. "Vince Fago Post Script," Kleefeld on Comics (May 16, 2008).
  4. ^ a b c d e Inge, M. Thomas. "Comics," The Mark Twain Encyclopedia. Ed. J. R. LeMaster and James D. Wilson. (New York: Garland, 1993), pp. 168-71.
  5. ^ "D’Ann Calhoun Fago: 70 Yrs. of Art," The Herald of Randolph (Sept. 30, 2010).
  6. ^ Arndt, Richard J. "A 2005 Interview with Steve Bissette about Bizarre Adventures!" Enjolrasworld.com: Marvel’s Black & White Horror Magazines Checklist. Accessed May 8, 2013.
  7. ^ Gerry Talaoc at Lambiek's Comiclopedia.
  8. ^ Nestor Redondo entry, Grand Comics Database. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
  9. ^ Kujawa Henry R. "Jules Verne, Part 2," Professor H's Wayback Machine (Sept. 6, 2013).
  10. ^ Image of the book cover, ComicBookDB.com. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
  11. ^ Bridwell, E. Nelson (November 1974). "In Memorium: Otto Oscar Binder". The Amazing World of DC Comics (3): 30. 
  12. ^ Moby-Dick entry, Grand Comics Database. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
  13. ^ The Beatles entry, Grand Comics Database. Accessed Jan. 30, 2014.

External links[edit]