Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dr. Varsag's Experiment 2.1

Plop 12 mole man

The story "Dr. Varsag's Experiment" in DC's Plop! 12 (May/75) loosely adapts a pulp prose story published over 30 years earlier, but not the story with precisely the same title, "Dr. Varsag's Experiment" (Amazing Stories, Jan/40). The basis for the comic-book piece about creating a mole man is "Dr. Varsag's Second Experiment" (Amazing Stories, Aug/43).

Amazing Stories Aug 43 mole man

Both Varsag pulp stories were credited to Craig Ellis, but that pen name covered a different writer on each one (see the ISFDB; I found the info in the 1952 Day Index.). The first is the only SF story that Lee Rogow had published, as far as I know. The second is by David V. Reed. He used the pen name Coram Nobis for his Plop! scripts like the "Dr. Varsag" refry. (The artist is Lee Marrs.)

The first Varsag experiment in Amazing involved giving someone superspeed with mongoose-based injections. Does that sound as if some comics writer lifted it a lot sooner than 1975?


  1. Yes, this does seem to be the only SF story by 'Lee' Rogoff' (1920-1955), but it's because he hit the higher paying markets, Collier's. Esquire, Liberty, Woman's Home Companion, etc. Good catch on Vern reusing his own story.

  2. The editor's page in the February '40 issue of Amazing said that "Craig Ellis" had come to them from the slicks. August '43 inferred that he was going off to war, but it's hard to tell which author they meant--maybe just the pen name itself!