The rocket itself was built out of an antique medical device used to treat “Female Hysteria” around the turn of the century. Though never named in the final film, production notes indicate the ship was named Luna
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Corky is played by Rusty Dixon (1920-2008). Dixon was a popular radio star in the 30s and 40s getting his start playing the mute teenage detective Clue Crabtree (1934- 1945). He starred in several plays, before being tapped to play Corky, the sidekick and mechanic for Capt. Snapper, in Destination Z. While Dixon hoped to turn this small part into a feature film career it didn’t pan out. While he went on to appear in over 2 dozen movies throughout the 40s, 50s, and 60s they were all B-movie roles for Raymond and Nowlan Cinepictures. Dixon is best remembered for playing Lionel Shelley, the corrupt CEO of Shelley Pharmaceuticals on the soap opera Degrees of Dignity(1965-2007). Rusty Dixon was murdered by his 14th wife, Misty Tebrooke in 2008.
Trivia: The “lava lamps” used in the reactor prop were actually built by Carl Otis who had patented an Ornamental Illumination Device, similar in design to the Lava Lamp in 1945.
Doctor Bertram Jeffcoat was portrayed by William Bonehill(1892- 1963). British born William started out on the vaudeville circuit as a dramatic orator before landing his first play, She Found It, in 1916. In the 20s he moved out west and tried his hand in the booming motion picture industry, becoming one of the few silent era actors to transition into the “talkies” at the end of the decade. Too old to serve in the military during WW2, William did numerous tours with the USO, and was even wounded when his transport plane was shot up over the English Channel. Though he survived, William was forever paralyzed in his left arm. This scene actually shows the limb falling from his pocket and flailing as he walks. William passed away from complications of pneumonia at age 71.
Capt. “Red” Snapper was portrayed by Leslie Hootkin (1916-1992), a former navy pilot credited with shooting down 14 planes over the Pacific in WW2. After the war Leslie toured with a carnival/ air show for several months before finding work as a stunt pilot on “Glory or Death”(1946) and Those Flying Deathtraps”(1946). “Destination Z” marks his debut as an actor, and he would go on to make over 200 films( and over half of those for Raymond and Nowlan Cinepictures) before his tragic snowboarding death at Sundance.
Trivia: Capt. “Red” Snapper is called Captain, “Red”, or Captain Snapper in the film, but never “Red” Snapper.
Destination Z (1946) written by Duke Peters Jr. Directed by House Lorch. Distributed by Raymond and Nowlan Cinepictures
The team of Duke Peters Jr (1898- 1972) and House Lorch(1912- 1997) would make 172 pictures between 1946 and 1960, sometimes filming 3 films simultaneously. In order to keep budgets low, and come in ahead of schedule they would also reuse sets, shots, costumes, and props. The rocket built for Destination Z was reused in Princess of the Unknowable(1947), The Parrot that Discovered Space(1947), Women of the Platypus Balloonists(1953) and Anna Karenina(1967)
So was this past weekend, and I was a guest. I’m going to pretend every one of you knew that, and came to ALL my panels. Anyway, this year’s con was incredible. Peter Davison, The Dish of the Day from Hitch Hiker’s Guide, was the Media Guest of Honor, with Orson Scott Card(Ender’s Game, Alvin Maker) and Larry Elmore(Snarfquest) as the Author and Artist GOHs.
I had a blast this weekend, with nearly every panel I was on packed to capacity. We caught up with old friends, made new friends, and avoided the police after that one incident that totally wasn’t my fault. Right now I’m home, tired but satisfied and looking to do it all again as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone for kicking off my con season on such a positive note.
No strip as we’re heading out to Mysticon at the Holiday Inn Tanglewood in Roanoke VA. Stop by the Dealers Room and say Hi,(and buy stuff so we can eat). If you’ve already got both books we have started selling sketch cards, and I’ll be happy to do one of any character you want. As long as I can find a reference photo of it. I’ll also be participating in the following panels this weekend:
4:00pm Ballroom E Will Comic Strips Survive
10:00pm Ballroom D Where’s the Line Handling Potentially Offensive Topics in Your Work
11:00am Boardroom 1 Webcomic Basics
5:00pm Ballroom E Box Office Boxing:DC Vs Marvel in the Movie Theater
10:00pm Rm 533 Artist Roundtable
11:00am Boardroom 1 CSI in Fantasy and Sci-Fi settings
1:00pm Ballroom D Cradle to Grave the Art of Creating a Comic
Hope to see you there!