Johnny Galaxy and the Space Patrol by James Zee
Where did Australia's Johnny Galaxy come from?
Selecciones Ilustradas went through two major phases of international syndication, the first at the end of the 1950s when Johnny Galaxia was created; the second larger campaign around 1967, when the feature appeared in Australia.11See the AusReprints article on Sunday. The Seleciones Ilustradas feature Gringo also appeared in Australia at this time...
Similarly, Johnny Galaxia went through a burst of international printings in the early 1960s and a renaissance at the end of the 1960s, with new printings in Spain, Chile, Portugal and France at that time.22See the AusReprints story list for Johnny Galaxia... Beá has reported that SI proactively distributed promotional material to lure international publishers.33See quotes above.... It is possible that KG Murray was unknown to the Agency during the first expansion around 1960, but had been noticed by the end of the 1960s.
The Australian version reads as if it was translated directly from the Spanish by someone who was not primarily an English speaker. The text has a high level of minor errors and some stilted language that directly mirrors the Spanish text. The story "Cargamento de Muerte"/"Loaded with Death"44From 5 x Infinito 20 October 1971 and Johnny Galaxy and the Space Patrol 4 May 1968.... is a typical example:
• English: A deadly plague is being spreads throughout the planets of Sirius aboard this spaceship. Only one way exsist (sic) to prevent the complete extermination of a world… but, the price is the life of who ever carries it through. Mustang City, on Titan, is the site of Saturn mines. It (sic) population is all hard men, adventurers and fighters in space.
• Spanish: Una plaga mortal se desplazaba hacia los planetas de sirio a bordo de aquella astronave. Evitar la catástrofe era extremadamente difícil…Mustang City, en Titán, es un centro de explotación minera de saturno por hombres duros, que han dedicado sus vidas a obtener dinero.55Which translates literally as: "A deadly plague was moving towards the planets in Syrius on board this spaceship. To avoid...
It also seems likely that KG Murry introduced the translated title "Johnny Galaxy" and added the cover's subtitle "and the Space Patrol". While France localised the title to Galaxie,66See Super Boy, Tenax and other titles.... Murray's anglicised version isn't used on other English translations. The reason for the change isn't known, but Murray had a tradition of amending international characteristics in its material. As late as 1968, Murray was removing the words "of America" from Justice League of America reprints.
A likely driver for Murray to put out the new comic was the first broadcast in July 1967 of the new TV show, Star Trek. The SI series provided a quick "space opera" story in a similar mould and the new cover title may have been intended to evoke existing known science fiction comics and TV shows.77For example, there was a 1963 UK TV series titled Space Patrol and UK Mavelman comics included a backup feature... A popular title reflects Toutain's advice that "the world isn’t ready and we have to make it more palatable".88See above....
While the stories have enormous charm and creativity, as well significant historical interest today due to the notable artists involved, Johnny Galaxy didn't survive long. The feature was generally a backup feature internationally and perhaps couldn't carry its own series. Murray may also have quickly used up the limited stock of stories on the dedicated title. Or perhaps Australia just was't ready.