Ed Kemmer

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Cadet News - 2001

From Cadet Bob Burns. Bob has an excellent book out that all SF fans will enjoy IT CAME FROM BOB'S BASEMENT. See Solar Guard library for details.
Thanks to Space Ranger Mike Elmo for passing along the story of Tobor to the Academy.

 I just looked at the Solar Guard site and saw they were asking questions about what ever happened to Tobor. I can shed some light on that subject.

The TOBOR story is sad for me. Years ago I read in the paper about this thrift shop dealer that ended up with TOBOR. He bought a whole batch of stuff from a storage place and one of the big crates contained TOBOR.

I went over to see it and if he would sell it and he said the first person to come up with $1000.00 could have it. I was there on a Friday. I told him I'd take it and Kathy and I begged, borrowed, etc., and got the money. I called him and we decided that I would pick TOBOR up on the next Monday. I rented a truck and we went over and the guy said "You're not going to believe this but it was stolen over the weekend on Sunday." I was stunned.

One thing that bothered me was he didn't seem very upset about losing a $1000.00 sale. Another thing was that TOBOR was made out of metal and was in a very large wooden crate that was over 9 feet long and very heavy (I took 4 big guys with me to pick it up to get it in the truck). It would have been very hard to get that out of his place without someone seeing it. That along with him not being upset about losing the sale didn't make sense to me.

Later, I heard that he had insured it for around $10,000. You can draw your own conclusions from that. I never heard what he actually settled for but I would think he did pretty well. In any case, I lost TOBOR much to my sorrow. There is my very sad story of how I bought and lost TOBOR the Great.

I'm not sure who actually built the robot. I do know that Howard Lydecker was the special effects man on the film (being Republic). My guess is that he had it made by some metal shop. Obviously, they stored it in a storage place and forgot about it for many years and when the storage place found it they just sold it off to the highest bidder which happened to be this thrift shop guy. I know he didn't pay much for it though. He said he got 5 or 6 crates and boxes for a couple hundred bucks. I've never heard to this day what ever happened to TOBOR. As far as I know he's never showed up anywhere.

There you have it. Feel free to post this on the Solar Guard board if you want. The TOBOR event happened in 1965, and I'm still sad about it. TOBOR would have been a nice addition to the museum. Take Care, Bob.


From Cadet Jeff Berkwits:
Hi All,
I thought you all might enjoy this little bit of trivia... My wife and I were watching HBO (Friday 12/21/01), and saw the new remake of "Earth vs. The Spider" (part of the "Creature Features" series of "re-inventions" of old AIP pictures). It really has nothing to do with the original sci-fi film - this one is more "The Fly" meets "Spider-Man" with a horror feel. Plus, one of the stars is Dan Aykroyd, which is scary in and of itself.

Anyhow, as we all know, Ed Kemmer starred in the original 1958 picture, but the fun thing about this one is that the main character here is a 23-year-old kid named Quentin Kemmer! Ed may not be acting anymore, but his name, at least, lives on.

DC Comics Threatens Bruce David's Website

A cease and desist letter has been sent to Charles Bruce David, publisher of the website which features comics and articles about comics and the comics industry. The letter demands the removal of an article about how Superman's powers might be explained by new scientific understandings in the field of quantum physics. David, believing that he is fully protected under "fair comment" usage, has passed the DC letter on to his Beverly Hills attorney, Benjamin Pesta. David believes there may be far more to this than meets the eye because Link Yaco, author of the Science of Superman, the web article that got DC's attention, says he originally pitched the concept to DC as a book. Yaco claims that DC accepted the project but after stalling him for months, reassigned it to Byron Preiss, cutting Yaco out completely while offering nothing in the way of compensation. This was when Yaco queried about their interest in the piece. David, who knew nothing about the dispute between Yaco and DC, immediately posted the article at: has been publishing on the web since January 2000. Conceptually it is designed to fill the void created by the rapidly shrinking Sunday comics in today's newspapers. "Because of the premium put on advertising space," David says, "the adventure strips have all but vanished from the Sunday comics and the humor strips have to play it so safe that they have become tedious. Web comics are not bound by such constraints." Like its print counter part, is updated every Sunday. invites the press to query all parties in this matter.
Bruce David, Publisher,,
(323) 651-5400 days, (661) 775-9822 nights and weekends
Link Yaco, author, Science of Superman: Link, Phone: 212) 989 0819
DC, (JKogan0993), DC Comics 212) 636-5400