Concrete Martians written by Mitch Cook, illustrated by Keith Grachow – October 30th 1938, Orson Wells produces a radio show for Halloween. The Mercury Theater Presents, H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds.
The tiny lumber/concrete town of Concrete, Washington, becomes the epicenter of Martian Invasion Hysteria when, at just the point when the Martians in the radio play attack, the power goes out and so do the phones.
The power that radio displayed in those early days of mass media showed us that, even without meaning to, the theater of the mind can and often does wreak havoc among the masses. Local sheriff Ted “Teddy” Wilson has his hands full when a radio play combined with a powerful electrical storm stirs up Martian invasion fever in the residents of Concrete, Washington. As the rains progress an overburdened power substation decides to quit. Of course this only fuels the hysteria and “proves” that the Martians are indeed invading with cruel intent.
In the end, the story is revealed to be merely a radio theater play .
Most, if not all of the town’s people felt understandably embarrassed and went on to live their lives. However what happened on that day was never fully documented, and that’s where our story takes us. This story presented in two installments (52 pages total) . It isn’t a terribly long story as the events take place in a matter of an hour and just one stormy night.
Interspersed within the narrative is a retelling of the Mercury Theater’s War of the Worlds broadcast. Up until the power goes out, anyway.
The events depicted are based on anecdotal evidence by people who experienced them. Newspaper reports from Concrete, Washington have aided in telling this story. Many such events occurred across the country that night.