Sunday, August 20, 2006

Amazing World Of DC Comics #1

One of my favorite things about comics from the 1970's were the so called prozines put out by the two major companies, DC and Marvel. They saw how popular the fanzines were becoming and wanted to put out their own magazine sized books that would have accurate information about all the new comics coming out. Some of the fanzines weren't always accurate. Marvel was the first to put out a prozine, publishing the first issue of F.O.O.M. (Friends Of Ol' Marvel) in February, 1973. About a year and a half later, in July, 1974, DC came out with the first issue of their own prozine, The Amazing World Of DC Comics.

Put together by a group of interns known as the Junior Woodchucks, young comic book fans who were just out of college and working their first job in the business, AWODCC was a very well put together magazine that combined the up to the minute listings of all the new comics coming out that month plus interviews and features about the many different aspects of the creation of DC comics. One of the Woodchucks was a 17 year old kid named Paul Levitz, who today is the president of the company.

Issue #1 got the magazine off to a great start. There was an interview with Joe Kubert, an article on the then new (and dreadful) Wonder Woman TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby, an obit for Batman co-creator Bill Finger, who had just passed away, an unpublished Jack Kirby crime story, an article on how comics are created (it was the first in a multi-part series detailing every aspect of comic book production which I found quite interesting and thorough), an article on the Fleischer Superman cartoons from the 1940's, and many more great tidbits about the company and its many characters and creators.

Sales were pretty good on the first issue and it lasted another four years, ending with issue number 17 in 1978. It took me years to complete the run, as some of the issues were pretty hard to find and expensive, but it was worth it. There isn't any better time capsule of my favorite company and era of comics than these.

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