Thursday, November 15, 2007

Batman Family #12

One of my first exposures to my favorite artist Jim Aparo was this cover to Batman Family #12 from August, 1977. I was instantly impressed with his unique style. Unfortunately he didn't have any art on the inside. I enjoyed this issue anyway though. In addition to a Batgirl story and a cool Marshall Rogers drawn Man-Bat story, there was a cool Irv Novick drawn Robin story. This was probably my first exposure to another of my favorite artists growing up. Although I liked him better on The Flash, I thought Novick was a very good Bat artist, just not as good as Aparo. With cool books like this coming out at the time, it's no wonder I became a DC guy at a very young age.

Superman Family #182

Another great book I got from the first year I collected comics is this great Superman Family from April, 1977. Superman was (and is) my favorite character from day one and 80 pages of Superman related stories was a no brainer for me. Not to mention a gorgeous Curt Swan/Neal Adams cover. Right away I knew that Curt Swan was something special. He was the perfect artist for the Man Of Steel. Another great Superman family artist was Kurt Schaffenberger. At the time I wasn't aware of his work on Lois Lane from the Silver Age. It was a great experience discovering his work in these late '70's dollar comics. This issue also featured work by Mike Vosburg, Marshall Rogers, and John Calnan with scripts by Cary Bates and Denny O'Neill, and E. Nelson Bridwell. I'd savor these 80 page wonders for the whole weekend. Great, great stuff.

World's Finest #244

Every day something reminds me that I'm getting older. One of the major things is that this year celebrates my 30th year of collecting comics. My dad started buying me comics when I would go see him every other weekend after my parents divorced when I was seven. One of the first books I remember getting is the first Dollar sized World's Finest, #244 from April-May, 1977. I remember my dad thinking that a dollar was a lot for one comic considering they were .35 at the time. This particular issue was one of the better ones in the dollar run. Behind a great Neal Adams cover there were 5 great stories featuring such great heroes as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Vigilante. The main Superman and Batman team up featured the unique creative team of Bob Haney, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and Murphy Anderson. This book will always have a special place in my comic loving heart. I'll post some of the other Dollar comics that I was fond of in the upcoming days.

Friday, August 31, 2007

John Wayne Adventure Comics #20

From 1949 comes this cool cover featuring one of America's top action heroes. Like Gene Autry, not much is known about this series but at least it didn't have all photo covers, although most of them were. I think I read somewhere that not every issue had western themed stories. I believe a lot of them were straightforward adventure stories, as the Duke made all kinds of different movies, not just westerns. I think it would be kind of cool to have these kind of comics today. I could see Harrison Ford Adventure Comics. I'd definitely buy it.

Gene Aurty Comics #96

I thought I'd post some comics today from my dad's youth. He was always a huge western fan and two of his favorites were Gene Autry and John Wayne. He doesn't have any of his childhood issues anymore because my grandma probably threw them out but he might have had this issue from 1946. Not much is known about this series but it was probably fairly standard western fare. All 101 issues had photo covers so the kiddies could definitely tell it wasn't some generic western hero. Hopefully westerns will make a comeback. I know DC's new Jonah Hex series is doing OK so maybe there's hope.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


One of the funnest series DC put out in the 70's was Shazam! They had the rights to Fawcett's seminal hero and hadn't done anything with them for several years. Finally in 1973, in conjunction with the upcoming live action Filmation series, DC decided to put out a new title. Calling it Shazam!, it lasted five years and 35 issues. Originally featuring work by the series' original artist CC Beck, it retained the flavor and humor of the original series. Beck became frustrated over the course the series was going however and left after 9 issues. Bob Oksner took over and the series also had art from the great Kurt Scaffenberger. The initial scripts were by Denny O'Neil, who wasn't well suited to the material. Later stories were by E. Nelson Bridwell, who had a better grip on the material. This cover by Beck for issue #6 is pretty cool. I liked the photo effect. The vibe of this cover harkens back to the Golden Age, which is what this series was going for. It didn't quite work but it's still an entertaining read if you like the character.

Rock N Roll Comics

One of the few independent comics I bought during the early 90's was Revolutionary's Rock N Roll comics. It combined two of my main interests, rock music and comics. The Grand Comic Book Database doesn't have a lot of info on this series, other than it lasted 65 issues from 1989-1993. The series featured such artists as U2, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Alice Cooper, Living Color, Rush, and Def Lepard. The stories usually covered the history of the bands featured. Unfortunately, they weren't real accurate most of the time. The art was OK. Some bands were portrayed pretty accurately while others weren't. It's not a great series by any stretch of the imagination, but I still kind of like it. Some of these artists' stories would make pretty good comics. Maybe someday another publisher will try their hand at adapting them in comics form.

The Rocketeer Movie Adaptation

When people talk about comic book movies, the typical ones usually spring up. The Superman, Batman, X-Men, and Spider-Man franchises have produced some pretty good movies but none of them were as faithful to the comic as Joe Johnston's Rocketeer, which came out in 1991. It perfectly captured Dave Stevens' aviation book. It felt like you were there in the late '30's with Cliff Secord and his rocket pack. I saw it in a movie theater built in the late '20's and it was one of the coolest movie experiences I've ever had. The adaptation published by Disney is quite good also. Featuring a beautiful cover by the series' creator, Dave Stevens, it's a faithful adapation of the film. The interior art is by the amazing Russ Heath and it is just beautiful. Russ was born to draw this character. It's just great art. The story is by Peter David and he stays faithful to the movie as well. It's a great adaptation of an even greater movie.

Alien: The Illustrated Story

From the same creative team that brought us the Close Encounters adaptation comes an even more exciting version of a great sci-fi movie. The Alien adaptation by Goodwin and Simonson is one of the best movie adaptations ever done for comics. It was published by Heavy Metal magazine so that gave them a little more leeway as far as showing some of the horror that made the movie so good. It's quite possibly the most terrifying movie I've ever seen and Goodwin and Simonson bring that across very well. It has a creepy feel to it that no other book I've read has. Goodwin had help from the film's screenwriter, Dan O'Bannon, which was a tremendous aid in getting the feel of the movie down. They had more input from the studio than they did for Close Encounters. All of this input shows on the page. If you've never read this, you're missing out on a real visual treat.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind Marvel Super Special

I thought I'd post some of my favorite comic book adaptations of movies I really liked growing up. The first adaptation I really remember enjoying was the Star Wars Treasury Editions Marvel put out in 1977. I couldn't get enough of them. So I was pretty excited when Marvel put out their adaptation of Speilberg's space alien saga a year later. It was quite different than Star Wars but I was still entranced by the mothership and the aliens at the end. Writer Archie Goodwin and artist Walter Simonson did a very good job adapting the story, even though they didn't have much reference to go on because the movie's production was shrouded in secrecy. Simonson was perfect for the subject matter, as his style suited the otherworldly aspect of the movie. The cover by Bob Larkin was beautiful as well. This same creative team would get together again a couple of years later to adapt another great '70's sci-fi film.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Captain America's Bicentennial Battles

This was one of my favorite treasury sized comics. Every July 4th I try to read it. Jack "King" Kirby takes us and Cap on a journey through American history that's pretty spectacular as Kirby always was. Just a great, great comic. If you have it, then get it out again and read it this Fourth Of July. It'll definitely get you in a patriotic mood.

Uncle Sam Quarterly #5

In honor of our nation's birthday I thought I'd post a couple of cool patriotic covers. Uncle Sam Quarterly was published by Quality Comics during the early '40's to capitalize on our increased patriotism during World War II. This cover by Al Gabriele graced issue #5 from Winter, 1942. I don't think there was ever a greater patriotic image than Uncle Sam. You knew those bloody Axis powers never stood a chance!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

House Of Mystery #114

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is see movies under the stars at my local drive-in theater. Fortunately for me there are three drive-ins still around here in the Kansas City area. During the 1950's and early '60's, many comic book covers depicted different goings on at a drive-in, usually involving aliens or monsters of some sort. This cover by the great Dick Dillin from September, 1961 is a perfect example. House Of Mystery was one of the two main horror/science fiction anthology titles DC put out at the time, the other being House Of Secrets. The stories were all pretty much the same but they had a very innocent feel to them that reflected the times perfectly. This issue makes me want to head out to the drive-in right now, without the monsters of course.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

New Fantastic Four DVD

I just picked up the new two disc edition of the Fantastic Four movie and I just had to comment on two of the bonus features on disc 2. They're two of the best comic related documentaries I've ever seen. The first deals with the history of the FF comic, with in depth interviews with people like Stan Lee, Joe Sinnott, John Romita, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Rich Buckler, and many others. Stan's surprisingly candid in his recollections of the origins of the book. It covers the history of the series from 1961-2005.

The other documentary focuses on the life and art of the one and only Jack Kirby, who drew this early FF cover on the right, which was always one of my favorites. With help from his co-workers, family, and former assistants Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman, the hour long show features tons of pencil art, rare family photos, and personal remembrances about the King of Comics.

The FF movie itself is just OK. I'm curious to see how the sequel turns out. But this set is worth getting just for these two documentaries. They're worth the money just by themselves.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Star Wars #32

Another childhood fave from the one and only Carmine! From February, 1980. I'll try posting more covers as the month goes on. Happy Star Wars month!

Star Wars #31

I loved the way Carmine drew the Dewback. From January, 1980.

Star Wars #30

Boy, Carmine was on a roll, wasn't he? From December, 1979.

Star Wars #21

This was probably my favorite Star Wars cover as a kid. Once again by the amazing Carmine Infantino. March, 1979.

Star Wars #18

Do you think Marvel knew something about the sequel two years before it opened? By Infantino and Bob Wiacek. From December, 1978.

Star Wars #14

Another Infantino beauty from August, 1978.

Star Wars #12

By Carmine Infantino and Terry Austin. From June, 1978.

Star Wars #8

This great cover from February, 1978 is by the great Gil Kane who didn't do a whole lot of Star Wars art. You gotta love Jaxxon the rabbit.

Star Wars #6

Continuing in the fine tradition of my buddy Neatocoolville's 30 Days Of Star Wars countdown, I've decided to post a few of my favorite Star Wars covers from that magical time between 1977-80, when there was only one movie out and the comics were somewhat free to go interesting places with their stories. This beauty by Rick Hoberg is from December, 1977.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

30 Days Of Star Wars

Over on my pal Neatocoolville's fantastic blog (see link), he's celebrating the greatest movie ever made by posting different items and articles and other cool stuff from that great time 30 years ago. He's also counting down his 30 favorite Star Wars cards. I'll have to see if he posts mine. I thought I'd post the cover of the first issue of Marvel's great adaptation by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin. It was one of my favorite comics growing up. In fact, in the latest issue of Roy's great mag Alter Ego, he writes an article about the making of the adaptation. I can't wait to read it. If you have any love of the original movie, check out the blog and AE. You won't be disappointed!

Planet Comicon 2007

This past weekend my buddies and I went to Kansas City's biggest comic convention, Planet Comicon. We were fortunate enough to meet Marvel Comics legend Herb Trimpe, whose art graced many an Incredible Hulk tale from the mid 60's on, including this beauty from January, 1969. Herb was incredibly nice and generous. He did sketches for all of us and talked about his career and all the people he worked with at Marvel. I was very happy and a little amazed to see the long lines waiting to meet him. I didn't think he'd get that kind of response. He was signing books and doing sketches all weekend long. One of the highlights was the panel he did with fellow Bronze Age great Rich Buckler. It was very informal and entertaining. It felt like they were just talking to me and my friends one on one. It's a weird feeling to meet the people whose stuff you read growing up and having normal conversations with them. It was a lot of fun. In addition to Herb and Rich, we also got to meet David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in Star Wars. Considering Star Wars and comics were my childhood and Vader was my favorite character, I was pretty blown away to say the least. He was very friendly and talked to us for quite a while. Overall, it was a very fun convention. They put it on every year around this time and it's definitely worth going to if you live in or around the Kansas City area.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Superman Family #200

One of my favorite comic titles growing up was Superman Family. Being a huge fan of the Man Of Steel in his own comic and in Action Comics, I could not get enough of his exploits. Superman Family dealt with the supporting characters in Superman's universe. It began in the mid-70's as a combination of Lois Lane's and Jimmy Olson's comics when they were cancelled. I'm especially fond of the issues that were Dollar Comics. This particular issue features a great Ross Andru/Dick Giordano cover and interior art by the likes of Bob Oksner, Alex Saviuk, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Win Mortimer. If you haven't read these stories before, check them out. They're great late '70's/early 80's gems. This issue was cover dated April, 1980.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Showcase #43

In 1963, to capitalize on the recent success of the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, DC printed its adaptation. It wasn't very successful which surprised the people at DC because they thought Bond would be a no brainer as a comic book. The art by Norman J. Nodel wasn't very good and it felt rushed like they were trying to get the book on the stands before the hype went away. The cover by Bob Brown is pretty good though. If they had gotten somebody like Carmine Infantino or Gil Kane to do the book, it probably would have turned out a lot better. Maybe someday DC or Marvel will publish Bond comics again. It probably won't happen but a Bond geek can dream, can't he?

Showcase #56

DC decided to capitalize on the success of Hasbro's G.I. Joe toy line by putting this issue out in November, 1964. It reprints three classic war tales from the pages of G.I. Combat, "Hot Corner" by Kanigher and Kubert from #59, "Frogmen S.O.S." by Haney and Heath from #60, and "Battle Arithmetic" by Haney and Andru, from #52. Top it all off with another fantastic Kubert cover and you have yourself a typically great DC war comic of the sixties!

Showcase #29

I thought I'd post some great covers from one of the most important comic book titles of all time. DC created Showcase in the mid 1950's to try out ideas for proposed new series. It had its successes and failures. It was most well known for marking the first appearances of the Silver Age Flash, Green Lantern, and Atom. I'm more fascinated with some of the less heralded issues. This particular issue comes to mind although anybody who has it and the other two issues the Sea Devils appeared in love it. It's quite possibly Russ Heath's best work. It's spellbinding. Any other artist would not have been able to capture the undersea drama as good as Heath did. Needless to say, it's definitely worth picking up.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Star Trek

Perhaps Gold Key's most famous TV adaptation was Star Trek. Trek has been published by many companies through the years but Gold Key was the first and possibly most unique. The stories were sometimes a little flat but the art was always pretty good. The issue, #10 from May, 1971, features a painted cover by George Wilson and interior art by Italian artists Alberto Giolitti and Giovanni Ticci. The script was by a young writer named Len Wein. It was one of his first scripting assignments. The sorceror on the front looks a little like Gene Kelly to me. A very cool series dealing with the best SF TV show of all time in my book.

The Time Tunnel

Another great series from Irwin Allen was The Time Tunnel. In fact, it's my favorite of the many series he put out during the late 1960's. It dealt with the continuing adventures of two scientists who keep going back and forth through time to make sure history doesn't change. Some of the stories were kind of hokey but for the most part it holds up pretty well. Gold Key produced two issues in conjunction with the series' premiere in 1966. Once again, a beautiful painted cover adorns the first issue. I have this series on DVD and I recommend picking it up. It's truly one of the unsung SF series of the '60's.

Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea

Gold Key Comics was the preeminent company in the 1960's of TV show adaptations. They had the rights to many of the cool genre shows of the period. This is the first issue of their adaptation of Irwin Allen's classic SF series Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea. The artists on these stories sometimes had trouble because they weren't always given the proper visual guides for the show they were adapting. I think they did a pretty good job getting the feel for the different series. They were unique comics in that they had a definite European feel in the art. That's because they used a lot of Italian artists in their books. This particular issue came out in December, 1964 and features a beautiful cover painting. Alas, the Grand Comic Database isn't sure who did the art. The 32 page story inside was drawn by the prolific Mike Sekowsky, who was also drawing DC's Justice League Of America at the time. I recommend these Gold Key books simply for the good art and the nostalgia for the TV shows themselves.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Invaders #3

All Star Squadron wasn't the first WWII era super team Roy Thomas wrote. About eight years before he conceived and wrote the adventures of Marvel's elite 1940's superteam, The Invaders. This was a pet project Roy wanted to do while he was Editor-In-Chief at Marvel during the early '70's. In 1975, he finally got his wish. This was a very unique book art wise. Frank Robbins was the first penciller on the book and his unique style made it look totally different than any other book Marvel was putting out at the time. I really didn't like it when I first saw it but I gradually learned to appreciate it as time went on. This particular cover was pencilled by Jack "King" Kirby and inked (very heavily) by the equally great John Romita. At first glance this looked nothing like Kirby. He must have used a very light layout and Romita did a lot of the finishing. It looks much more like Romita than Kirby, especially the faces. Anyway, this is a great series. I hope the good folks at Marvel put this together in an Essentials volume. I'd buy it right away.

All Star Squadron #7

One of my all time favorite writers is the great Roy Thomas. He's probably best known for his incredibly long run on Conan The Barbarian but I was first exposed to his work on this series. All Star Squadron was one of the first series he wrote for DC Comics after working at Marvel for several years. This book was a no brainer for me because it featured a lot of the heroes from the Justice Society, which were my favorite super hero team at the time. Roy's love for the 1940's heroes comes through very well in this well scripted series set during World War II. This particular issue, from March, 1982, is one of my favorites. The awesome Joe Kubert did many covers for All Star Squadron during its 67 issue run and this one is one of the best. Very few artists could compose a cover like Kubert. The interior art in this issue is by Adrian Gonzales and Jerry Ordway. For a complete history of this title, check out Roy's outstanding All Star Companion Volume 2, available from Twomorrows Publishing.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Best Of DC Digest #26

This is probably my favorite digest. Not only does it have a beautiful Jim Aparo cover, but it gave me my first look at the classic Brave And Bold adventure hero strips from the 50's. This issue featured "Three Arrows Against Doom" a gorgeous Robin Hood story from B&B #9 by Bob Haney and Russ Heath, "Threat Of The Ice King" a Viking Prince masterpiece by Kanigher and Kubert from B&B #18, "The Sword In The Lake" a Silent Knight tale from Haney and Irv Novick from B&B #21, "The Secret Beneath The Earth" featuring Cave Carson from B&B #31 by France Herron and Bruno Premiani, "Menace Of The Mirage People" by Kanigher and Ross Andru featuring The Suicide Squad from B&B #38, and "You Can't Hide From A Deadman", a Batman/Deadman team-up from B&B #86 by Bob Haney and Neal Adams. If you can only pick up one digest, then this classic is definitely the one. Great stories and art make for a great afternoon of comic reading!

Best Of DC Digest #21

From February, 1982 comes this beauty reprinting three adventures of the first super hero team, the legendary Justice Society Of America. I always enjoyed the JSA from their yearly team ups with the Justice League but I had never at that time read any of their 1940's adventures. This issue reprinted "The Day That Dropped Out Of Time" from All Star Comics #35 with art by such greats as Joe Kubert, Irwin Hasen, Lee Elias, Paul Reinman, and Frank Harry. I loved the story and wanted to read more Golden Age JSA stories. This issue also reprinted the more recent "The Untold Origin Of The Justice Society" from DC Special #29 by Paul Levitz and Joe Station, and "The Big Super Hero Hunt" featuring Starman and Black Canary from The Brave And The Bold #62 by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson. All this plus a beautiful George Perez cover! What more could you ask for?

Best Of DC Digest #3

In addition to my love of treasury sized comics growing up, I also had a deep affection for their polar opposite, the Best Of DC digest sized comics. A lot of digests offered my first exposure to reprints of Golden and Silver Age strips that I had never seen before. They were also very easy to cart around on car trips and were easy to stick in my desk at school while the teacher wasn't looking. This issue, from February, 1980, was one of the first digests I ever bought. I really love the cover by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. It had a different vibe than the normal comic cover. It was great, as most covers by Lopez were. This particular issue reprinted "The Cosmic Hit Man" from Super Friends #3 by E. Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon, "Man, Thy Name Is Brother" from Justice League #57 by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, "Riddles And Rockets" from Super Friends #4 by Bridwell and Fradon, "Eye Of The Beholder" from Teen Titans #18 by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, and Bill Draut, and "The Monster Menace" from Super Friends #10 once again by the great team of Bridwell and Fradon. I'll post a couple more covers of my favorite digests soon.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Justice League #160

One of my favorite comics growing up was Justice League Of America. In fact, many times during the late '70's when my dad said I could only get one comic (that .35-.50 price was just so expensive you know!) I would often pick the JLA. I think the appeal of the book for my 8 year old mind was that a multitude of heroes was in every issue. I could get my fix of Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and the rest in one fell swoop. This particular issue, cover dated November, 1978, was a big favorite. It gave me my first exposure to the annual team ups between the JLA and the Justice Society. I was blown away by these stories. I was giddy with excitement every year afterwards when I saw that they were teaming up again. A big reason I liked JLA was the art. The vastly underrated team of Dick Dillin (pencils) and Frank McLaughlin (inks) were consistently great month in and month out. Dillin drew the book for over ten years. That's impressive by itself. What's even more impressive is that the quality of the art never diminished. I got to meet McLaughlin once and was able to thank him for his great work. Unfortunately, Dillin died in 1980 while he was still drawing the book. If you like superhero teams, you can't get much better than '70's Justice League!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Happy Super Bowl Sunday

As I'm sitting here waiting patiently for the big game to start, I thought I'd post this great Golden Age cover featuring three of the greatest heroes of the time playing America's favorite sport. You can have your Peyton Mannings and Rex Grossmans. I'll take Jay Garrick and Alan Scott any day!! I bet Wonder Woman could outplay any of those wimpy Bears or Colts! Enjoy the game. If you're not into football, then read some comics. In fact, I think I'll do both!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Limited Collectors' Edition #C-36

Definitely the most unique treasury comic is this great collection of Bible stories by the great Joe Kubert and Nestor Redondo. Edited by Kubert and the comic book adaptation by veteran DC editor Sheldon Mayer, this book was an exciting look at the, as the cover pointed out, most spectacular stories ever told. The unique Fillipino style of art like Redondo's was very prevalent in DC books of the '70's. I still have mixed feelings about the Fillipino artists. On the one hand, the art is very unique and dynamic. On the other hand, it's very different from the stuff I loved (and still love) at the time. Stuff like Jim Aparo's Batman and Curt Swan's Superman for example. Anyway, this treasury showcases the Filipino style in its 68 pages to quite good effect. It's a great book that any '70's DC lover should have.

Marvel Treasury Edition #10

My favorite Silver Age Marvel book was always Thor. The cosmic grandeur and scope of Jack "King" Kirby's art always blew my 12 year old mind. This great art still blows my mind over 20 years years later. If you thought it was great in the standard comic book format, wait 'til you see it in treasury size. Wow!! This great book from 1976 reprints four classic issues of the Thunder God's exploits from 1968. "To Wake The Mangog" from Thor #154, "Now Ends The Universe" from Thor #155, "The Hammer And The Holocaust" from Thor #156, and "Behind Him...Ragnarok" from Thor #157. All stories by Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby with inking by Vince Coletta. It doesn't get much better than that. Maybe if Joe Sinnott inked it, but I digress.

All-New Collectors' Edition #C-54

My all time favorite treasury comic is this masterpiece from 1978. It was one of the first treasuries I bought and it holds up great almost 30 years later. It contained an original story by Gerry Conway centering on Superman and Wonder Woman being set up by the insidious Nazi super villain Baron Blitzkrieg to fight each other during the dark days of World War II. Jose Luis Garcia Lopez and Dan Adkins were a great team on the cover and interior art. It just blasted off the page. I was fortunate to meet Garcia Lopez a few years ago and he graciously signed my well worn original copy of this book. If you haven't read any treasury book before, definitely start with this one!

Limited Collectors' Edition #C-47

From August-September, 1976, we have this beauty celebrating our nation's 200th birthday. As a kid, I thought anything having to do with the Bicentennial was cool. So when I saw the ads for this book, I was pretty excited. At the time I first saw it I was disappointed however. It barely had Superman in it. He just introduced the Tomahawk stories inside. As an adult though, I really dig this book. First off, the Fred Ray cover is just gorgeous. The Tomahawk stories inside by Ray are great too. He, along with Jack Burnley, are my two favorite Golden Age artists. The Curt Swan framing art featuring Superman is great too as usual. This book did a very good job teaching American History to thousands of 6 year olds like myself back in '76!

Marvel Treasury Edition #15

Marvel also got into the treasury business with the Marvel Treasury Edition series. This series featured almost all reprints but that was OK because some of this stuff was simply stunning in the large format. A case in point is this issue featuring everybody's favorite barbarian from 1977. Featuring a gorgeous cover by the great John Buscema, this issue contains stories by four of the great Conan artists of the 70's. It reprints "The Song Of Red Sonja" by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith from Conan #24, "Night Of The Dark God" by Thomas and Gil Kane from Savage Tales #4, and "Black Colossus" by Thomas and Buscema (the quintessential Conan team, by the way) from Savage Sword Of Conan #2. If you like great fantasy art, look no further than this beauty!

Limited Collectors' Edition #C-37

Perhaps my favorite comic book format growing up in the 1970's was the over size treasury format. I loved seeing the four color adventures of my favorite heroes in this large format. DC combined reprints with all new stories to thrill their readers. One of the first treasuries I ever bought was this gem from August-September, 1975. Sporting one of my all time favorite covers by my favorite artist, Jim Aparo, this issue reprinted several stories from the Golden and Silver ages of comics featuring the caped crusader vs. some of his most dangerous foes. Reprinted in this issue are "The Cross Country Crimes!" from Batman #122, "The Blackbird Of Banditry!" from Batman #43, "The Scarecrow" from World's Finest #3, and "The Lady Rogues!" from Batman #45. To top it off, there's a very neat tabletop diorama by Aparo. To learn more about treasury comics, check out the great website

Monday, January 1, 2007

The Brave And The Bold #21

In my earlier post I talked about how underrated Irv Novick was as a penciller. Proof positive of his talent is this gorgeous cover to Brave And Bold #21, from January 1959. One of my great wishes for the new year would be for DC to reprint the adventure stories that were in Brave And Bold during the first 25 or so issues of the title. Viking Prince by Joe Kubert, Robin Hood by Russ Heath, and Silent Knight by Irv Novick were some of the most beautiful comics any company produced during this time. This particular issue featured a Viking Prince story by Kubert and a Silent Knight tale by Novick and writer Bob Kanigher. The Viking Prince story was written by one of my favorite writers, the great Bob Haney. I always loved the flag motif of the cover titles. I always thought they should have kept it even through the great team ups Haney and Aparo did in the 70's. It was probably my all time favorite comic. Cross your fingers and hope DC reprints this stuff soon!

Batman #324

From right in the middle of my first phase of comic collecting comes this beauty from June, 1980. This issue had everything I loved as a ten year old DC lover. It had a stunning Jim Aparo cover (I've never seen an Aparo cover that wasn't stunning), a great feature length Batman story by Len Wein and Irv Novick, a Hostess Twinkle ad by Curt Swan, and a Fred Hembeck cartoon to top it all off. I always loved the Hembeck cartoons that appeared in the Daily Planet sections of DC books of the late 70's and the Marvel Age book of the 80's. His humor always cracked me up as a kid and adult. It was a huge part of why I liked those comics so much. He has a great website that showcases his fine work. This particular Batman tale was the second part of a Batman, Catman, and Catwoman tale that I was anxiously awaiting the conclusion of. I always thought Irv Novick was an underrated Batman artist. His work on Batman and The Flash during this time was some of my first introductions to those characters. A lot of people aren't crazy about late 70's DC, preferring the earlier part of the decade, but I'll always have a special place in my heart for this era. It was a huge part of my childhood.

Adventure Comics #300

One of my all time favorite comics growing up was The Legion Of Super-Heroes. I loved the Dave Cockrum and Mike Grell eras of the 70's but my favorite period for the Legion was the 60's, when the group first started developing its varied history and continuity. Although it was a Mort Weisinger edited book, which usually meant silly plots and contrived storylines, the pure number of characters and the different powers they had intrigued me as a kid. It didn't hurt that the great Curt Swan drew a lot of the issues. Swan was a master at detailing the futuristic landscapes and alien worlds the stories required. This issue, cover dated September, 1962, was the first issue of their long run in Adventure Comics. The run lasted 80 issues and was one of the longest runs of the Silver Age. This was one of Swan's finest covers and one of the most iconic of the Silver Age. The interior art in this issue was by John Forte however. This issue marked the first appearance of Mon-El as a Legionnaire and is reprinted in Legion Archives Vol. 1

Batman #10

I thought I'd start off the new year with one of my all time favorite Golden Age covers. Batman #10, cover dated April-May, 1942, was similar in content to many other books of the era. There were four Batman stories inside, none of which were real different than other Batman tales of the time. The cover, however, would distinguish itself as one of the greats. Drawn by classic Bat-artist Jerry Robinson, the uniqueness of seeing our heroes on the artist's board as he was drawing it was a very cool concept. Jerry also drew all four stories inside, although they were all credited to Bob Kane. It's a shame Robinson and other ghosts like Sheldon Moldoff and Dick Sprang weren't credited for these stories until decades later. I thought they were superior artists to Kane, although I do like Kane's character design on the main characters. All the Batman stories in this issue are reprinted in the excellent Dark Knight Archives Volume 3.

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