Friday, August 29, 2008

Celebrating The King

This is a little late but last Thursday would have been Jack "King" Kirby's 91st birthday. Out of all the comics professionals I would have liked to meet, Kirby will always be the number one person I missed. He never did attend any cons in Kansas City while I was actively attending them and I didn't go to San Diego until after he died. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of Our Fighting Forces #153 a few years ago.

Another cool example of Kirby's work around the same time (1975) are these two pinups he did for an article on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton for the NFL's Gameday magazine. I found these in an old Kansas City Chiefs program and was quite happy to see them as I didn't know they existed.

So let's all read some Fantastic Four, Thor, Captain America, Kamandi, or any of the other countless features he worked on over the years. Long live the King!

Hostess Ads

One of the coolest things about the comics of the 1970's and '80's were the ads scattered throughout the book. My favorite of these were the myriad ads featuring our favorite heroes from the Marvel and DC universes hawking the yummy treats Hostess had available then. I was quite the consumer of Twinkees, Cup Cakes, Ding Dongs, and Ho Ho's so these ads were great. It didn't hurt that one of my favorite artists, Curt Swan, drew most of the DC ads. Here are a few I've scanned recently.

In this one Batgirl uses the lure of those great Fruit Pies to defeat the villainous Magpies drawn beautifully by Mr. Swan.

In this one Batman and Robin use my favorite Hostess treat, the fantastic Cup Cakes, in their fight on crime.

Now we'll switch over to the Marvel Universe where Spidey also uses the Hostess Fruit Pie as an effective crime fighting tool. I believe Ross Andru drew this with an assist from John Romita but I'm not positive.

And finally we have our jolly green giant The Incredible Hulk using the Fruit Pie magic. I believe this is all Romita art.

These are just a few of the great Hostess ads of the past. This site is a very funny but sometimes crude look at all the ads. It's very entertaining reading.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

America At War

My first introduction to DC war comics was this 1979 collection of war stories from the 40's to the 70's. I checked it out from my library often and I always wanted to own it. I finally picked it up around ten years ago. It reprints great stuff from such awesome talents as Will Eisner, Joe Kubert, Russ Heath, and Sam Glanzman. I took it to the 2000 San Diego convention and had it signed by Eisner, Heath, Glanzman, and Ric Estrada. It's one of my most prized possesions and will always have a special place on my bookshelf. Cover by Joe Kubert.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spider-Man Power Record

One of the cool things about growing up in the 70's were the Power Records exploits of the greatest superheros from DC and Marvel comics. I loved these and listened to them constantly. I had several of these before I started collecting actual comics. This particular issue from 1975 was probably the first one I ever got. Not only did it have a cool cover by I belive Ross Andru and John Romita but I actually got to meet "Spidey" himself. He somehow found time in his busy schedule fighting criminals in New York to come all the way to the Independence, MO TG&Y to sign autographs and pose for pictures. Tragically, I don't have a picture of me with him but I do still have the signature, my first celebrity autograph!

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