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Preview: World Of Comics

World Of Comics





Updated: 2014-10-03T01:08:39.769-07:00

 



Cosmos: War of the Planets

2012-04-07T02:32:52.619-07:00

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From the makers of Star Odyssey comes Cosmos: War of the Planets. Actually it should be said from the makers of Cosmos comes Star Odyssey, because this is actually the first of the Italian space trilogy that all shared sets, costumes, and props. This movie is of course a rip off of a big Hollywood movie, and that movie isn't Star Wars, but 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Synopsis: When a exploration craft is attacked by Alien space craft while investigating a strange planet, they have to crash land. On the surface of the planet they find a group of Aliens that have been enslaved by a evil super computer, and now they are trapped on the planet by it as well.

The plot of this movie isn't actually that bad. The special effects are pretty good as well. This movie does lack the silly charm of Star Odyssey, and tries to tell a more serious and less swashbuckling tale then that movie does. I actually think that makes this movie not as good. It will never be able to compete with those big name movies, so all it has is it's silly charm and with a lot less of that in this film it suffers a little.



The Day the Sky Exploded

2012-04-07T02:16:44.744-07:00

(image) It's always kinda funny to look at pre-moon landing space race movies. Knowing what has happened, it's so odd to see what people thought might happen in the future. The Day The Sky Exploded is kinda like that, with a single man in an atomic powered rocket making the journey to the moon, instead of the three men in a chemical powered rocket that we know made the journey.

Synopsis: When an manned atomic rocket to the moon malfunctions, the pilot ejects in the capsule sending the atomic motor off into space where it explodes in the asteroid belt sending a life ending meteor hurtling towards earth.

There is some debate on which country lays claim to this movie. The Italians claim it as their first Sci-Fi movie. The Germans, on the other hand, also claim this movie as their own. The truth is probably some where in between, as the film has a lot of both German and Italian actors in it. I'd lean more toward the Italians having the claim though since the original language it was filmed in was Italian.

If this is an Italian film then it's a lot better then their later attempts at Sci-Fi in the 70's and 80's. It's really pretty decent and if it had been made in America it might have been up there with the other great Sci-Fi films of that era. Sadly it wasn't and thus was pushed to the back burner of films. Thing is this movie is actually too good. It is missing the cheesiness and goofiness needed to make a really great B-Movie. After all that's the fun of these kinds of film. That hurts it as a movie to laugh at it's absurdities, but that's also a good thing as it can be looked at as a far more serious film.



War of the Robots

2012-04-07T02:14:18.046-07:00

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Ah at last we come to the last of what I've come to call the Italian Sci-Fi Trilogy. The other two movies in this trilogy are of course Cosmos: War of the Planets, and Star Odyssey. Now when I say that they are trilogy, I don't mean the stories have anything to do with each other. They don't. But the movies use a lot of the same effects, and costumes so they all look the same. War of the Robots is the middle movie of the trilogy coming out in 1978.

Synopsis: When a Professor and his assistant, who are working on special reactor on earth, are kidnapped by Aliens, a ship is sent out to rescue them and return to earth before the reactor they built explodes.

God bless this movie. It is the typical middle child. It's not nearly as aged and wise as Cosmos: War of the Planets, and not nearly as out there, and wacky as Star Odyssey, but it does try to hold it's own. It's really not clear what movie this film is trying to rip off. Sometimes it seems that is ripping off 2001, at other times it seems to trying to rip off Star Wars. It goes from watching a guy repair a circuit in space for fifteen minutes, to super fast paced gun battles at almost exactly the half way point. I have my own theory about this. I think that while they were shooting this movie Star Wars came out and hit big, and thus they adjusted this movie to this new style of action adventure Sci-Fi about half way through. Lightsabers even show up near the end of this movie.

This movie actually holds together the best of the three movies that make up this trilogy of sorts. The story doesn't get off track too much, characters actually take actions that make sense and there is a reason our heroes go on a daring rescue in deep space other then "just cause." It's sad this movie gets lost among the other two. I mean this is the only one of the three movies that doesn't have a page on Wikipedia. You put in War of Robots there and you get a Doctor Who novel. From a story stand point this is the probably the strongest of the three, even though I still have a soft spot for the super silliness that is Stay Odyssey.



The Sadist

2012-04-07T02:13:06.682-07:00

(image) I picked this movie to watch based solely on one man...and that man is Arch Hall Jr. If you don't know who he is, then I'll tell you. Hall was the "Hero" (if you can call him that.) of the cult movie Eegah! Now Mr. Hall didn't make many movies and so when I saw his name on this one I just had to check it out, and it didn't let me down.

Synopsis: When three school teacher's car breaks down while traveling through rural California, on their way to a Dodgers game, they find themselves at the mercy of a spree killer who torments them while forcing them to repair their car.


Arch Hall Jr. is suppose to be the star of this movie, but when it comes to making this a cheesy movie he really shines in this movie. His performance as Charlie, the crazed killer, is so over the top that it makes it almost laughable. I mean it's something that has to be seen to believed, but I found it hard not to laugh at some of the lines he spouts out in the course of this movie. It's just great. How I had never heard of this movie before is beyond me.

Apparently this is one of those based on actual events movies. Turns out this movie is based on the spree killings of Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend Carol Ann Fugate. Other movies of note based on the same events are Badlands, Natural Born Killers, True Romance, and oddly The Frighteners.

The Sadist is a little too serious to be a really good B-Movie. If it wasn't for the performance of Arch Hall Jr, this movie wouldn't be any fun at all. As it stands it is still worth a look see.



Invasion of the Bee Girls

2012-04-07T02:11:52.029-07:00

(image) You know I didn't live through the 70's. I'm still trying to figure out if that's a bad thing or a blessing in disguise. If today's movie Invasion of the Bee Girls is any indication, it was the latter.

Synopsis: A Mad Scientist is transforming beautiful women into killers who seduce men and then make love to them till they die.

A little known fact about this movie is that it was written by Nicholas Myers, the same man that directed what is considered by many to be the best of the Star Trek movies: Wrath of Khan.

The quality of Khan, however, doesn't shine through on this thing. It's more one of those movies that have a weak plot to support seeing boobs constantly. I half expected the pizza boy to show up and some house wife not have the money to pay for it. I'm exaggerating there, but it's not far off.

The why of the killings here is a little fuzzy. It's more of a just cause type thing I think. The message I take away from this movie is that sex is bad. It sends the message that desire to have sex makes men rape random women, and that if you have sex you'll die. I'm sure this movie was written because of the scary nature of sex and STD's that was just coming to the front of the American consciousness in the 70's. We had just come off the free wheeling 60's and entered a time when sex really could kill you, and the shadow of AIDs was just around the corner.

I think this movie was trying to have a serious message, but it's silly nature makes taking anything away from this movie almost impossible. In the end it doesn't really succeed as a message movie, or a Sci-Fi film. It's only real purpose seems to be to get a cheap thrill out of seeing boobies, which was much harder to do in 1973 then it is now.



Prince of Space (1959) (1959)

2012-04-07T02:10:26.767-07:00

(image) The B-Movie Blitzkrieg is back from a little extended break. It was an unintentional one as I came down sick, and then the events in Japan kept me glued to the TV, not watching bad movies, but looking for any news on the disaster there. And it was that time watching the suffering in Japan that made me decide to do a whole week of Japanese movies.

And all this week as I review these movies I'm going to be putting up links to charities that can where you the reader can help out the victims in Japan.

So if you enjoy today's review, and want to help be sure to text REDCROSS to 90999 to give a ten dollar donation.

Now on to today's movie: Prince of Space.

Synopsis: When the evil Phantom of Krankor decides to invade Earth it's up to the alien super hero Prince of Space to stop him and raise two adopted kids as his mild mannered alter ego shoe shine boy.

If I could sum up this movie with one single sentence it would be "Your weapons have no effect one me." Because that's what our hero says constantly all through this movie. Thing is he still ducks and dodges when people shoot at him. Apparently these lines about the weapons having no effect were not in the Japanese version of the film. Why they were added to the English dub is anyone's guess.

This movie great. I really love this kind of Japanese cinema. Be they giant monster movies, or the super hero fair like today, they are almost always more fun then their American counterparts. The Japanese have turned these style of a movies into a science, a formulaic science, but a science none-the-less.



Blitzkrieg Intermission: Drawing The Addams Family House Part 1: The Research

2012-04-07T02:08:35.963-07:00

There was a point in my life when I wanted to be an Architect. Even went so far as taking a year worth of classes in college chasing after that career. Well things went in a different, and poorer, direction for me, but I still like to draw houses as a hobby. But drawing a 3 bedroom/ 2 bath ranch is pretty boring. No one wants to see that. Instead we need to find something different and strange to draw. And what is more strange and different then the Addams Family's Mansion. Now this floor plan has been done before...kinda. The plan of the Addams Family Home by Mark Bennett appeared in the LA Times in 1995, and later in his book TV Sets: Fantasy Blueprints of Classic TV Homes, A book that I myself own. The plan is pretty good, but it does have it's problems. This blueprint is based almost solely on the interior sets. Problem was, the sets didn't match up with the exterior shots used for the show. The shot above is a composite shot an an actual house in LA used for the exterior shot, and matte painting used to add the "spooky" elements to the shot, like the dead trees and bent antenna. This same shot was then painted over again to make and even spookier looking version later on in the series, but it still pretty much looked like the above house. Sadly the actual house that was used for these shots has been torn down and no longer exists for us to go to and see. One of the major problems with Mr. Bennett's plan is that the bay that makes up the base of the tower on the first floor is missing in his plan, even though it can clearly be seen on the exterior shots. Funny enough the bay is present on his second floor plan. There is of course a simple reason for this mistake, and that is that Mr. Beenett was sticking to sets more then the exterior shots and so he drew the foyer as it appeared in the show, which conflicted with how the house looked on the outside. Above you can see the foyer and front door. Note the flat wall and window on the wall behind Gomez. This feature contradicts the exterior shots as this is where the bay should be. So Mr. Bennett had to combine the elements and used the set as the rule, instead of the location shots. Another problem comes in the fact that left side of the house is far to long. If you look at the plan and match the fireplace and bay window on this side of the house you'll find the wall past these two parts is far too long compared to the exterior shot. At least 2-3 times too long in fact. As I don't have the show on DVD, (Passed on them when they were 10 bucks a season at Wal-Mart and have been kicking myself since.) I don't know if this part of his plan was based on something from the show or not. I do know the playroom showed up, but that also has it's share of problems. This was the kids "playroom" that Mr. Bennett put on the first floor. I actually have see this room in a couple of episodes of this show I caught on TV Land a few years back. It is my belief that this room is actually in the basement of the home. I base this one the brick walls, and how high the base of the window is from the floor. This just looks like a basement room, and I actually think that's is were it belongs on the plan. That would cut a lot of length off the left side, but still not enough I think. Another source could be the model kit made at the height of the shows popularity in the 60's. Although a quick look over the kit shows that is all squashed and pushed together to make it smaller (and thus cheaper) to produce. So using the model for use in figure out dimensions of the actual house is a pretty bad idea. Although the box does give us a good look at the colors of the house (or at least the color the house was in the minds eye). Which is useful given that the show was in black and white. Doesn't help me draw the plan, but still neat never the less. So at the end of the day all I h[...]



Horror Harvest

2012-04-07T02:07:09.885-07:00

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The B-Movie Blitzkrieg in association with Mystic Fetus Comic presents a brand new comic that deals with all those classic and not so classic Horror movies of the past and the present: Horror Harvest! Be sure to swing on by and check it out starting on Halloween!



The Courageous Captain America

2012-04-07T01:59:01.275-07:00

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I always loved Little Golden Books when I was little so I was surprised and pleased to see that, for the first time in probably 35 years, I got a Little Golden Book for Christmas. My buddy Neato Coolville got me this cool Little Golden version of the origin of everybody's favorite Star Spangled Avenger. The art by Val Semeiks, Scott McLeod, The Storybook Art Group, and Hi-Fi Colour Design isn't bad. It's great to see Cap get the Little Golden Book treatment. Thanks again NC!



Holy Infantino, It's The Weather Wizard!

2012-04-07T01:58:03.780-07:00

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I love the "go-go checks" era at DC. It was filled with a lot of silly stuff that was unmistakably groovy. Arguably the leading artist for DC in this period was the great Carmine Infantino. Carmine took over Detective Comics in 1964 with editor Julius Schwartz in order to make the Caped Crusader a little more serious. For the most part it worked. The art was always great and the stories were pretty good too. Around the time Detective #353 came out in 1966, the Batman TV show was starting to hit big and the comics were trying to capitalize on its success. While the comics weren't nearly as campy as the show, they were still a lot of fun. I've always enjoyed Carmine's unique style and his ability to draw fight scenes was very good, as this page indicates.
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Infantino's splash pages were always unique whether it was for Batman or his backup feature at the time, The Elongated Man. He had a fantastic sense of composition and style that was strictly Carmine. You could never mistake him for anyone else.
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While the 70's brought a much darker and realistic Batman, I'll always enjoy these mid 60's stories which helped mark the transformation of the Darknight Detective to what we all know today.



Late Night With The Avengers

2012-04-07T01:57:17.277-07:00

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When I was in junior high in 1983-84, two of my favorite things were Marvel Comics and Late Night With David Letterman so I was very excited when The Avengers showed up on Dave's show in issue #239, part of Marvel's infamous Assistant Editors' Month, where all the titles featured wacky and crazy stories cooked by the assistant editors in charge of each book. It was great seeing the so called B team at the time show up to banter with Dave.
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Of course hijinks ensued but our favorite late night show had the last word.
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All art by Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott. I need to try and fish out all the other Assistant Editors' month books. I'm pretty sure I have them all but this one was by far my favorite. The new Avengers movie should have a scene where Earth's Mightiest Heroes show up on Dave's show. I would definitely pay to see that!



Our Army At War With Joe Kubert

2012-04-07T01:56:28.692-07:00

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I've always loved DC's war comics and much of that love is due to the great Joe Kubert. Here are some of my favorite Kubert covers featuring DC's leader of the Combat Happy Joes of Easy Co., Sgt. Rock.
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Super Santa

2012-04-07T01:55:03.753-07:00

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From the 1976 DC Calendar. Art by Neal Adams.



Hulk Smash Scrooges!

2012-04-07T01:54:41.750-07:00

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From the 1975 Mighty Marvel Calendar. Art by Sal Buscema.



Happy 1975 Everybody!

2012-04-07T01:54:07.887-07:00

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Ooops...I mean 2012 everybody!! From the Mighty Marvel 1975 Calendar with art by the always awesome John Romita Sr.



Star Trek The Enterprise Logs

2012-04-07T01:53:17.268-07:00

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I had a good time last weekend at Planet Comicon, Kansas City's premier comic and pop culture convention. While I didn't buy a lot of comics, I did pick up these neat 1970's Golden Press reprints of the Gold Key Star Trek comic from the late 60's. Volume 1 features issues #'s 1-8 plus a neat pinup of the Enterprise.
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Volume 2 reprints issues #'s 9-17. I always enjoy reading about Star Trek in the period before the first movie and the Next Generation. It was a simpler time for fandom and the show was still kind of a cult show. The early issues of Starlog provide great examples of this unique fan movement.
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Sometimes I wish I was 10-20 years older so I could have experienced this era of fandom more. The comics got better in the 80's and 90's but there was an innocence to the Gold Key books that I'll always love.



Super Santa

2012-04-07T06:53:02.694-07:00

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From the 1976 DC Calendar. Art by Neal Adams.



A Tale Of Two Heroes

2012-04-07T06:53:17.176-07:00

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As a lot of you who read this blog know, I'm a huge Jim Aparo fan and my favorite comic as a kid was The Brave And The Bold. Issue #161 from April, 1980 was one of my favorite issues. It guest starred my favorite DC space hero Adam Strange and it gave Aparo a chance to draw some science fiction elements which I always thought he was very good at. This particular story was written by Gerry Conway instead of Aparo's usual B&B partner Bob Haney but it's still a great story with plenty of examples of Jim's fantastic storytelling ability. As usual his splash pages made a big impression on my 10 year old mind and this one was no exception.
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Here's an example of Aparo's great sense of sci-fi design. While he wasn't quite as good as Carmine Infantino in this regard, I still really dig how he drew the towers of the planet Rann.
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And of course Aparo could draw action scenes with the best of them. I wish he would have drawn more Adam Strange stories.
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In addition to all the great action, there were also cool ads and extra stuff in late 70's DC books. I always enjoyed the subscription ads and if they were drawn by Aparo, all the better.
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These books were always entertaining and I miss those days tremendously. But I can always dig these gems out of their boxes anytime I want to and enjoy my favorite era of comics , the Bronze Age



Star Wars Infantino Style

2012-04-07T06:53:20.062-07:00

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Like a lot of kids in the late 70's, I loved Star Wars and comics. So naturally I bought every issue of Marvel's Star Wars book that came out right after the movie. For a lot of those early issues, the legendary Carmine Infantino took care of the art chores, ably inked by Bob Wiacek. At the time, I couldn't stand the art. His style didn't mesh with George Lucas' universe in my nine year old mind. But now I really like it. Carmine was great at science fiction, as his stints on several of DC's sci-fi books in the 50's and 60's proved. This page depicting the Millennium Falcon taking on two TIE Fighters proves Carmine had the material down.
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I've met both Carmine and Bob Wiacek at different cons and was lucky to get a Carmine style Darth Vader sketch from Bob.
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These issues mean a lot to me. They're wonderful reminders of my two favorite things in childhood, comics and Star Wars.



Sgt. Fury Special #3 1967

2012-04-07T06:53:21.054-07:00

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After watching the Captain America movie again the other night on DVD, I started to get interested in re-reading the exploits of Cap's cinematic band of soldiers, the Howling Commandos. Of course the Howlers were led by Sgt. Nick Fury during the book's run in the 1960's. It was one of the few Marvel war books and since I always preferred DC's war books, I never got many issues of Sgt. Fury, which I'm kind of bummed out about because it was a pretty good book. A lot of the art was done by the great, underrated Dick Ayers. He signed this particular ish for me back in the mid 90's and for some strange reason I had him do a sketch of DC's main war hero Sgt. Rock.
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Dick's art in this special from 1967 is really good. I especially enjoyed the pin-ups in the back of the book introducing the Howlers to those who weren't that familiar with them.
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Although this particular special dealt with the modern day Nick Fury and his former Howlers in Viet Nam, it still had the flavor of their WWII adventures. Marvel just published the first volume of the Essential Sgt. Fury this week so I'll have a good head start in my collection.



Batman: Year One

2012-04-07T06:53:23.543-07:00

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The other day I watched the fantastic animated adaptation of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's seminal 1980's mini-series Batman: Year One. They captured the flavor of the book perfectly and it was almost identical to the actual comics. I really, really liked it. It made me want to dig out the comics. For some reason, I didn't buy the original issues when they came out. I think it was because they came out in the 2-3 period after Crisis On Infinite Earths when I stopped reading comics (I refer to them as the dark years). In 1989, I picked up a beautiful hardback book collecting Year One plus other Miller Batman classics like The Dark Knight Returns, Wanted: Santa Claus Dead Or Alive, and The Mark Of Batman. I reread these stories and was struck once again by how innovative and unique they were.
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I was lucky enough to meet David Mazzucchelli at a convention in New York City in 2002 and told him how much I liked Year One and he was kind enough to do a quick sketch of the Dark Knight for me.
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I really hope Warner Brothers Animation and DC continue to put out these great animated movies. They're turning out to be a lot better than the live action stuff they've put out in recent years.



More Original Art

2012-04-07T06:53:28.098-07:00

Here are the remaining four pieces of original art in my collection. Like I said earlier, I wish I could afford more. Maybe the next time I go to a big convention like San Diego, I can pick up some more pieces. First up is page 16 from Superman #293 by the one and only Curt Swan.
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And finally we have three pages by the wonderful Irv Novick, pages 2 and 5 from Detective #425 and page 3 from The Flash #235. Irv has always been my favorite Flash artist, probably because his version of the Scarlet Speedster was the first one I was exposed to and his Batman was highly underrated. I'm really glad I got these pieces.
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My Original Art

2012-04-07T06:53:33.449-07:00

One of the areas of collecting I've always wanted to get more into is the original art area. I think finances are the main reason I haven't been able to start a big collection but I do have a few pieces I've picked up through the years. Here are a few of them with their printed pages included.Justice League #155 page 16 by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin
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The Brave And The Bold #169 page 2 by Jim Aparo
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Superman #303 page 9 by Curt Swan and Bob Oskner
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Stay tuned for some more Swan plus a triple threat of beautiful Bronze Age pages by the awesome Irv Novick in the days to come.



Gold Key's The Twilight Zone

2012-04-07T08:12:16.892-07:00

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I've been watching a lot of The Twilight Zone on the wonderful new MeTV Network and it's whetted my appetite for some of the old Gold Key Twilight Zone comics. Published from 1962-1979, it featured the standard Gold Key style story and art based on the popular series. Of course, my favorite part of Gold Key books of the Silver Age were the painted covers. Every series they put out then featured a lot of these and they were mostly excellent and The Twilight Zone was no exception. Here are a few to demonstrate the typical quality of these paintings. A lot of them were uncredited but an artist named George Wilson was credited with some of them starting in the late 60's. He drew the cover to issue #23 from 1967.
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The rest of these are uncredited but they all appeared within the first ten years the book was published. I need to look out for these on Ebay or the next con I go to. I'm sure I'll enjoy them although maybe not as much as the actual show.
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Once again, thanks to the fantastic Grand Comics Database for the cover scans.



The Magic Of Darwyn Cooke

2012-04-07T08:12:06.367-07:00

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I've recently been getting into the great artwork of Darwyn Cooke. Best known for the seminal Silver Age influenced 2004 mini-series The New Frontier, Cooke's retro cartoony style fit perfectly with the story of the Justice League's formation in the 1960's. I love the way he draws women and his sense of 60's style is simply wonderful. Here are a couple of more New Frontier covers that stand out to me.
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Cooke also did a lot of other stuff for DC and other publishers. Check out some of these beauties courtesy of the Grand Comics Database. I especially like the JSA and T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents covers.
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I really hope I get to see him at a con soon. Over at the Comic Art Fans site, there are a bunch of beautiful con sketches he's done over the years. Darwyn Cooke, a true modern age artistic giant.



Cancelled: Two Super-Heroes

2012-04-07T08:12:28.752-07:00

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I was digging through my collection of my all time favorite comic The Brave And The Bold and decided to re-read some of the late 60's team up tales before the likes of Neal Adams and Jim Aparo got their talented mitts on the Caped Crusader and his pals. This particular ish, cover dated February-March, 1967, is a good example of how the book was during the "go-go checks" era. It sports a great Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella cover but the interior art by Johnny Craig and Charles Cuidera doesn't live up to the cover. It's not bad at all. It just doesn't have the style of Infantino. That's not a knock on Craig. Not many had Infantino's talent for design and storytelling. The art inside is actually kind of charming. I love the DC house style of the Silver Age and this fits in quite nicely with that. Here's the splash page.
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During this period in DC's history, I tended to enjoy the ads inside the books almost as much as the mags themselves. For example, I love this Sgt. Rock Battle Stars ad. Who could resist an 80 page war giant?
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Of course this book came out right in the middle of Batmania, the intense popularity of the character caused by the great, yet radically different from the comics, Batman TV show. What little kid in 1967 could resist having their own "pop" gallery?
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I had fun reading these pre Bronze Age B&B's but give me Haney and Aparo any day.



Alex Toth's Zorro

2012-04-07T08:12:26.921-07:00

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I recently picked up a great collection Image Comics put out in 2001 of Alex Toth's run on Western Publishing's adaptation of Disney's classic 1950's Zorro TV show. I love the show but had not seen any of the comics. Toth was the perfect artist to convey the swashbuckling heroics of the masked hero. Although the original books were printed in color, the black and white reprints bring out his work even more. I love his use of blacks to convey the mystery of the main character.

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Although the art is fantastic, I got the sense that Toth was limited some by the scripts, which were taken practically verbatim from the TV screenplays. There's a lot of dialouge spread through these stories, which limited Toth's storytelling abilities, although a static head drawn by Toth is still pretty great.

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Of course Toth's women were always fantastic and this fiery senorita is no exception.

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I was really thrilled to be able to read these stories and see Toth's masterful artwork on a character I really love. These strips are further proof that Alex Toth was one of comics' finest and most innovative artists.



Charlton's Ghostly Tales

2012-04-07T08:12:35.042-07:00

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I've always wanted to complete my collection of Charlton horror comics. Unfortunately they're kind of hard to come by at the local conventions I go to. I did pick this particular ish from September, 1969 not too long ago. Ghostly Tales From The Haunted House lasted for 115 issues from 1966-1984. The few issues I have are actually not bad, much better than I expected. Issue #75 featured a great Jim Aparo cover but unfortunately Jim didn't do any of the interior art. This ish featured art by Charles Nicholas, Sanho Kim, Pat Boyette, and some guy named Ditko. Needless to say, the Ditko story stood out. He had a great sense of the macabre. Charlton sometimes gets a bad rap for churning out subpar stuff but a lot of the books are fun reads, especially in the late 60's, when guys like Ditko and Aparo worked for them. They're worth checking out.



The "New" 1970's Showcase

2012-04-07T08:12:36.738-07:00

One of my favorite short lived series when I was growing up was the 11 issue run of DC's revamped Showcase title. It featured three different three issue story arcs featuring The Doom Patrol, Power Girl, and Hawkman. There were also two stand alone issues, the 100th anniversary issue, featuring pretty much every hero that appeared in the mag through the years, and the last issue featuring stories of the WWII era OSS. Joe Staton drew the interiors of issues #'s 94-96, featuring The Doom Patrol but the always great Jim Aparo covers were what drew my seven year old self to these books.The next three issue arc featured the Earth 2 Supergirl, Power Girl, who was a fairly new character at the time. Staton provided the cover and interior art for these issues.I was really excited when issue #100 came out. There were a ton of ads for it in every DC book and it was cool seeing all these heroes together in one book. Once again, late 70's DC workhorse Joe Staton did the cover and interiors.The next three issue arc was my favorite of the short lived series. Al Milgrom and Murphy Anderson provided the art for a great three part story featuring Hawkman and Adam Strange behind great covers by the one and only Joe Kubert. I've always loved Kubert's Hawkman and these covers didn't disappoint at all.The last issue of the series featured three stories of the OSS, the famous World War II spy agency, with art by Ric Estrada and Bill Draut. Once again Kubert provides the cover.If you're into late 70's DC like I am, these are pretty good reads and are pretty cheap if you can find them at conventions. I definitely recommend picking them up.[...]



Captain America: The Best Superhero Movie In A Long Time

2012-04-07T08:12:40.445-07:00

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An event I waited 20 years for happened last weekend and I was not disappointed. The release of Joe Johnston's Captain America: The First Avenger was something my college buddies and I discussed way back in 1991 after Johnston's adaptation of The Rocketeer came out. We loved the period detail and the faithfulness he brought to that character. We thought he could do the same with Cap, one of our favorite Marvel characters. I love period movies in general and I think they work very well with superhero movies. I loved everything about TFA. I loved the movie serial feel to it. I loved the spot on characteristics of Cap and The Red Skull. I loved the costumes, you get the idea. I knew I'd really dig this movie when I saw the first concept art over a year ago.

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I fortunately got to see it with two of my college buddies who were waiting for this as long as I was and they loved it too. If you love period superhero movies and one of Marvel Comics' oldest and, in my opinion, best heroes, then you can't go wrong with Captain America: The First Avenger, now playing at a theater near you!



Golden Age Captain America Gems

2012-04-07T08:12:48.122-07:00

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I'm getting really psyched to see the new Cap movie that opens this Friday. To get even more inspired, I headed over to the Grand Comics Database and perused these Golden Age covers featuring Cap saving Bucky from all sorts of mayhem caused by those dastardly Nazis and Japanese! Featuring art by co-creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby plus Golden Age Timely greats Alex Schomburg, Syd Shores, and Al Avison, these covers definitely did their job in getting me more excited for Friday!

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More Bronze Age Cap

2012-04-07T08:12:51.217-07:00

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I just can't resist. Here are four more 1970's Captain America covers by John Romita, Frank Robbins, Ernie Chan, and Ron Wilson. I always loved Romita's Cap, especially his pin-up of Cap and the Falcon done for the 1975 Marvel calendar, which is shown above. I just can't get enough of the Star Spangled Avenger. I hope the new movie doesn't diminish my love of these books. I doubt it will.

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Cap In The 70's

2012-04-07T08:12:56.004-07:00

Here are some of my favorite Captain America covers from the Bronze Age. This period was known for the return of Cap's co-creator Jack "King" Kirby but it also featured great art by artists such as Gene Colan and Sal Buscema among others. It was a pretty good decade for the Star Spangled Avenger. These four covers feature the aforementioned Kirby and Colan. Cap never looked so good in my opinion.

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Captain America In The 80's

2012-04-07T08:13:01.168-07:00

I first got heavily into Marvel Comics in the early 1980's when I was in junior high school. Before that I was strictly a DC man. One of the first Marvel books I got into was the Mike Zeck run of Captain America. I liked Zeck's distinctive style on Cap. He made him look regal and imposing. The stories were fun too. Here are some of my favorite issues from the period, roughly from 1981-83.

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Captain America Collectors' Preview 1995

2012-04-07T08:13:05.870-07:00

With the new Captain America movie coming out later this month, I've been pretty obsessed with the Star Spangled Avenger. I've been digging out some stuff to post and I found this neat one shot from 1995 with a really cool John Byrne cover inked by Cap's co-creator Joe Simon. The back cover is great too.There are a lot of neat things in this book. Probably the coolest things are these three Joe Simon paintings presumable done for this book. They're just gorgeous.There are other cool things in the book like this Jack Kirby designed alternate uniform. They weren't sure what it was to be used for but it's a typically great Kirby design.And last but certainly not least, we have the awesome Fred Hembeck with The Top Ten Perks Of Being Captain America.I really enjoyed flipping through this book again. It might be hard to find but maybe it might show up in a dollar box at your local convention. It's definitely worth getting if you're fan of America's Super Soldier.[...]



Gene Colan R.I.P.

2012-04-07T08:13:11.465-07:00

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The comics world lost a great legend yesterday with the passing of Gene Colan. Gene was one of the most innovative and unique artists of the Silver Age Of Comics. His distinctive sytle provided a nice contrast to the styles of the other artists at Marvel during that time. He was most known for his runs on Daredevil, Iron Man, and The Tomb Of Dracula but he could draw anything. Here are a few of my favorite covers he drew during this period courtesy of the Grand Comic Book Database.

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I was lucky enough to meet Gene on two different occasions. The first time was in Kansas City in I believe 1996. He drew this incredible Captain America for me.

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I remember him getting frustrated trying to draw the shield and he even scrapped an earlier attempt just because he wanted to get it exactly right. I thought it looked perfect but Gene wanted to make it just right. It's probably one of the top two or three sketches in my collection.

The second time I met was at the 2000 San Diego convention, where the picture at the top was taken. Both times he was incredibly nice and was very appreciative of his many fans. He will definitely be missed. For more info about his incredible career and lots of great art, check out his website.



Silver Age Green Lantern Goodness

2012-04-07T08:14:11.259-07:00

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With the new live action Green Lantern movie opening Friday, I thought it would be cool to take a look back at some of the better GL covers of the Silver Age. All of these beauties are by the great Gil Kane, who captured the outer space flavor of GL perfectly. While my expectations for the movie are not very high, hopefully they can capture some of the charm and energy of these comics of the 1960's.

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A special thanks to the indispensible Grand Comic Book Database for the great scans.



Our Army At War Trade Paperback

2012-04-07T08:14:08.896-07:00

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I just recently picked up the trade paperback reprinting the four one shot titles DC put out last year celebrating the war comics of the Silver and Bronze Ages. Featuring such great talents as Joe Kubert, Darwin Cooke, Mark Schultz, and Brian Bolland, they do a good job capturing the feel of the old books. The covers are reprinted as well and they feature some great art like the beautiful Kubert cover above. Here are a couple of others.

Star-Spangled War Stories by Brian Bolland.

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Weird War Tales by Darwin Cooke.

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Our Fighting Forces by Mark Schultz.

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I really enjoyed reading these stories and if you're a fan of classic DC war stories, I heartily recommend this book.



InVision Comics' Genecy #1

2012-04-07T08:14:14.641-07:00

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Gerald Cooper, co-owner of indie company InVision Comics, wrote the first issue of a new sci-fi/sword and sorcery book called Genecy. With art by Eddy Barrows and coloring by Tim Ogul and Oren Kramek, it's a pretty good origin tale of this new hero, which Gerald describes as "Conan meets the Silver Surfer!" The second issue is due out soon and it promises to be a pretty good book. I usually don't pick up new comics but I'll have to check this one out. For more info on InVision and Genecy, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.



A True Comic Book Patriot

2012-04-07T08:14:20.529-07:00

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I figured on Memorial Day I'd post some images from the number one patriotic comic book superhero, Simon and Kirby's Captain America. These images come from the 70th Anniversary reprint of CA #1.

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The Rocketeer Adventures #1

2012-04-07T08:19:08.795-07:00

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While I was on vacation in Arizona last week, I actually picked up a couple of new comics for the first time in a long time. I was really impressed with IDW's Rocketeer Adventures #1. The beautiful Alex Ross cover caught my eye and the interior stories were very good too, featuring art of John Cassaday, Mike Allred, and the great Bronze Age artist Michael Kaluta. It was good to see Kaluta's work again. He hasn't lost a step. There were also some neat pin-ups throughout the book starting with the splash page.

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My favortie pin-up was this gorgeous Betty Page Saturday Evening Post cover by Jim Silke. It's really nice work.

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The book finished up with this nice PSA for Hairy Cell Leukemia, the horrible disease that killed Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens a few years ago.

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I really enjoyed reading this first issue and I plan to pick up however remaining issues there are. Hopefully the series will last a long time. I can never get enough Rocketeer!



Superhero Movies We Want To See

2012-04-07T08:14:32.256-07:00

The website sofasandsectionals.com has a pretty cool article on what superhero movies they'd like to see and who should play the title characters. Check it out here. I would personally love to see a good Namor or Aquaman movie and I like the idea of Chris Pine as Aquaman. With the current popularity of superhero movies, it wouldn't surprise me if all of these movies were made eventually. I never thought I'd see a Thor movie so anything's possible.



More Silver Age Thor Goodness

2012-04-07T08:14:35.742-07:00

All cover art by the one and only Jack "King" Kirby.

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Silver (and Bronze) Age Thor Goodness

2012-04-07T08:14:45.014-07:00

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I saw the Thor movie the other night and while it had its moments, I was hoping for more of an epic feel to the film. This inspired me to dig out my (somewhat small) collection of Silver (and a few Bronze) Age Thor books to take in some of that Lee-Kirby magic again, not to mention the genius of Big John Buscema. Here are a few of my favorites. It's all Kirby or Buscema covers except for #308 which is by Keith Pollard. I'll keeping posting a few more in the next few days.

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DC Super-Stars Presents The Teen Titans

2012-04-07T08:14:54.089-07:00

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I always enjoyed DC Super-Stars, one of DC's several reprint titles that were put out in the 70's to show little kids like me DC's Silver Age classics for the first time. This premiere issue, from March, 1976, was probably my first introduction to the Silver Age Teen Titans. I really dug the silly Bob Haney stories and the art by Nick Cardy was always great. In addition to the two tales reprinted inside, there was this ad that got my six year old self very excited.

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This treasury was probably one of the most anticipated books of the 70's and it lived up to its hype, although I didn't get it until several years later.

I also enjoyed this Hostess Cup Cake ad featuring Captain Marvel saving a bunch of yummy cup cakes from the vile criminals that wanted to take the sugary goodness away from the good little 70's kids. I would have loved to have seen Curt Swan draw a Shazam-Captain Cupcake team up.

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And to round things out, there's this awesome model van ad on the back cover. Only in the 70's!!

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Gold Key's The Time Tunnel 1967

2012-04-07T08:14:51.645-07:00

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I was very excited to pick up the first issue of Gold Key's adaptation of Irwin Allen's classic TV series The Time Tunnel at a convention I went to a couple of weeks ago. There were only two issues published so this is quite a rarity. I love the painted cover by George Wilson and the interior art by Tom Gill is pretty good too. The stories are pretty basic and I believe are based on episodes of the series. I need to dig out my DVD's to make sure. In any event, I really enjoyed reading this Silver Age goody.



Raiders Of The Lost Ark Marvel Super Special

2012-04-07T08:15:03.437-07:00

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I finally picked up the comic adaptation of one of the best movies ever made last weekend. I couldn't believe I didn't have it. Behind a beautiful Howard Chaykin cover lies the Walt Simonson, John Buscema, and Klaus Janson team's version of Indiana Jones' first adventure. It was a great read and I also enjoyed the back cover's groupings of different panels from the book.

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I can just hear the John Williams score while reading this. And the good thing is, it didn't cost much more than the $2.50 cover price!



Detective Comics #357 November, 1966

2012-04-07T08:19:08.997-07:00

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Here's another Silver Age Batman gem from the great Broome, Infantino, and Giella team. I always liked Infantino's Batman. It was a great springboard from the 1950's style Caped Crusader to Neal Adams' more realistic 1970's Darknight Detective. This issue also has a cool Elongated Man backup story by Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson, and Sid Greene.

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Rounding out the book is this great ad for Hasbro's G.I. Joe club. The figures were immensely popular at the time and I'm sure the club was pretty successful. I believe the art is by Irv Novick. A clue is the partially obscured nametag. I think that was Irv's way of signing his name.

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It's always fun to read the mid 60's DC's with the infamous go go checks on the covers. They're a Silver Age gas!



Russ Manning's Magnus Robot Fighter

2012-04-07T08:15:08.871-07:00

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I've been really enjoying Dark Horse's Magnus Robot Fighter archives. The art by Silver Age great Russ Manning is amazing and the stories hold up pretty good. I love the painted covers a lot of the Gold Key comics had back in those days. I'm not positive these are by Manning but they're beautiful nonetheless.

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The pin-ups by Manning are also fantastic. I really like the simple style he used. It was very effective for the subject matter.

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If you enjoy Silver Age science fiction comics and haven't read these books, I highly recommend them. It's great stuff.



It's Will Eisner Day!

2012-04-07T08:15:14.362-07:00

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The legendary Will Eisner would have been 94 years old today. He was a huge force from the Golden Age right up to his death a few years ago. I got to meet him at the San Diego Con in 2000 and it was quite a thrill. I wish I had had some of my Spirit comics for him to sign but I did have him sign this Blackhawk reprint he wrote which appeared in the excellent 1970's DC reprint book America At War. I also got my picture taken with him which I'll cherish forever. He will definitely be missed.

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The Greatest Superheroes Of World War Two

2012-04-07T08:15:15.744-07:00

With the release of the first footage from this summer's Captain America movie, I got a hankering to reread my dog eared copies of Roy Thomas' seminal 1970's series The Invaders. I always enjoyed the stories and at the time I thought the art by Frank Robbins wasn't all that great but as the years go by, I like it more and more. They're still a great read and it's getting me even more fired up for the Cap movie. Here are some of my favorite covers from the first run.

#8 September, 1976 by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia

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#17 June, 1977 by Gil Kane and Joe Sinnott

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#21 October, 1977 by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia

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#30 July, 1978 by Joe Sinnott with layouts by Alan Kupperberg

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And finally my favorite issue, #31 from August, 1978, where The Invaders fight Frankenstein. Cover by Joe Sinnott.

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75 Years Of DC Comics

2012-04-07T08:15:27.952-07:00

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By far the coolest thing I got for Christmas was Paul Levitz' massive book 75 Years Of DC Comics The Art Of Modern Mythmaking. It's a very comprehensive look at the past 75 years of the home of Superman, Batman, and many, many others. It's over 700 pages and weighs 16 pounds. It was impossible to scan and many of the pictures I took didn't turn out well but here's a couple of cool shots to whet your appetite. This copy of the original cover art to House Of Secrets #92 by Bernie Wrightson was very cool. The picture doesn't show it but the reproduction in this book is top notch.

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This 1980's style guide by the fantastic Jose Luis Garcia Lopez was the template for all the advertising art DC did at the time.

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And finally, one of the coolest photos in the whole book is of these two kids dressed as Captain and Mary Marvel circa 1945.

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There are many more goodies in this great book. Here's the Amazon link. $108 is a huge bargain for this. All true DC fans should have a copy of this fantastic book.



Now Comics' Green Hornet

2012-04-07T08:15:31.965-07:00

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After going to see the new Green Hornet movie last weekend, I decided to dig out a bunch of the GH comics that Now Comics put out while I was in college. I always thought they were really well done with good art and scripts that stuck to the spirit of the character very well. This particular issue was the second printing of issue #1 from 1989 with a beautiful cover by Jeff Butler, who also did the interior art. I really enjoyed re-reading these and I now have a mission for my next comic con, to finish picking these up. They're a great read.



Best Of DC Blue Ribbon Digests

2012-04-07T08:15:36.050-07:00

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I loved the DC digests that came out in the late 70's and early 80's. They were my first exposure to a lot of great Silver Age material. Here are some of my favorite issues I devoured when I was a kid.

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Adventure Comics #500

2012-04-07T08:15:40.771-07:00

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I always loved the DC Blue Ribbon Digests and tryed to get them all. At the tail end of its run, Adventure Comics went to the digest size and celebrated issue #500, cover dated June, 1983, by reprinting 10 classic Legion Of Super Heroes stories. A lot of my early love of the Legion came from these digests. I always liked the Keith Giffen cover for this particular ish.

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I'll try and post all my digest covers over the next week or so.



Happy Veterans' Day From Sgt. Rock's Battle Stars

2012-04-07T08:15:45.359-07:00

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As we honor and think about all the awesome people that have and are currently protecting our country, I thought about pulling out this well read copy of Our Army At War #177 from March, 1967 and read about the fictional exploits of DC's battle stars, led by the immortal Sgt. Rock. Although these heroes are exciting and fun to read, the real heroes are overseas and at bases all around the country doing their duty to protect us. Thanks again for your sacrifice.



Bronze Age Kirby Cap

2012-04-07T08:15:50.855-07:00

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With the release of stills from the upcoming Captain America movie coming out next year, I've started getting into rereading a lot of his 70's and 80's books. This issue, from March, 1977, was my first exposure to the Star Spangled Avenger. This was during Jack Kirby's return to the title and the series was very unique to say the least. The King's distinctive style was a plus to his co-creation. These two panels of Cap and his partner The Falcon are examples of Kirby's great sense of design and storytelling.

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Hopefully the movie will have a Kirby-ish sense of adventure and style. I'm really excited about it. He's been my favorite Marvel character for 30+ years and I can't wait to see him on the big screen next year.



Happy Halloween!

2012-04-07T08:16:00.732-07:00

And what better thing to post on Halloween than this awesome Frankenstein that William Stout did in my sketchbook back in 2003.

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Happy Halloween everyone!



DC Super-Stars Of Space 1976

2012-04-07T08:16:05.626-07:00

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One of the first comics I remember getting was this sixth issue of DC's reprint title DC Super-Stars. I was six years old and my mom took me over to a friend's house to play and my buddy's big brother had this issue and I took to it immediately for some reason. He was nice enough to give it to me and it's one of my favorite comics. It gave me my introduction to DC's science-fiction characters of the Silver Age. Behind the Ernie Chan cover the book reprinted the Adam Strange story from Mystery In Space #88 by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. It also contained Captain Comet, Tommy Tomorrow, and Space Cabby stories from past issues of MIS with art by Murphy Anderson, Jim Mooney, and Bernard Sachs. And all for only 50 cents! With my extra money I could have bought one of these cool t-shirts.

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I remember wanting that Shazam shirt really bad. These old issues of DC Super-Stars are a good, cheap way to get some good Silver Age reprints.



Justice League Of America Book Bag

2012-04-07T08:16:15.750-07:00

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My friend at work picked me up this really cool Justice League book bag the other day. It features great cover artwork like the cover to JLA #137 from December, 1976 by Ernie Chan.

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It also has one of my favorite JLA covers from #217, August, 1983, by the awesome George Perez.

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It's part of DC's 75th anniversary which promises to have a lot of cool stuff coming out in the next year. I better get my wallet ready!



Starman By Jack Burnley

2012-04-07T08:16:20.424-07:00

As I've mentioned here before many times, Jack Burnley is my favorite Golden Age artist. I loved his work on Starman in Adventure Comics and I was thrilled when DC put out an Archive Edition with his stories. It's my favorite Archive and I thought I'd show a few reasons why Burnley was so great. If you don't have this volume, I highly recommend it. It's Golden Age artwork at its best.

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Batman: The Sunday Classics

2012-04-07T08:16:25.034-07:00

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I've been enjoying rereading the great 1940's Batman Sunday color newspaper strips that were reprinted in this great volume which came out in 1991. Many of the strips feature art by my favorite Golden Age artist, the great Jack Burnley. Although he drew in Bob Kane's style, you can still see his style come through. Here are a couple of examples of his fine work. This is the strip from January 16, 1944, written by Bill Finger.

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This strip is from February 10, 1946, written by Al Schwartz. I really wish there were more adventure strips in newspapers these days.

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It's been a lot of fun reading these great strips again. I'll have to dig out my Superman Sunday collection next weekend.



Dazzler Vs. Galactus!

2012-04-07T08:16:29.545-07:00

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I've always got a kick of of Marvel's late 70's disco heroine Dazzler. She was definitely of her time but her book actually had a lot of pretty good stories and art. This particular issue, from December, 1981, is a good example of that. It has good cover and interior art by Frank Springer and Vince Colletta and the sheer notion of the Dazzler taking on the mighty Galactus makes me smile. This issue also has cool ads promoting the new Saturday morning lineups for NBC and CBS. There were a lot of cool cartoons coming out at the time. What choices for an eleven year old to make!

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And who could resist ol' Greenskin's request to subscribe to your favorite Marvel mags for only $5 a year?

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It was a great time to be a Marvel Maniac and this issue brings back a lot of good memories of that era.



Adam Strange Archives Vol. 1

2012-04-07T08:16:34.133-07:00

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One of my favorite DC archives is the one featuring the super spaceman Adam Strange, protector of the planet Rann. Nobody did science fiction as well as DC did in the 1950's and '60's, thanks in large part to the efforts of editor Julius Schwartz, who had an extensive background in sci-fi fandom before he became a comics editor. This volume reprints Showcase #17-19 and Mystery In Space #53-65 and features just beautiful artwork by the likes of Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky, and the awesome Carmine Infantino. Carmine's sense of style was put to great use on this strip, which made it better than a lot of the other sci-fi strips DC was putting out at the time. A good example is this splash page from MIS #55, November, 1959.

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Not only was the splash great but the cover to this particular issue was a standout as well, by Gil Kane and Jack Adler.

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I've always loved this character and I highly recommend the whole Adam Strange archive series as well as this action figure, which I think is the best one DC Direct ever did.

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Presenting The Phantom Stranger

2012-04-07T08:16:38.694-07:00

When I first started collecting comics in 1977, one of the characters who really grabbed my interest was the mysterious Phantom Stranger. I first became aware of him through his appearances in the Justice League Of America book. I didn't know too much about him and my access to back issues was very limited at the time. He didn't appear too much in JLA so my appetite was definitely whetted for more PS. I was real excited in the summer of 1978 when this issue of my favorite book came out.I was thrilled. I was finally going to see more of this mysterious supernatural superhero. As much as I liked Dick Dillin's version of him in JLA, it didn't hold a candle to the great Jim Aparo's version. This is a great issue by the regular B&B team of Bob Haney and Aparo. I was excited to get Aparo himself to sign the splash page when I met him in 2002.As the years went by, I managed to acquire Aparo's early 1970's run on the Stranger's own book, which I didn't even knew existed when I was eight. Out of all the covers Aparo did for the series, these two are probably my favorites although it was hard to pick just two.Phantom Stranger #21 October, 1972Phantom Stranger #22 December, 1972Of course after I got all the original issues, DC put out two volumes of Showcase Presents reprinting every issue in glorious black and white.When I got old enough to start buying commissions from pro artists, The Phantom Stranger turned up in a couple of them, including my all time favortie commission piece from Jim Aparo in 2000.I also got local Kansas City artist Rick Stasi to draw me a great color piece featuring the PS and the equally mysterious Spectre.I was real jealous of my buddy Neato Coolville's Aparo commission he got around the same time as mine. What a beauty!For more info on DC's underrated 70's hero, check out this great blog dealing exclusively with PS. There's tons of great info there. It'll make you want to break out some good old Bronze Age suspense.[...]



Hembeck's Mr. Met

2012-04-07T08:19:04.933-07:00

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I got this awesome sketch of my favorite baseball mascot standing in front of the centerpiece of the 1964 World's Fair by the one and only Fred Hembeck, one of my all time favorite cartoonists. I know Fred is a big New York Mets fan and I've always been amused by the shenanigans of Mr. Met so I thought it would be a natural and I'm definitely not disappointed. Fred does commissions and they're always great so check out his sales page on his site. Thanks again Fred!



Joe Kubert's Viking Prince

2012-04-07T08:19:19.618-07:00

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I just picked up the new Viking Prince collection DC put out as part of its Joe Kubert library. I always thought that Viking Prince was one of the more underrated strips Kubert did for DC in the 50's and 60's. The art as usual is just gorgeous and the stories by Bob Kanigher are a treat as well. The collection reprints all of the Brave And Bold issues plus his guest appearance in a Sgt. Rock tale from the mid 60's. It's just great Silver Age stuff. The actual cover underneath the dust jacket just blew me away.

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Here's the Amazon link to pick this beauty up. I highly recommend it for any Kubert fan and fan of DC's Silver Age adventure strips in general.



Silver Age Mutant Madness

2012-04-07T08:19:20.448-07:00

When I was in junior high school, I was a huge Marvel Maniac. I had always been a DC guy up until then but a buddy I met in 7th grade introduced me to The X-Men and it was all over. I picked up all the newer issues including the classic Dark Phoenix saga but I had a huge interest in picking up the earlier Silver Age issues. I recently found some of them again and thought I'd post some of my favorites.X-Men #13 (September 1965) Cover by Jack KirbyX-Men #18 (March 1966) Cover by Werner Roth with layouts by Jack KirbyX-Men #29 (February 1967) Cover by Werner RothX-Men #31 (April 1967) Cover by Dan AdkinsX-Men #39 (December, 1967) Cover by George TuskaX-Men #42 (March, 1968) Cover by John BuscemaX-Men #43 (April, 1968) Cover by John Buscema[...]



Showcase Presents Bat Lash

2012-04-07T08:19:19.220-07:00

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I just finished reading this great volume of DC's Showcase Presents series featuring every appearance of the late 60's western hero Bat Lash. Although it only lasted seven issues, it's been hailed as one of the more innovative titles DC put out back then. With scripts and plots by Denny O'Neil and Sergio Aragones and wonderful (as always) art by Nick Cardy, the series definitely deserved a longer run. The black and white reproduction in this volume gives the stories a little more mood which I think works very well. So check out this book if you're into quality western tales.



Happy Fourth Of July

2012-04-07T08:19:22.131-07:00

I thought I'd post some of my favorite patriotic covers through the years to honor America's birthday. All of the images are courtesy of the Grand Comic Book Database.

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Happy Independence Day everybody!



Al Williamson R.I.P.

2012-04-07T08:19:28.492-07:00

I was very saddened to learn of the death of one of my all time favorite artists yesterday. I was first introduced to Al Williamson's work in 1980 when I picked up Marvel's The Empire Strikes Back adaptation. I loved his classic style which I thought suited the Star Wars characters perfectly. I later learned of his love for Alex Raymond and saw what an influence he was in his art. I recently picked up his Flash Gordon book that reprinted all his comic book work on that iconic character. Besides the beautiful black and white reprints there were some great color reproductions of other Flash related material he did through the years. Here are two of my favorites.

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Here's an Amazon link for this amazing book which no true Williamson fan should be without.

I got a chance to meet him once at the 2000 San Diego convention. He was very nice and gracious and I got him to sign my EC coffee table book. He did great work for that company in the early part of his career and it was neat to get his signature alongside the other EC legends.

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He'll definitely be missed. For more info about this great artist check out Mark Evanier's tribute here.



Superman The Movie Coloring Book 1979

2012-04-07T08:19:29.651-07:00

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I recently found one of my favorite coloring books from my childhood. I got this cool giant size Superman movie coloring book from my dad not long after I saw the movie. I colored most of it and I wasn't too bad if I do say so myself.

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I even autographed one of my better efforts on May 10, 1979.

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I think I'll break out my childhood crayons and finish this thing fairly soon.



DC Tabloids Ad 1978

2012-04-07T08:19:34.060-07:00

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Boy did I love these Treasury sized DC tabloid editions that came out in the mid to late 70's. I had all the ones featured in this ad. I especially wore out the Legion and Superman Vs. Wonder Woman issues. I loved seeing all that great art blown up to the tabloid size. They were just great. The awesome site treasurycomics.com is the complete resource for these classic 70's comics. It's a must read site if you have any interest in these beauties.



Showcase #104 OSS Spies At War

2012-04-07T08:19:38.506-07:00

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The first DC war comic I remember reading was this issue of the Showcase revival from September, 1978. Behind a typically great Joe Kubert cover were two stories of the WWII Office Of Strategic Services. Both were written by the prolific Robert Kanigher and the first story, Graves With No Names, was drawn by the veteran war artist Ric Estrada and the backup, Another Pin--Another Death, featured art by Bill Draut. I liked both stories and it made me want to pick up the other DC war books like Sgt. Rock and G.I. Combat. In fact, I wanted subscriptions to those and many other books but my mom put the kibosh on that. Even this cool subscription ad couldn't persuade her.

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The DC Explosion was a great time for an eight year old comic fan. I had so many choices for my comic reading. It was always a chore picking titles on my weekly trips to the comic store or convenience store. They're memories I'll never forget and I can always go back and read these cool books when I want to think about those years.



Joe Kubert's Dong Xoai Vietnam 1965

2012-04-07T08:19:43.959-07:00

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Over on the great Comic Book Resources website there's an interview with the legendary Joe Kubert about his new project. Dong Xoai Vietnam 1965 tells the tale of a Special Forces unit in Vietnam as only the master of DC war comics can. The interview, which you can read here features some pages from the book that proves that Joe has definitely not lost his touch. It comes out this week at a comic book store near you or through Amazon which is where I'll probably order it from since I doubt I'll be able to find it around here. Pick it up. You won't be sorry.



"In Brightest Day"

2012-04-07T08:19:55.529-07:00

Gary Mitchell, a reader of this blog and an independent musician, has written a pretty cool song he hopes will get noticed by the producers of the new Green Lantern movie which is coming out next year. He put together a video showcasing the song so check it out.

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Good luck Gary!



1977 DC Calendar

2012-04-07T08:24:39.898-07:00

There are more wonderful images in the 1977 DC Calendar. Each month features the best artists DC had to offer at the time. Here are a few of my favorites.May features this great pinup by the quintessential Superman artist Curt Swan.June showcases another wonderful Aquaman piece by the one and only Jim Aparo.July offers us this stunning Joe Kubert Hawkman.And finally August offers us a Justice Society pinup by the great Wally Wood.Unfortunately my scanner couldn't quite get the entire drawings but the bulk of them are there. This is my favorite of the three calendars DC put out in the mid 70's and I'll post some more images from all three in the near future.[...]



More 1978 DC Goodness

2012-04-07T08:20:00.139-07:00

Here are a few more images from the 1978 DC calendar. First up is January featuring Batman by the late, great Dick Giordano.

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February sports a great Flash action scene by the wonderful Irv Novick.

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And March features that preeminent 70's team, Green Lantern and Green Arrow by the fantastic Mike Grell.

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I can't get enough of these great calendars. I'll post more in the coming days.



1978 DC Calendar

2012-04-07T08:20:10.586-07:00

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I've decided to post some more pictures from my DC calendars from the late 1970's. The 1978 calendar has some fantastic art but there are two months that stand out for me. July featured a beautiful Curt Swan/Dan Adkins piece featuring the Man Of Steel.

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And last but not least, this Jim Aparo Aquaman piece for April is one of my favorite pieces of art from him. It's just super.

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I'll post some more pieces from this great calendar in the days ahead.



Another Convention Weekend

2012-04-07T08:20:07.725-07:00

I had a great time this past weekend at Planet Comicon, Kansas City's largest comic book/pop culture convention. It's proving to be more and more popular every year as Saturday's crowd was the largest I had ever seen there. The highlight of the show for me was getting to talk to Silver Age Marvel legend Herb Trimpe again. Herb is one of the nicest professionals I've ever met and he drew a fantastic quick head sketch of Thor on the back of his new sketchbook, which has a lot of very cool pieces he's drawn through the years.I also enjoyed talking to Bongo Comics editor Bill Morrison again. I've always liked the Futurama and Simpsons comics and Bill is always super friendly and cordial to everybody that comes up to him. He drew a couple of quick head shots on a couple of Futurama comics I bought from him.The only sad part of the weekend was learning of the passing of Dick Giordano. I always liked his work on the many, many titles he pencilled and inked through the years, especially his work on Batman in the early '70's. He was also a great editor, starting with Charlton in the mid '60's and continuing on with two different stints at DC. I only got to meet him one time at one of the first conventions I went to in the early '90's but he was a true comics legend that will definitely be missed.[...]



Incredible Hulk #212

2012-04-07T08:20:11.450-07:00

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One of the first superhero comics I remember getting when I started collecting comics was this issue of The Incredible Hulk from June, 1977, featuring a great Rich Buckler/Ernie Chan cover. I was always a fan of the Constrictor. I always thought he had a pretty cool gimmick. The interior art by the underrated Sal Buscema was another plus for this particular issue. As always, the ads inside enticed me with all the cool stuff you could buy. I really wanted one of those cool Marvel shields.

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But as usual I didn't get to order one. I never ordered anything from the ads inside the various comics which I always regretted. Oh well, maybe I'll see one of these shields at a convention someday.



New DC Comics Collector Glasses

2012-04-07T08:20:15.475-07:00

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My buddies and I were down at one of the Vintage Stock locations yesterday and saw these really cool retro DC Comics glasses that evidently just came out. I had always wanted to collect the glasses when I was a kid but my mother probably thought I'd break them so I never had very many. These new ones are pretty similar using classic 1970's characters and designs. I've always loved this image of the Justice Society which I believe was first used on the back of one of the early treasury editions. I also picked up this beauty featuring the leader of the Combat Happy Joes of Easy Co.

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There were several other cool glasses for sale including Black Lightning and Firestorm. If you've always liked the old glasses it would be worth your while to pick these up. They're pretty cool.



Superman Family #182

2012-04-07T08:20:19.142-07:00

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As a kid I loved DC's Dollar Comics. My dad would buy them for me fairly often because of the value for the buck. One of the first issues released in the format was Superman Family #182, cover dated March-April, 1977. Behind a fantastic Curt Swan-Neal Adams cover were great stories featuring Superman's pals with artwork by greats such as Kurt Schaffenberger, Vince Colletta, John Calnan, Jose Delbo, and Mike Vosburg. Not only are there good stories inside but the ads are great too. I like this toy ad featuring the Mego Batcycle and the very cool Super-Friends colorforms.

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I would have loved to have had those colorforms. I also like this ad for the DC Direct Currents hotline.

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I'm surprised I didn't bug my mom to call this all the time. It would have been great to hear the updates. Seeing all this stuff again makes me want to break out all my Superman Families. I might just have to do that this weekend.



Batman #194

2012-04-07T08:20:24.643-07:00

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It's well known that Carmine Infantino was one of the most innovative artists of the Silver Age Of Comics. Perhaps his greatest strength was his sense of design. Nowhere is this more evident than this gorgeous cover to Batman #194 from August, 1967. Inked by the great Murphy Anderson, it's a good example of his design sense. His placement of the logo was totally different for the time. It jumps out at you. The stories inside aren't bad but they're outshined by the cover. I also enjoy the different ads from this era. I really like this Lone Ranger Aurora model ad which were in a lot of comics from this period.

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I'm not sure who did the art for this ad. It kind of looks like Murphy Anderson but I'm not sure. I do know that I like it quite a bit. I'd like to get my time machine in order so I can pick up the model and all the great DC and Marvel books for only 12 cents each. Now those were bargains!!



Charlton's Six Million Dollar Man

2012-04-07T08:20:28.718-07:00

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Like a lot of other kids of the 70's, I loved The Six Million Dollar Man TV show. I couldn't get enough of Steve Austin's exploits. One of the first comics I ever remember buying was Charlton's adapation which came out not long after the show debuted in 1976. The first issue featured a great Joe Staton cover and interior art. They followed the TV show's origin story fairly well as I recall. I never read a lot of Charlton growing up. I think it was due to the fact that they weren't as available as DC and Marvel's output. I think the only place I ever saw Charltons was at Clint's, KC's first comic specialty shop. They might have been in places like Woolworth's too but I don't remember. The subscription ad inside showed how diverse Charlton's output was then.

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Most of my Charlton collection consists of the animated titles like the Flintstone books and Hong Kong Phooey. I've been trying to compile a Charlton horror collection these past ten years or so but I've been very lax about it lately. Although they didn't put out the quality of the big two, Charlton brings back some nice memories of my early comic book collecting.



The Human Target

2012-04-07T08:20:33.061-07:00

I'm kind of curious about Fox's new version of The Human Target which debuts tonight. I remember not liking the first version too much but this one actually looks pretty decent, at least from the few ads I've seen. I first got exposed to the character when he was a backup in The Brave And The Bold in the late 70's. The great Jim Aparo even drew him on the cover of his first B&B, #143, October, 1978.

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The inside story was by Len Wein and Dick Giordano, not a bad creative team I must say. I enjoyed the series while it lasted and hopefully the new TV series will preserve some of that. We'll just have to wait and see.



Green Lantern #22

2012-04-07T08:20:37.275-07:00

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I've always enjoyed the Silver Age DC science fiction oriented comics. Editor Julius Schwartz put the focus on sci-fi themes in most of the books he edited. The art on these books was usually sensational, featuring greats like Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, and Murphy Anderson. I was lucky enough to meet Murphy at a con in the mid 90's and he was one of the nicest pros I've met in my con going years. He signed this great cover to GL #22 which he inked over Gil Kane. The stories inside are typical early 60's DC, very wordy and with a lot of sci-fi themes, which is a good thing by the way. The subscription ad on the inside cover made me smile for some reason.

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Once I build my time machine, I'm definitely going back to 1963 and getting one of each! In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the Gardner Fox, Gil Kane, and Joe Giella goodness on the inside.



All Out War #1

2012-04-07T08:20:42.008-07:00

As a kid I loved DC's Dollar Comics linuep. I couldn't get enough of the double sized goodness. One of the more interesting but short lived Dollar Comics was the war anthology All Out War. It didn't last very long in 1979, only six issues if I recall correctly. Anyway, what was not to love? You had great Joe Kubert covers followed by interior work by greats such as Dick Ayers, Jerry Grandenetti, George Evans, and E.R. Cruz. I especially liked the new Viking Commando character that was supposed to be the star of the book. As I mentioned before, the mag petered out after six issues. As the 1980's dawned the war comics weren't selling like they used to and poor sales probably led to All Out War's demise. Not even cool Kubert drawn subscription ads could save these great books from eventual extinction.The Dollar Comics were definitely a product of the times. I think they were probably a means of getting inventoried material out there after the infamous DC Implosion the year before left a lot of material without a place to go. I remember they heavily promoted the new books in their other mags, as this great ad shows.They worked since I bought all of them, or shall I say my dad forked out all those dollars back then. I was only nine. I think those were the best dollars he ever spent.[...]



A Christmas Journey Through Space

2012-04-07T08:20:56.057-07:00

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Courtesy of the awesome Grand Comic Book Database comes this beauty from 1960. Not much is known about this book but the blurb on the title says it all. It's Merry Christmas time. Hope everyone out there gets all the comics they want for Christmas!



DC Comics Calendar December, 1976

2012-04-07T08:20:59.865-07:00

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I love the 1976 DC calendar. Every month features beautiful Neal Adams-Dick Giordano art but my favorite image is Superman as Santa reading hardbound DC comics from that great Bronze Age year of the bicentennial. Another cool thing about the calendar are those goofy facts relating to the different heroes like their birthdays and anniversaries. Did you know Batman's first case was December 4th or that Captain Cold's birthday is the 11th? Neither did I.

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Whenever I get down around Christmas I look at this hanging on my wall and I instantly feel better. If I don't post again before Christmas, have a great holiday season!!



Joe Kubert Hawkman Sketch

2012-04-07T08:21:03.337-07:00

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I just got my copy of the deluxe edition of Joe Kubert's How To Draw From Life book. While it contains some great examples of Joe's still life work and is a valuable learning tool for any aspiring artist, I was very happy to be able to get a sketch from the man himself. It cost a pretty penny but it was worth it. I've always wanted a Kubert piece and Hawkman is one of my favorite characters so it was a no brainer for me although Sgt. Rock or Tarzan would have been cool too. Heck, anything would have great coming from Kubert. This is definitely one of the highlights of my art collection.



A Brave And Bold Christmas

2012-04-07T08:21:07.010-07:00

I always loved Batman themed Chistmas stories and this one from The Brave And The Bold #184 is one of my favorites. Featuring fantastic art from the one and only Jim Aparo and a nice script from Mike W. Barr, the teaming of Earth 1 and 2 characters was always a hit with me. The splash page is classic Aparo. The Gotham Guardian would make a fantastic Santa.Aparo was such a good visual storyteller that no words needed to be said except at the very end. I love this sequence. Not only did we get a classic story we got 1981 Christmas wishes from such DC legends as Joe Kubert, Sheldon Mayer, Julius Schwartz, Irv Novick, and many more.I miss these Christmas themed issues from the 70's and 80's. It just doesn't seem the same anymore. There's no Christmas like a DC Christmas, especially during the Bronze Age.[...]



DC Comics Rarities Archives

2012-04-07T08:21:10.825-07:00

I really, really love the DC Archives series. It's given me a chance to have nice reprints of books that I never could afford. It's given me a chance to look at Golden Age material that had rarely been reprinted or even seen for that matter. One of my favorites is the DC Rarities Vol. 1. It reprints the two New York World's Fair Comics of 1939/40 and the Big All American Comic Book from 1944.I really love the iconography of the 1939 World's Fair. The 1930's view of the world of tomorrow is awesome in all its Art Deco glory. Nowhere was this more evident than the icons of the fair, the Trylon and Perisphere. Here are some fun facts about the T&P from the 1939 issue.Of course Superman was the main attraction of these issues, although most of DC's stable of heroes at the time made an appearance as well. I don't think it gets more inspiring than the Man Of Tomorrow visiting the World Of Tomorrow.These great books are chock full of goodies relating to the Fair and this archive is a must have for anyone interested in the Fair or Golden Age DC. It's a real treat from cover to cover. Now if only they had done Superman Goes To The 1964 New York World's Fair. Now, that would have been a cool comic![...]



Tales Of Terror

2012-04-07T08:21:14.734-07:00

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I was recently going through some of my hardback collections and I came across this great history of the preeminent horror line of the 1950's, EC Comics. I picked it up at the 2000 San Diego Convention where they had the author and many of the surviving EC creators there to do a signing. It was wonderful to meet such legends as Al Williamson, Marie Severin, Al Feldstein, and many others. I got everybody who was there to sign the inside front cover.

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I didn't know a whole lot about EC prior to this book. The original issues of such titles as Tales From The Crypt and Weird Science were kind of hard to find and expensive. I always liked what I did see though and it was cool reading about the history of this great line of comics. I'm not sure if the book is still in print but if it is, it's a must have for any comic lover's collection.



Strange Adventures #117

2012-04-07T08:21:19.154-07:00

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I've always been a fan of DC's science fiction titles of the Silver Age. This particular issue of Strange Adventures from June, 1960 features everything that made these books great. It has an awesome Gil Kane/Murphy Anderson gorilla cover followed by the story of this incredible simian by the quintessential DC science fiction team of John Broome, Carmine Infantino, and Joe Giella. If that was all that was in this issue, it would have been one to remember. But the true gem of this one was the first appearance of Broome and Anderson's Atomic Knights. I've always been a huge fan of the Knights and have loved Anderson's exquisite artwork on the series for a long time. That's why I was so excited to hear that DC is putting out a hardback reprinting of all the Knights' tales next summer. I've always wanted a full collection of these stories and now they're going to do it. I hope the printing is good. Sometimes the reproductions on these collections isn't very good but I've got my hopes up for this one. It's a must have for anyone who loves DC science fiction.



Happy Halloween

2012-04-07T08:21:23.772-07:00

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I'd like to wish everyone out there a very happy Halloween. What would be scarier than the Man Of Steel's pesky girlfriend having super powers? Not much I'd say. That cool Curt Swan cover from April, 1958 is definitely not scary though.



1941 The Illustrated Story

2012-04-07T08:21:27.848-07:00

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I recently picked up the adaptation of one of the more underrated comedies of the 1970's. Steven Spielberg's 1941 bombed at the box office but it's surprisingly funny on repeated viewings. The comic adaptation, published by Heavy Metal in 1979, ratchets up the slapstick humor to a high degree. Featuring art by Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch with the script by Allan Asherman, the book is a fun read that follows the movie fairly well. The art is pretty cartoony on the inside but the front and back covers are pretty nice.

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I found this gem fairly cheap and it's a great addition to my film adaptation collection. If you haven't seen the movie in a while, check it out. It's a hoot.



Secrets Of Haunted House

2012-04-07T08:21:31.877-07:00

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Secrets Of Haunted House was one of many horror books DC put out in the Bronze Age. I enjoyed them all and didn't see a whole lot that was different in each one. They all had great creepy art by the likes of Bernie Wrightson and the Fillipino stable of artists DC had at the time. This particular series only lasted 46 issues, from 1975-1982. I need to get the whole series. I only have a few including this beauty from December 75/January 76. Behind that fantastic Wrightson cover, there's art by Nestor Redondo, John Albano, and Ernie Chan. I enjoyed going back to my grade school years with this stuff. It needs to be October every year.



George Tuska R.I.P.

2012-04-07T08:21:35.857-07:00

I was saddened to learn of the death yesterday of comic book legend George Tuska. I was always a fan of his 1970's output for Marvel Comics but it was only in the last ten years or so that I realized how far back his career went. He was one of those workhorse artists that could draw in any style or genre. My friend contacted him for a commision back in 2001 and I added my name to the list. I was thrilled with the result.I thought he brought a certain John Buscema like nobility to the Thunder God. It's one of my favorite commissions. A few years after I got this sketch, I got to meet Tuska at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. He was very pleasant although he could barely hear. He signed my copy of the excellent Art Of George Tuska book from Twomorrows which is an excellent overview of this great man's work.It's a true loss for comic fans. At least we'll always have his excellent output through the years to remember him by.[...]



Weird War Covers

2012-04-07T08:21:39.670-07:00

One of my favorite DC titles of the Bronze Age was Weird War Tales. It combined two genres that DC did very well at the time, horror and war. While not every single issue had great stories, the covers were almost always fantastic. My favorite, of course, is the above beauty by Jim Aparo from issue #53, cover dated May, 1977. Here are some of my other favorites. This series is always a great read but it's especially great this time of year.#1 September-October, 1971 Cover by Joe Kubert#13 April, 1973 cover by Luis Dominguez#58 December, 1977 cover by Joe Kubert#77 July, 1979 cover by Joe Kubert#93 November, 1980 featuring the great Creature Commandos. Cover by Joe Kubert[...]