Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"About a Week's Worth"

Finally I won a copy of a comic I haven't had one of in a good ten years by using a "Buy It Now" option on an eBay auction, and at a cheap price to boot! I found me a copy of the Super Comic reprint Plastic Man #11 (1963), and in Gd-VG for a mere five bucks (which looks like this above "lifted" image). This will complete a set of the three reprints Super Comics did of Plas in 1963-64, and is the first time I've compiled this trio of issues into my comic book collection since back around 1996. Oh, I've bidded on this issue several times, but it always seemed a bit out of reach price-wise, or I'd get sniped, or something everytime I saw one. So when I saw it at a "BIN", I didn't hesitate. And so, yet another of the super hero reprints that I.W./Super Comics did is down and will be off "the list". There's a LOT of those I'd like to have, but actually, I've already got the most of them now, what with completing the "Plastic Man's", I also have the two issues of "The Spirit", the single "Green Lama", the single issue of "The Avenger", "Human Fly" 1 & 12 (BOTH "Blue Beetle" reprints), plus a couple that reprint "Phantom Lady", (among others). The only other ones that I definately would like to own copies of would be the reprints of "Dr. Fu Manchu" and "Earthman On Venus" (due to the Wally Wood work). But I think there's a "Purple Claw" reprint, plus a reprint of the first Avon horror story, and some other super-hero reprints here and there which interest me. Some of the humor titles also have Matt Baker artwork (which is ALWAYS nice).

I've changed my routine of writing my blog posts now. And instead of just sitting down to write a post all at one time, I'm now stretching my time writing this over several days. So events that I mention may or may not have come to pass during that time. They're just some various instances.

Some other stuff I've recently won would include copies of DC's Showcase #'s 72 & 100, from the Silver and Bronze Age. The #72 is the re-introduction of DC's western heroes, "Johnny Thunder" and "The Trigger Twins", both of which originally appeared in the long-running comic (mostly from the 1950's): All-Star Western. That's an interesting title simply because it was a continuation of the original GA title, All-Star. I'm sure it has some nice Gil Kane and other reprints. The #100 Showcase has appearances (or cameos) by practically any character which ever appeared in that title.

Another win is a VF++ copy of DC's Tales of the Unexpected #100 (circa 1967), which rather surprized me to win as cheap as I did in it's condition grade. TOTU was one of my favorite "regular buying" titles back in the 60's, mostly due to the appearances of "Space Ranger", but I kept on buying it long after he stopped appearing in it. This issue's pretty neat due to the "Go-Go Checks" on the cover and nice Infantino art. DC was putting a LOT of esoteric heroes and stories into their mystery titles at that time, such as "Animal Man", "The Enchantress", "Immortal Man", "Auto-Man", etc., and this issue has one of those weird "Green Glob" tales.

Overall, TOTU was an impressive title which had a very lengthly run, first beginning in 1956 (and Ghod knows I sure wish I had that copy of TOTU #1 I had as a kid, again) and ran (albeit a title change where they dropped the "Tales of" off the title) 202 issues all the way until 1982. Somebody had to like it due to it running 24 years! And there were a small handful of app.s of a character, I think his name was "Johnny Peril" which ran in issues post #100 that were sort'a good.

And the last comic I've won here recently is a Marvel Tower of Shadows #8 (circas 1970 or so), with a Berni Wrightson cover and some Wally Wood artwork inside. One of those better Marvel fantasy-horror titles from the very early 1970's before they changed the titles on some of them and ended up filling them entirely with horror and fantasy reprints from the 1950-60's (rather than new material).

Wally Wood... what a tragic and sad story about such a great talent. Here's a guy that was a cornerstone of E.C. Publications, who created the unforgetable "T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents", who pretty much created the look that Marvel's "Daredevil" has today when he added the red costume back in the mid-1960's, who was one of the very few people that could actually ink Steve Ditko's pencils properly, only to meet his demise by his own hand due to depression from losing his vision and not being able to produce his fine, wonderful work anymore. I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't appreciate Wallace Wood, from his fantastic Witzend publication, to the inking of such titles as All-Star Comics, "The Stalker" (w/Ditko), and Hercules Unbound (some of his last work). Gone now a good 30 years from us, his fans, who will never forget him.


Checked the confirmation code on that copy of Forever People #1 that's waaayyyy overdue. The first time it said that it was actually "enroute", it stated that it had left Florida. Now it says it's in the Cincinnati, Ohio location! I tell ya...the United States Postal Service seems to me to be one very flubbed-up system at times. Instead of the package going to the central headquarters in Kentucky ( Louisville), it's sent first from Florida all the way to Cincinnati, and then BACK to Louisville to be sent on to me. They always seem to take the longest way around with the mail. Oh least it's downhill all the way getting to me here now in South Central, Kentucky, so perhaps it'll make an appearance in a day or two.(Thursday:10/11/07)

Moving on... I've finished the pencils and writing a new six page comic strip that's related to an entire 20 page project I may just self-publish as a small press effort. To difficult to submit anything professionally anymore, so what I do is just "self-gratification". If I publish it it'll have a short print run and I'll end up giving away most of the copies, I'm sure. It's not like back in the days when The Small Press seemed so alive (early to mid-80's), and I suppose that's because just about anyone with the cash can do a comic of their own anymore. I really wouldn't mind making this into some sort of "slick" alternative comic type project if the cost was right. But if I did, I'd just be a labor of love and maybe some publicity for my work. More than likely if this sees print it'll be magazine-size and all B&W; a new fanzine of sorts. (I haven't really done one of these since back in '89 or so and I've got "the itch" again.) I'll talk more about this when the project's complete as I work on it in what little spare time I have outside of work and family issues.

(And, just to prove that I do indeed write this post over several days, since the above was written I got in those long long comics and now have my four sets of the Kirby 4th. World titles from the 70's complete! "Halle-frickin'-luyah!")

I'm not really sure how long I've been at trying to complete those Kirby sets. I looked back on various old blog posts but just couldn't seem to pin it down to an "exact"time. But I'd say going on 2 years now. The Jimmy Olsens were the easiest, then The New Gods, the Mister Miracles and finally, The Forever People. The most difficult ones for me to find are those 11 odd issues of Our Fighting Forces, around 4 misc. issues of the 70's reprint issues of Black Magic, and that one odd issue of the 70's reprint of Boy Commandoes #2. Not that any of those have a single thing to do with Kirby's "4th. World" stuff, but I'd like to have them for completion sake, as well as the two magazines he did: "Spirit World", and "In The Days of The Mob" (and I want them WITH POSTERS, TOO!).

Got to thinking about this year: 2007. My earliest memories of owning a comic book was 1957, which (Gasp! Choke! means my aquaintance with that American Art Form has now lasted 50 years! Geez. If I had all of the esoteric knowledge I have of comic books in mathmatics instead, I'd be a "rocket scientist" and not wasting your time writing these blogs, huh? Oh well. The relationship w/comic books have lasted a LOT longer than any of my marriages...and given me more entertainment and pleasure (in general) as well, I might add. (Save for my current wife, of course, of nearly 20 years.)(Friday:10/12/07)

Today at the flea market I found a nice 2 disc set copy of "The Incredibles", a flick that I had never watched in its entirity, B-I-O-N. Looks like at some point in the past year that I would have rented this multi-million dollar Disney hit, simply due to its contents ("superheroes"). So, sometime in the next few days I'll pop in this WS version and kick back for a couple hours and relax. (It's always nice to buy a $25. DVD for a mere $5.). There was just a few set up at the flea market this morning on the way to work, and I only had a few minutes to walk thru. One guy had a large "Batmobile" for $5., which I passed on just because I thought it was a little too much for it; plus I have something in the neighborhood of (at least) 50 different B-mobiles already, and no place to really display it.

Today's work started out slow. There was a gun & knife show at the local convention center, and I suppose that customers didn't come to the place I work at until they'd seen that, but after 10 A.M., things started picking up and we were pretty steady all the rest of the day. The boss sent over a bunch of Halloween things to sell, here a couple weeks before day; metal stand-up black cats, white ghosts, hanging cats with the word "spooky" on them, some pumpkin yard ornaments, some 48" hanging ornaments with witches, ghosts or bats on them, etc. I think only one sold before closing. Might be a little too late to sell much for Halloween this time. (Saturday:10/13/07)

RANT POST: Back on October 2, I went to a local doctor due to having contacted poison ivy, and it was in my system to the point that I knew the only way to stop it from spreading and eventually making me very ill, was to get either a steroid shot or pills.

At the time, the nurses remarked that I hadn't been to see him in 4 years, which is true. I'm generally a very healthy person, and even if I am sick, I can't afford to be running to see a doctor every time I don't feel well. I usually just take some aspirin and try to get some rest, and suffer through it until I am better. But...anyway...I asked beforehand how much the office visit was going to be and was told, $50. After the visit I went to pay for it and asked once again, "How much do I owe?", and once again, was told, $50., and paid it the same day while I was there. So last Thursday I get an additional bill from this doctor for $30. I couldn't figure out why I'd gotten it? I thought it may have been because the nurse thought I'd gotten a shot (which IS $30.), but I didn't, having opted for the 10 day's worth of pills which I filled at my local pharmacy (and was only $8.). So I try to call the office only to discover that no one would be back there until Monday. And so, Monday, I try calling again and the receptionist tries to connect me with the billing person, whose line keeps wanting to give me an answering machine message. I'd already done this once and the billing person never returned my call, so I finally get the receptionist back and try to explain "why" I was wanting to inquire about it, and she hands the phone over to the billing person for me to talk to.

One of the rudest people I've ever talked to from a doctor's office par none. And in her nasty voice she states that since I hadn't been there in 4 years that "by law" after three years I'm declared a NEW patient and have the additional fee. When I inquire as to why I wasn't asked to pay the fee that day, she says that no one there knew I hadn't been in the office in so long, EVEN THOUGH THREE DIFFERENT NURSES HAD COMMENTED ON IT INCLUDING THE RECEPTIONIST. She said, "Well...mistakes happen", and that I still owed the bill. She also used the term, "well...whatever" (meaning she could care less. "Whatever"? Is this person in the 6th. Grade? Is she 12 years old? Is she definately one nasty bitch? (Affirmative on the last one.)

So today I mailed off the money for said bill and made a notation that "I knew he really needed my extra $30. (after all, he needs a 1/2 tank of gas in his beemer), but he might want to invest it in a personality for his billing manager instead, since, obviously, she doesn't have one." The billing manager, incidently, is his wife, so she'll just take that $30. off my bill and toss the letter so he won't see it. This I discovered wasn't the first time such a thing had happened there. Another person I knew got an enormous bill from them less than a week after her visit, threatening legal action if it wasn't paid. And when she went to pay it she told them that she'd never be back. Her mother saw this doctor later and told him why she would never be there again and he knew absolutely nothing about it. In fact, he apologized and told her to definately come back to see him and such a thing wouldn't happen again. And, when I see this doctor, I'll tell him the same.

On to nicer things, I got in those copies of Showcase #72 & 100, Tales of the Unexpected #100 (the first three all DC's) and Tower of Shadows #8(Marvel) in today's mail. That TOTU #100 is indeed in a VFINE grade; at least a $25. comic. Neat book from 1967, with a "Green Glob" story and those krazy DC "Go-Go Checks" on the cover. The TOWs#8 has a nice Wrightson cover from 1970, plus a wonderful fantasy tale drawn by Wally Wood, plus a Ditko fantasy reprint. The SC #72 (1968) is the silver-age re-introduction of DC's westrn heroes, "Johnny Thunder" and "The Trigger Twins", sporting classic reprints by the like of Gil Kane, Alex Toth and Joe Kubert from the 1950's. The #100 of this title is drawn by Joe Staton and guest-stars virtually every character which ever appeared in the title up until that time (from 1978). I was VERY pleased with this 4 comic book purchase to say the least


BATMAN (DC) #669 concludes "The Club of Heroes" storyline, and as usual it was well-written by Grant Morrison with the ever-pleasing artwork of J.H. Williams III. Both Batman and 'Tec have had unusually striking covers this past year, with this issue no exception, showing only the raised arms of the various heroes each holding up either their fist or their weapon of choice, shown in a red against a B&W and grey background. This really makes your eye center to the cover when on the stands. This whole storyline of "Club of Heroes" has been really good. It's one of those "A+" issues.

JLA CLASSIFIED(DC) #43 is the second part of what I like to call, "The Martian Manhunter: Year One", and it continues to tell of J'onn J'onzz's first teamup with the JLA while battling "Starro". Even though I feel that the writer (Justin Gray) is farting around with the JLA history and continuity, this issue read well and rendered, as usual very well, by Rick Leonardi. We're treated to a Walt Simonson cover for our $2.99 as a bonus. An "A Minus" to "B+" for this issue.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (DC) #13 begins a new story arch where the "INjustice League" is being intruduced into this title. As usual, Lex Luthor's there, along with Grodd, Dr. Light, Poison Ivy and a host of others to follow. Joe Benitez loves to draw panels which feature the full-length body shots, and I have to admit that a few of these this issue was somewhat impressive (especially those of Batman and Poison ivy). But this sort of thing can get old and he needs to concentrate just more on the continuity of his panels. (Too much of this leads to the old "Image" look, which I never liked.) Dwayne McDuffie begins writing it this issue, and I wasn't overly pleased with what i've read so far, but maybe it'll get better as he gets usued to the interplay between the large number of various heroes and villians he'll have to work with, and overall I'll still give it a "B". (Monday: 10/15/07)

Some other notations on those older comics I just got in recently, the SHOWCASE #72 (1968) has now gotten a notation in "Wickapedia" for those characters. I was looking them up and the information stated that they didn't have an appearance from the 1950's until the early 70's, which, because of the reprint in that particular issue, makes that information incorrect. So I corrcted it. But the main thing I wanted to mention about the "TT's" reprint in this issue is that they battle a western character called...of ALL names..."Doc Doom"! Yes, ol' Doc Doom was plaguing heroes in the 1800's out west even before the FF. Guess he made good use of that time machine he built was back in FF #5 (1962)*heh*. Well, okay. No this isn't the same Doc Doom, or even the same character, or even the same "company" for that matter. But I thought it was sorta funny. Names get picked up by one writer or another, and the "TT's" reprint originally appeared "sometime" between 1951 and 1958, since after that they didn't have any stories in the original series of All-Star Western.

Another notation is about that Showcase #100. Just how many times did DC use that "Crisis on Infinite Worlds" idea BEFORE they finally did the limited series. I wrote here once before about an issue of Justice League from the 1970's that used it, along with the good ol' "Spectre" trying to hold worlds apart, and yet there in this 1978 issue of SC we see something very similiar once again. I guess they (DC) thought that they just couldn't keep a good idea down, ehh?

When I was down at the local library this morning, visiting my mom (whose a librarian there), and making some photocopies, I looked thru the discarded books they sell and found a 1945 Whitman hardcover of "Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter", based on the famous long-running newspaper strip, of course, and written/illustrated by her creator, Dale Messick. It wasn't in the best of shape, but all of the story was complete. The dust jacket was gone, as well as the first leaf where they'd had a library card stuck on it (the policy there is to cut out that first page with the card when discarding books). They'd also cut into the title page and it was loose, but not unrepairable with some 'majik tape", and they'd stuck tape on the spine. So, I removed the spine tape, repaired the title page and made it still a collectible item to add to my collection. Whitman hardcovers from the pre-1950 era are especially nice to collect, and they certainly did a lot of them (including some super-heroes, and, in particular, one VERY collectible volume of "Superman" in 1942).

Also found a little hardcover about the size of a paperback and maybe half as thick called, "Zoric the Spaceman", which was actually done in full color in 1983, published by "Ladybird Books", and written/illustrated by its creator, Peter Kingston. It's in much better shape (save for a few "date stamps" on the inside front cover), and was done in a comic book format like a small graphic novel. I always check out these library sales and have found a lot of neat, older books in them for next-to-nothing prices. Even with my 4 photocopies the whole thing was about a buck, and the money goes for the good cause of promoting the library and the purchase of new books and supplies.

Read today that veterin artist, Marie Severin is recuperating from a stroke. Wishing her a very speedy recovery. She's done some wonderful work over the past 50+ years, for EC and Marvel in particular.

I'll have to admit that the first time I ever saw Marie Severin's work, I wasn't impressed. It wasn't until she started doing cartoony-parody artwork for the Marvel title, Not Brand Echh! in the 1960's, that I started taking notice and becoming a fan. The first super-hero art that I liked by her was Sub-Mariner #14(circa 1969) where Namor fought what he thought was the Golden-Age "Human Torch", only to discover it was the Torch's sidekick, "Toro". After that issue I became a fan of her work as much as I was any of the other artists then working at Marvel, and to this day, I consider Marie Severin, and Harvey Kurtzman, the two biggest influences on my own cartoony-type of artwork.

In today's mail...I got in that copy of the Super Comics reprint Plastic man #16 (1963) which now completes my set of the three issues they published, along with a copy of DC Comics Presents #45 (1983). The Plas reprints the golden-Age issue #16 from the Quality Comics run. The DCP really has nothing special about it, save that this issue is signed on the front cover by both artist Rich Buckler and inker, Bob Smith. I had Smith's signature on some book in my "autographed comics" collection, but not Buckler's (which is the main reason I bought it). It features Superman teaming up with Firestorm, and it's one of Firestorm's "inbetween appearances"; that is, between his original title, and the second one called "Fury of". Just barely so, tho', as it advertises the first issue coming of FOFS in the same issue.(Tuesday:10/16/07)


At 6:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DC image of "the hands of God" at the beginning of time wasn't new with Crisis at all. It had been around for years and I believe it's first appearance was in a Green Lantern issue, maybe the first appearance of Sinestro - not sure since I'm not a GL fan or collector. It is the definitive DC version of the beginning of the universe, their translation of Genesis if you will, so it isn't going to change and it will be there for many different stories, especially the ones of gigantic scope. Just letting you know that someone does regularly read your blogs.

At 7:38 AM , Blogger ~D.Puck' said...

Yeah, that "Giant hand" scene was in the classic Green Lantern #40 with the GA G.L. x-over. To clear things tho' I was refering mostly to "The Spectre" always in a cris-type story somewhere holding the various worlds apart. That scenario has been used now (at least) 3 times. BTW, thanks for the comment! 'appreciate it! :^)


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