Monday, January 07, 2008

"Potpourri Comments"

My, o' my, but this is such a fine weather day here the first week of January in South-Central, KY., with temperatures in the mid 60's! Sure is a shame that it won't last.

I think the first thing I'd like to do this post is give a belated "welcome back" to Robby Reed" who does his wonderful "Dial B For Blog". Obviously, "Robby" has been back bloggin' for quite some time now and I didn't know it. (Why dunt sumbodi TELL me these things?!)'s great to see him once again doing a new post every week. The current one is on the work of artist extraordinaire, Frank Frazetta, and his previous one was on the 1960's Saturday morning "Beatles' Cartoon Show", so click on that link and read some fun stuff!

Speaking of The Beatles...., once again it's time to thank my good friend Steve Wright for sending me a dozen different Beatles Gum Cards of their various series from the 1960's. That's something else I didn't realise, i.e., just how many series and different cards were produced for "The Fab Four" back then, but according to Steve's info there's six different sets: The Color series (1-64), Series 1 in B&W (1-60), Series 2 in B&W (61-115), Series 3 in B&W (116-165), The "Beatles Diary" set (1-60) and "The Hard Day's Night" set (based on their first feature film; 1-55). That'd be a total of 344 different cards (not counting for that completist, the six different wrappers which would make a total of 350 different items)! I'm a little surprized that there wasn't a "Help!" series as well! HERE is a quick scan of some of them. (And I think that most everyone knows that if these appear too small there's usually a little arrow you can click onto at the bottom right of the photo that'll bring them "up to size". I must apologize for the yellow streaks due to my old scanner or any "grainy" look, but I no longer have my moire removal program).

So, okay, it's time to talk about "why" the Conan cover repro this time. It's known that from time-to-time I "occasionally" purchase an interesting foreign comic book or two. Recently on auctions I discovered this French (French-Canadian, actually) copy of Conan #8 published circa 1973 or so by the Editions Heritage ("EH") Publications out of Montreal, Canada. Loving that Barry (Winsor-) Smith cover artwork I bidded a mere .15 on it and won it (making the postage costs something like 10X the bid)! It arrived and I was looking through it. It's 36 pages in length with a color cover and B&W reprints inside. But...something was confusing....

I had checked that cover out on the GCD site to recall "which" issue that's a reprint of, and it showed that the cover was originally on Conan #22, but upon reading the story (or, at least as much as I could read French), I found it to be the reprint of the first app. of "Red Sonja". I gots to thinkin'..."Now,wait just a darn minute here! She didn't appear until #23!" And, not having an original #22 around these days, I pulled out my copy of The Essential Conan TPB to look that up. I discovered that cover reproduced is a #22 as I thought, but NO story for it! Rather, they had the cover to #23 along side of it (which is indeed Sonja's first appearance). So out comes an Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide which finally gave me the answer. #22 reprinted Conan #1. Finally my old mind full of (mostly useless) trivia started working.

I remembered way back around 1972 when #22 of Conan came out Marvel Comics gave an explanation that they didn't make their deadline and had to reprint an issue. What they did with #23 was get trustly ol' Gil Kane to whip out a NEW cover for that story since they'd already used the Smith version (on #22), which ever added to The Marvel Age of Confussion. So really, MY version of the reprint is the way it was supposed to have been published, with the original cover and all.

So...what else was in the book since it's 36 pages in length and the original Conan was around 24 pages? EH filled up the rest of the book with other reprints, of course, and some fairly decent ones at that: a 5 page 1950's "The Western Kid" with John Rominta artwork, and a 5 page Jack Kirby fantasy story from the early 1960's ("Orrgo...The Invincible!"). Not a bad buy and addition to my collection of foreign comics for less than a quarter!

In other things...

I decided to test the waters on eBay auctions again, here for the first time in well over a year. How frustrating that was! I started to list seven items last night and due to this old pc freezing up and the like it took me an hour and a half just to list ONE item! Aggravated to no ends I stopped and decided to finish those up early this morning and in a couple of hours I at last got them on there. They aren't all like I really wanted them to look, but acceptable. If you are so inclined you may view them HERE, since I removed the link to my auctions from the side list long ago from non-use. (And no, I didn't list any comics this time.) You can view them all week at this link since I put these on for 7 days.

I got to thinking about the various stamps I had lying around here the other day when Steve send me those Beatle cards, as the envelope had a couple of those large "Star Wars" ones on it (a set I didn't purchase). Stamps were one of the first things I ever collected, and I guess that like a lot of people my age, I first ordered them from ads in comic books in the late 1950's. They'd send you quite a few stamps for a dime or some such and then you'd have all of these "other" packages of stamps that you had either the option to purchase or send back to the company. I remember a cousin giving me a stamp album that was practically full of stamps from the early to mid 1900s; many commemoratives as well as commons, plus foreign stamps from around WWII with images of such of Hitler, etc. Never kept that stamp album (or, maybe sold it a very long time ago), but I do have a few stamps around; some of which I've collected just in recent years. Like a sheet of both the Marvel & DC super-heroes, the classic Universal film "monsters", one of "Bugs Bunny", a few foreign and I think one of those three cent "Win the War" eagle stamps from 1944 or so, and some "space" stamps that I've had for years from the 1960's.

Some of the most interesting are 6 NON-cancelled commemoratives stuck on an envelope that somebody used when ordering a small press booklet from me back in the 1980's. they are all circa 1960 and I guess that some postal worker just didn't have the heart to stamp over them (bless 'em!).

Topping off this nice day I went down and mulched up what leaves were still left in mom's yard and serviced the pick up, came home and helped my wife catch up with a little housework and went outside to attach some supports to her various yard decorations to keep the wind from blowing them over. All in all, a fairly productive day off.


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