Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Post No. 596"

I always wondered on the above cover, is "Mr. Hyde" actually battling Thor, or merely checking him for underarm deodorant?

(A Happy New year from Elmo's Junction!)

P.S.: New text posts begin TOMORROW!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Post No. 595"

Before 2008 comes to an end I just wanted to remind everyone of what a great concert tour the above guys put on 20 years ago (LOL!).

BTW, why isn't that great claymation "California Raisins Christmas Special" shown anymore? (Probably some jerk-dick t.v. exec made the decision for us that it's too ethnic??)

(P.S.: On a side note, this is also the 50th. Anniversary of the Creation of "The Smurfs", by: Peyo.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Post No. 594"

(While your waiting to read new text posts beginning the first week in January, here's a new piece of artwork I've done to attempt to keep everyone entertained. Click onto picture for much larger image.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Post No. 593"

Happy 86th. Stan-The-Man!

(With apologies to "Johnny Bacardi" for swiping his photo!)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Merry Christmas"

Here's wishing everyone only the Best of Christmas Wishes.

(Note: The above pictured was the first comic ever given to me in the Winter of 1958...exactly 50 years ago last night.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Post No. 591"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Post No. 590"

(New text posts beginning the first week in Jan.'09.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Post No. 589"

(New text posts beginning the first week of Jan., '09.)

Monday, December 08, 2008

"Post No. 588"

On this date in 1980, John Lennon was murdered. It put an end to a great talent. An end to the dream of a Beatles' reunion. An end to childhood innocence that our heroes were immortal. But, they will always be immortal as long as we remember all that we cherish that they left behind. And his wisdom of "Give Peace A Chance", rings never truer in the world than it does today.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Post No. 587"

On this date in 1941, thousands of U.S. servicemen and women and civilians died when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, bringing this country into the Second World War. Most of the veterins of that war are no longer among us. Let us remember the sacrafices they made, as well as those they left behind, to assure freedom for us all.


And, just a note here, that after tomorrow's post, "Elmo's Junction" will be closing shop for about one month to reopen the first week in Jan. of '09. Please come back and visit with me again then.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"Post No. 586"

A friend of my mom's told her, as I may have mentioned, that she had around 100 l.p.s she wanted to give away so I took mom by her house for a visit today and collected them.

Although the majority of them were country, there were still several I kept, which included 17 different Willie Nelson's, 2 Dolly's, 2 Johnny Cash, 2 Ray Charles, a B.B. King Live at the Regal, a couple of George Jones, a John Denver, an Eagles, 4 different Emmy Lou Harris, and some others.

From the stack I pulled around 25 that I absolutely knew I didn't want, let my wife look through those first to see if she wanted any of them (she didn't), and took those to a gal at work that likes country to see if she wants them (she didn't either as she no longer had a turntable).

I had thought mom said she'd thrown away the turntable, but it was the speakers that werebad and discarded, so she gave me a turntable which has a cassette tape player/recorder and an AM/FM radio on it as well. I think I'll see which turntable's the best and re-offer it AND those other l.p.'s back to the girl at work.

I heard that the great Forrest Ackerman has passed away. I think he was 90 (if my memory serves me right). Sad. He was a big part of my childhood what with Famous Monsters of Filmlandmagazine. He inspired me to watch many a late night horror flick and buy just globs of Aurora monster models. A piece of many a child's imagination and heart if they grew up in the 1960's, now passed into greatness forever.

The fourth of this month was the 10 Year Anniversary of The eBay Comics Chat Board, and probably 40-50 well-known posters showed up at one time or another that day or the following one if they were out of town. Those guys (and gals) are some of the finest in the world, and anyone who enjoys the collecting hobby should certainly visit and say "hello" sometime (there's a link to it in my column to the right).

Got in that lot of nine different silver-age issues of Marvel's Two-Gun Kid, including the first three drawn by Jack Kirby (#'s 60-62). As he had done previously revamping The Rawhide Kid for Marvel (from Atlas Comics) with issue #17, he gave a whole new slant to the western hero and made him the most notable of the versions.

Two-Gun Kid lasted well into the 1970's as did Rawhide and Kid Colt Outlaw, but, outside of "The Ghost Rider" (western version), he was the only one to actually wear a mask as he dealt out frontier justice. His secret I.D. was "Matt Hawk", a lawyer, which makes me wonder if Stan lee didn't pull that front name and occupation some years later when Daredevil came on the scene.

His first appearance was in issue #60 (1962), which showed a somewhat goofy smile on his face as he fired his six-shooters (similiar to the one they gave "Thor" in his first corner logo boxes pre-1965). Oddly enough there's variation of that published cover, one with a "hand-written" number in the cover box (the version I received) and the other, machine printed. I'm glad I got the hand-written type as it's really the more desirable for the uniqueness.

Another item which has arrived is a copy of the 1971 Hampshire-DC Publication, In The Days of The Mob #1, which is one of the two magazine one-shots Kirby produced at that time (the other, also by Hampshire, called Spirit World). All of these were paid for via my income from October's ebay sales, which weren't bad at all.

I ended up raking in a little over $100., all paid by Paypal, so I used those funds to reinvest on comics I had on my want lists. I ended up with Swamp Thing Vol. 1 #'s 1, 2, & 4 (completing the first ten Berni Wrightson issues), 9 misc. bronze-age issues of Our Fighting Forces (including the first 5 drawn by Kirby), the copy of In The Days of The Mob #1, a Strange Tales #183 (Ditko "Dr. Strange" reprint), and the 9 S-Age issues of Two Gun Kid, which would have cost me much more elsewhere to obtain, and in the meantime shed myself of over 200 duplicate comics that I didn't want, a handful of paperbacks and some misc. A little smart investing sometimes can save you a few bucks along the way.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Post No. 585"

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"Post No. 584"

Got in that lot of DC's Our Fighting Forces the other day. An interesting lot of ten comics that range in dates from 1970 to 1975. And I had bidded on these just for the first five issues Jack Kirby had done (#'s 151-155), but after reading the lot I found they all contained decent material.

OFF was just one of many war-theme comics DC did, of course. DC had other titles such as Our Army At War, Star-Spangled War Stories, G. I. Combat, All-American men of War, etc., etc., with the most known of the characters emerging from any of these being "Sgt. Rock" (in OAAW). "Enemy Ace" was perhaps their second most popular, with each title they produced having some sort of main character. Like Marvel in the 1960's, Sgt. Fury was the one big war-guy, with others such as "Captain Savage" never being as big, but I recall reading most of the tales of "Johnny Cloud", "Gunner & Sarge", "Pooch", and "The Haunted Tank". In fact if one thinks about it, Johnny Cloud was the first Native American hero to be predominently shown in a contempory sort of storyline with such only being shown in westerns which revolved around the late 1800's before that, and beat such Marvel characters as "Wyatt Wingfoot" and "Red Wolf" by many years.

The other non-Kirby issues I got are #'s 127, 136, 137, 143 & 147, with the 136 & 137 being two of the early 1970's 52 Page Giants.

All of these issues contain stories about a team called: "The Losers", that began their series in #123 in 1970, and ran in every issue until the title ceased publication in 1978 with issue #181.

The Losers were composed of "Captain Storm", a character based losely on a P.T. boat adventurous-hero such as was J. F. Kennedy (sans "P.T. 109"). He had one wooden leg and later on in the series ended up losing an eye as well, wearing an eye-patch similiar to "Nick Fury", and was the "C.O." of the team.

"Johnny Cloud" was another member, and the others were "Gunner & Sarge". The tales are mostly typical sort of war stories, although DC would attempt to give them a more humane tilt as the 70's wore on and the popularity of war-themed comics dwained from the Viet nam conflict, even posting a "Make War No More" symbol at the end of the tales. Most of the covers are drawn by veterin war artist, Joe Kubert, and the interior artwork in some of these is by Kubert on various stories.

Other artists include old EC artist (and later, "Sgt. Fury" artist) John Severin, Andru and Esposito, whom I have difficulty taking as serious war artists perhaps after seeing them do "Wonder Woman" for so many years, Russ Heath, who is the best stylistic artist and whose work I've loved since I first saw a "Sea Devils", Frank Thorne, who later became known more for his work on Marvel's "Red Sonja", Ken Barr, whose work I've also always admired, and then, of course on the 151 thru 155, the master, Jack Kirby, who was certainly no stranger to doing war comics.

Some interesting notations here would be that the cover to #147 is by Neal Adams, and it's the ONLY cover he ever did for the title. In #137 there's a story that was started by Andru and Esposito, but finished by Joe Kubert, and in that same issue was a tale that I could have sworn was by Alex Toth, but checking records found it to be of all people, Mort Meskin, whose work graced many a golden and early silver-age comic.

Issue #153 is a little misleading as they show a comic book cover on the front cover which turns out to be a "pulp" magazine in the interior tale, but I guess that's because they thought no one would remember pulps by the mid-1970's? But, anyway, the use of "The Losers" logo was always used pretty interestingly on the issues that pre-dated Kirby's. In fact, the book's actual title was deemphasized to make it appear that The Losers was really the name of the comic.

For those who have never read any of these it'd be a good idea to sometime pick one up and look it over. Good stuff, there!