Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Post No. 612"

Trying to complete a 1970's Kirby collection of books he worked on between the time he left Marvel (circa 1970) and worked for DC, then returned to do covers for Marvel (as well as titles such as Machine Man, Devil Dinosaur, etc.) for Marvel again, wasn't as easy as I had hoped.

When one thinks of Kirby's 70's DC work, automatically such titles as Mister Miracle, The New Gods, Kamandi, and The Forever people come to mind. But, there was so much more.

There were 40 issues of Kamandi, 18 issues of Mister Miracle, and 11 issues each of New Gods of The Forever People. Then there were 15 issues of Jimmy Olsen, 6 issues of The Sandman (either the covers or interiors or both), 2 reprint issues of The Boy Commandos and 9 reprint issues of Black Magic, 16 issues of The Demon, 3 issues of Weird Mystery Tales, 11 issues of Our Fighting Forces, around 9 issues of Challengers of the Unknown plus a DC Giant reprint, 8 issues of OMAC, a Kung Fu Fighter, 3 issues of Justice, Inc., Kobra #1, plus a small amount of other reprint issues, as well as the two one-shot magazines he did for Hampshire Publications: In The Days of The Mob, and Spirit World. That's a huge amount of an artist's material to be presented in such a short span of years. To my count, at least 170 different comics in around 20 titles (and I'm sure I've forgotten something in that list).

I've been working on my 70's DC Kirby collection now for around 4 years, trying to be as much of a completist as possible, and believe I've finally gotten it down to 10 comics, which are 6 misc. issues of Our Fighting Forces, and 4 issues of Black Magic. Along the way I've completed the runs of such titles as The New Gods and Mister Miracle that were done by other writer/artists, several issues of V2 (and limited series of) The Demon, Mister Miracle, New Gods, etc., and, some odds and ends of Kirby's work that was related to his 70's DC stuff published in the 1980's, and feel that it won't be complete until I get at least a copy of "The Hunger Dogs" graphic novel also published later on.

I'm glad that I started on this set when I did since many of those early 70's books have risen in value and book price where if I'd started this set presently I probably could never have afforded such.

There's still two other sets I'm trying to complete too, i.e., the runs of 1960's DC & Marvel 25 cent Giants, but I've finally about got those licked. I just need the '62 Rudolph Giant for DC, and in Marvel, less that 10 of those (Strange Tales Annual 2, Millie Annual 1 & 8, Mighty Marvel Western 6, 7, Silver Surfer V1 #'s 2, 4, 6 & Mad About Millie Annual 1). With luck, I'll have at least half of those before the end of this year.

As to what I'd try to "go for" after these three sets are finally completed I haven't the slightest clue. I know I still need around 4 or 5 of the Warren/Kitchen Sink The Spirit magazines and I wouldn't mind having sets of both Creepy and Eerie magazines (and Blazing Combat) up to certain numbers.

I'd love to have full runs of some esoteric magazines and fanzines from the 1960's, but that price range these days is just a bit too much out-of-reach. Issues of Wally Wood/Bill pearson's Witzend, and Larry Ive's Monsters and Heroes, plus Castle of Frankenstein magazines seem to be sky high anymore (as are Warren's earlier issues of Vampirella and Famous Monsters of Filmland, Screen Thrills, etc.).

Another goal I'd like to set for myself is to actually get my Red Star on eBay in my feedbacks, but that's still 14 points away and I've currently run out of anything to sell (and the PayPal account's getting awfully low to buy), so that just may be unreachable this year. It would be nice though to feel I've averaged 100 points per year in this past ten years I've bought and sold from that service.

Comics that have come in this week: the Spirit World magazine #1, published by Hampshire in '71. "What sort of drugs" Kirby was on at that time must have been good ones. This is pretty much just an exploration in imagination with a little bit of historical documentation, and a poster that looks like a peyote hallucination. The experimentation Kirby did with this book is rather interesting, however.

Mighty Marvel Western #5 (Marvel/1969) doesn't contain anything in the way of Kirby or Jack Davis reprints. Not even Ogden Whitney graces these pages, but instead, the usual amount of Jack Keller and Larry Leiber art which kept those Marvel westerns going for years on end, and it's topped with a new cover by Herb Trimpe.

With that comic I got two bonus freebies: Images's Vanguard #6, and Dark Horse's Comic's Greatest World Week 2: "Hero Zero". The Image book is their usual crap from that time, but the CGW had some nice Lee Week's artwork.

Amazing Spider-man (Marvel/2009) # 583 Printings No. 3 & 5, both of which have Obama on them, the difference being that one's called "the flag" cover whereas the other sports in the background The Lincoln Memorial. Obama appears in the backup story (interior's the same on both books) which is Marvel's most over-hyped comic this year. The seconary story was badly drawn and pretty silly, with Spider-man appearing at the inauguration to confront an imposter Obama, who turns out to be (duh!) "The Chameleon". Looks like if Marvel's going to do a comic of such great importance as they think, they'd spent a few extra bucks on the team creating such.

Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure No. 1 (Marvel/2007) is that issue I reviewed previously here that came on a DVD, and I guess you'd have to call this the "hard copy" of it. A lot easier to read, and would have been more enjoyable to me if they'd written it in a retro style rather than updating the script a bit to relate to modern fans. It has more of the feel of a bastardizing of a silver-age story, than an homage to a great creator.

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