Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"Post No. 614"

A belated birthday to my dear wife of 20+ years, Deborah Ann Puckett, who I won't say "how old" she turned , but her birthday was yesterday on the 2nd.

Been one of those busy days off, what with taking my mom on a number of errands such as paying her house insurance, making a bank deposit, picking up her medicine, taking her to the doctor, going and getting both her and my weekly groceries. I started around 9 AM and got back home close to 1 PM.

At the pharmacy I did find two more J.T. Chick tracts I didn't have, which brings my collection of such to 90 or so counting the variations of printings and foreign editions.

Books in the Mail: Got in a copy of the 1985 DC Graphic Novel #4 (Jack Kirby's, "The Hunger Dogs"), which now completes my bronze collection of his "4th. World" stuff. This latter reindition of his 1970's characters lacked quite a bit of the magic he injected into the original New Gods, especially for something he wanted to do to tie up any loose ends.

Kirby's main objective being to finish the "Darkseid" tale as he originally plotted it. Other writers had already taken up this effort, of course, in particular, Gerry Conway, and in fact the rest of the original run of both the New Gods as well as "Mister Miracle" had been continued several issues after Kirby left (minus a couple of years of non-publishing) and been discontinued a second time before "Hunger Dogs" appeared, and there was even a couple of issues of Adventure Comics with such a storyline, plus an issue of lst. Issue Special.

(So one had to "pretend" that all of this post Kirby material didn't exist in any of the characters' continuity.)

As a graphic novel, and for the time period in which it was published, it's okay, but far from the fine craftsmanship we usually associate wih "the king of comics".

Weird Mystery Tales (DC) #3 (1972) proved a little more interesting in the way of Kirby's work, although it only contained one of his 10 page stories. Once again it's hosted by "Dr. Maas" and deals with the phenomenon of stontanious combustion, relating actual case histories.

One thing you may not know is that the material of Kirby's presented in WMT 1-3 was originally slated for publication in his Spirit World magazine (but that only lasted a single issue), so the style of his artwork's a bit "different-looking" from that done for a regular comic book (probably due to the reduction of the original page size).

The rest of the issue is pretty much just crap, save for maybe some efforts of the third story ( a reprint from House of Mystery #85 ).

Shazam!(DC) #1 (1973) was, of course, the reintroduction of the original Golden-Age Fawcett Publication's "Captain Marvel", ironically reinstated into comicdom by those responcible for his demise due to a 13 year lawsuit DC had against the character claiming he was too much like "Superman".

Several interesting tidbits about this issue.

The cover, for one thing, which has Supes introducing "the big red cheese" to a whole new generation of readers. The artwork: the wonderous C.C. beck (C.M.'s ONLY great artist). A Denny O'Neil script.

Although I personally was already pretty familiar with the Fawcett heroes by 1973, it still brought back that nice feeling re-reading this comic, one that thrilled me to see on the comic rack, now, 37 years ago.

I bought a LOT of comics off a spin-rack at our local Ben Franklin 5 & Dime and this was one of them. (Wish I still had that old spin rack as I bought that one when the store closed circas 1980, and then discarded it all save the tins when I had to move some years later).

Compared to comic books of today, well...there isn't any comparison. Nothing today is as naive as it still (somewhat) was in 1973 in "the comic book world", and a comic such as this would in today's market only survive as a novelty title, I'm afraid.

But it would be nice if such a comic could survive.

Books Not in Yet: include a Mad About Millie Special #1 (Marvel/1971), which for some odd reason I thought to be a Silver-Age, square-bound Giant when indeed it appeared a good two years after that.

Also in soon I hope is a run of those first 10 issues of Eclipse's Zot!, which are a great read. And finally, about 50 misc. modern comics (mostly Marvels).

Oh yeah. I've posted a new piece of artwork over there on "My Unpublished Work" link. As usual, scroll down to the bottom of the artwork and click that little red arrow that'll "pop up" to make it larger.


At 7:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved this post a lot, thanks for posting, you totally rock!


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