More Woweekazowie #4

Woweekazowie #4, produced by Phil Iro, was really a pretty good fanzine. It contained a balanced mix of text features and fan-created comic strips, with the emphasis more on the latter. A number of creators who would later work in and around the industry produced their own home-grown strips for Woweekazowie. It’s another one of these that I want to look at today.

Larry Houston was a cartoonist and would-be professional who produced The Omegon for this issue of Woweekazowie. Larry and his fellows were clearly very influenced by the Marvel titles of the 1970s–so much so that they published three issues of THE ENFORCERS, a fan publication designed to channel the spirit of those early Marvel books, from 1975-1979, after they had grown disenchanted with the current output from Marvel and DC. The Enforcers were Larry’s version of a group like the Avengers, made up of assorted characters that he and his buddies had created separately. One of those characters was the Omegon.

As I’ve covered elsewhere, I became a big fan of Houston’s efforts after encountering his strip The Vanguards in an issue of CHARLTON BULLSEYE in the very early 1980s, and thereafter coming across issues #2 and #3 of THE ENFORCERS a few years later. It would take me a decade to be able to lay hands on the first issue of that series, but I sought out Houston’s work wherever I could locate it.

While Larry Houston never completely entered the comic book industry that he was so taken with, he did the next best thing by becoming an animator and animation director. In that capacity, he worked on a number of shows based on Marvel characters, principle among them being the X-MEN Animated Series for Fox. Larry also took the reins of the disastrous 1990s FANTASTIC FOUR cartoon in its second season, making something respectable out of it.

A year or two ago, Larry collected his ENFORCERS series in a new Trade Paperback available as a print-on-demand item from Indy Planet. Copies can be ordered here: http://indyplanet.com/larrytoons-family-entertainment

And as mentioned in the comments last time, Wowekazowie did run a letters page commenting on previous issues–and one of the correspondents was future creator Kurt Busiek. Also represented on the page was Frank Lovece, who himself had a strip in this issue and who later worked in and around comics wile earning his main living as a journalist.

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