Like FOOM over at Marvel, THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS was an in-house fan magazine produced by DC/National Periodical Publications throughout much of the 1970s and made available by direct mail order only. It was an irregular publication, put together initially largely by interns (nicknamed “woodchucks”) at the company; interns who would almost to a one go on to much larger things within the world of comics and pop culture. It also gives an excellent snapshot of the DC of this period, still under the leadership of Publisher Carmine Infantino, still dealing with a declining audience and a shrinking presence on the newsstand. It was an attempt to cultivate the growing fan audience and it was largely successful in that endeavor. TAWODCC is fondly remembered by readers who came across an issue back in the day. So here’s a look at the very first of the 17 issues produced.
AMAZING WORLD was slightly less dedicated to shilling for the line’s titles than FOOM was, i think (though it certainly did its fair share along the way.) So it kicks off with an extended interview with popular and well-respected DC artist and editor Joe Kubert. It’s chock-a-block full of inside information about Kubert’s entry into the business and his mindset about the work at this particular moment in 1974.
This DIRECT CURRENTS column previewed upcoming DC releases in the same manner as FOOm did. In 1974, this was about as thorough a crop of information as one could get about upcoming releases, as there were no advance solicitations. And it makes for a good picture of the DC line at this point, which was far more diversified than what Marvel was publishing. Only maybe 1/3 of it was dedicated to super heroes, with the rest being war, western, romance, mystery, jungle adventure, fantasy titles and even comedy. It’s a pretty strong mix of releases.
There’s also this two-page article on the making of the 1974 WONDER WOMAN television movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby as a version of the Amazing Amazon perhaps a bit more in line with her then-recent powerless phase. The film wouldn’t generate a series, but it would prime the pump for the far more accurate to the comics Lynda Carter series a year later.
We’ll look at more of THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS in the future.
One thought on “THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #1”
Great interview w/ Joe Kubert. I had the chance to meet with him when I was 17 at his school. A true gentleman, radiating clam, patience, & wisdom. Same impression from that interview. What a career he had. What a huge talent. And countless # of people he affected for the better. So cool to hear those names he mentioned. Mort Meskin, coming up with George Tuska, Alex Toth. Meeting Alex Raymond! Fantastic. Teenagers riding hours on a train to Connecticut. Then Neal Adams recommending Joe for the “Green Berets” strip. I actually prefer Joe’s cover to “Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali” (those Kubert inks). I also had no idea Tajanna Wood colored comics since the early 70’s. Wow. I’ve seen her work forever, maybe most notably on Walt Simonson’s “Orion” 2 decades ago. Months ago I listened to a “Drink & Draw” podcast hosted by Dan Panosian. The guest was another great; Klaus Janson. They each inked a drawing of a Gorilla. I forget who drew it- maybe Simonson. Joe Kubert’s name came. Of course, Joe had his own distinct inking style, as well as his prodigious drawing skill. Dan asked Klaus where Klaus would place Joe among his personal favorite cartoonists. “Top 3, American”. Pretty high praise. And well-deserved.
DC Direct Currents. More great names. Classics as they were happening. Nick Cardy. Frank Thorn. Gerry Talaoc. Howard Chaykin. And Doug Wildey on “Weird Western” w/ Jonah Hex! David Michelinie started at DC in 1974, wow. I had some of the late 70’s “Adventure Comics” featuring Aquaman, but didn’t know he started even earlier than those. Jim Aparo drawing both Batman and the Spectre back then. Dang. History. Titans of the medium.