Brand Echh: The Double Life of Private Strong #1

For most of the Golden Age of Comics, the partnership of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby had been a sales juggernaut. While they had their occasional flops, more often than not the combo was responsible for hit after hit--enough so that their names would sometimes be called on in the advertising, something that typically was … Continue reading Brand Echh: The Double Life of Private Strong #1

Brand Echh: Fast Willie Jackson #1

The 1970s saw a rise in representation for African-Americans in popular culture--although that representation wasn't always sensitively done. But with Blaxploitation films bringing in big box office returns (especially as compared to the cost to produce) people suddenly became aware of a large black audience that wasn't being tapped--and a variety of players moved to … Continue reading Brand Echh: Fast Willie Jackson #1

Brand Echh: Mighty Crusaders #4

The combination of the super hero fad and a bit of an overlapping nostalgia boom led to the creation of this issue of Archie/Mighty Comics' MIGHTY CRUSADERS #4, one of the best-remembered bad comic books of its era. For in its pages, having brought back a couple of its golden age heroes in prior adventures, … Continue reading Brand Echh: Mighty Crusaders #4

Brand Echh – Life With Archie #42

As the super hero boom of the 1960s began to reach its fever pitch, even those publishers who eschewed costumed crime-fighters as a rule began to dip their toe into the masked avenger pond. So it was that even Archie Comics attempted to produce a sub-line of stories featuring the red-headed kid next door as … Continue reading Brand Echh – Life With Archie #42

Lee & Kirby & Simon & Ditko & Oleck: The Spider and the Fly

It's one of the big, fundamental questions that lies at the heart of the origin-myth of perhaps Marvel Comics' most popular single character, and its one that has been discussed and debated at length by those with some degree of insider information: how much did Jack Kirby have to do with the development of Spider-Man, … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Simon & Ditko & Oleck: The Spider and the Fly

The Greatest Betty and Veronica Story Ever Told!

This unassuming issue of BETTY AND VERONICA from 1962 contains within its pages the greatest Betty and Veronica story ever produced! You literally do not need to read a single additional story after this one--it sums up the extremes of the relationships perfectly. A true lost classic! The Grand Comics Database credits this story to … Continue reading The Greatest Betty and Veronica Story Ever Told!

Brand Echh – The Crusaders #1

In the early 1980s, as the comic book Direct Market began to become a real sales force in the industry, the way was opened up for all sorts of new, smaller companies (and individuals) to publish their own comic books and potentially strike it rich. There was now a ready-made distribution network of specialty stores … Continue reading Brand Echh – The Crusaders #1

Making The Shield Into Captain America

Captain America was not the first patriotically-themed super hero to appear in comic books. That honor is reserved for The Shield, headliner of PEP COMICS for MLJ (eventually ARCHIE) who first appeared in the inaugural issue of that series, the creation of Harry Shorten and Irv Novick. Like most of the early super heroes, the … Continue reading Making The Shield Into Captain America

Brand Echh – Fly Man #38

Hey, it's been a while since we last dropped in on my favorite of the Archie/Mighty Comics heroes, the hen-pecked Web. So let's see what he's been up to. As with the previous installments--and, really, all of the various Mighty Comics releases--the story is a painful rip-off attempting to channel the Marvel style of the … Continue reading Brand Echh – Fly Man #38