From the mid-1960s all the way through the earliest days of the 1980s, Warren Publications provided a bit of an alternative to the mainstream comic book marketplace dominated by Marvel and DC (as well as Archie and Harvey and Gold Key, etc.) Warren's particular forte was in doing horror magazines, very much influenced, at least … Continue reading Forgotten Masterpiece: EERIE #32
This was another issue that I pulled out of my drugstore's Big Bin of Slightly Older Comics, which was filled with books that had been reported destroyed to the distributor but had instead been sold off to the drugstore chain at a cut-rate price. This manner of double-dipping, the "affidavit returns" system, is one of … Continue reading BHOC: SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #3
I first encountered the THUNDER Agents in the pages of Maurice Horn's WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMICS, a two-volume set of books chronicling all sorts of comic book series from around the world. My local library had them in stock, though for some reason they weren't kept with the other books on comics, but rather over … Continue reading BHOC: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1
From time to time throughout the years, writer/editor Stan Lee would attempt to put a particular focus of quality on a given title, and try to make it stand out from the rest of the many offerings being published by Marvel, then Atlas. These efforts typically didn't last long, and one gets the impression that … Continue reading Forgotten Masterpiece: MENACE #7
An awful lot has been written about longtime inker Vince Colletta, most of it not good. These days, the man's primary claim to fame is having inked several years' worth of Jack Kirby's pencils on THOR. In doing so, Colletta would routinely simplify backgrounds and eliminate details or even whole figures in order to make … Continue reading The Unknown Vince Colletta
By 1969, with comic book sales beginning to fall as the 60s fad for super heroes ran its course, enterprising creators began to look for greener pastures, to get out from under the thumb of often-unscrupulous publishers and to be their own bosses and make their own way. One of these creators was Wally Wood, … Continue reading Brand Echh – Heroes, Inc. #1
EC Comics were never the biggest sellers even during their heyday, but they were consistently the market leader in terms of the quality of the material they were routinely putting out and the manner in which they attracted a dedicated audience of somewhat-older readers. There's a reason why those five years' worth of EC Comics … Continue reading THE LAST MAN
As I think I've spoken about in the past, I came from a family of readers. Both my father and my mother would read books regularly, and it was this love of reading that helped make it acceptable and unquestioned that I had an interest in comic books--they understood that reading was reading. And so … Continue reading BHOC: THE COMIC-BOOK BOOK
A powerful Harvey Kurtzman TWO-FISTED TALES cover, in which Kurtzman employs his expressive and bold rendering style to its utmost. The haunting eyes of this snowbound marine are the perfect focal point, and seem to follow your gaze.
It’s the final comic book format issue of MAD before its transition into one of the most popular magazines of the 20th Century, and artist and editor Harvey Kurtzman eschews any visuals in order to get MAD’s particular philosophy across.