Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pocket Heroes!

Ranging in price from one dollar and ninety-five cents to two dollars and fifty cents, these sleek little paperbacks were handsome and highly useful additions to the collection in the late 70's. It was in these little beauties that I first read in their entirety the earliest adventures of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Hulk and the Fantastic Four. The adventures of Captain America I'd been able to read some years before in various reprints and annuals, but the others I had only in incomplete form. So these brightly colored tomes, printed on solid white stock were at once pretty and useful, a rare combination indeed.

These particular characters were all getting various levels of love in other media at the time. The Hulk leading the pack was still in the midst of a highly successful TV run, and Spidey had a show too. Cap had a couple of TV movies which Doc Strange getting one of those. Only the FF were not getting some prime time love, but if memory serves they did have a cartoon going about this time, the one with H.E.R.B.I.E.

The only one of these I did not buy was the one dedicated to Spider-Woman, which reprinted stories myself had recently purchased. I wonder if this is one of the earliest instances of what amounts to a bookshelf reprint which we find so common in these modern days of the trade.The issues here were in some instances less than a year old when this handy volume hit the stands, showing surprising confidence in the character, or at the least a strong desire to create demand.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Stories Of Stone!

Sometime during the late summer of 1969 I got hold of my very first issue of Turok Son of Stone. The issue was the one above, number sixty-seven dated October of that year. I love it. Two Native American braves struggling mightily to bend a giant bow to kill an admittedly somewhat stiff dinosaur. The premise of Turok is one of the purest in all of comics, a recipe for adventure and touching the fantasy buttons of any pre-teen. Turok, a somewhat dour adult and his younger charge Andar are trapped in an impossibly large hidden valley filled with dinosaurs and a multitude of various and sundry cave dwellers. Always looking for a resolution, but like Gilligan and his ensemble, destined never to find it, they hunt relentlessly for an escape. The escape though is for the fans who get the read about their exotic adventures month after month.

Back in 2009 Dark Horse began issuing archive collections of the Turok saga, and I was in from the beginning, though it strained the budget to get what began as bi-monthly installments. Alas as the years passed the frequency dwindled and sadly in 2012 with the tenth and final volume the saga came to an end just as the stories reached the point above where so many decades ago I first discovered the stalwart braves. I despaired ever getting the whole of the saga.

Then the other day I found my local store had a near full run of the series. It took several days of searching, but I at long last found my Turok collection secreted in the most remote corner of a room overcome with volumes and identified the issues I needed. I was able to fill in all the gaps save for several issues at the very end of the run in 1982, and eventually I'll have those too.

But for the very first time I'll be able to read the complete saga of Turok and Andar in its glory. I'm very much looking forward to it. It's been a long time coming.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Shark Attack!

Leo O'Melia
August has been "Shark Month" at  Rip's Favorite Cover-of-the-Day feature. Here are the covers which have been featured this past month. Enjoy!

Bill Everett

L.B. Cole
L.B. Cole
L.B. Cole
George Wilson
Mo Gollub
Joe Kubert
Ross Andru and Mike Esposito
Jack Sparling
Bob Oksner
Mike Grell
John Romita

Joe Sinnott and Vince Colletta
Wayne Howard
Jay Scott Pike

Rich Buckler
Jack Kirby
Jim Aparo
Bill Lignante
Don Sherwood

Gil Kane
John Buscema and Frank Giacoia
John Buscema and Dan Adkins
Steven Pugh
Rich Corben

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