Thursday, February 4, 2016

Reading Room CALVIN "Root Beer"

Luke Cage was the first Black character to get his own series at Marvel.
Who was the second?
I bet you'll say Black Panther (in Jungle Action)!
But, you'd be wrong.
It was...
Several months before Prince T'Challa took over a reprint book and began a memorable series that's still being talked-about today, this kid took over a reprint book and began a series that nobody remembers!
Written and penciled by Kevin Banks and inked by "NT", this never-reprinted tale from Marvel's Li'l Kids #10 (1972) began a brief, 3-issue run of one-page gags and 3-5 page stories that seemed recycled from vaudeville routines and 1940s-50s comic strips.
What makes the strip somewhat more fascinating is the identity of the little-known writer-artist behind it.
"Kevin Banks" was not a pseudonym, but a staffer at Marvel in the early 1970s!
Even the ever-amazing comics researcher Nick Caputo could find little about the mysterious Mr Banks, as seen HERE.
What Banks did after working at Marvel is unknown.
Did he work in advertising?
Become an art instructor?
Switch careers and become an accountant or fireman?

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