Saturday, February 4, 2017

Trump Reading Room aka the OutHouse OZARK IKE "Premiere Appearance"

As SuperBowl Sunday approaches...
...lets see how Jabba the Trump's "deplorables", unconcerned by such things as concussions or brain damage, play football!
The rest of the issue deals with the multi-talented Ike playing baseball, so we'll run it during baseball season.
Yes, the King Features strip was created in the mid-1940s as a competitor to Al Capp's wildly-successful Li'l Abner series!
No, it was nowhere near as successful.
The only known licensed spin-offs were this one-shot reprint collection in Dell's Four Color Comics #180 (1948), a subsequent 1950s comic series for Standard/Better/Nedor. and a couple of reprint paperbacks from Blackthorne Publishing.
Writer/artist Ray Gotto, though not a familar name to comics fans today, achieved sports immortality for designing one of the iconic images of baseball history still in use almost 60 years later: The New York Mets' logo!
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Friday, February 3, 2017

Reading Room TALES OF SUSPENSE "It Crawls by Night!"

The new issue of Monsters Unleashed is out...
...cover-featuring another retro-kool Kirby Kreature from the Atlas Comics days!
Written by Stan Lee, penciled by Jack Kirby, and inked by Dick Ayers, the cover-featured story from Atlas' Tales of Suspense #26 (1962) has one of "the silliest premises done well" I've ever seen!
Think of Little Shop of Horrors without the comedic aspects.
It's certainly helped by a kool Kirby/George Klein cover that doesn't betray the creature's humble veggie origins, making him look more like Groot than a rutabaga...
When it was reprinted in Marvel's Fear #8 (1972), a new cover by John Severin downplayed the "conquer the Earth" thrills for a more Gothic/Lovecraftian image...
Monsters Unleashed looks like a lot of fun, so get it at your local comic shop...NOW!
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Reading Room PLASM "The Sedition Agenda: Prologue 'The Death of Love' " Part 1

There have been numerous comic companies that lasted only a couple of years...
...with Defiant Comics being one of the examples of a company who had all the right ingredients, but failing to achieve long-term success!
Their first, and longest-running title was Warriors of Plasm, which began with a unique #0 issue...

The Story Continues...Next Wednesday!
Conceived by Jim Shooter, fresh off his success at Valiant Comics, the tale sets up the Defiant Universe (actually a "multiverse" since this dimension and Earth's dimension, which it will soon interact with, are separate) and introduces us to the world of Plasm, where technology is organic and must be "fed" with other organic material in order to continue functioning!
You may ask "what makes this #0 issue so unique?"
Look at the page layouts.
Every page adheres to a grid pattern.
There's a good reason for that.
This entire issue was designed to be printed as trading cards!
So the panels, and most importantly, the captions and word balloons, all had to fit on what would be a "page" composed of nine cards!
No cutting-off titles, captions, or word balloons on seperate cards!
Here's Page 5 as a comic page...
...and here's how the cards that make up Page 5 look when placed in the album...
In addition, the cards were printed two-sided so that the cards of Page 1 had Page 2 on their backs, the cards of Page 3 had Page 4 on their backs, and so on!
Even so, the card set ran 150 cards, including four groups of chase cards which were rarer than the story cards!
And, of course, you had no idea what cards you'd get in a given pack!
You can see the complete set of cards HERE.
Be here next week for the rest of the comic story and more background about Defiant!
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Reading Room CALVIN "Fat Fillmore's Football Follies"

With Black History Month beginning today, and Super Bowl Sunday this weekend...
...we looked for something that would combine both Black History and football and found this never-reprinted 1970s atrip!
Written and penciled by Kevin Banks and inked by "NT", this cover-featured tale from Marvel's Li'l Kids #12 (1973) ended a brief, 3-issue run of stories that seemed recycled from vaudeville routines and 1940s-50s animated cartoons.
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 the name of 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?
We may never know the answer...
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump Reading Room HILLBILLY COMICS "MacSleezys: New York AND Bust"

...heck, I'll let the writer present a synopsis of the tale for me...
Written and illustrated by Art Gates, this tale from Charlton's Hillbilly Comics #2 (1955) was part of a brief trend in comic books during the Li'l Abner series' greatest popularity in the mid-1950s!
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