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Monday, January 31, 2005

CROSSFIRE - HOLLYWOOD HERO by Evanier/Spiegle

CROSSFIRE is an interesting comic book about the cast of a cable news program where they take complex political issues and dumb them down to a simple left/right split and yell a lot. While I appreciate the effort going into creating the Novak character, one of the greatest villains in comics history, I'm afraid my suspension of disbelief just didn't extend to cover Tucker Carlson. I mean, what was that all about...

Oh, sorry, wrong CROSSFIRE...

CROSSFIRE was a comic by Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle, published by Eclipse in the 1980s as a spin-off of Evanier and Will Meugniot's DNAGENTS. It starred Jay Endicott, a bail bondsman working in the Hollywood area, who found himself with the costume and identity of Crossfire, a thief who specialized in stealing information. Endicott decides to use that identity in the pursuit of justice.

The series ran 26 issues (plus some spin-offs) from 1984 to 1988, and generally got better as it went along, especially as the more fanciful super-heroics were downplayed for more down-to-earth plotlines. However, the early issues were good as well, and the first five issues (along with the first story from WHODUNNIT, one of the spin-offs) were recently collected in a book published by About Comics.

The Dan Spiegle artwork is a real treat. Spiegle's been in the comic business for decades, always doing great work, and it's a shame so little of it has ever been reprinted. He was a great fit for this book, since it required a variety of faces and body types for its characters, like casting a movie with character actors, and he excels in drawing faces that seemed lived in, like they had stories that go far past what we see in these pages, whether it's the young acting hopeful or the big-shot movie producer or second-rate stand-up comedian. Plus he does a great job of drawing real streets and buildings for the Hollywood locations.

And of course Evanier knows all those character types and locations as well, and writes them as well as Spiegle draws them. While fanciful and action based, you get the feeling that there's a basis in reality to the stories in this volume.

There are four complete stories in this book, and my favourite of them is "The Spotlight", a single-issue story from CROSSFIRE #5. It features the story of a third-rate Don Rickles type stand-up comedian, and his attempts to get on TV, which intersect with Crossfire through a contract out on the life of a mobster from the previous story. It's a very well constructed story, with some imaginative twists, some interesting characters and a great pay-off at the end.

You can read more about CROSSFIRE on this page from Mark Evanier's site, and head over here for links to order this book, the DNAGENTS book and other Evanier writing.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

EC - Man and Superman (Kurtzman)

One of the regular features of this weblog will be short comments on various EC comics stories of the 1950s. At a rate of one per week it should take me about 20 years to get through them all. So, y'know, more than one per week might be prudent...

Man and Superman
by Harvey Kurtzman
Weird Science #6 (1951)




An amusing story about Niels and Charlemange, an atomic scientist and his body-builder brother-in-law. Beginning with a version of the infamous Charles Atlas ad, with Charlemange in the role of the bully, while Niels talks scientific babble about how to increase the mass of objects. After he demonstrates his device to increase mass, Charlemange gets the idea to turn the device on himself to win body-building contest. What follows is a very funny extrapolation on the "real world" consequences of such powers.

I love Kurtzman's work on the short stories in the EC sci-fi/fantasy books, as much as I love his more famous work in MAD and the war books. He's very funny and inventive visually throughout, like the interesting sequence where Charlemange punches out a mugger, and there's a three-panel silent sequence of the mugger reeling from the punch.

It's also always fascinating when looking at Kurtzman art of the period how obviously influential he was on modern "alternative" comics. This particular story is full of bits that look exactly like early Dan Clowes work, as well as other modern cartoonists.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

LITTLE LULU GOES SHOPPING by Stanley/Tripp

Over the last few years Dark Horse has expanded its output with reprints of various classic comics. A lot of them are welcome additions to the library of any comic fan, none moreso than their new series of LITTLE LULU comics by John Stanley and Irving Tripp published by Dell in the 1940s and 1950s.

The first volume released, LITTLE LULU GOES SHOPPING, collects MARGE'S LITTLE LULU #6 - #12 from 1948 and 1949 (check here for a partial explanation of when the earlier issues will be published, but be prepared for head-spinning).

It's always good to see long-running work from a pair of top-notch creators at the top of their game brought back into print. The premise of the series is just kids living in suburbia, and how they interact with the world and each other. The main characters are Lulu (a smart young girl), her best friend Tubby (good natured but sometimes a bit conniving), and a younger boy, Alvin (generally a bit bratty and hard to handle). There are various other kids who are mostly background in this volume, but fleshed out later. From this basic set-up all sorts of story possibilities open, and provided Stanley and Tripp with material for years.

Each issue has a good variety of material. In general there's a wordless gag strip (from the inside cover of the original), a few Lulu focused stories, an "Alvin's Storytime" tale (where Lulu tells a free-form fantasy story to Alvin, usually trying in vain to teach him a lesson) and a Tubby story. A nice mix within each issue, as each type of story has a different feel. The storytelling is nicely dense, with the four-tier format common in kids comics of the era, so you get a lot of room even in six to ten pages. Lots of sight gags, word gags and often an interesting ironic or sardonic twist at the end.

Upcoming books should be equally strong. In particular I'm looking forward to the "Spider" stories, where Tubby takes a role as a detective, whose main suspect always ends up being Lulu's pop. Those I've read are wonderfully done.

While I've got all sorts of quibbles about some production aspects of the book, it's an amazing value at US$10 for seven original issues, over 200 pages of classic material, with crisp reproduction of the artwork. There's an occasional story where the colouring is missed (not surprisingly mostly in "The Green Girl"), but for the most part it looks great in black and white.

Since I'm a bit obsessive about these kinds of things, here's a table of contents I prepared to put inside my copy of the book.

Marge's Little Lulu #6
6 - [Tubby's Death Scene]
7 - Little Lulu Goes Shopping
17 - The Bad Boy
24 - Lost Dog
30 - The Ugly Duckling

Marge's Little Lulu #7
37 - [Tubby Sledding]
38 - Detective Story
48 - [Lulu! Time to get up!]
50 - The Snowball War
60 - [Alvin! Oh, Alvin!]
62 - Tubby Takes Care of Things

Marge's Little Lulu #8
68 - [Tree Swing]
69 - Happy Birthday
79 - [43-44-45-]
82 - Beautiful Lulu
88 - Pleasant Dreams
94 - Tough Guy

Marge's Little Lulu #9
99 - [Z Z Z Z Z Z]
100 - A Wrong Move
110 - The Cloud That Ran Away
116 - Pot of Gold
124 - Tubby Meets a Ghost

Marge's Little Lulu #10
130 - [Lulu Sleeping / Tubby Reading]
131 - Snowmen
142 - Bank Robbery
150 - Story In a Barrel
155 - The Musician

Marge's Little Lulu #11
161 - [Feeding the Cat]
162 - Housekeeper Wanted
172 - A Clothes Call
178 - The Prince In the Pool
186 - Tubby's Uncle

Marge's Little Lulu #12
192 - [Buttering Bread]
193 - Sea Dogs
203 - Fifty-Fifty Proposition
209 - The Green Girl
217 - Tubby's Revenge

TALES OF THE CLOSET (con'd)

Hadn't planned to, but since I had my run of TALES OF THE CLOSET out I started re-reading it, and found myself unable to not continue right on to the next issue after finishing each one. I am really surprised at how good a comic it was, sorry about how little attention it seemed to get when it was coming out and hopeful that this time around it will catch on. I really don't want to have to wait too long to read the conclusion to the multiple cliffhangers in #9.

So, y'know, just a word of warning that if you keep reading this here weblog you're going to see a lot of plugs and updates for the upcoming books. That website again is www.planetbronx.com.

I think I'll re-read Velez's BLOOD SYNDICATE run while I'm waiting. It wasn't TOTC, but it was still pretty damn good.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

TALES OF THE CLOSET by Ivan Velez Jr.

As I mentioned before, Ivan Velez recently had the welcome news that he would be republishing his TALES OF THE CLOSET series. It'll be three volumes collecting the existing nine issues, then a fourth all-new volume, resolving the cliffhanger ending from #9 and setting up future stories.

For those not familiar with the series, it was published from 1987 to 1993 by New York's Hetrick-Martin Institute for the Protection of Gay and Lesbian Youth, and features eight main characters who meet in high school and come to terms with their sexuality.

Here's a page from #2 (click for a larger scan), showing an early meeting of the eight main characters, which I think does a nice job of showing how Velez differentiated them in dialogue and artwork.




While the comic could get a bit preachy and teachy at times, as it explored various educational issues of importance to the community it was aimed to, Velez did a good job of integrating those aspects to the character bits, and weaved an interesting melodramatic soap-opera type plot that weaves through the entire series. There are a lot of characters to follow in addition to the main eight, and each has an interesting story that keeps popping up at points with some clever twists.

Anyway, very good news that the series will be reprinted and completed, and I'll post more news as I get it.

Upcoming Comics - April 2005

Just a few notable comic related books that are scheduled for a few months from now.

MARVEL VISIONARIES STEVE DITKO HC is a big thick book of Ditko stories, including some of the best Spider-Man and Doc Strange stories ever. You can go here for a partial list of the contents, with some commentary on what someone thinks should be included (most of which I agree with). Whatever fills out those extra pages, this is definitely going to be a nice collection.

COMPLETE PEANUTS VOL 3 1955-1956 HC has two more years of Charles Schulz's classic strip. These are excellent looking books, and I think this volume will have some particular favourites from books I read as a kid.

OSAMU TEZUKA'S BUDDHA VOL 1 KAPILAVASTU - interesting to see that Vertical is releasing very inexpensive ($8) softcover editions of these books, with different volume breaks from the hardcover (around 256 pages each, as opposed 350-400+ for the hardcovers, so I guess 12 volumes for the series instead of 8). I'll be posting some things about the hardcover volumes in a while. Also on the literary manga front, note that Last Gasp finishes the new printings of Keiji Nakazawa's BAREFOOT GEN with books 3 and 4. Been wanting to re-read those as well.

24 HOUR COMICS ALL STARS is the third collection of "24 Hour Comics" from About Comics. Of note in this 240 page book are the contributions of Scott McCloud (the first 24 Hour Comic, which can be read here) and Paul Smith. Good bet there'll be enough interesting stuff to be worth the price.

ESSENTIAL HULK VOL 3 should have enough good stuff to be worth buying, especially for the Trimpe/Severin issues, although I'd be a bit peeved seeing it coming if I didn't know that new THOR and FF volumes should be out later in the year.

DAVE SIM COLLECTED LETTERS 2004 TP proves, if nothing else, that Sim's insanity didn't end with #300. It's hard to believe there's enough of a market for this, even among people who sent Sim letters.

MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER VOL 3 4000 AD HC has more of the Russ Manning classic. I'll probably pick them up eventually, if no paperback volumes are released, although the reproduction, from printed comics, seemed to leave a bit to be desired for a $50 hardcover.

FIRST KINGDOM VOL 1 TP (OF 4) collects Jack Katz's long fantasy epic, published by Mecca Comics. Should be interesting to take a look at.

Also of note, mostly stuff I'll pick up in eventual collections, P. Craig Russell is doing a CONAN mini-series, which should look nice. New issue of JACK STAFF from Paul Grist. GIRL GENIUS #14 by the Foglios. A SUPERNATURAL LAW special by Batton Lash. Continuing GRIMJACK mini-series by Ostrander/Truman (plus a second collection of the original run) from IDW.

WHAT IF DR DOOM... by Kesel/Smith

I don't buy a lot of new comics in the "traditional" comic format these days, and almost none in that format that aren't creator-owned. I figure for the corporate stuff I can pick up a collection down the road if it seems interesting. One of the things I make an exception for is Karl Kesel writing the Fantastic Four with a good artist in tow (other recent exceptions have included Eddie Campbell writing Batman and Batton Lash doing a New Gods parody in RADIOACTIVE MAN with Royer inks). Which brings us to the recent one-shot WHAT IF DOCTOR DOOM HAD BECOME THE THING?, written by Kesel and drawn by Paul Smith.

This is a very nice little comic, featuring a fairly plausible deviation point for the characters, unlike a lot of "What If" stories (including, admittedly, my favourite, the Marvel Bullpen becoming the FF). In this one, Doom recognizes that Reed Richards caught his error in the classic college scene, and decides, as Doom would, that he can use and manipulate Richards, ending up taking Ben Grimm's place on the trip that led to the FF getting their powers. There are also a few nice twists along the way, using some good semi-logical extrapolations from the initial deviation combined with standard Marvel history.

I'm as impressed with Paul Smith's artwork. I've enjoyed his work for quite a while, and he's one of those few who can take a project like this, draw it in what's clearly his own style, but with just enough touches of the original Kirby style from these stories to evoke them without imitating. Plus his storytelling is nice and clear and open.

I was glad to hear that Kesel will be writing a few upcoming issues of FANTASTIC FOUR with Tom Grummett drawing, which should be fun. I don't know what, if anything, Smith has coming up. Hopefully some more of his LEAVE IT TO CHANCE series in the near future.

BOOK OF BALLADS by Charles Vess

This was a pleasant surprise to see, as I somehow missed any announcement or solicitation. Tor Books recently published a hardcover volume collecting the "ballads" portion of Charles Vess' self-published BALLADS AND SAGAS series of the mid-1990s, with the nine ballad adaptations (as scripted by various fantasy authors) from the original series, plus four done since then (two published in other anthologies, two new here). Missing is the unfinished "saga" part of the series, the "Skade" story. Vess' art is always a pleasure to look at, no matter what the subject (I even got his Spider-Man book), and I tend to like his black and white line art even more than his painting, which is mostly what I've seen in his projects in the interim (in STARDUST with Neil Gaiman and ROSE with Jeff Smith). It's great to see it getting reproduced in such a nicely designed package.

Of the four new stories, I liked "The Great Selchie of Sule Skerry" (with Jane Yolen) best. The story moves well, and the moody art is just insanely well rendered. "The Three Lovers" (with Lee Smith) is also really nice, using a more open art style and an interesting stage play layout. "Alison Gross", which Vess soloed on, is an interesting piece, with some nice bits of horror-based fantasy. "The Black Fox" (with Emma Bull) is interesting for being based on a contemporary ballad-like songs rather than a traditional ballad, and doesn't appear to have any fantasy elements for the first two-thirds of the story. It's very pretty, but I get a feeling I'm missing a joke at the end.

Of the reprints, they were all a pleasure to see again, but I especially liked Jane Yolen's adaptation of "King Henry" and Delia Sherman's "The Daemon Lover" (which is one of the few I actually know the tune to, which helps a lot).

Quite a bit of supporting material on the background of the ballad form, lyrics to each song adapted and a detailed discography section about some of the available modern interpretations.

The hardcover is available now, there'll apparently be a softcover in the fall.

ISBN: 076531214X

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Question - Summary Post

I'll eventually have a few dozen posts devoted to THE QUESTION on the weblog. This post will bring order to the chaos and link to all of them.

O'Neil's Recommended Reading

THE QUESTION #1
THE QUESTION #2 - #6
THE QUESTION #7 - #11
THE QUESTION #12 - #15

THE QUESTION #16 - #19
THE QUESTION #20 & "Fables" Annuals
THE QUESTION #21 - #25
THE QUESTION #26 - #27, ANNUAL #2 & GA ANNUAL #2

THE QUESTION #28 - #30

THE QUESTION #31 - #36
Post monthly (QUESTION QUARTERLY, etc)

AMAZING HEROES #163 cover by Cowan
Question miscellany (ads, posters, fanzine covers etc)
HELLTOWN (separate continuity novel by O'Neil)

My Collection - Summary Post

Mostly for my own reference, links to each of the "My Collection" posts on the weblog, wherein I talk briefly about every series in my collection, counting down in order of quantity of issues of each series that I own.

The Comic Reader [? series]
Sgt. Rock [1977 series]
Sergio Aragones Groo the Wanderer [1985 series]
Action Comics [1938 series]
Our Army At War [1952 series]
Usagi Yojimbo [1996 series]
Amazing Heroes [1981 series]
Swamp Thing [1985 series]
Superman [1939 series]
Detective Comics [1937 series]
Daredevil [1964 series]
Marvel Tales [1966 series]
The Flash [1959 series]
Wonder Woman [1987 series]
DC Comics Presents [1978 series]
G. I. Combat [1957 series]
Marvel Fanfare [1982 series]
The Sandman [1989 series]
Batman [1940 series]
Nexus [1985 series]
Fantastic Four [1961 series]
Legion of Super-Heroes [1989 series]
Sugar & Spike [1956 series]
Thor [1966 series]
Justice League of America [1960 series]
Secret Origins [1986 series]
Alter Ego [1999 series]
Our Fighting Forces [1954 series]
Jack Kirby Collector [1994 series]
Grimjack [1984 series]
The Legion of Super-Heroes [1980 series]
Marvel's Greatest Comics [1969 series]
The Spectre [1992 series]
The Brave and the Bold [1955 series]
Hellblazer [1988 series]
Power Pack [1984 series]
Icon [1993 series]
Adventure Comics [1938 series]
Captain America [1968 series]
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! [1972 series]
Soulsearchers and Company [1993 series]
The New Teen Titans [1980 series]
Green Lantern [1976 series]
Critters [1986 series]
Usagi Yojimbo [1987 series]
Zot [1984 series]
The Incredible Hulk [1968 series]
The Question [1987 series]
Superboy [1994 series]
The Best of DC [1979 series]
Blood Syndicate [1993 series]
Legion of Super-Heroes [1984 series]
Azrael [1995 series]
The Adventures of Superman [1987 series]
Hardware [1993 series]
Comics Buyer's Guide [1983 series]
Static [1993 series]
Blue Devil [1984 series]
The Amazing Spider-Man [1963 series]
Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children [1989 series]
Doctor Fate [1988 series]
World's Finest Comics [1941 series]
Suicide Squad [1987 series]

Robert Kanigher's GALLERY OF WAR


From 1972 to 1982 there was a very special feature in DC's war books, which has gone largely unknown and unheralded. At least 49 stories were published under the banner "Bob Kanigher's Gallery of War", all (of course) written by the Sphinx himself, Robert Kanigher, who perhaps did even better with them than with his (also excellent) work on the continuity war characters like Sgt. Rock, Haunted Tank and Enemy Ace.

Most of the Gallery of War stories (31 of the 49) are drawn by the vastly underrated Ric Estrada, while others are drawn by such talents as Alex Toth, Dan Spiegle, Doug Wildey, Lee Elias, Frank Thorne, Rick Veitch and others, primarily under the editorship of another all-time great Joe Kubert, with a few being edited by Archie Goodwin.

These stories, ranging from just 4 to 8 pages each (a total of 296 pages in the 49 stories), are true classics of the war genre in comics, standing up there with Goodwin's BLAZING COMBAT, Kurtzman's TWO-FISTED TALES and FRONTLINE COMBAT and Sam Glanzman's USS Stevens (also running in various DC war books during the years the Gallery was). Kanigher was completely in his element, telling timeless tales of various wars, be it the American Revolution, the Civil War, both World Wars or Viet Nam. In all cases he concentrated on the people in the war, telling their stories of bravery, their pain, their awareness of the often futile nature of war.

The artists almost always rise to Kanigher's scripts, showing strong storytelling skills along with expressive faces and bodies on the characters. Toth and Wildey deliver some excellent aerial combat in stories they drew. Ric Estrada, called upon to deliver so many unique stories about so many wars, comes through with such apparent ease that it's a wonder he's not more often listed among the greats of war comics art.

In the future I'll put up a scan and a short write-up for each story, for now, here's the list.



These pages wouldn't have been possible without the help of Robin Snyder, for the initial inspiration and lots of information and encouragement, and Don Mangus for even more information and help. Thanks also to Kanigher, Estrada and all the others who worked on the Gallery of War.

Kanigher's GALLERY OF WAR - Checklist



Following is a list of all 49 known stories published under the banner "Bob Kanigher's Gallery of War" between 1972 and 1982 (if you know of any stories under that banner not listed, please let me know). This list comes courtesy of a search of the Grand Comics Database and information provided by Robin Snyder.

[Some general info on the series available here]

All stories written by Robert Kanigher, of course, art as noted. Story titles will link to write-ups and sample scans of the stories when they're posted. Note that these stories often have twists at the end, which the write-ups might give away.

White Devil... Yellow Devil -- art by Alex Toth -- Star Spangled War Stories #164 [August-September 1972] 8 pages
The Crowded Coffin -- art by Frank Thorne -- G. I. Combat #156 [October-November 1972] 7 pages
The Deserter -- art by Alfredo Alcala -- Our Army At War #251 [November 1972] 7 pages
The Young Wolves -- art by Adrian Gonzales -- Our Army At War #252 [December 1972] 7 pages
The Man -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #253 [January 1973] 7 pages
The Tally -- art by Alex Toth -- Our Army At War #254 [February 1973] 8 pages
Home -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Fighting Forces #142 [March-April 1973] 7 pages
Red Rain -- art by E. R. Cruz -- Our Army At War #255 [March 1973] 7 pages
May Day -- art by Mike Sekowsky/Frank Giacoia -- G. I. Combat #162 [July 1973] 7 pages
The Kill -- art by Frank Thorne -- Star Spangled War Stories #173 [September 1973] 7 pages
Big Man, Little Man -- art by Frank Thorne -- Our Army At War #260 [September 1973] 7 pages
Pathfinder -- art by Ken Barr -- G. I. Combat #165 [October 1973] 7 pages
Winter Soldier -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #263 [December 1973] 7 pages
The Gook -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #264 [January 1974] 5 pages
Red Snow -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #268 [May 1974] 7 pages
Horseless -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #269 [June 1974] 5 pages
Lifeless -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #270 [July 1974] 5 pages
The Gun -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #271 [August 1974] 5 pages
A Sergeant Dies -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #272 [September 1974] 8 pages
Once A Hero -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #273 [October 1974] 7 pages
Last Mission -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #274 [November 1974] 6 pages
Rubble -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #276 [January 1975] 6 pages
Death-Watch -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #277 [February 1975] 7 pages
Rendezvous -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #279 [April 1975] 5 pages
Bushido -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #283 [August 1975] 5 pages
Royal Flush -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #285 [October 1975] 6 pages
Escape -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #286 [November 1975] 6 pages
Last Call -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #287 [December 1975] 6 pages
The Fourth G.I. -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #289 [February 1976] 6 pages
Final Performance -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #292 [May 1976] 5 pages
A Pair of Boots -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #294 [July 1976] 5 pages
The Wild Piper -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #297 [October 1976] 6 pages
Death Salute -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #299 [December 1976] 5 pages
Targets -- art by Ric Estrada -- Our Army At War #301 [February 1977] 6 pages
A Yard of War -- art by Ric Estrada -- Sgt. Rock #302 [March 1977] 5 pages
The Feast -- art by Lee Elias -- Sgt. Rock #303 [April 1977] 5 pages
So Long Buster! -- art by Ric Estrada -- Sgt. Rock #306 [July 1977] 5 pages
The Knights -- art by Doug Wildey -- Sgt. Rock #307 [August 1977] 5 pages
Lil' Marlene -- art by Lee Elias -- Sgt. Rock #310 [November 1977] 5 pages
Homecoming! -- art by Ric Estrada -- Sgt. Rock #313 [February 1978] 5 pages
The Gardeners -- art by Rick Veitch -- Sgt. Rock #315 [April 1978] 5 pages
The Fourth Death! -- art by Ric Estrada -- DC Special Series #13 [Spring 1978] 7 pages
Friend and Foe -- art by Rick Veitch -- Sgt. Rock #320 [September 1978] 5 pages
Of Blood and Roses -- art by Ric Estrada -- Unknown Soldier #220 [October 1978] 7 pages
The Wall -- art by Rick Veitch -- Sgt. Rock #321 [October 1978] 4 pages
The Reunion -- art by Ric Estrada -- Sgt. Rock #327 [April 1979] 5 pages
The Little War -- art by Ric Estrada -- Sgt. Rock #337 [February 1980] 5 pages
Blood Brothers! -- art by Jack Sparling -- Unknown Soldier #257 [November 1981] 7 pages
Voices -- art by Dan Spiegle -- Unknown Soldier #259 [January 1982] 6 pages


According to Robin Snyder there's also at least one more story, The Glass Hero, which only exists as an incomplete script. There are also a few published stories which were apparently identified as Galley of War on the scripts but not on the published work (a number of non-series Kanigher/Estrada stories ran in G.I. Combat during this time, but didn't have a logo), or would fit in with the series in general but weren't labeled as such (some of which pre-dated the first labelled GoW story or post-dated the last one). I'll eventually add those to an extra list.

The Question - O'Neil's Recommended Reading

A regular feature in THE QUESTION was the Recommended Reading List from writer Dennis O'Neil at the foot of each letter column. Here are the books from each issue. Eventually, after I finish the other stuff I want to write about on the weblog about the series I'll add a few notes about the dozen or so of these that I've read.

There were no Reading List entries for the two QUESTION ANNUALs or for QUESTION QUARTERLY #5.

Most of them are pretty readily available and you should be able to order them or find them in a decent library, but a few are out of print.


The Question #1

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig
ISBN 0060958324



The Question #2

"Movements of Magic: The Spirit of Tai Chi Chuan" by Bob Klein
ISBN 1892198827



The Question #3

"Golf in the Kingdom" by Michael Murphy
ISBN 0140195491



The Question #4

"Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman
ISBN 0915811898



The Question #5

"Sadie When She Died" series by Ed McBain
ISBN 0446609692


"Eighty-Seventh Precinct" series by Ed McBain
(O'Neil recommended any book in the series, "Sadie When She Died" was singled out by a later letter writer as one that this issue evokes. It's a good one. I also recommend "The Heckler", "Cop Hater" and "King's Ransom". The last few haven't been so good)


The Question #6

"The Uses of Enchantment" by Bruno Bettelheim
ISBN 0679723935



The Question #7

"Steppenwolf" by Herman Hesse
ISBN 0312278675



The Question #8

"Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
ISBN 0553211757



The Question #9

"Seven Bamboo Tablets of the Cloudy Satchel" by Deng Ming Dao
ISBN 0062502271


"The Wandering Taoist" by Deng Ming Dao
ISBN 0062502263


"Tai Chi: The Supreme Ultimate" by Lawrence Galante
ISBN 0877284970



The Question #10

"The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra
ISBN 1570625190



The Question #11

"Zen and the Martial Arts" by Joe Hyams
ISBN 0553275593



The Question #12

"A Scanner Darkly" by Philip K. Dick
ISBN 0679736654



The Question #13

"Outsider in Amsterdam" by Janwillem Van De Wetering
ISBN 1569470170

"Grijpstra & de Gier" detective novels by Janwillem Van De Wetering
(O'Neil recommends any of the books in the series. "Outsider in Amsterdam" is the first)

The Question #14

"Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life" by Rick Fields with Peggy Taylor, Rex Weyler and Rick Ingrasci
ISBN 0874772095


The Question #15

"Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison
ISBN 0679732764


The Question #16

"Zen Without Zen Masters" by Camden Benares
ISBN 1561840734



The Question #17

"The Watchmen" by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore
ISBN 0930289234


The Question #18

"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu
ISBN 0385299850
(There are several other translations available, I've heard different opionions about which are best / most faithful)



The Question #19

"Jane Brody's Good Food Book" by Jane Brody
ISBN 0393022102



The Question #20

"Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain" by Chungliang Al Huang
ISBN 0890875049
(the title given is actually "Carry Tiger, Return to the Mountain", which I assume is an earlier translation)


The Question #21

"The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction in the East Village, 1958 to 1965" by Samuel R. Delaney
ISBN 0816645248


The Question #22

"Shambala" by Chogyam Trungpa
ISBN 0877732647

The Question #23

"The Curious Case of Sidd Finch" by George Plimpton
ISBN 156858296X



The Question #24

"The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers
ISBN 0385418868


The Question #25

"Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tse (Stephen Mitchell translator)
ISBN 0060812451
(several newer translations are available now, this is the one O'Neil specified)




The Question #26

"The Hero With a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell
ISBN 0691017840



The Question #27

"Zen Driving" by K.T. Berger
ISBN 0345353501



The Question #28

"The Miracle of Mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hanh
ISBN 0807012394



The Question #29

"The Philosopher's Diet" by Richard Watson
ISBN 1567920845



The Question #30

"Zen to Go" by Jon Winokur
ISBN 0452265312



The Question #31

"The Hero With a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell
ISBN 0691119244
(A duplicate from #26, so here's another edition)

The Question #32

"Gateway to a Vast World" by Deng Ming Dao
ISBN 0062502301



The Question #33

"Palm Sunday" by Kurt Vonnegut
ISBN 0385334265



The Question #34

"Gumshoe: Reflections in a Private Eye" by Josiah Thompson
ISBN 0316841757



The Question #35

"The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff
ISBN 0140067477



The Question #36

"Be Your Own Detective" by Greg Fallis and Ruth Greenberg
ISBN 0871318725



The Question Quarterly #1

"The Tao of Peace" by Diane Dreher
ISBN 0452281997
(I think "The Tao of Inner Peace" is the title of the current edition of the same book)

"The Crone" by Barbara Walker
ISBN 0062509349



The Question Quarterly #2

"Iron John" by Robert Bly
ISBN 0679731199



The Question Quarterly #3

"Adventures in the Screen Trade" by William Goldman
ISBN 0446391174



The Question Returns #1

"The Poetry of the Blues" by Samuel Charters
ISBN unknown


"Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
ISBN 0553210793
(public domain, so there are a lot of editions)

"Walden" by Henry David Thoreau
ISBN 0395720427
(again, public domain, so lots of versions available)

"A Path With a Heart" by Jack Kornfield
ISBN 0553372114

"The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff
ISBN 0140067477
(a repeat)

"The Te of Piglet" by Benjamin Hoff
ISBN 0140230165

Friday, January 21, 2005

Starting up

Hoka Hoka Hey, all. I've been posting on a weblog devoted to Jack Kirby for a few months, and recently discovered that there are things not dealing with Kirby that I might want to post about. Some comics, even. Hm, comics not by Jack Kirby? What will they think of next.

Anyway, expect posts on lots of different comics, including those by Sheldon Mayer, Steve Ditko, Larry Marder, Walt Kelly and others. Maybe other pop-cultural things if the mood strikes.

Also links to things of interest, like the recent announcement that Ivan Velez's excellent comic TALES OF THE CLOSET will be returning with a collection of the first three issues and hopefully eventually continued.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

EC Posts

A listing of my on-going posts on every EC story from the New Trend and New Direction eras, with some words and an art sample from each. To date, 100 stories, 8.45% of total, projected completion date Monday, April 06, 2082 (boy, I really need to pick up the pace on this series).



The 10th At Noon -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Fantasy #11 [1952]
Abe Lincoln! -- art by Jack Davis, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Frontline Combat #9 [1952]
African Scream! -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein -- Panic #2 [1954]
Alamo -- art by John Severin, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #28[#11] [1952]
Beauty And The Beach! -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #7 [1953]
Beyond Repair -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Science #8 [1951]
Blood Type "V" -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Tales From the Crypt #22[#6] [1951]
Bop Jokes! -- art by John Severin, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Mad #9 [1954]
Buried Alive -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Vault of Horror #15[#4] [1950]
By the Book -- art by George Evans, story by Carl Wessler -- Piracy #4 [1955]
Camera -- art by John Severin, story by Colin Dawkins -- Extra #1 [1955]
Cave Man -- by Johnny Craig -- The Crypt of Terror #19[#3] [1950]
Checkers -- art by John Severin & Will Elder, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #28[#11] [1952]
Child of Tomorrow -- by Al Feldstein -- Weird Fantasy #17[#5] [1951]
Close Shave -- art by Reed Crandall, story by Otto Binder -- Weird Science-Fantasy #27[#5] [1955]
Come Back, Little Street Car! -- art by Jack Davis, story by Al Feldstein -- Panic #2 [1954]
Confession -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #4 [1952]
The Curse of the Arnold Clan -- by Johnny Craig -- Tales From the Crypt #22[#6] [1951]
Custer's Last Stand -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #27[#10] [1952]
Death Must Come -- by Al Feldstein -- The Crypt of Terror #17[#1] [1950]
Death Stand -- art by Jack Davis, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #23[#6] [1951]
Dream of Doom -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Harry Harrison -- Weird Science #12[#1] [1950]
Enemies of the Colony -- by Wallace Wood -- Weird Fantasy #8 [1951]
Enemy Assault -- art by Jack Davis, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Frontline Combat #1 [1951]
The Escaped Maniac! -- art by George Roussos, story by Al Feldstein -- Crime SuspenStories #8 [1952]
F-86 Sabre Jet! -- art by Alex Toth, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Frontline Combat #12 [1953]
Fire Mission -- art by Dave Berg, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #29[#12] [1952]
Fired! -- art by Al Williamson & Frank Frazetta, story by Al Feldstein -- Crime SuspenStories #17 [1953]
Fish Story -- art by Al Williamson, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Science-Fantasy #23[#1] [1954]
The Flying Machine -- art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Ray Bradbury & Al Feldstein -- Weird Science-Fantasy #23[#1] [1954]
The Flying Saucer Invasion -- by Al Feldstein -- Weird Science #13[#2] [1950]
...For Posterity -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Science-Fantasy #24[#2] [1954]
Ghost Ship -- by Al Feldstein -- The Crypt of Terror #19[#3] [1950]
Given the Heir -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Science #16 [1952]
Grave Business! -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Haunt of Fear #10 [1951]
Gregory Had a Model-T -- by Harvey Kurtzman -- Weird Science #7 [1951]
H-5! -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Frontline Combat #12 [1953]
Halloween! -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #2 [1952]
Henry and His Goon Child -- by Harvey Kurtzman -- Weird Fantasy #15[#3] [1950]
Horror House -- by Johnny Craig -- Vault of Horror #15[#4] [1950]
The Hungry Grave -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Gardner Fox -- The Crypt of Terror #19[#3] [1950]
In The Bag -- art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Carl Wessler -- Shock SuspenStories #18 [1955]
Judy, You're Not Yourself Today -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein -- Tales From the Crypt #25[#9] [1951]
Kamen's Kalamity -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein -- Tales From the Crypt #31[#15] [1952]
The Keg -- art by George Evans, story by unknown -- Piracy #5 [1955]
The Kidnapper -- art by Reed Crandall, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #12 [1954]
Kill! -- by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #23[#6] [1951]
A Kind Of Justice -- art by Reed Crandall, story by Carl Wessler -- Shock SuspenStories #16 [1954]
Last Respects -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Tales From the Crypt #23[#7] [1951]
Li'l Melvin -- art by Will Elder, story by Al Feldstein -- Panic #3 [1954]
Link-Up -- art by John Severin & Will Elder, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #26[#9] [1952]
A Little Stranger! -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Haunt of Fear #14 [1952]
Loved to Death -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein -- Tales From the Crypt #25[#9] [1951]
Lower Berth -- art by Jack Davis, story by Al Feldstein -- Tales From the Crypt #33[#17] [1953]
Machine From Nowhere -- by Harry Harrison -- Weird Science #14[#3] [1950]
Mad Reader! -- art by Basil Wolverton, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Mad #11 [1954]
The Maestro's Hand -- by Al Feldstein -- The Crypt of Terror #18[#2] [1950]
Man and Superman -- by Harvey Kurtzman -- Weird Science #6 [1951]
Master Race -- art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Al Feldstein -- Impact #1 [1955]
Monotony -- art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Al Feldstein -- Crime SuspenStories #22 [1954]
More Blessed to Give... -- art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Jack Oleck -- Crime SuspenStories #24 [1954]
Murder May Boomerang -- by Johnny Craig -- Crime SuspenStories #1 [1950]
O.P.! -- art by Russ Heath, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Frontline Combat #1 [1951]
The Origin of the Species -- by Al Feldstein -- Weird Fantasy #8 [1951]
Outpost -- art by John Severin & Will Elder, story by Jerry De Fuccio -- Two-Fisted Tales #33[#16] [1953]
The Patriots! -- art by Jack Davis, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #2 [1952]
Pearl Divers -- art by Joe Kubert, story by Jerry De Fuccio -- Two-Fisted Tales #33[#16] [1953]
Pirate Gold -- by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #20[#3] [1951]
Plastic Sam! -- art by Russ Heath, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Mad #14 [1954]
Poetic Justice -- art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Carl Wessler -- Valor #2 [1955]
The Pyramid -- art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Otto Binder -- Valor #3 [1955]
Red Knight -- art by John Severin, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Two-Fisted Tales #29[#12] [1952]
Revenge -- art by Bernard Krigstein, story by unknown -- Aces High #2 [1955]
The Rug! -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #1 [1952]
The Screaming Woman! -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Ray Bradbury & Al Feldstein -- Crime SuspenStories #15 [1953]
The Secret of Saturn's Ring -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Fantasy #10 [1951]
Sinking of the Titanic -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Science #6 [1951]
The Slave Ship -- art by George Roussos, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Fantasy #8 [1951]
Spawn of Mars -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Fantasy #9 [1951]
Staired...in Horror -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Vault of Horror #23[#12] [1952]
Stampede -- art by John Severin, story by Colin Dawkins -- Two-Fisted Tales #38[#21] [1954]
Starchie -- art by Will Elder, story by Harvey Kurtzman -- Mad #12 [1954]
Strictly Business! -- art by Joe Orlando, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #4 [1952]
A Tasty Morsel -- art by Jack Davis, story by Al Feldstein -- Haunt of Fear #5 [1951]
The Teacher From Mars -- art by Joe Orlando, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Science-Fantasy #24[#2] [1954]
Telescope -- art by Jack Davis, story by Carl Wessler -- Tales From the Crypt #45[#29] [1955]
The Thing In the 'Glades -- art by Al Williamson, story by Al Feldstein -- Tales From the Crypt #31[#15] [1952]
Things From Outer Space -- by Al Feldstein -- Weird Science #12[#1] [1950]
The Time Machine and the Shmoe -- by Harvey Kurtzman -- Weird Fantasy #17[#5] [1951]
A Timely Shock -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Fantasy #10 [1951]
Trial By Arms -- art by Wallace Wood, story by Wallace Wood & Jerry De Fuccio -- Two-Fisted Tales #34[#17] [1953]
Trip Into the Unknown -- art by Harvey Kurtzman, story by Al Feldstein -- Weird Fantasy #13[#1] [1950]
Upheaval! -- art by Al Williamson, story by Al Feldstein & Harlan Ellison -- Weird Science-Fantasy #24[#2] [1954]
The Vamp! -- art by Johnny Craig & Jack Davis, story by Johnny Craig -- Haunt of Fear #10 [1951]
Voodoo Death -- by Johnny Craig -- Tales From the Crypt #23[#7] [1951]
The Wall -- by Johnny Craig -- Haunt of Fear #15[#1] [1950]
We Ain't Got No Body -- art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein -- Vault of Horror #28[#17] [1953]
Well-Traveled! -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #5 [1952]
What The Dog Dragged In -- art by Jack Kamen, story by Ray Bradbury & Al Feldstein -- Vault of Horror #22[#11] [1952]
Yellow! -- art by Jack Davis, story by Al Feldstein -- Shock SuspenStories #1 [1952]


AHPS Highlights

From 1984 to 1990, AMAZING HEROES published 13 Preview Special issues looking at what publishers had planned for the near future. I wasn't buying comics through much of this period, so I only bought the last four of these new off the racks, but over the years I picked up any of the earlier ones when I came across them, since they often had great covers, some interesting background information on series of the past (helping to guide me to a few back issues I was interested in), often coming straight from the creators talking in the early stages of the project, and even more interesting information on projects that didn't come out for whatever reason, or were heavily changed by the time they did. Also there was usually a decent selection of artwork, some of it never seen anywhere else.



Anyway, since I now have all 13 issues, I figured this post would be an entertaining way to look at these issues and keep track of some of the more interesting tidbits that I might sometimes find myself hunting for. This is just a preliminary look, I'll add to it as time goes by, and if you remember anything worth mentioning in them please leave a comment and I'll look it up and add it.


---AMAZING HEROES #39 [January 15, 1984] - The first Preview issue, as you might guess from the painfully dull cover, eight bits of black and white art from various books. It would get better soon, trust me. The issue itself is also low on highlights, and I'm not even that familiar with a lot of that era to know if some of these books even came out as planned. Still, there was some interesting stuff.

pg026 - On a rather odd note, there are 2 1/2 solid pages of Mark Evanier talking about the BLACKHAWK series that he was doing with Dan Spiegle, with lots of information on his takes on each character. Then it all ends with a short note that Evanier and Spiegle were soon leaving the book, which would end up being cancelled.

pg116 - On the other end of the scale, Walter Simonson was just beginning his long run on THOR, and also gets a long preview with his thoughts and plans for various characters.

pg128 - And Steve Gerber talks for two solid pages on his plans for the second monthly WONDER WOMAN book. What, you don't remember the Gerber written WW series of the mid-1980s? Come on, it was classic. Anyway, an interesting look at one of those roads not travelled.

pg032 - Some of the oddest things get fairly long previews, like the full page given to CAPTAIN CARROT - THE OZ-WONDERLAND WAR, then planned as a six-issue series, eventually coming out two years later as three double-sized issues. Nice bit of Carol Lay pencil art from the book.

pg100 - One of the more interesting things in this issue, the SWAMP THING preview is just a straight transcription of a phone interview with Alan Moore, just shortly after he started on the book, with some interesting bits about what he was hoping to do with the book and how working with DC was ("I'm finding the whole experience with DC a real education and a pleasant experience..."). Also, a nice little monster sketch that appears to be a Steve Bissette piece that wasn't from the actual comic.

pg065 - I'm still looking for a copy of the Idaho Comics IT'S A POTATO series, which I hear revolutionized the funny vegetable genre. Actually, this was one of the "joke entries" that occasionally appeared amidst the previews, one that became a bit of a running joke in AH.

pg078 - Man, a METAL MEN mini-series by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick. I'd have liked to have seen that...

pg094 - And Joe Kubert on the 12-issue REDEEMER mini-series. What a year it would have been...

pg112 - And a SUGAR&SPIKE monthly series mixing reprints and new stuff from Sheldon Mayer. You're killing me here DC...

pg046 - Apparently back in 1984 Fantagraphics was planning to publish a full colour bi-monthly comic called DITKO'S WORLD, featuring whatever Ditko came up with each issue. Never came to pass, of course, I guess some of the material wound up in black and white in the Renegade REVOLVER series in 1986, though I'll have to check the two bits of art they have to see if they made it into that.



---AMAZING HEROES #62 [January 1, 1985] - The cover improves tremendously with this issue, an original Jaime Hernandez piece of some of his LOVE AND ROCKETS characters enjoying a few of the comics of the day, sort of setting the theme for the next few covers.

pg126 - Intriguing non-existent comic, THRILLER SUMMER SPECIAL, where Robert Loren Fleming talks about returning to his series of a few years earlier with Keith Giffen on art and including a Superman team-up in DC COMICS PRESENTS. A later AHPS mentions that this all came as a surprise to DC...

pg006 - Alan Moore made quite a splash in the year since the previous issue, and the first page of previews has one of his lost projects, the Fantagraphics book with the placeholder name "Alan Moore's Comic", an anthology of whatever he felt like that issue, with planned contents including a humour story set at a comic convention and a biography of Aubrey Beardsly.

pg134 - Moore also starts talking about WATCHMEN in this issue, well before it came out, but already well beyond its "Charlton heroes" origins.

pg046 - They still weren't getting a lot of original art, but there were a handful of pencil images, like this Sal Buscema piece from ETERNALS.

pg101 - Kubert's REDEEMER shrinks to a 6-issue series...

pg123 - While Gil Kane's TALLUS OF THE WILDERNESS SEA starts off at 12-issues and with Jan Strnad writing. More on that later.


---AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL #1 [Summer 1985] - The concept spins off into its own twice-yearly magazine this time, and Scott McCloud continues the "your character with a pile of comics" cover theme (plus a sketch for this cover and two other potential covers inside). Lots of little jokes on the cover, like Jenny reading IT'S A POTATO.

pg025 - The funny animal anthology CRITTERS launched with lots of plans, some of which came to pass, some didn't. The Cutey Bunny serial by Joshua Quagmire was one that didn't, but there was a cover rough from him in here. Not sure if he ever did that story in another venue.




---AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL #2 [Winter 1986] - Steve Rude handles the pile-of-comics cover, and Nexus is apparently happy to let a minor read OMAHA.

pg083 - MOONSHADOW was in progress at the time, and squelching rumours from the previous issue that it might be cut short, as well as showing off a great Jon J. Muth sketch for one of the painted covers.

pg020 - Apparently Fantagraphics legal defence book ANYTHING GOES was originally titled BRIEFS and was supposed to have a Gerber/Kirby/Sinnott 4-page Destroyer Duck story, instead of the Captain Victory and Silver Star pages by Kirby and Sinnott that it came out with.

pg025 - CHEAP SHODDY ROBOT TOYS, a one-shot drawn by Fred Hembeck for Eclipse. That never came out, did it?




---AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL #3 [Summer 1986] - Stephen DeStefano and Karl Kesel provide the last and best of the "pile of comics" covers, and the best of all the AHPS covers. A little bittersweet, as this issue also announces that 'MAZING MAN was cancelled, but still, just look at that cover (though where is the candy store with a spinner rack that carried CEREBUS, LOVE AND ROCKETS, STEVE CANYON and a non-existent MR. TERRIFIC comic?).

pg121 - WATCHMEN is in full swing, and there are two Dave Gibbons sketches to mark it, one rough of the Owlship and one of Rorschach.




---AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL #4 [Winter 1987] - New cover theme is the character and/or creator jam, with this great Groo/Cerebus piece by Sergio Aragones, Dave Sim and Gerhard.


pg129 - ZOT! returns for real this time around, after several previews promising it, and Scott McCloud has some of his pencils for the first black and white issue.









---AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL #5 [Summer 1987] - Oh man, Art Adams drawing the Flaming Carrot and Gumby on the run from a giant baby-controlled robot? That just ain't right. You can't just draw that and not have a comic to back it up.

pg109 - The SPACE GHOST one-shot by Mark Evanier and Steve Rude is previewed, including a look at some of Rude's character sketches.




---AMAZING HEROES #133 [January 15, 1988] - The AHPS returns to ah proper for some reason, and gets so thick it has to be squarebound. Michael T. Gilbert and Paul Chadwick bring together their respective characters Mr. Monster and Concrete this time. I think it's the musical note Concrete is thinking that makes it poetry.

pg098 - Preview of James Vance and Dan Burr's KINGS IN DISGUISE has a nice treat with a bit of Burr's pencils.









---AMAZING HEROES #145 [July 15, 1988] - Break from the crossover covers with Dave Stevens providing a generic ROCKETEER image (a rough of it even appears inside as a rejected cover). Nice enough, I guess, but nothing special, and the first only to refer to a single comic.

pg271 - Pencils of one of Eric Shanower's OZ graphic novels then being published by First.








---AMAZING HEROES #157 [January 15, 1989] - Now that's more like it. Will Eisner brings the funny to a Spirit/Batman meeting.


pg173 - Evan Dorkin provided a lot of original pieces for the previews of his books, most of which I think eventually made it into one or another of his collections. This issue has a nice PIRATE CORPS cast pic.





---AMAZING HEROES #170 [August, 1989] - Back to the generic cover, with Todd McFarlane providing a bunch of Marvel heroes in a mismatched standard set of poses. Cap seems a lot happier than the Torch or Wolverine.

pg017 - Rick Geary has some character sketches for his version of Great Expectations for the CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED revival from First.

pg019 - Walt Simonson drawing Hagar the Horrible (apparently used as a cover to COMICS REVUE). Brilliant.



---AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL #10 [February, 1990] - And somehow it becomes a separate publication again. Rich Heddon and Tom McWeeney of ROACHMILL bring together a diverse range of period characters in a nice if somewhat frantic cover.

pg139 - A great looking Sam Glanzman sketch page for some of the characters and settings of his ATTU graphic novels from 4Winds.








---AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL #11 [Winter 1990] - Matt Wagner produces the cover of the final issue of AHPS, plugging his BATMAN/GRENDEL crossover that wouldn't actually come out for a few years thanks to various business things. Not too bad a cover, although lacking the real fun aspect of the best of the previous ones.

pg069 - Excellent Mike Ploog sketch for what became his painted cover to LONE WOLF & CUB #42. Apparently if the series had continued the cover artist for the fifth year would have been Paul Chadwick.
Weblog by BobH [bobh1970 at gmail dot com]