Dara Naraghi has been running a features on his blog called Indie Cover Spotlight where he goes through his longboxes and pulls out the amazing, unlikely, and just plain forgotten indie comics of yore, say, like this cover of something called STAR RANGERS by Dave Dorman, a loving tribute to Fredric Wertham.
by Casey Burchby
Frank Frazetta’s prodigious and varied output is given even more breadth by a new collection from IDW of the artist’s humor work. The contents of Frazetta – Funny Stuff date from the late 1940s, when he was still just a kid, really, and still a long way from the cavemen, exotic temptresses, movie posters, and cover paintings that would come to define his work. Yet, as Frazetta told The Comics Journal in 1994, “The funny stuff is the real me.”
Our feverish maunderings about old comics did draw one great link, from Jamie Coville, this interview with DJ Arneson, who was the editor for Dell after Western pulled its licenses and the company essentially started a comics company from scratch in 1962. It’s a fascinating look at the business away from Marvel and DC. And it also provides a glimpse into a long ago Shangri-La before…approvals:
by Casey Burchby
How dangerous or offensive were pre-code crime comics – really? Most of us probably agree that the anti-comics hysteria of the early 1950s was ludicrously overblown, and can probably also think of a few current issues that are similarly hyper-inflated by reactionary gasbags. Dr. Fredric Wertham’s claims (enshrined in his ridiculously titled pseudoscientific 1954 screed Seduction of the Innocent) about the ill effects of comic books on easily-corruptible young minds probably said more about Wertham’s Germanic way of seeing the rest of humanity than they did about observable reality. But how do these Golden Age crime comics look to contemporary readers? A couple of new releases collect some of the best pre-code crime comics and prove that they still pack a wallop, both in terms of their swift, punchy visual storytelling, and in their ability to deliver real shocks.
BuzzFeed cribs from Superdickery for 25 Hilarious Vintage Comic Book Covers. These are all oldies, but sometimes it is just so great to take a break and look at these amazing covers from the golden age of comics. And we like posting them, because sometimes Pinterest just won’t do.
An EC classic by Johnny Craig for some holiday ho ho horror.
When Joe Simon passed away at the age of 98 last week, he left behind an impressive body of work. Although everyone knows he was the partner of Jack “King” Kirby, Simon and Kirby were partners in the truest sense — collaborating freely on art and writing, with Simon mostly the editor and Kirby the art director. However, Simon was a prolific artist on his own. While he didn’t have Kirby’s command of sheer power and imagination, he did have a way with wiry, dynamic heroes. Heritage Auctions recently ran a cover tribute to Simon in their newsletter — have a look:
Not too long ago, we presented for your amusement several videos recapping the rather appalling events of AVENGERS #200, in which Ms. Marvel was kidnapped, drugged and forcibly impregnated, and after giving birth to a reincarnation of her rapist, went off with him in a happy daze. The writers on the story are listed as Jim Shooter, David Michelinie, Bob Layton and George Pérez but it’s been noted that in the years since, no one has actually taken credit for coming up with the story. It’s like that one round of blanks in the firing squad — every man can believe he is the innocent one.
Now over on his blog, Jim Shooter has come out and confirmed that he’s wiped the entire incident from his memory:
Yesterday’s comments by Tom Brevoort on the lack of sales support for female characters at Marvel did not go unnoticed by the usual gender issue commentators.
About once a year, we give Stately Beat Manor a really good going-over — tossing out unwanted pamphlets, moving some stuff into storage, organizing permanent additions and so on — and after doing so we write a post with our thoughts about storage and hoarding and so on.
This is that post, c. 2011.
I assume most of you reading this are borderline hoarders, like The Beat. Your shelf porn resembles a splatter film. You have more longboxes than you do pieces of silverware. Your home contains at least one Billy. You have at one time — perhaps even at this very moment — made use of some kind of software to catalog your collection even if it was just Excel or Google spreadsheets. You know the drill.
Stolen ACTION #1 that once belonged to Nicolas Cage expected to become most expensive comic of all time
It’s the Hope Diamond of the comic book set. The one-of-a-kind 9.0 graded copy of ACTION #1 that once belonged to actor Nicolas Cage is going on the auction block — and it is expected to set a record for a comic price. The comics loving actor purchased the copy — the finest of ACTION #1 known to exist — in 1997 for $150,000. It was then stolen from his house in 2000 and vanished from history until it was found in a California storage unit last year. According to ComicConnect’s Vincent Zurzolo — the go-to man for all comics collectible lore — the stolen comic was actually tracked down and traced to a man who had purchased it from the owner of the contents of the unit. Will someone please make a movie about this investigation?