I’m just winging it with the category names, I hope you all realize that.

§ December 4th, 2023 § Filed under 1990s Sins, publishing § 4 Comments

Continuing the discussion of “Most 1990s Comic” with more of your nominees, starting with a couple of comics that, in fact, weren’t nominated but just mentioned by LouReedRichards:

Well, okay, technically LRR only mentioned the second print of Fantastic Four #371 (Marvel 1992) with the red cover:

…which, yes, when photographed correctly, the details on the front cover do show up to some extent, like in the white cover. But under most practical circumstances the cover is unreadable, as LRR says. I mean, yes, if you pick it up in your hands and take a closer look, angling it in the light, you can make it out, sure. But as a cover, it fails in easily and quickly expressing information to anyone just looking across the rack. It does succeed in standing out (“oh hey what’s that big white square between Excaliber #58 and Fish Police #3?”) so it attracts attention by being an anomaly.

Anyway, I probably don’t need to tell you how covers work. I was trying to think of a “1990s Comics Sins” category for this one, beyond simply “Variant.” “Self-Defeating Variant” maybe in that you can’t read the cover…but like I said, it stands out regardless of anyone immediately knowing what it is (beyond awareness of any pre-publication hype) so it succeeds in that regard. Sigh. At least it’s not something they attempted very often (though the “gravestone” overlay on Amazing Spider-Man #400 deluxe edition would be of the same ilk).

• • •

Brought up by Chris and a couple of other folks, Deathmate is certainly about as 1990s as it gets, teaming the characters of the immensely popular Valiant Comics with Image Comics. Ordered in droves, sold in dribbles, the series was an immense flop, leaving retailers who ordered huge numbers stuck with unsold stock.

Now in my mind when I asked “pick the most 1990s comic” I was thinking “single issue” more than “entire series,” but I see I didn’t make that explicit. But if we had to pick a single issue from the run, it’d be a no-brainer to single out Deathmate Red, from 1990s champ Rob Liefeld, which shipped months late and after the rest of the series, even the final “Epilogue” issue, was published.

• • •

DK sneaks in two picks, which I’ll allow because I like DK, starting with

Doom Force Special #1 (DC Comics 1992), by Grant Morrison and a host of artists, including Keith Giffen and Mike Mignola on that great cover with an all-timer of a gag. As a representative of the 1990s, I don’t know if it would be my go-to example, but it is directly addressing what was going on in the industry at the time, a not uncommon tack taken by other books of the era, so I suppose it can get its own 1990s Comics Sins category. “Parody” is a pretty wide net, including some publications of…varying quality, but I think it fits here.

DK’s other “real” choice is Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1 (DC Comics 1992):

…part one of what would be a multi-part crossover event that runs through all of DC’s annuals for the year, ending in The Darkness Within #2. That would put this in the “Events” category, I suppose, but I think what stands out about this comic outs it more firmly in the “Cover Gimmick” section. It’s that twice-damned plastic jewel glued to the cover on the “direct market” edition, the thing that sticks out and puts a good diamond-shaped dent in the comic right before it in the storage box unless precautions are taken. (I think I put a backing board in front of my copy of this comic to ease said pokiness.)

As gimmicks go, this was…pretty out there, actually gluing a three-dimensional object to a cover. The only other comic I can think of that tried something like this was Sin #1 (Tragedy Strikes Press 1992) with its Band-Aids (or “Adhesive Bandage Strips”) but at least those are flatter than that gem. (Come to think of it, I should look at the condition of my copy of Sin to see if the glue has eaten through the paper yet.)

Anyway, that gem probably seemed like a good idea at the time. It is kind of neat, but still, what a thing to do.

• • •

Okay, let’s wrap this up for today with Customer Sean, who submits

New Mutants #98 (Marvel 1991), the introduction of Deadpool, drawn by the inimitable (or overly-imitable) Mr. Liefeld. That cover is certainly representative of a certain type of comic, a bunch of Kewl Characters standing around with Kewl Names.

For a 1990s Comics Sins category, maybe “Introducing a New Character,” perhaps? I mean, unlike other 1990s comics that would fit in this category (such as those series of annuals from both DC and Marvel introducing new folks) Deadpool actually caught on. Granted, it was more due to its handling by Other Hands than in its initial appearances, but still it’s not a bad visual, and the name “Deadpool” at least feels more like a name appropriate to the character.

Is it a Symbol of 1990s Comics like we’re talking about here? I feel as if its more recent position as a “hot” “collectible” comic that commands high prices is what I more immediately associate with this book. New Mutants #98 is absolutely Of Its Time, but it’s maybe evolved past that to be more representative of more recent industry shenanigans.

• • •

That’s plenty of my typing sticking into your eyes today. We’ll continue later in the week after a certain special something tomorrow. Thanks for reading, as always!

You’re going to see “Marvel” a lot in this post.

§ December 1st, 2023 § Filed under 1990s Sins, publishing § 7 Comments

Well, I’m not sure how I’m going to do this. I don’t particularly want to start another series of posts in the middle of wrapping up the “Favorite ’80s Comics” thing and you know my Variant Cover-age is still technically unfinished. But what the heck, let’s at let’s look at what you’ve got to say about what single comic book is the most 1990s.

As a reminder, I’m starting with the idea that X-Force #1 as the most symbolic of the comics industry of the decade, with both its artistry and the cynical marketing ploys of the publisher. I’ve written about the title once or twice and you can read more about what I think of the title there, if you are so inclined.

So let’s start off with none other than the dreaded, the infamous, the vastly-overordered Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1 (Valiant Comics, 1993) as first suggested by Matthew and seconded by several others:

Now have I talked about this comic before on this site? Friends, I have a category specifically for Turok. You can click that link and see what I’ve said in the past.

But, in short, Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1 is a very good example of retailers thinking past performance is indicative of future results. In this case, Valiant was a “hot” company in the early ’90s, goosed along by Wizard Magazine, with demand being high for both new and back issues, sometimes commanding huge prices. When it came time to place orders for Turok #1, it seemed like ordering high was a safe bet, not only because it was a new Valiant first issue and sure to sell, but because it was another revival of an older popular comic book character

And lots were ordered Lots of lots. I know at the shop where I worked at the time, we got an awfully robust pile of them. Again, in an effort to keep this reasonably succinct, I’ll just to the spoiler and tell you that this comic did not sell up to expectations. As I’ve said before, the comic actually sold pretty well in-store, at least for us, but just not anywhere near to what was ordered. A lot of retailers ended up dumping these in their bargain bins. Others…went to more extreme measures.

So let’s put this comic in the “Overordering” slot of 1990s Comics Sins, I suppose. It also had a gimmick cover (a chromium card attached to an embossed background) and while the gimmick was part of the problem, and perhaps fed into the hype that fed the orders in turn, “Overordering” is what this comic represents, at least to me.

• • •

Next up is Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man #1 (Marvel, 1990), as suggested by Chris B:

I wrote a lot about this comic in my Variant Cover-Age series, and let’s not beat around the bush: the 1990s Comics Sin here is clearly “Variants.” Particularly the entirely pointless “bagged” variants…bagged not because they contain a trading card or something, but simply bagged to have another version of the comic to sell. The one pictured above even cost a quarter more, because…they could? The green bagged one cost the same $1.75 as the unbagged copies, so the black one…had no cover price printed on the actual cover, so that cost 25 cents more, I guess.

There are sub-categories for this particular comic, such as “Comic Built Around Hot Artist” or “New #1 for Established Character” (distinct from “Relaunched with New #1,” if you’ll allow me to split hairs). But “Variant” I think fits the best, a cynical ploy by a publisher to get collectors to buy multiple copies of the same book, for (in the case of the bagged versions) the least of reasons.

• • •

Here comes ScienceGiant with his excellent contribution of Spider-Man Maximum Clonage Alpha (Marvel, 1995) with its chromium cover:

My initial instinct was to put this in the category of “Gimmick Cover” (as opposed to “Variant”) since, I mean, look at it. Well, the pic above doesn’t really do it justice. You have to see it in its full shiny metallic glory for the full impact.

But it’s not just the fancy cover that makes it 1990s. It’s that it’s part of a “Big Event” (in this case, the ever continuing Spider-Clone Saga, that in some ways is still going on even now). I can see my category idea falling apart already, but “Gimmick Cover” and “Big Event” seem to be hand-in-hand here as far as 1990s Comics Sins go.

• • •

I think Thom H. has an interesting entry here that he explains quite well, Fantastic Four #375 (Marvel, 1993):

Again, the scan doesn’t quite get across the shiny foil-y bits of the cover, but I think you get the important points. To wit, per Thom H.:

“A lesser-known but equally offensive example of ’90s excess: Fantastic Four #375 (prism foil cover featuring shoulder armor, giant guns, an unnecessarily ‘sexy’ costume, and multi-pocket jackets).

“Once ‘kewl’ ’90s style has infected comic book’s first family, I feel like it’s truly reached its zenith.”

Yeah, that about sums it up. (Though I have to point out “375th anniversary,” just to be pedantic.) I think the content here is more important than the gimmick (or is it variant…did the newsstand cover have the foil highlights too, I can’t tell from the scans), so this would probably go in the “Kewl Style” category.

To be fair, it’s more about the accoutrements and the clothing than the actual artwork, which is by Paul Ryan and is perfectly fine. We’ll be getting to another “Kewl Style” category member shortly where the art itself is the key to its submission.

• • •

But not too shortly because that’s it for today. We’ll continue back here on Monday. Thanks for reading and participating, pals!

Speaking of the 1990s…

§ November 29th, 2023 § Filed under buttons § 8 Comments

…here are four plastic Death’s Head II pins, recently acquired in a collection that contained a tote bag of goodies acquired at the 1993 San Diego Comic Con:

Why were there four of them? I couldn’t say. But I own them now, for better or worse.

Here, have a close-up of one of them:

Anyway, I had every intention of starting my look at your responses to the 1990s-est comic book, but alas time was not on my side. I’ll try to get to it this Friday. Thanks, as always, for reading, pals.

The Progressive Ruiin Swimsuit Special remains an unrealized dream.

§ November 27th, 2023 § Filed under publishing, zines § 4 Comments

Just a reminder: reader Daniel pointed out that Kwakk.info, which had featured search engines for Amazing Heroes and The Comics Journal, has been greatly expanded. Now it includes Wizard, Hero Illustrated, Comics Interview, Comics Scene, Comics Feature, Marvel Age, FOOM(!) and The Comic Reader(!!!).

The Comic Reader database is the one I’m most excited about, being a huge fan and collector of that particular ‘zine. This search engine covers issues #75 through the end of the run, #219, with some scattered earlier issues.

When looking at the Amazing Heroes page, I noticed in the little rotating cover gallery they have there a cover from the post-Fantagraphics era of the magazine, when it was acquired by another publisher. Now when I went to look this up on Wikipedia, that article claims the title was obtained by Personality Comics, but “nothing came of it.”

Except something did come of it…Personality (under its Spoof Comics imprint) published at least two issues of new(?) Swimsuit Specials in 1993 (numbered 4 and 5), like this one:

And there were at least four issues of Amazing Heroes Interviews published in 1993 from “Amazing Heroes Publishing,” which I am presuming was another imprint of Personality:

I don’t have these on hand…I seem to recall looking at these at the time and thinking “…nah” (hence the “borrowed from eBay” images)…and I can’t find a lot of info on them online aside from finding sale listings. I think the interviews are new…doing a search on some specific phrases from the Walter Koenig interview only turns up references to the later magazine, not the original Fantagraphics series. And speaking of which, many online sources refer to the interview mag as “Fantagraphics,” though that doesn’t look like their trade dress. Maybe someone can set me straight.

So there you go. Despite Wikipedia’s assertion, another publisher did use the “Amazing Heroes” name, if even justr briefly. Perhaps amending the reference to “almost nothing came of it” would be more appropriate.

• • •

Anyway, speaking of thirty years ago, I’ve been monitoring your responses to my quest for the most 1990s comic and I do plan on addressing the ensuing shenanigans there. I personally still think the ’90s remain Rob Liefeld’s world, and we were just living in it, though I waffle a bit on which comic is the most representative. I said Youngblood at first, but am now leaning toward, teeth gritted and my contorted footless body backed by speedlines, towards X-Force #1. It’s the perfect storm of both artistic and marketing…let’s say “qualities” of the time.

But you folks are bringing up some compelling arguments for other books. Like I said, I’ll get back to this and crown the ’90s King eventually (which may go to my choice, because this is my website and I’m a jerk) but keep on chiming in with your thoughts. I always appreciate them.

What could have been.

§ November 24th, 2023 § Filed under howard the duck § 1 Comment

A blurb about the then-forthcoming Howard the Duck movie, from Comics Scene Vol. 1 #1 (1982), via):

July 14th, 1994.

§ November 22nd, 2023 § Filed under dc comics § 2 Comments

Just a brief almost-Low Content Mode today, so what I have here are some of the oldest digital images I have in my possession, downloaded via my America Online account. I think it was from an official DC Comics section on AOL.

The date in the subject line to this post appears to be when they were acquired, or at least copied to an old floppy disk before getting backed up to a CD-ROM. As such, I’m not sure of the exact date, but regardless it’s still about three decades ago.

Of course among these pics (converted from their original giF format to these here newfangled jay-pegs)would be some Swamp Thing, like this neat color-hold image:

…and a more traditional preview panel from the comics:

Here’s another color-hold pic, this time from the Vertigo Jonah Hex books:

Here’s an interesting illustration of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman:

…and here’s an image from (I believe) Jerry Ordway’s Shazam! graphic novel:

This is the sort of thing where I’d wished I’d kept better notes as to what has going on at the time re: the online comics world in the early World Wide Web days. If only someone would have told me then I’d start doing a comics blog about ten years later, to which I’d say, of course [old joke coming in], “what’s a blog?”

I’m pretty sure the DC area on AOL was what you’d expect, “coming attractions” and blurbs and images promo-ing their product, but at this late date I can’t even picture what it looked like. I do have a better memory of the general comics message boards that AOL hosted around that same time (I can even remember a screen name or two of other users), where there seemed to be a lot of focus on price speculation. (That may have been earlier than 1994, before the market crash began to take hold.)

I’m sure someone out there has a better retrospective of the early comic book presence on AOL. But all I have are these images, backed up decades ago to floppies, then backed up again to CD-ROMs, and probably someday backed up to whatever new file storage format I end up using next. Not sure what I’ll use them for again, since posting them to this site is probably the only real use I’ll get out of them aside from occasionally pulling them up on my computer when browsing old files and feeling nostalgic for a time I barely remember.

Yes, I know a buck each for Brigade is too much.

§ November 20th, 2023 § Filed under 1990s Sins, publishing § 30 Comments

So I related this story on my Bluesky account (follow me there if you can, and I have a couple of spare invite codes if anyone needs ’em) where a customer came in looking for a present for a friend of his. Said friend was described as a “big collector” of comics during the ’90s, and wanted to find a special comic that would essentially symbolize that time in this person’s life.

Well, of course the initial thought that ran through my head was to run to the dollar bins and pull out a full run of Brigade, but I couldn’t do that to a complete and presumably innocent stranger. Plus, of course this customer was looking for something “giftworthy,” so we’re probably looking at a single issue of a comic that was a tad more substantial (i.e. dollar-iffic) than some random ’90s thing that was better off as a tree fished out of the Boxes of Misfit Comics.

My next thought was something like Spawn or Youngblood, both titles that in their own different, yet surprisingly similar, ways were emblematic of the excesses of that particular partial decade prior to the market’s Big Crunch.

But before I could voice these suggestions, my customer spotted an item that fit the bill perfectly, a special comic that is near and dear to my heart. Yes, friends, it could only be one thing:

Yes ineedy, the Death of Superman, Superman #75, rears its head yet again. After a couple of questions from the customer (“Is it the original? Is the bag sealed?”) I had me a sale and he had him a piece of 1990s comics history.

Anyway, after telling this story (in a much-truncated less-that-300-characters fashion) I posed the following question to my Bluesky pals: “what would you pick to be THE most 1990s comic book?”

I had quite a few responses, including one or two for books like Starman, which, you know, while definitely good, I’m not sure that’s exactly what I was looking for here. I mean, yes, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that very nicely done, high quality comics were in fact published, but I tend to associate (as I said earlier) publishing excesses to the earlier part of the decade, and “the stink of desperation” to the latter. Perhaps unfortunately, for having lived through it as a funnybook seller, my perspective is a little more cynical. Which is on me, admittedly.

Perhaps my question is better phrased “what most exemplified the” (here’s that word again) “excesses of the era?” The “Death of Superman” issue is certainly one aspect of it, the immense hype and overwrought demand for a “collectible” item. Which would also apply to, say, Youngblood #1, where a talk show appearance the night before release drummed up business for a comic that…mmm. perhaps was not the medium putting its best foot forward for an audience that normally did not buy comics. (And I wonder how many of these new folks, if any of them even bothered to look inside, still picture that as what all comics are like.)

Now I had some good suggestions for other titles, like pal Ian dropping Darker Image #1 on us (a title that promised big things but ultimately never made it past that first issue). Or stuff like X-Men #1 or X-Force #1, selling millions of copies on the basis of multiple covers or card inserts, representing the gimmicky methods publishers used to push comic sales above and beyond and reasoable (or healthy) expectation. (And I don’t need to tell you the multiple cover strategy is still in play today, on much smaller scales but for basically the same reasons.)

Or titles like Alley Cat, part of that small trend of basing comics around models/actresses, who would often have their pictures featured on the covers. (A precursor to the modern trend of “cosplay” covers, I think.) No less a personage than Rusty Shackles brought up the comic based on the mostly-forgotten Barbi Twins, for which I owe him my revenge.

But I think, personally, it comes down to pretty much any comic by Rob Liefeld…Youngblood, or X-Force #1, or Deathmate Red (another suggestion), or titles like that. It’s what I picture in my head when I think of my 1990s toiling in the comics mines, in between slinging POGs and wondering what these new Magic: The Gathering cards were all about.

I’ll ask you the same question: what is the most 1990s comic? I don’t mean “what’s your favorite 1990s comic” — I’ll get to that question eventually, when I’m done with my ’80s countdown — but what comic do you look at and think “yeah, this is what the ’90s comic industry was like, for good or for ill.” Please let me know in the comments.

Meanwhile, please enjoy this 1993 cable access comic book show I found on the YouTubes. WARNING: the DC Comics commercial at 11:55 will give you an aneurysm.

As in “editorial edict,” not “the model of car.”

§ November 17th, 2023 § Filed under does mike ever shut up, fantastic four, the thing § 11 Comments

So Matthew brings up another option I’d totally forgotten aboiut in the Thing eyebrow/no eyebrow raging debate: TWO eyebrows, as per Fantasic Four #502 (art by Casey Jones):

Now I was all ready to not like this, based on the description. This issue, though, was one I had read, probably a couple of times, given this particular run of the book was a favorite of mine, and I don’t recall being put off by the appearance of Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew at any point.

Pulling up that above image and giving the dual-brow look a once-over, I find…I don’t hate it. (And to be fair, I don’t really hate any of the Thing’s various visual permutations, despite some interpretations of his “pineapple Thing” days proving…challenging.) I can picture Benjy waggling his eyebrows up and down, individually, Groucho-style, stogie in his better-be-toothless mouth if he were still allowed to have his stogies (banned long ago via editorial).

The aforementioned “raging debate” in the comments of Wednesday’s post is described as such in the Mighty Mike’s Facetious Manner, as folks from both sides of the conflict, the no-eyebrow people and the wrong people, have cheerfully piped up with their love for the character no matter the state of his forehead. As I said then, either interpretation of the Thing is perfectly fine, and though my personal preference is no-eyebrow, the charm of the expressive separate eyebrow is certainly not lost on me.

One thing (cough) we can all agree on, as brought up a couple of times in my comments, is “Woe Betide You If You Give the Thing Teeth,” as so:

Look, God bless Neal Adams, that man did a lot for our beloved funnybooks, at his peak his art was unmatchable, he gave us Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali, he was instrumental in Superman’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster getting their due. And maybe he had some…odd ideas about science, and maybe his latter-day comics were…idiosyncratic, but he was a legend and absolutely rightfully so.

But when I turned the page and saw the above image in his Fantastic Four: Antithesis series, it was like a jump scare in a horror film. I mean, wow, that is not a Thing I am used to. It was an entertaining series, and the art was nice overall, but the Toothsome Mr. Grimm took some getting used to, not that I really ever did.

The Thing is one of those characters that is open to a wide amount of variation and still being “The Thing,” but there are certain elements that to his look that can just look wrong if pushed too far or simply not done correctly.

John Byrne’s “How to Draw the Thing” from the early ’80s is oft-cited:

…and my early exposure to it, and internalization thereof, has definitely influenced my opinions on the Thing’s appearance. I notice when someone gives him a neck, for instance, and it always reads as “wrong” to me. Despite this, I am up for versions of the character that don’t necessarily follow Byrne’s fiat.

However, with increasing talk about the forthcoming Fantastic Four movie, and Marvel’s predilection for letting the tail wag the dog, one wonders how much a live-action/CGI Hollywood Thing design will alter the character in the comics. I got to wondering about this after seeing a post on…probably Xwitter, lamenting the fact that whatever is done with the FF in the movies will be reflected by the comics for the following few years.

This doesn’t take into account that Marvel movies may very well be entering a period of decline, as moviegoers appear to be becoming pickier about the movies they see, and films budgeted with near-billion box office takes in mind are barely breaking even, if at all. Lots of reasons for this, and it’s less the ever-threatened “Marvel burnout” and more “COVID has changed movie-going patterns” and “people have turned increasingly to streaming options” and “it’s just easier to wait a month or two and watch at home instead of going to a theater.”

And maybe it is a little bit about “Marvel burnout,” as I saw an article recently ask, nonironically, “why did The Marvels, the 33rd film in the franchise, fail?” Well, maybe after 2 1/2 dozen films, the novelty’s worn off, and folks just won’t go to see any movie with a Marvel logo in front of it. The movies might be perfectly fine (I myself would like to see The Marvels, but I haven’t been to a theater since the pandemic started and have no plans to return) but unless it’s something special, it’s not going to pull people in. (Compare to Barbie, which was new and different and had a point of view and an individualistic style and made that coveted billion bucks.)

And I’m not picking on Marvel movies specifically. DC’s last few movies underperformed, and I don’t see that trend changing even under James Gunn’s purview. That last Indiana Jones film made $300 million in the box office, an impressive take under normal circumstances, but its production costs were about that much, and that’s not even counting the advertising. It had to become a phenomenon to turn a profit, and there just wasn’t enough of an audience that excited for the last installment of a decades-old franchise. Which is why I think forthcoming Star Wars movies may also see the same fate.

Anyway, what all this means is that maybe we don’t need to worry too much about an FF movie having undue influence on its poor print cousin. Even if they make the Thing purple with eight arms and teeth for days, there’s every possibility the film will come and go without making a ripple and ol’ Bashful Benjy will be safe. Except if there’s too many flops Marvel The Comic Publishing Company may outlive its usefulness to Disney and be scrapped so they can spend that money on cleaning the Star Tours queue area instead.

Not that I expect that to happen. Marvel movies will more likely slow down in production, maybe one a year if that, making them more “events” again and giving them a better chance at bringing in viewers. Like, Spider-Man movies will always make money. This new Deadpool film will do fine. If Marvel ever gets around to doing a new X-Men movie, that should also do well, assuming they don’t screw it up. But I just don’t see the Fantastic Four capturing audience excitement in the way it needs to in order to justify that likely $250+ million budget. Which would be disappointing because I love the FF.

Well, that’s not where I expected this post to go. Please take a lot of the above with all the authority that I, a dude that sells comic books for a living and doesn’t make Hollywood movies, bring to it. I hope I’m wrong about the movie end of things, since I enjoy superhero films and want them to continue, even as I’m part of the problem by no longer attending theaters. It’s a trickier marketplace than ever, and I’m glad I’m just working at the nickel-and-dime level I’m at rather than having millions upon millions of dollars on the line.

The most important debate of our day.

§ November 15th, 2023 § Filed under the thing § 25 Comments

So which portrayal of the Thing do you prefer? Big Separate Eyebrow Thing?

…or No Separate Eyebrow Piece Thing?

Now I didn’t dive deep researching this or anything, but a cursory glace through the history of the Fantastic Four seems to reveal that Eyebrow Thing started during the Lee/Kirby days, and No Eyebrow Thing was reestablished during Byrne’s run in the ’80s. At the very least, he definitely pointed it out in his “How to draw the Thing” page from the early issues of the Thing series:

Now I have a preference for which version I like, but I do want to make it clear the version I don’t care for does nothing to lessen my admiration for our ever-lovin’ blue-eyed hero. Pretty much no matter how he looks, he remains not just Marvel’s greatest character, but one of the greatest characters in fiction period. Yeah, you heard me, eat it, Pierre Bezukhov.

And look, I’m not going to razz, like, George Pérez’s drawing of Eyebrow Thing above, as that’s absolutely lovely. Also, no way can anyone dismiss Barry Windsor-Smith’s Eyebrowless Thing on that Marvel Fanfare cover.

For those of you wishing to cast spoiler votes for the dreaded “Pineapple Thing,” as per this cover:

…let’s not confuse the issue. Let’s stick to just picking Eyebrow or No. But all things (heh) considered, that cover is still pretty good. All Things are beautiful in their own way, but the eyebrow is the dividing line and I just want to know where y’all land.

For more Thing Reading, may I direct you to “365 Days of Ben Grimm,” as assembled by Stuffed Bully, Space Ranger?

House of Secrets #92? Only ten bucks.

§ November 13th, 2023 § Filed under retailing, swamp thing § 5 Comments

Thanks to reader John for sending along another addition to my “homages to House of Secrets #92″ collection:

(Art by Don Cardenas and Steve Bryant.)

This comes this Kickstarter campaign, which makes me wish I had more money and more time to peruse Kickstarter for swell projects like this. I am unsure how to purchases copies of this outside of Kickstarter, so maybe keep an eye out for a campaign for issue #3? Or I’ll ask John and see if he can point me in the right direction.

Speaking of purchasing, John also sent me this 1977 Supersnipe comics ‘n’ art catalog:

Imagine getting an Amazing Spider-Man #1 (either version here) for this cheap:

I recently had both of these and they sold for a little bit more than these listed prices.

And check this out — three Peanuts originals for under $600 for the lot:

Yes, I know this is all in 1970s dollars, back when you could buy a car for a nickel and houses were basically free, but it’s still — amusing? Is “amusing” the right word here? How ’bout “depresing” — to see these dollar amounts attached to these items. And I just barely scratched the surface here…there are just pages and pages of price listings that I’m pretty sure will keep me shaking my head in mild disbelief for hours on end.

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