E-Man #9 (First Comics, December 1983).

§ April 14th, 2014 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 7 Comments

So this here is one of those comic book series whose omission from my personal collection is almost nearly inexplicable. E-Man seems like it’s right up my alley; a mostly-lighthearted superhero adventure comic, veering into parody and satire, created and originally written by Nicola Cuti, and co-created and (I think) always drawn by Joe Staton, one of my favorite comic book artists. And it’s not like I didn’t have opportunity to buy the series…I was following several of the comics being published by First Comics in the 1980s, of which the E-Man revival series was one. Plus, at the shop I work at I am pretty sure we have all of those First issues and the original ’70s series available in the back issue bins. Even if we don’t, First Comics also reprinted those on what would almost have to be better paper than whatever castoff printing scraps that 1970s Charlton Comics usually ended up using.

Anyway, I didn’t buy these series at the time, and someday I should, because if it’s one thing I need in the house, it’s more comic books.

However, as you may have guessed, considering I have it pictured above, I did buy one issue, mostly because I was being a Phil Foglio completist, and he, along with his sci-fi character Buck Godot, make a one-page cameo appearance in one of the Hostess parody ads that E-Man would regularly run:

I like the looks of this fella:

So that’s the one issue of E-Man I own, and honestly, I should own more. At the very least, I should have the issue previous, since it has a Cutey Bunny parody ad, and I’ve mentioned before that I’m an easy mark for the work of Joshua Quagmire.

And wouldn’t you know it, I just did a little Googling trying to find a list of creators who did parody ads for E-Man and just discovered someone starting, mere days ago, his own retrospective on the First Comics run of E-Man. Not trying to jump someone else’s train here or anything…it was just a coincidence! Plus, it’s not like I really had anything specific to say about E-Man anyway, so please go read what he has to say to learn more about that particular property, and to see another creator’s take on the Hostess parody ads!

7 Responses to “E-Man #9 (First Comics, December 1983).”

  • John Platt says:

    Yes, you should definitely track down the complete E-Man run — the original Charlton issues, the First issues, and a few issues from various publishers in the ensuing decades. Supposedly the (briefly?) resurrected First put out a trade paperback in the past couple of years, but I have had no luck tracking it down.

    Oh, and then you need all of the Mike Mauser comics, too!

  • Ben Herman says:

    Hello, Mike. Thank you very much for the kind words, and for posting a link to my blog. I have nearly all of the First Comics issues of E-Man now, so once I’ve completed the run I’ll be putting together the second half of my look at that series. I highly recommend picking up these issues. You can probably find them for low prices on Ebay and other places online.

    By the way, yes, there was a trade paperback of the original Charlton issues. For some odd reason, though it was not sold in stores, only at conventions. I bought my copy from Joe Staton at the New York Comic Con. Perhaps you can e-mail him to see if he still has copies for sale. His website is http://www.joestaton.com/

  • G23 says:

    First’s E-Man run was my “gateway drug” to indie comic books as a young’n in the 80s. I was into Marvel, gave this a try (from the quarter bins, maybe?) and got hooked. Especially by the sometimes semi-racy stuff. Made the comic feel risky and slightly dirty and more exciting than the Marvel books I was buying. And from there, I expanded my world of comic booking.

  • Steven Gauthier says:

    I lived about 30 miles North of the Charlton presses when the original E-Man series was issued, so I never knew the company was known for its “spotty distribution.” WE were privileged to see every issue of “Blondie” and “Fred Flintstone meets the The Great Gazoo.” Charlton had two surges in quality:
    1) When Dick Giordano edited the short-lived Blue Beetle and Captain Atom series with great Ditko artwork and
    2) about 1972, when suddenly Charlton stalwarts artists Tom Sutton, Steve Ditko, and Pat Boyette were joined by Don Newton, Joe Stanton, John Byrne, Mike Zeck and Wayne Howard. The stories were still juvenile and the printing always out of register but for a few months Charlton was a fun company to watch.

    So I have a big, out-of-register spot in my heart for the first run of E-Man. The First series is on better paper and professionally printed, but to me Staton’s artwork was less quirky, less interesting after his time at DC. Oddly, I like his Dick Tracy, usually.

  • Mikester says:

    Ben – thanks for stopping in! Actually, I am about 98% certain we have all those Charlton issues at the shop I work at, and if I hadn’t been super busy with the new comic order today, I would have remembered to check, I’m sure! In fact, if you’re having trouble tracking any E-Man issues down, feel free to drop me a line!

    Steven – there were definitely some interesting creators at Charlton…if I remember correctly, the less-than-optimal printing and equally less-than-optimal pay were a trade-off for being a more free to pursue the sort of storytelling those creators were interested in doing. Lots of fun, strange work there!

  • Bill D. says:

    E-Man is awesome, and right up your alley, Mike. I had no idea about the trade paperback collection Ben mentioned above. I asked Joe about the possibility when I met him at NYCC several years ago and he said he spoken with Image and some other folks and it was a possibility, but I never heard anything about it afterward. I’ll have to track that down.

    The original Charlton series is good not just for the E-Man stories, but for the back-ups. Both of Ditko’s Killjoy stories ran in that series, as did another, equally weird one-off (I think) strip called Liberty Belle. Worth the hunt.

    It’s funny… I have all the Charlton issues (or in one or two cases, the Modern Comics reprints) and all of the stuff Digital Webbing put out, but only a few scattered issue of that First Comics run. I need to fix that someday.

  • Ben Herman says:

    Hello again, Mike. I finally put together the second half of my retrospective on E-Man at First Comics. I hope you enjoy it. Here’s a link…