“Tongue-lashed” sounds dirtier than I meant it.

§ August 4th, 2023 § Filed under indies, publishing, zines § 11 Comments

Sorry for skipping days here and there lately…just have a lot of stuff going on, on top of my aged body just being too tired to blog at the late hours that usually are the only time I have for such activity. So, let me get a few topics out of the way today and maybe sometime next week I can get back to the Final ’80s Countdown.

First off, it’s here, it’s here…or rather, they’re here, a sample of the very bullet and casing used to shoot them holes right through the much-discussed-on-this-site Jab #3.

And there they are, direct from Jab #3 contributor and “Too Much Coffee Man” creator Shannon Wheeler his own self. The accompanying note reads “Never let me see you near my girlfriend again!” and the temptation was to just hide this item somewhere in my collection, unexplained, and leave some serious questions behind for anyone eventually handling whatever passes for my estate. But no, here I am blabbing about it on my comic book weblog, which of course has immense worldwide reach so all my secrets are revealed. Ah well.

But big thanks to Mr. Wheeler for offering up this peculiar bit of comic book history (and also for kindly answering my questions about the whole Jab #3 project). Also, I need to add links to the older Jab posts so they get the whole story if they come upon my writings via Google or Ask Jeeves or whatever.

• • •

Next up, reader Cassandra asked if I could post a link to William Messner-Loebs’ GoFundMe, and yes I can! That poor guy and his wife have had a real time of it for years now, and I most sincerely hope they can get themselves into a comfortable, stable place.

What would be nice is if more of his comic book work were in print and providing him at least a little money. Like, was any of his Flash work collected? A recent DC Pride one-shot had that one story of his with the Pied Piper, but beyond that there wasn’t a lot of comprehensive reprinting of his run, far as I can tell. I don’t think even #50 was reprinted anywhere, and that was kind of a hot issue at the time.

A chunk of his Wonder Woman made it into a trade that could stand reprinting. And how ’bout a nice big archival hardcover of Journey? Or maybe a new printing of Epicurus the Sage? Or just giving him new work if he wants to do it?

Anyway, help him out, even if it’s just spreading the word.

• • •

Sean asked about Pee Wee Herman (RIP the great Paul Ruebens) in comics, and the first thing I thought of was this:

…which, if memory serves, was a kinda/sorta parody of Pee Wee, maybe…it’s been a while since I’ve read it, but it’s something like that. Anyway, there you go.

• • •

Longtime reader Michael G. came by the shop in person and admonished me, tongue-lashed me in the cruelest manner, for my lack of content this week. But to show me all is forgiven, he gifted me with some Dave Sim Cerebus trading cards, which are, of course, the Dave Simmest, but you’d be disappointed if they weren’t:

Yup, they’re Swamp Thing-ish…the other cards are nice too, but look, I’m too tired to keep this post going for too much longer, so let’s just throw out one more scan here and call it a night.

• • •

As promised, one more scan, this time from my fanzine collection:

This ‘zine is from 1965, which means Spider-Man had only been around about three years. Weird, huh?

11 Responses to ““Tongue-lashed” sounds dirtier than I meant it.”

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    Thanks for spreading the word, Mike. I just feel so bad for Bill. His characterization of Wally got swept under the rug so fast once Waid took over that I can’t even figure how a collection would sell at this point.

  • Chris V says:

    I have said it constantly, William Messner-Loebs is the most underrated writer in comic books. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by him, and I’ve read almost everything he’s written. His run on Flash is my favourite work on that title.

    I’ve met the man a number of times. It’s incredibly sad the amount of problems he has faced in his life. I lost touch with him a few years ago now. I didn’t realize about his GoFundMe page, so I appreciate you bringing this to attention.

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    Thank you, Cassandra Miller, for bringing Messner-Loeb’s GFM to our attention. I dug his work on Flash, WW, the Maxx, Epicurus, Thor, Wasteland, and other comics. Journey is one of my all-time faves. He did one issue of a comic in the ‘90s called Bliss Alley that I wish had continued. It’s a shame that he’s in such a dire situation, he deserves to never have to worry again.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the Amerikan Flagg! cover info.

    That’s a bummer about William Messner-Loeb’s situation. It would be cool if Fantagraphics or another independent publisher could see fit to reprint Journey
    in a deluxe format. It makes me think of Wally Wood and so many other talented comics luminaries. Isn’t there a quote attributed to Jack Kirby along the lines of: “Working in comics will break your heart”?

    About Wally West, I lost track a long time ago, but I will say that there was one thing even during the New Teen Titans era that I wasn’t that pleased with–Wolfman’s bland characterization of Wally. I always liked the way Bob Haney and Steve Skeats characterized Wally and all of the o.g. Teen Titans. Most recently it felt like Tom King just totalled Wally–for whatever reason.

    That Comic Reader cover is charming …funny to think that once upon a time Gold Key was part of the Big 3 along with Marvel and D.C. it would have been great fun to read a Silver Age Spider-Man, Hawkman (maybe throw in an Adam Strange cameo), and Magnus Robot Fighter crossover story–especially if Ditko or Russ Manning drew it. Time travel would have to be an element…like robots invading New York in 1965, and Carter Hall happens to be visiting and giving a symposium on ancient Egypt, and Adam Strange is hanging out with him. Peter Parker is there to take photos for J.J.J. The robots from the future attack, Hawkman, Adam Strange, and Spider-Man battle them, and destroy one. It’s like nothing they’ve ever seen, but appears to have some nth metal in its design. They catch a Zeta Beam to Rann and consult with Strange’s father-in-law, who is able to examine the robot’s memory banks and determine that the Robot is from the future and he then applies a timewarp factor to a Zeta Beam, so the trio can reappear on Earth in Magnus’time, which they do. And then the fun starts.

  • Daniel T says:

    Ask and ye shall receive:


    The Flash by William Messner Loebs and Greg LaRocque Omnibus Vol. 1

  • Joe Gualtieri says:

    Ugh, seriously, an omnibus? I’m really getting sick of DC not being willing to release older material that isn’t Batman (and even more rarely, Superman or WW) in Omnibus format.

    There actually is one trade reprinting the entirety of Baron’s Flash run and the beginning of Messner-Loebs’s– Savage Velocity. It came out in Fall 2020, so of course DC hasn’t done a second volume. Frankly, given how hard to find some trades from that year are, I’m shocked it isn’t worth over $100.

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    Demanding Free Entertainment Since 1969!

    Actually I am embarrassed about hassling you about this blog. I intended it as a joke, but it was insensitive. You’re a busy guy and I appreciate you pausing in your work yesterday to chat with me and try to help me find a specific Dungeon book. Thanks for your time, and your shout-out here. Best of success to you & your store for many comics ages to come!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “This ‘zine is from 1965, which means Spider-Man had only been around about three years”

    Pretty popular, pretty quickly! And now I’d say he’s the MOST popular, except for Batman.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Just caught a pre-listing announcement of The Flash Omnibus 1 Hardcover releasing in mid 2024 which reprints Messner-Loebs and LaRocque’s Flash issues. Good job DC!

  • Thom H. says:

    I love that Comic Reader cover. The ’60s were so wild: miniskirts and go-go boots for everyone, including robot hunters!

  • Was just coming by to mention the same thing — I’m in for that Flash Omnibus by Messner-Loebs and LaRocque, and hopefully, as DC sometimes does, there will be paperbacks to follow collecting the omnibus material in bite-size pieces.