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Plus they had to make sure those two words were in big, bold red letters.

§ May 17th, 2024 § Filed under archie, giant-size man-thing, misfit toys, obituary § 17 Comments

Some very unexpected news this week came via a press release email I received the other day, announcing that Archie Comics was going to enter the facsimile game. You know, the exact reprints, usually ads an’ all, of classic comics at, ahem, current prices. Usually printed on better paper, which is nice, and sometimes they come with a foil cover variant (which I personally may be collecting all of for Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars and Crisis on Infinite Earths, because apparently I’m a magpie).

To be fair, Archie doing facsimile editions isn’t that much of a surprise, given 1) facsimiles actually sell pretty well, at least for me, sometimes better than the current comics featuring the same characters/concepts; and 2) Archie is nothing if not a giant reprint engine, recycling their giant back catalog of comics endlessly through paperbacks and digests.

What is a surprise is the comic they’re using to kick off this new project…the infamous Betty and Me #16 from 1968:

It’s all your fault, anyway, reading this perfectly innocent cover and making it dirty in your filthy minds. I know what you people are like.

Now whether or not this was an intentional dirty gag that the creators of the image (artist: the legendary Dan DeCarlo) tried to sneak by the editors for their own amusement, I’ll let others argue. I’m still recovering from the whole “boner” thing. But this cover has amused for prurient reasons almost from the get-go…I remember seeing in the pre-internet days a photocopy of the cover that had been…artistically altered to more accurately portray the perceived after-the-fact gag. (Kids, ask your grandparents about how visual humor was traded around socially in Ye Olden Tymes thanks to the company’s Xerox machine.)

So…there you go, a fresh new edition of Betty and Me #16 for you to inflict on the unwary, you sickos. Am I going to get one myself? Of course I am, I’m no dummy. And Archie Comics ain’t no dummy, either…this is going to grab some eyeballs, in store and online, and will probably bring more attention to this new endeavor than just, say, reprinting whichever comic that was with Archie, Betty and Veronica sipping straws out of the same drink. (Which I’m sure they’ll do eventually, don’t worry.)

And speaking of other potential facsimiles, I’d like them to do Jughead’s Folly #1 from 1957, possibly the first mention of Elvis Presley in comics:

…and the later Jughead’s Fantasy three issue series would be nice too. But I’m sure we’ll get “first appearance of Cheryl Blossom” and “first appearance of Jughead’s cousin Souphead” before that happens. One can still dream.

• • •

So the last time we met I lamented the fact that we’d probably never get Atari Force action figures. Well, maybe no official figures exist, but esteemed blogging comrade Johanna informed me that she had an Atari Force figure made for her some time ago…specifically “Dart,” seen in this picture flanked by custom figures of DC Comics’ Cinnamon and Scott McCloud’s Zot!:

Here’s a better look at Dart:

Nicely done, and Johanna’s lucky to have these. Now all I need is someone to build a Babe for me, I’ll be set.

• • •

I should note the passing of comics artist Don Perlin, who passed away this week at the age of 94. He was a dependable draftsman, supplying solid work on titles like Defenders and Ghost Rider.

In fact, not too long ago I was rereading the second run of Man-Thing that began in ’79, of which Perlin drew several issues. It’d been a while since I read it, and my memory of Perlin’s work was that it wasn’t suited to the title. However, upon reconsideration the artwork was fine…a little “superhero-y” for what was nominally a horror book, but he did a better job than I recalled. I think part of the problem was the bright coloring, which didn’t help with the mood much. Ah well.

So long, Don, and my condolences to his family and friends.

I’ll lay off the boner jokes this time.

§ February 3rd, 2021 § Filed under batman, giant-size man-thing § 4 Comments

So reader Paul reminded me of this: the Blackthorne Publishing edition of Boner’s Ark, published in 1986. Boner’s Ark was a newspaper comic strip created by Beetle Bailey‘s Mort Walker in 1968, and it ran, I was surprised to learn, until 2000. At my previous place of employment, we had one copy of this book floating around that I tried, for a very long time, to unload on eBay…in fact, at this point, I can’t even remember if it ever sold or it’s still languishing in a box in the back room over there.

At any rate, we had that item around for a good, long time (and if my former boss Ralph ordered it when it was new, then he had it in his stock three years prior to my even working there). But in all the time I was trying to get this book to sell, I don’t believe even once I thought about the naughtiness implicit in the name.

Now, much like the deal with Bill Finger the “Joker’s Boners” story he wrote, we can’t say for sure that Walker intended any kind of dirty meaning in title. I’m inclined to think not, that he liked it just because it’s a silly name and it signals that Captain Boner is bit of a goof-up (and let’s face it, Captain Boner is a genuinely amazing name). But we also know from some of the naked Ms. Buxley pics you’ve maybe seen (and some of the more adult-ish gags in Beetle Bailey*) that Mr. Walker was bit of a dirty bird and surely he knew of the alternate meaning of the word. (Plus, as Turan tells us of Scott Shaw!’s experience, if there’s a question of whether or not a cartoonist meant something to sound dirty, the answer was usually “yes they did.”)

Now, last time I suggested that, given the date of story (1951) and the seeming lack of evidence that the term “boner” was in wide use, if at all, I concluded with the assumption that Finger was likely not aware of the double-meaning at the time. But…thinking about it, Bill Finger was a writer. Maybe he wasn’t a young teen hep to the new jive, but as a professional writer he would have been more likely than the average person to have had an ear out for interesting turns of phrase, be they passé or Today’s Newest Thing.

Of course, we’re about 47 years too late to ask Mr. Finger if he’d meant the story to be a string of endless double entendres, or just purely as a synonym for “mistake.” Much like Jane Austen’s use of the word “nice” in correspondence, there remains some ambiguity. Though to be fair, Austen did include a passage expressing some feelings about “nice” in Northanger Abbey, and far as I know Mr. Finger never did the same with “boner.”

So ultimately the question is “did ‘boner’ mean, well, you know, ‘boner’ back in the 1950s?” Reader CP Bananas peeled away an excerpt from the OED featuring their information about the word and sent it my way, for which I thank this person for the contribution. It includes an attribution for the meaning with which we’re concerned from 1936:

“In his dream he had a feeling he was ‘pulling a boner.'”

…and the OED notes that while this usage is meant to refer to the then-popular sense of the term of “making a mistake,” the context made clear it was specifically the sexual definition. So at least there was an explicit, so to speak, antecedent for that usage in that form prior to 1951.

Other comments to Wednesday’s post brought up several usages of “boner” in seemingly innocent fashion, across many decades past that Batman story I keep going on about. In my very unscientific survey, that would seem to tell me, even as the naughty definition became increasingly attached to the term, the primary meaning of “mistake” remained the dominant one. Also mentioned was the supporting character from the Growing Pains sitcom, nicknamed “Boner” after his last name of “Stabone” — probably intended to get laughs just based on the fact it sounded dirty, because 1980s sitcom, but I’m sure no exact reference was made to that meaning otherwise the FCC would’ve had some words. And maybe they did, I don’t know.

I don’t know where this leaves us, exactly. I feel like, given the existence of the base term “bone” meaning essentially the same thing as the vulger version of “boner,” I would say that it did exist, at least for some people, as an active naughty word. As such, chances are good someone read this story at the time and got a solid dirty laugh out of it. But as to whether or not Bill Finger his own self loaded up the “boners” on purpose for Big Laffs…I don’t know. I still tend to think not, but it’s not impossible he did.

Or, as my experience with the Boner’s Ark book, maybe it’s just all in context. “Boner” wasn’t meant to carry its sexual definition in the Batman story,” so nobody thought about it that way and it wasn’t inteded to be read that way. Or it’s a secret dirty joke from across time left for us by Mr. Finger and his accomplices

Okay, if you have more to add, you know where the comments section is. I didn’t mean to change the main blog into “Mike Sterling’s Progressive Boner” an’ all, but I was doing it…FOR SCIENCE.

* Look, you’ve read the strips, General Halftrack might as well have been named “General Boner.”

This is kind of hard to figure out.

§ February 1st, 2021 § Filed under batman, giant-size man-thing § 19 Comments

So a few decades back, my maternal grandmother (whom we called “Nana,” as “Grandma” “sounded old”) gave me the above book, found in one of her visits to a second-hand store. It is, as it says, the Dictionary of American Slang, and it is a first edition from 1960. It was, and still is, the source of much education and enjoyment, beyond immediately looking up all the dirty words I could find, of course, but even doing that was turned out to be more informative than prurient. It was a great gift, and one I still treasure to this day, though I know it has since been revised and updated, and there are any number of competing volumes on the same topic.

So why do I bring this up here, other than to show off something neat from ye olde Mikester bookshelves? Well, it came to mind while listening to pals Matt ‘n’ Chris on the latest “Every Story Ever” special from their War Rocket Ajax comics podcast. In said special, where they rank comic stories submitted by listeners, with Identity Crisis at the bottom and a comic that isn’t an issue of Swamp Thing at the top, a listener sent in Batman #66 (1951) for their consideration.

Oh, which comic is Batman #66 (1951), you’re asking? “Why, we’re not familiar with that particular issue!” you add. To which I respond, “oh, you know this comic.” In fact, there was a time on the internets where you couldn’t avoid the continuing mirth this comic inspired, with its panels scanned and uploaded and shared and hotlinked to the point of everyone everywhere getting an eyeful of Joker’s boner:

Yup, it’s that story, officially titled “The Joker’s Comedy of Errors!” and, according to the Grand Comics Database, credited to writer Bill Finger and artists Lew Sayre Schwartz, Charles Paris, and, surprisingly, Bob Kane, who apparently did draw the figures of Batman and Robin themselves, probably under duress.

Anyway, you’ve seen the panels, there are lots of talk about “boners” (in the meaning of “mistakes”) and reading those panels in our hip, modern, ironic age, where “boner” can mean something else entirely…well, you can see how the story comes across quite a bit differently now. The entire story is “boner” this and “boner that” – “how can he force you into a boner?” “They laugh at my boner, will they?” “More boner crimes to come!” And so on.

Now, the Bits Boys on War Rocket Ajax contend, as many do, that at the time of the comic’s publication in the early 1950s, “boner” did not have the more vulgar meaning associated with it today. In contrast, I posted on the Twitters that the writer of the book knew exactly what he was doing, entertaining himself with a story-long dirty joke that he got past his editor.

Which got me to thinking. I once heard that pretty much any filthy word you know now, people knew back then, and whatever scatological or sexual term you may utter ain’t any different from what your great-grandpa would say. You don’t need to tell me that’s overstating it a bit, as I’m aware. But it would seem that “boner” in its vulgar sense wouldn’t necessarily be a recent innovation, would it?

Thus, to the slang dictionary, where the definition of “boner,” as it stands (heh) in 1960, according to this book’s editors:

That’s that then, I guess, right? Well, not necessarily, in that 1) this is the first edition of this work, and perhaps future revisions have expanded the entry and provided more dating citations, and 2) I’m sure some slang didn’t make it in, either from limited use or just not being picked up during the research phase.

And then there’s this…the definition for “bone” just a couple of entries earlier. Didn’t take a pic, as it’s a long (heh) entry, but definition #5 is “[taboo] The penis, esp. the erect penis.” So at least by 1960 the base (heh – okay, I’ll stop) of “boner” is present and notable. It feels like it isn’t that far of a jump from “bone” to “boner,” particularly since the term “boner” already exists in a more socially acceptable form and thus was a recognizable variant of the word.

I did some further online research, which of course required typing the word “boner” into website after website — hello, NSA! — and didn’t find very many helpful citations. One that did seem to support the idea that ol’ Bill Finger was pulling a fast one in his funnybookin’ was this entry from Entomology Online, which notes

“Meaning ‘erect penis’ is 1950s, from earlier bone-on (1940s), probably a variation (with connecting notion of ‘hardness’) of hard-on (1893).”

I checked for “bone-on” in my Dictionary of American Slang and found nothing, which again could just mean it was missed in the initial surveys.

This other online source, Green’s Dictionary of Slang, has as its earliest citation for the meaning we’re seeking as 1966. And Merriam-Webster cites a date of 1896 as the earliest use of the word “boner,” admittedly not in its naughty sense. But the construction “boner” existed in the world, and again, I contend it’s not that big a leap from “bone” meaning an erect penis to “boner” meaning the same thing.

Whether it was in common usage by the early 1950s is another question. I think it’s possible Bill Finger would have known the other meaning of the term…we would have only been about 37 at the time, still young enough to have been at least vaguely aware of the New Hip Slang all the kids were using, but, to be honest, probably old enough not to want to screw up a paying gig by trying to get a dirty joke into print in a children’s comic book.

As such, my assumption is…while “boner” (or at least close variations of it) may have been in use with its sexual definition at the time, Finger most likely used it innocently in this story. Howver, I’m guessing a non-zero percentage of readers in 1951 probably found this as funny as a bunch of bloggers did circa 2006, for the exact same reason.

Now this whole Toni Gay/Butch Dykeman thing that pal Andrew reminded me about:

…I mean, there’s no reason to expect that was anything but innocent comic booking, surely.

Note: I know about the Nicholas Cage dirty word documentary series on Netflix.

Also, if you have additional information/links regarding the history of “boner” — yes, please leave that in the comments. We’ll get a grip on these boners yet!

We interrupt our current programming for…well, this.

§ January 18th, 2018 § Filed under giant-size man-thing § 2 Comments

So those of you with long memories may recall this now decades-old photo, taken by old pal Sean, of me standing in my previous place of employment, back when my hair was naturally that color (and unnaturally parted to the side), reading The Smurfs:

…and perhaps you recall when, for my 40th birthday, Bully, the Little Photo-Manipulating Bull, offered up this slightly-altered image on his site:

Well, get ready to add another variation of this photo to your “Pictures of Mike” collection, which I know you have, because several people have pointed me to a Gilbert Gottfried Facebook fan page where this pic was presented:

Hey, come on now, I clearly don’t need to learn how to have a Giant-Size Man-Thing as I’m obviously holding…a copy…right…OH WAIT I GET IT.

Anyway, I’m pleased to see in the comments there someone, like, immediately identifying me, and someone else there saying “I’d rather have a Swamp Thing,” and I agree wholeheartedly…so here you go, friend! There’s also someone in those comments who briefly describes a meeting with Jim Shooter and getting him to sign a copy of Man-Thing Vol. 2 #1 (said signed copy pictured there as well).

Anyway, as I told one of my Twitter pals when he informed me of this “new” picture…I knew the job was dangerous when I took it! And by “job” I mean “writing a comics blog and putting pictures of myself on it,” which is by no real definition a job, but, y’know, close enough. And frankly, the original Smurfs version is only a tad less embarrassing.

So let’s go ahead and add this to the collection.

§ September 23rd, 2015 § Filed under giant-size man-thing § 5 Comments

From Season 2 of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon comes the latest Marvel-produced in-joke reference to, well, this:

This program is rated “TV-Y7,” in case you were wondering.


§ September 8th, 2014 § Filed under giant-size man-thing § 14 Comments

“So,” said Pal Cully to me the other day, “did you know that the Man-Thing Omnibus is now available for $40 on Amazon?”

“WHA—!?” sez I. “Why, that’s quite a bit less than the $125 retail price marked upon said book!”

And lo, shortly thereafter, this was in my swampy little hands:

And yes, as discussed previously, Marvel Two-in-One #1 is missing, despite the later issue #43 being included, and Daredevil #114, another very early Man-Thing appearance that would fit right into the chronology of stories here, is also AWOL.

Despite those omissions, which any true Man-Thing fan should have anyway, this is one good-looking volume, and, as hoped, the printing in this book does vastly improve the readability of these stories. I don’t mean the stories are suddenly better, but rather it’s physically easier to read, with the paper nice and bright and the occasional text piece, and the occasional white lettering on a black background text piece, are now far more legible.

There’s the other side of this, where, as I noted in my look at the Don Newton Batman book, actually seeing the artwork on white paper is something I’ll have to get accustomed to after reading them for decades on brown paper that’s getting browner.

Anyway, if I had a choice I’d have preferred the omnibus with the Frank Brunner cover, but at $40, I’m not complaining. And because I always have to know, here’s what’s under the dustjacket:

In addition to the stories, there are reproductions of trade paperback covers and such, as so:

…And there’s at least one table of contents illo from Monsters Unleased that sort of distractingly blacks out said table of contents:

…but, you know, whatever.

In case you’re wondering, the back-ups from the Giant-Size issues, including the Howard the Duck shorts, are not reprinted. Starring Man-Thing Only in this book, friends.

So I’m going to throw one of these things, here..yeah, it says like $100 or so, but if you click on it, you should see other offers in the $40 range. I mean, you know, if you feel like clickin’ an’ all:

Buy enough of these, maybe we’ll get that second volume collecting all the other Man-Thing stories. I mean, I just need one copy for me, Marvel doesn’t really need to print a whole lot of them.

So anyway, have I shown you this Man-Thing sticker from 1975?

§ June 20th, 2014 § Filed under giant-size man-thing, trading cards § 14 Comments

That’s the joke you’re going with, 1970s-era Marvel and / or Topps? Well, okay then.

The post that would not end.

§ November 19th, 2012 § Filed under archie, batman, blogging about blogging is a sin, collecting, dc comics, does mike ever shut up, everyone's going to hate me, giant-size man-thing, golden age, how the sausage is made, I have no idea how to tag this, indies, linkrot, newspaper strips, other swamp creatures, retailing, scans, swamp thing § 16 Comments

So I received a used copy of this hardcover in a collection I purchased the other day:

And, well, I did have it in the shop as a new item before, but I never really did sit down and give it a good looking-at then, despite my enjoyment of Don Newton’s Batman. Thus, before putting it out for sale I thought I’d take it home and give it a read…what, it’s going to get more used? …Well, okay, yeah, I suppose it is, but I’ve the gentle touch of a professional comics handler, and can easily peruse this volume without causing further discoloration, dogearing, spine stress, or, God help us, foxing.

Anyway, I was a fan of Newton’s work, both on Batman and on Infinity Inc., which he had just started to work on when he passed away in 1984 at the too-young age of 49. Reading this book, I find myself struck by one thing, which will hardly be a new or original comment in regards to these sorts of reprint projects, but nevertheless it’s still an honest reaction. The pages are just too white and clean. The Young Mike that’s still rattling around in my head is expecting to be reading these stories on brown-ish newsprint. In fact, when I mentally picture Newton’s art, I imagine dark, moody images…all shadows and mystery. Reprinting in this book on bright pages with bright coloring, even the shadows look like you’re staring at the sun. …Okay, I exaggerate slightly, but still, it was a bit jarring to have the art right in front of me and contradicting my memories of same.

And before you say anything, yes, Infinity Inc. was printed on bright white paper with eye-searingly bright colors, but Newton’s sadly brief tenure there doesn’t have the nostalgic hold his Batman work has for me.

As I was writing this, another sorta unsung comics artist fave of mine came to mind that I’d like to see reprinted in a book like this. I’d totally be all over The Complete Irv Novick.

• • •

One of my readers was kind enough to point out that, in an old post of mine…I mean, really old, within the first month of this site’s life…one of the links I’d posted way back then had apparently since gone feral and now pointed to a porn site. Okay, first off…porn on the Internet? When did that start? And secondly…yeah, link rot. This site is on the verge of turning nine years old, and I’m sure many links in a lot of my old posts now go to destinations I did not originally intend. I mean, if I was sending you to a dirty filthy dirty site, I was usually pretty good about warning you up front.

I’ve heard about some people going through and consistently maintaining and / or removing links on old posts, but frankly, it’s hard enough to find the time to keep with new posts, or sleep. And then there was the great Blogger-to-Wordpress shift I underwent in early ’10, which resulted in some formatting and archived-post issues, and then whatever that company was that was supporting the old commenting system cut that support, so links to those comments are now no bueno, I guess, and…man, sometimes I feel doing a reboot, and just starting this website from scratch. FORGET EVERYTHING YOU KNEW BEFORE: WELCOME TO THE NEW PROGRESSIVE RUIN! and then I’d never refer to anything before that date ever again.

I’m not going to do it, but, back past a certain point, my site’s a mess. I do still go back and fix links and formatting and stuff if I have occasion to link to an old post, so I’m not letting things totally fall into barbarism, but…well, just assume any super old link is probably taking you straight to a site that’ll sell you V1aG4a or promise you pictures of people inserting Tab A into Slot B.

However, I am happy to note that I still occasionally edit my very first post to make sure it’s still sending you where I want you to go. Man, had I known they’d be fiddling with those addresses every year or so, I’d have picked something else for my debut entry.

• • •

Reader d asks

“Hey Mike, we all know you have every Swamp & Man Thing appearance, but do you collect The Heap as well? Just curious.”

Well, I don’t have every Man-Thing appearance…I do have every one written by Steve Gerber, as well as the first appearance in Savage Tales (not by Gerber), but from about the ’90s forward, I’ve been a little pickier about touching Man-Things.

That has nothing to do with the actual thrust of your question, which is all about the Heap, the original comic book swamp monster dating back to the 1940s. Sadly…no, I haven’t gone out of my way to seek out Heap comics, though I have picked up some of the latter day revivals, such as this 1971 one-shot I’ve discussed in the past, or this new version from Moonstone, or the Airboy/Mr. Monster one-shot from 1987, in which the Heap plays a prominent role, and is a great comic, to boot.

The original Heap comics are about to be reprinted in a series of three hardcover volumes, and I’m still waffling a bit on whether I can afford to pick these up for myself. My usual argument to talk myself into such things is “if I don’t get them now, I’ll probably never have another chance, at least this (relatively) cheaply,” so we’ll see. I am tempted.

• • •

On a related note, in that it’s asked in the same comments section, Casey wonders

“Mike, have you ever done a post about toxic Teen Titans continuity?”

Oh God, no. What I’d wished I had done is recorded pal Dorian and myself going on and on and hashing it all out and realizing that some of the time frames involved would make some of the adult characters a lot older than they should be, or that some of the lengths of time of team membership would be extremely short, or…hell, I don’t remember now. This was prior to DC kind of pushing the “sliding scale” of the Modern DC Superhero Universe to being about 20 years old, as of Identity Crisis, which I recall thinking was a slightly more reasonable time frame, given the amount of “important” events and continuity, not just for the Titans but for everyone, you had to squeeze in there.

Of course, post-Flashpoint, that scale is now about 5 or 6 years, depending on who you ask, I guess, so it’s all a moot point. And I hear tell Titans continuity has even more exciting problems now, as in some indecision whether there were previous Titans teams or not, but I leave the pondering of that question to younger, abler folks than myself.

• • •

And then sometimes I repost a gag I already made on the Twitter, such as presenting this gag header from Archie’s Joke Book #134 (March 1969 – hey, my birth month!) and lamenting the fact that in no way does the story live up to this title:

…which is just as well, since Archie couldn’t participate anyway:

Oh, scatological humor! You’re the best!

• • •

To bring things back around to the nostalgia of Young Mike from the beginning of this post, just before I soiled it all with continuity nitpicking, porn, poop jokes, and Man-Thing innuendo, I found myself the other day discussing the joys of Omega Men with a customer of mine.

Although I had read the introduction of the Omega Men in those three or so issues of Green Lantern, I didn’t follow them to their own series (which experienced some small controversy in its early issues due to depictions of violence, back in the “they didn’t know how good they had it” days of fandom). It took Alan Moore, a writer of some note, writing a back-up in two successive issues of the series (#26, pictured, and #27) to get me to take a look…and quite wisely, a new storyline in the main feature started up at that same time, giving Moore-ites like me a solid jumping-on point. It helped that 1) the new regular artist on the series was Shawn McManus, for whom I was developing a strong appreciation, and 2) that the comic itself was just a darned weird, creepy, and plain ol’ interesting sci-fi adventure.

As I was talking about the book with the customer, a couple of things dawned on me that, I suppose, shouldn’t have surprised me but did anyway. The actual run of that “new direction” for Omega Men, from #26 to the book’s eventual cancellation, was only 13 issues, plus an annual. It sure felt like it was longer…not in a bad way, I mean. It’s that a whole lot of stuff happened along the course of that comic, and it’s hard to believe they managed to fit it all into only about a year’s worth of stories (well, technically a year…I think some issues ran a bit late, if I recall correctly). Also, there was a Teen Titans crossover, and, of all things, a Crisis on Infinite Earths-engineered Blue Devil crossover, and an appearance in DC Comics Presents, so that probably helped in the perception of the comics’ apparent length.

The other thing that dawned on me was that the series wrapped up while I was still in high school, which doesn’t feel weird for anyone but me, I realize, but still, it seems like it’s more recent than that. Ah, well…tempus fugit, and all that.

I’ve since picked up the remainder of the series, which of course includes the first appearance of Lobo (which guides at a low $7.00, which sort of surprises me, except I suppose Omega Men print runs at the time were fairly large), and despite the occasional terrifying Kevin O’Neill art job, those earlier issues were fairly staid compared to the outright craziness of the McManus-era stories. Still fun, and worth checking out if you can find ’em cheap, which they usually are.

• • •

Just to let you folks know, I’m probably entering Low Content Mode for the rest of the week, or at least lower content mode…the Thanksgiving holiday is coming up, and I’ve also got another project I’m working on at the moment that requires the focus of my creative energy, he said in a hopefully non-New Agey way, so probably you’ll not be seeing much more out of me this week aside from maybe a pic or two. Or you can follow me on the Twitter where I’m still likely to spout off about something. At any rate, I’ll see you on the other side, and please enjoy your Thanksgiving, where applicable, and everyone else, enjoy your Thursday. Thanks for reading!

• • •

Oh, here’s the end of the post! I was wondering where that was.

Don’t worry, I’m reasonably certain this isn’t leading into another two weeks’ worth of Man-Thing posts.

§ May 2nd, 2012 § Filed under collecting, giant-size man-thing § 13 Comments

Some follow-ups to Monday’s Man-Thing post, because why not?

Chad asks:

“Out of curiosity, is there enough Man-Thing material to generate a second omnibus?”

There’s more Man-Thing out there…there was this short-lived ongoing, the serial from Marvel Comics Presents, assorted cameos, that one Giant-Size Spider-Man issue, I think an Iron Man annual, this thing, and so on. I don’t know if it’s another 1,200 pages, or anywhere close to justifying another omnibus, but it’s a not-insignificant amount of Man-Thing.

Also, the more I think about it, the more I am coming to believe that the omission of Marvel Two-in-One #1 from the contents listing I reprinted in my last post was simply an accident. It’s not impossible that they left that issue out for whatever reason, but it seems very unlikely. I’m betting it’s in there. …Well, not enough to bet $125 on it, but I’ll let one of you buy it and tell me for certain.

Richard adds

“And of course we may never see the reprint of the Man-Thing appearance in ‘Micronauts’ because of all the legal rights involved.”

And that’s a shame. I feel pretty safe in suspecting the solution is “money, and lots of it” but I doubt the financial return in obtaining usage rights to reprint one story would be worthwhile. But, heck, it’s not like that particular issue is too hard to find. Ask a comic book guy near you! Or even ask me…I’ve probably got one or three in our back issue assortment, somewhere.

Someone remind me to poke through my Overstreet when next I have an opportunity to see if these reprint-verboten issues are suddenly commanding slightly higher prices than their freely-reprintable comrades surrounding them in those particular runs. I think there’s a Hulk trade paperback just recently solicited that skips over this issue, and of course there’s that one issue of Power Man and Iron Fist that’s forgotten by God and man and Marvel’s reprint department. I’ll have to see if the stockpiles of those issues I’ve been investing in are sellable now…wait, what? No, I didn’t say that. Must’ve been someone else.

And speaking of Man-Thing…I don’t think I’ve noted anywhere on the site yet that Steve Gerber’s final Man-Thing script is seeing print in the forthcoming three-issue mini Infernal Man-Thing (starting in June), illustrated by Kevin Nowlan. Here is Nowlan’s cover for #1:

…which is one of three covers for that first issue, and you can see the other two in this article about the series. …No, I’m not getting every variant cover for this series. Why, that would be crazy.

That’s a lot of Man-Thing.

§ April 30th, 2012 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, giant-size man-thing § 14 Comments

So then there was this in the most recent Previews catalog: a 1,200 page Man-Thing Omnibus:

And here is what it contains, cut ‘n’ pasted directly from the solicitation text because I’m not going to retype it:

“Collecting ASTONISHING TALES (1970) #12-13; FEAR #11-18, and material from #10 and #19; MAN-THING (1974) #1-22, GIANT-SIZE MAN-THING #1-3 and material from #4-5, INCREDIBLE HULK (1968) #197-198; MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #68; MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #43; MAN-THING (1979) #1-11; DR. STRANGE (1974) #41; and material from SAVAGE TALES (1971) #1, MONSTERS UNLEASHED #5 and #8-9, and RAMPAGING HULK (1977) #7.”

First thought is, as Chris more or less implied in his response to my Twitter post about this book, if anything deserves to be called Giant-Size Man-Thing, it’s this monstrosity. Secondly, it seems odd that they’d pass up Marvel Two-in-One #1 while including Marvel Two-in-One #43, which is also (as I recall) the second part of a two-part story. Plus, there are a couple of other appearances of Manny in this general time period that don’t appear to be part of the contents…but they gotta leave something for Man-Thing Omnibus: The Second Volumening, I guess.

The $125 price tag is a bit dear, but let’s face it…no one is going to pay full retail for this. And it’ll probably cut off circulation to your lower extremities if you keep this book in your lap while reading for too long. But, it would be nice to have good reprints of this material, in color, on white paper. Some of the older comics were printed on…not the best paper available for magazine use, and certain artistic decisions (like printing white text on black backgrounds) can make some of the stories a bit of a challenge to read. I’m interested, of course, but I may just hold out for a more affordable format. (A color format, I should add, since I know Marvel has the black and white Essentials books reprinting a lot of this same work.)

One more note: I could have sworn something like this already came out, but I didn’t see any record of it in our distributor’s stock listings. Maybe I was just imagining things…Man-Things, that is!

…Yeah, sorry.

• • •

A brief site update: I think I am a lot happier with the reduced posting schedule. I’m enjoying working on the posts more, and it feels like I’m actually having something to say rather than having to say something. Even the single-image gag posts are the result of just having come across those images and wanting to share them, rather than scouring books seeking out something to scan.

In addition, the new schedule frees me up to do things like, oh, reread the entire run of The Boys thus far, in preparation for the series wrapping up in the few months. I don’t have a whole lot to say about that, other than noting that the story certainly flowed a lot more smoothly for me reading it over a relatively short period of time, instead of an issue a month for about six years. Easy to lose some of the nuances, and to lose track of some of the set-ups and payoffs, of the plot when you’ve got four weeks between installments.

Anyway, got sidetracked a bit there…what I’m trying to say is that I’m ultimately pleased with having dropped the pace down a bit here at the site, and I hope that comes across in what I’m doing. Thanks for your patience, and for sticking around and reading my nonsense.

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