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§ July 16th, 2021 § Filed under zines § 3 Comments

So a long time ago (early summer 1991, judging by the date on the file) customer Dave asked me if I’d like to contribute a cover to his mini-comic Wanted: The Rodent. I apparently agreed, and began production on it.

Pictured above is the main image for the cover, generated on whatever type of Macintosh I had at the time (may have still be the ol’ SE, but I might have upgraded to the LC II at this point). As you can see, I had a thing for that “brick” paint fill, which you saw on my “Hawk the Sensitive Skinhead” strip I showed you a few days ago. And also like that Hawk strip, I asked my dad to use valuable company time and resources to print out a copy or three on the business laser printer.

Once I got those printouts, I proceeded to cut ‘n’ paste my handdrawn image of the book’s hero, that wanted Rodent his own self (an anthropomorphic rat clad in cape and domino mask) on top of the background, which I thought looked reasonably good. I then handed a copy of the piece in to Dave, keeping the original for myself, natch, and at this late date I can’t remember if he ever got around to printing that mini-comic or not. At least, I don’t have a copy of it in my collection (though I do have another, earlier, Rodent comic he did).

And as you can tell by the lack of an image of the final product in this post, I don’t even seem to have a copy of the assembled piece. Or, at least, it’s not in any of the areas where I’ve kept my scribblings. I have folders of drawings of mine dating back to sometime around 1st or 2nd grade, but somehow this finished piece from a mere (checks watch) 30 years ago seems to have gone AWOL.

I can still remember the drawing as if I’d just done it. The upper chest along the bottom edge of the image, slightly right of center, the Rodent gritting his teeth and with a determined look on his face (it was the time for that sort of hero, after all).

Anyway, I still like this image, and I remember liking the final product, even if those “clouds” in the background make it look like the Rodent was about to defend the Earth from giant space doobies. And yes, the phone number is a Star Trek reference. Look, I was a 22-year-old dork, of course that was going to happen.

Watch This Space…if I find a copy of the completed picture I’ll post it here (and let you know in a future post, of course).

EDIT: no, really, WATCH THIS SPACE as I just now found a copy of the final piece…and did get a few details wrong so I’ll update later today. (No scanner at home so it’ll have to wait ’til I’m at work.)

EDIT 2: as promised, the final assembled image!

A couple of note: my memory that I had my dad print that background for me on a laser printer was incorrect, as I obviously printed the pic on…something a little more primitive. The old dot-matrix-y Imagewriter, maybe? Anyway, it was very light in color, which I contrast adjusted for the scan here.

Also, I could’ve sworn I had the Rodent with a clenched fist raised up in front of him, like he was ready for a fight. I guess the gritted teeth expressed that enough!

Or just dump ’em all in a shoebox.

§ July 14th, 2021 § Filed under collecting, zines § 4 Comments

So my former boss Ralph was at my shop this past weekend, helping me out with some things and stuff. I still had the Gouda Gazettes featuring in a post here last week, and being that it was from Ralph’s store I originally obtained these back in the ancient 1980s, I took the opportunity to ask him if he had any more details on these. I was wondering who these guys were, about how old they were, if they did more issues than this, that sort of thing.

Alas, Ralph didn’t even remember having these in his shop, so no more info was forthcoming. However, I did ask him if he remembered carrying another ‘zine at about the same time, and he did — 60 Miles North from 1983:

Now undoubtedly you see how it’s packaged here, which brings me to Keef’s comment from last week:

“What do you use for Zine storage? Modern boxes are too big. I found some weird boxes at Office Depot that work if you use ‘em sideways, but… I’ve always wanted something proper.”

As you see above, Keef, I just put ’em in a regular ol’ bag and board and then store them in a standard comic storage box. There are probably other storage solutions involving differently sized boxes, but I feel this is the simplest solution, using (usually) readily available supplies. I mean, I could bag ’em all up in paperback sleeves, or digest sleeves, and so on, but this way the storage box is uniform with others, and the comics inside are in mostly uniform protective packaging. Given the wide variety of sizes ‘zines like this can come in, putting them in bags and boards like this keeps the smaller ones from getting lost in the shuffle.

The Gouda Gazettes are a little wider, so I had to put those in Silver Age bags and boards:

…but even still, bagged and boarded, it fits nicely in the box along the much smaller, but still in a standard bag/board, Things Not to Say to a Comic Shop Employee by a young cartoonist of some note:

…which, by the way, you can read right here.

The smallest comics thingie in my collection is this mini, Baby! from my pal Fred, measuring about 2 1/4 by 2 1/4 inches:

…but it folds open into a larger work. And the pic’s a bit blurry…sorry about that, but just as well as that cover’s a little naughty.

So Keef, I hope that helps. Rather than trying to find protective packaging and storage to fit the variously-sized mini-comics and ‘zines, it’s easier to make them fit into the boxes you’ve got. Easier to find the supplies you need, easier to keep them organized…because you never know when you’ll have to pull your copy of this comic out of your collection:

All the cheese that’s fit to print.

§ July 9th, 2021 § Filed under zines § 5 Comments

Continuing the nostalgia trip from Wednesday’s post are these two free ‘zines which I picked up in the early ’80s at Ralph’s Comic Corner, the Ventura, CA comic shop that would, just a few short years later, eventually become my place of employment.

Here is issue #1 of Gouda Gazette:

…and here is #2:

I don’t know if these were the only two to come out. If there were more, I never saw them. These were 8 pages (two folded pieces of paper, unstapled), mostly handwritten text with illustrations, like this example from the poetry pages the comprised the centerspread of both issues:

…as well as the occasional comic strip:

The last page was given over to a continuing story titled “Beach Pad Blowout ’83” (with part one coming out in 1983, and part two in the second issue from ’84). This tale involved The Rats themselves, the group of folks responsible for the production of this publication (who went by names like “Mojo,” “Doodle,” “Mellow Roast,” and Squeaker,” though their secret identities were given in a credits box).

I can find no information online about them, which, I suppose, shouldn’t be a huge shock. Best I can surmise is that they were a comedy performance group of some sort, as the second issue contains the blurb

“Come see The Rats at Ventura College Theatre perform their political satire ‘Twisted World’ Jan. 29th 9:00 P.M. Yeah!”

Well, darn, 37 years later I’m kind of wishing I’d gone to see that. You know, put some of those names to faces.

Anyway, these two artifacts have been floating around in my possession for decades, in that I knew I never threw them out but I also never had any idea where I had them stored. A rational person would have kept them with my other comics and magazines, but they always seemed to end up in storage boxes with other papers.

Since this week I’d been digging through boxes looking for old computer stuff, I came across them again, and this time I made sure to 1) put them in bags and boards to continue to preserve them (surprisingly they’re still in pretty good shape) and 2) PUT THEM IN THE ‘ZINES BOXES WHERE THEY BELONG. Now, when I’m 70 years old in 2039, I’ll be able to go right to them when I want to look at them again.

I haven’t had the time to generate actual content…

§ August 13th, 2015 § Filed under low content mode, the eBay, zines § 6 Comments

…so please accept this scan of a Linda Ronstadt book from 1978 in its stead:

I currently have this up on the eBay, so I’m using this as an excuse to plug my eBay auctions, I guess.

Oh, this does remind me, I did recently list some other music-related magazines that may be of interest to funnybook fans, such as these issues of the music ‘zine Who Put the Bomp. Issue #7 from 1971 has a cover by underground comics artist George Hansen:


…while #9 from 1972 has a cover by another underground cartoonist, Jay Kinney:


Later the mag shortened its name to Bomp and went to slick color covers, such as this one for #18 from 1978 by William Stout:


Also, I’ll put up actual scans of those first two Bomps here when I get a chance…the digital photos didn’t work as well as I thought they would.

So there you go…I started off claiming there would be no content, and lo, there was content. Just how do I do it? I must be some kind of miracle worker.

More stuff tomorrow, pals.

Man, I like that Nestor Redondo art.

§ February 25th, 2015 § Filed under swamp thing, zines § 5 Comments

So here’s a thing I finally got for myself this week…issue #6 from May 1975 of DC Comics’s official company ‘zine The Amazing World of DC Comics:

…featuring this centerspread image of an unused Nestor Redondo cover for Swamp Thing #15 (March-April 1975):

Here is the final printed cover for that issue, with a slightly less demon-obscured shot of Swampy:

There are one or two other tidbits of Swamp Thing info throughout the mag, most notably in the interview with Joe Orlando, where he briefly discusses the transition on the series from creators Len Wein and Berni(e) Wrightson to other hands. (A possible replacement mentioned in the interview was Art Suydam of “Cholly and Flytrap” and Marvel Zombies fame. I don’t think I knew he was ever considered!)

Anyway, that’s one more piece of Swamp Thing stuff in the ol’ collection. Once I get everything, that officially means I won, right?

Speaking of Swamp Thing stuff, as I usually am, this Kenner Toys Twitter feed has been featuring some of the Swampy toys from that now-decades old cartoon…scroll down a bit to see what your pal Mike has sitting around his house.

I only wish I had one gross of Howard the Duck #1, much less two.

§ November 12th, 2014 § Filed under zines § 5 Comments

So let me take a break from constantly yapping about my comic book store to show you a recent addition to my collection that I’m not selling in my shop:

Collectors Dream #4, from Spring 1978, featuring a great Don Rosa cover. Just picture my face in the place of that blank question-marked fellow in the center, torn between two funnybook seller extremes. (Click on the pic for the bigification of that image.)

Sadly, I was hoping the cover-blurbed article “Consumer’s Guide to Comic Dealers” would be like an illustrated version of this, with cartoony caricatures detailing varying degrees of the Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy, identifying characteristics listed beneath. Alas, but perhaps even more shockingly, it’s a tell-all column in which orders were placed with multiple mail-order comic houses and the results were lovingly reported. Haven’t had too much time to read through it too closely, but I’ll see if I can’t pick up some tips for my own mail order business. But first, I need to spend some time restocking my boxes of Esoteric Comics.