Two days ago was the day!

§ May 8th, 2023 § Filed under free comic book day, pal plugging, self-promotion § 5 Comments

Just a brief follow-up on this year’s Free Comic Book Day event, presented at my store, Sterling Silver Comics, Ventura County’s spiritual home of FCBD. (Because, you know, I was there 22(?) years ago when FCBD started locally, and I’ve been doing ’em ever since!)

Anyway, it was very successful, moving lots of comics and also being the best financially-performing FCBD I’ve had at the store yet thanks to the storewide sales I use to supplement the event. I’m still doing the COVID-inspired set-up, putting the free comic book tables out in front of the shop, which leaves more room for shopping inside. Here’s I think the one photo we managed to get this year, thanks to my dad:

Yes, my dad helped out again this year, as did Pal Dorian (whom you can see in the above photo, wearing the black mask just sorta right of center). Former boss Ralph was there too, helping me keep an eye on things as I was mostly at the register. And Batman (AKA orimo-cosplayer customer Mark) came by to guard to festivities.

Dorian reported that the comics of choice this year seemed to be the Red Sonja giveaway, and (unsurprisingly) the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book. The Conan comic seemed to be a slow-starter but ultimately did well. The Marvel books were popular, of course, and DC’s Batman crossover preview thing moved plenty of copies. DC’s more kid-friendly books didn’t do quite as well, despite having plenty of kids come through. And I think Dor and I decided that the 2000 AD giveaway may have performed better if, say, Judge Dredd, their one character recognized by the general public, had been on the comic somewhere. Ah well, What Can You Do?

One oddity this year was that a couple weeks ago, a person came by with piles of circa-2018 Marvel comics for sale. I didn’t need them, so she said “well, I don’t want to take them back home, so you can have them.” I didn’t really want them, frankly, so for FCBD I put them out in a couple of short boxes with signs that read “Take as many as you want, just leave the boxes.” Dor let me know that they didn’t last very long once the event started. I think next year I’m going to have to go through the too-many boxes in the store’s back room and find more dead stock to unload this way.

And the streak continues…no weirdos or strange problems or anything cropped up to spoil the fun again this year! I did have a light fixture go out during the day, which was kind of bad timing but not a crippling blow or anything.

I also sold a couple more copies of Write More Good, the @FakeAPStylebook book that both Dorian and I helped write several years ago. One copy I sold to customer who asked if I’d sign it by saying “sure, and you can get another writer to sign it too, today only!” So I’m out again, and since Marvel’s new distributor Penguin Random House also carries copies of this book, I can get more easily enough! (Someone at the PRH warehouse is probably thinking “who’s asking for copies of this book now?”)

Plus two-thirds of the Vintage Video crew dropped by…Vintage Video of course being the podcast where I helped them discuss the 1981 Heavy Metal animated movie. (Look for me on their eventual coverage of the first Swamp Thing movie sometime next year!)

Okay, I’ve successfully moved the FCBD coverage to “how did FCBD go” to “let’s plug stuff I worked on,” so let’s wrap this up. A big thanks to everyone who showed up…every single time I sweat it out the morning of, thinking “oh man what if nobody shows up” and every year I’m shown that I worried for nothing. So, you know, I suppose I’ll do this again next year.

Today’s the day!

§ May 6th, 2023 § Filed under free comic book day § 1 Comment

Get yourself to a local funnybook store (preferably mine) and grab up a bunch of free comics! Remember…they’re free, no purchase necessary! (But maybe make a purchase anyway to help your retailer cover some costs!)

Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy some good reading!

FFCBD (Fabulous Furry Comic Book Day).

§ May 5th, 2023 § Filed under free comic book day § 3 Comments

I always forget that the Free Comic Book Day giveaways have color-coded ratings on their covers now. Not sure what good it does since it seems like every year there’s some hullabaloo about a kid getting a copy of “Full-Frontal Nudity #1 FCBD Edition” from some store somewhere. But it does make it a lot easier to sort out the books on the tables by age group, when before we had to check through every single free comic to make sure there weren’t any surprise time bombs in there.

That said, my favorite book of the FCBD batch this year is the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers:

…which is SAFE FOR TEENS:

…which, c’mon, go back to 1983 when my comic shop had to make sure they had my dad’s permission before I could buy any Freak Brothers comics. “Hey, it was my dad who told me to check them out in the first place!” apparently wasn’t enough to gain access to the undergrounds box. (And then I got a job at that shop a few years later and I was the guy keeping you rotten children away from the naughty books.)

Yes, I’ll be doing Free Comic Book Day at my store (Sterling Silver Comics, located in Camarillo, CA) yet again! I was there for FCBD when it started, and I’ll be there for it when it ends. Or rather, when I end, unless I’ll be doing it…from BEYOND THE GRAVE woooOOOooo! …Well, okay, that took a weird turn, but if you’re in the area, drop by the store and pick up some free comics and take advantage of my great deals! No ghosts, I promise! Mostly!

You can read what I’ve written about Free Comic Book Day over the last, oh, couple of decades at that link there.

• • •

Speaking of old posts, I recently refurbished my old “Superman’s Super-Hypnosis” page (much linked to by the internet) with Brand New Big Images, courtesy a certain little stuffed bull of some note.

The Final ’80s Countdown, Part Six.

§ May 3rd, 2023 § Filed under final countdown § 10 Comments

Okay, we’re getting to titles where I may need to do a little ‘splaining about how I’m notating them here. For the most part, I’m going to try to list titles by their initial runs…if that initial run continues numbering through multiple publishers, I’ll list the publisher in the heading (like I did with Dreadstar). If they have multiple series with distinct, separate numbering from either the same or different publishers, I’ll just list the first series in the heading (like I did with pretty much every series in today’s entry). I’ve been trying to note when and if series continue elsewhere, and if it’s appeared in another book before, so…hopefully everything’s clear.

Anyway, here we go….

Faust (Northstar/Rebel Studios 1989-2012)

My earliest memory of Faust was figuring out quite what to do with it, since we couldn’t exactly just put it on the shelf as is between Checkmate and Daredevil. We put a single copy in a sealed bag on the shelf, with a little sign attached saying that copies were available at the counter. I think if I were to do that today, I’d probably bag each of ’em, or I’d do what we did with very adult material later at the shop and put them in the customer-accessible “naughty box,” but I discussed that in depth here.

And Faust was very adult, in that it featured some lovingly detailed sex and violence as presented by David Quinn and Tim Vigil. This was the book that I think really put Vigil on the map, though his previous violent action title Grips had achieved some notoriety. To be frank, I can’t remember if that initial rush of Grips demand was prior to Faust or concurrent with it, but regardless it was Faust that made Tim Vigil into Tim Vigil, if you get my meaning.

Yes, the series took some time to complete, publishing its last issue in 2012. But along the way, there were various one-shots and tie-ins from Avatar Press released as well. Oh, and don’t forget the 2000 movie. As to what it’s all about, I’m just going to direct you to the Wikipedia entry, because I can’t easily boil it down. I will add that entry says the series began in 1987, but I started in comics retail in 1988 and that first issue was released after that. Was there an earlier prototype-like release or something I missed?

It was quite popular, at least in the ’80s/early ’90s, going through multiple printings (including the first six issues released by Northstar being reissued by its new publisher Rebel Studios). I tried reading the first few issues myself, but fell off relatively quickly as it Wasn’t For Me. But it was for many of my customers, at least for a while.
Fish Police (Fishwrap Productions 1985-1987)

So Steve Moncuse’s Fish Police was not a series I read, but I do recall that the first issue of this series was, for a time, “hot,” perhaps part of that It had a pretty good run, as Comico picked it up following the initial Fishwrap run, and then continued under the Warp Graphics label after Comico went under.

Most notably, and possibly the main reason the property is remembered now, is that it was a very short-lived animated series that ran on network television in 1992. It was canned after only three episodes, leaving three unbroadcast (at least on American airwaves). However, the existence of this TV show got Marvel to briefly pick up the rights and republish the original six Fishwrap issues in color (with a nice big “AS SEEN ON TV!” blurb).

In addition to Fish Police, Warp also published a six issue side series called Fish Shticks, which is both a great and terrible name for a comic. It featured shorter, more humorous stories (I believe) outside the main plotlines of the primary series. And while Fish Police ended its rack life in the early 1990s, there was an IDW reissue of the old trade paperback Hairballs, reprinting the first six Fishwrap comics. And, surprise, a new story by creator Moncuse that popped up in Dark Horse Presents #22 in 2013.

I haven’t said much about the stories themselves, since I hadn’t read them, but in case it’s not clear, it’s a detective/crime comic starring anthropomorphic fish and other sealife. The one element of the series that intrigued me the most (though I don’t know if it was a major part of the story or just hinted at) was the idea that [SPOILER] the lead, Inspector Gill, had in fact once been a human being. I would like to have known what happened there, but as I said, I’m not sure anything regarding that was resolved.
Groo the Wanderer (Pacific 1982-1984)

Hoo boy, my entries here are getting a bit long. And given that I’ve been a fan of Groo for decades, this could go on forever, but I’ll try to keep it down. Created by Serio Aragones, Groo first appeared in the benefit comic Destroyer Duck #1 in 1981 (previously discussed in this series), made a couple more back-up appearances in Starslayer, then got his own series running eight issues from Pacific Comics.

Quickly joined by cohort Mark Evanier, Aragones presented these cartoonish parodies of the barbarian fantasy genre, filled with wordplay, silly jokes, great visual gags, and crowd scenes in the inimitable Sergio style. Groo himself was, well, a big dummy, though very early on he wasn’t quite as big a dummy as he would later evolve into. You can see this progression just in this first series, where Groo feels just a little off-model from his more familiar form, speaking more like a slightly-goofier Conan type, but by the end he’s pretty much Groo as we know him today.

Groo’s gone through a few series and publishers, with a special one-shot, intended to be released by Pacific, ending up at Eclipse Comics after Pacific’s bankruptcy. Then it was on to Marvel Comics, where Groo showed up in an issue of Epic Illustrated before moving on to a 120-issue run under the Epic imprint from 1985 to 1995. (It was during this run that the final piece of the Groo puzzle, his best pal Rufferto the dog was added to the book.) From there it was on to Image for 12 issues from 1994-5, then after that Dark Horse Comics got the guy and has been publishing him in a series of mini-series ever since.

Over the years, the series has built up quite the cast of supporting characters, along with a parade of running jokes, all of which recur on a regular basis but always seem fresh and entertaining thanks to the cleverness of the creators. Aragones’ art skill has not diminished one iota with age, and every issue is lushly illustrated with fantastical and impeccably detailed creatures and landscapes and architecture. Evanier’s scripting/polishing/whatever it is he does-ing adds the textual humor to the visual gags for a double-threat of hilarity that never fails to amuse.

Of note: my former boss Ralph appears as a character in the Marvel/Epic run issue #28. But don’t let that dissuade you from checking out the series. And since I don’t have anywhere else to put it, here’s a post where I discuss my second-favorite Groo story (my favorite is the puppet show one, which I haven’t discussed here yet for some reason).

The one real shame is that there is no significant quality reprinting of the comics in book form. Dark Horse will release trades of their minis, but those never seem to be around for long. When Marvel published Groo, they released a few paperbacks reprinting four issues at a time, but obviously those are long out of print. Someday they’ll figure out a way to get all these into some kind of archival editions that some publisher will be able to keep in print. In the meantime, the actual individual issues should be relatively easy to find and affordable.

• • •

Well, I certainly didn’t keep it short on the Groo entry, either. Ah, well. That’s it for the ’80s countdown this week…I’ve got Free Comic Book Day this weekend, so guess what Friday’s post is going to be about. Hopefully I’ll be back to it on Monday…and I equally hope you folks are enjoying my excessive typing on the topic here. Thanks, and I’ll see you next time.

Boop me boop me on the line, boop me boop me any time.

§ May 1st, 2023 § Filed under comic strips § 4 Comments

The planned post for today requires a little more cooking, so here’s a link to a deep dive on the mystery of Blondie’s last name.

The Final ’80s Countdown, Part Five.

§ April 28th, 2023 § Filed under final countdown § 8 Comments

So it’s come to this…I’m continuing my look at your picks for your favorite 1980s indie comics, starting with the single vote-getters (no shame on single votes, everything is loved) and working my way up. Usually I have plenty to say about most of the comics we’ve discussed here, but this time I’ve got three books that I don’t have a lot of specifics to share here. I busted out my Amazing Heroes Preview Specials and my copy of the Slings and Arrows Comics Guide softcover for reference, and I’m going to do my gosh-darnedest to fill this post with something useful.

That said, awaaaay we go:

Dynamo Joe (First 1986-1988)

I made an oblique mention of Dynamo Joe in this post, where I’d mentioned that First’s Mars series contained back-ups I was…disinterested in. I didn’t call them out by name, but one of those was indeed that most dynamic of Joes, starting in issue #10 (1984) and running ’til Mars‘ end at #12.

From there it would continue as part of the anthology title First Adventures before getting its own three-issue mini-series. But huzzah, apparently it was popular enough to continue past that third issue to 15 total, It’s that 15-issue series noted here. A (1987) would reprint the material from Mars.

I am sure I read, or attempted to read, that back in Mars, but all I recall is that Id’ rather have had more Mars content in the comic, and less non-Mrs material. Alas, they didn’t listen to me, and look, Mars ended at #12. Coincidence? As such, I know very little about this, though I can tell you it’s about a giant battle robot piloted by living people, fighting a war against alien invaders or somesuch. Early on John Ostrander scripted over Doug Rice’s plot and art, but later on Phil Foglio would take over for Ostrander. Also, Ben Dunn drew an issue or two, spelling for Rice.

That Phil Foglio was involved gets my interest up a little, but not quite enough to have sampled more of the series beyond those Mars back-ups. But I know it had its followers…I can recall a little back issue movement on this title, but alas, all things had their day and ol’ Joe had his. Its? I don’t know. Slings and Arrows calls the series “surprisingly unpredictable” with the aside that some plots seem to pop up later on Babylon 5? Okay, that got my interest.
Eddy Current (Mad Dog Graphics 1987-1988)

Was this the series that put Ted McKeever on the map? I feel like this was the comic that introduced his particular and peculiar vision to the world.

I do remember seeing this series in the wild when it was originally coming out, but I didn’t buy it, instead going for McKeever’s other series Transit from Vortex Comics. I mean, I liked Transit okay, I suppose, but I guess I figured one Ted McKeever series was enough, on the limited comics budget I had, and as it turned out I put my metaphorical nickel down on the wrong book as Transit was the one that was cancelled partway through, and Eddy Current was the one that made it to the finish line, to some acclaim. (I would later pick up McKeever’s Metropol series from Marvel/Epic, and the Metropolverse, as it was never called I think, eventually encompassed the previous two titles.)

Eventually I did read Eddy Current when I picked up that nice hardcover collection Dark Horse did in ’91. Unfortunately, I sold it off during one of my infrequent purges, but I would later get the Atomeka Press 2005 reissue, which came in three small softcovers.

It’s been a long time since I’ve revisited this story, and as I recall it’s quite good, an excellent introduction to McKeever’s sensiblities. Our titular hero gets a supersuit from a comic book ad then gets caught up in world-saving…or is it just city-saving…shenanigans. Like I said, it’s been a while. Each issue of the series represents one hour in the narrative, which is a fun gimmick, and one I don’t see too often in the funnybooks. (Was it that Doomsday Clock prelude issue of Batman that took place over the course of…a minute, or something like that? That’s the first thing I thought of along those lines.)
Empire Lanes (Northern Lights 1986-1987)

Okay, you got me, I know nothing about this comic. I mean, I remember seeing it at the shop, but I can’t tell you a darned thing about it.

Well, okay, looking around online I can tell you that Peter Gross wrote and drew it, and as I recall Peter Gross is a talented artist. You can see that from the cover gallery for this series. I can also relate that the story is about folks from medieval times (no, not Medieval Times) who, through misadventure, end up in our modern world of, well, 1986-1987 I suppose. I do like the sound of that, so again, my loss for not paying attention to it before. This series of posts about ’80s indies is really going to end up with me searching out and buying a bunch of back issues for my own collection, isn’t it?

Interestingly, Comico would published a new #1 for a follow-up series in 1989, and then another new and different #1 in 1990? Am I understanding that correctly? Perhaps someone can clarify and I can update this entry. But there was for sure a paperback collection for the original series published by Comico (Empire Lanes: Arrival) in 1990.

This was reminding me of a specific movie, but I couldn’t remember the name, so when I went to Google I found out there were several movies along these lines, so there you go. But I bet the Peter Gross comics look the best. (The movie I was trying to think of was The Navigator, by the way.)

• • •

Despite my general lack of specific knowledge on these books, turns out I could still type a lot about them anyway. If you have more useful information on them than I had, feel free to drop that info in the comments. We’ll pick up again next week!

Watch your hand there, Cliffy.

§ April 26th, 2023 § Filed under advertising § 6 Comments

So I was processing a whole bunch of 1950s Western comics (stuff like Lash Larue and Gene Autry) when I came across this ad in one of them:

Pic’s a little askew since I took it with my cellphone instead of scanning it properly. Ah well, good enough. But looking at the ad had me wondering just want kind of puppets you’d get for a quarter and a couple of candy bar wrappers. Even in 1950s money, I don’t think 25 cents would result in full-on high quality marionettes.

Anyway, say you were a big fan of the Super Circus TV show, and you were itching to make Mary Hartline and Cliffy the Clown to do anything you want them to do. (“Anythinnnnnng?” [steeples fingers]) Thus, following the ad’s suggestion, you ask your Mom and/or Dad how you can earn that money, and three weeks later, after you’ve finished building the bomb shelter in the backyard, you get that shiny coin in your hand, pack it along with those grubby candy wrappers and send off to Chicago for your wonderful prizes.

And what you got, after they rushed you your Mary and Cliffy puppets 8 to 12 weeks later, were these (courtesy scans I found on the eBays):

The full color fronts:

And the Grant Morrison Doom Patrol-looking backs:

Okay, yes, they’re just flat jointed cardboard things, like those Halloween skeleton decorations you’d put on your door or in a window or whatever. And they only seem to be strung at the shoulders, so I’m guessing the joints are at least a little loose so that the limbs would flop around as you bounced the handle. Or they were reasonably stiff so you could pose them as you like before amazing the family.

At any rate, I know the proper response is “whaddaya want for a quarter (and two wrappers)” but I am sure there were at least some kids imagining that they’d be receiving something a little more…substantial. Or maybe at the time this was the state of the art in mail-away TV show tie-in puppetry and what kids got was exactly what they expected. Look, I’m no puppet expert.

It was satisfying, however, to find this ad in a 70+ year old comic, wonder about what the actual product looked like, and then immediately find out via an online search. What a world, what a world.

The Final ’80s Countdown, Part Four.

§ April 24th, 2023 § Filed under final countdown § 11 Comments

DALGODAGATE CONTINUES, as, in addition to the original Dalgoda mini-series, the follow-up Flesh and Blood, and the short story in the A1 anthology, reader Lane points out

“There was a Dalgoda story in the back of Doomsday Squad #1. That was Fantagraphics reprint of John Byrne’s Doomsday+1. Each issues had a new backup story, one issue had a Usagi Yojimbo.”

And lo, indeed there was a Dalgoda story in that series, as pictured here, scanned from my own copy of this comic (so I should have remembered):

A closer look, because why not:

And as Brad points out, there was also a Lloyd Llewellyn story by Dan Clowes in one of the issues. Each issue had a back-up…of note was an Adventures of Captain Jack story by Mike Kazaleh. Well, that’s of note to me, I love Captain Jack.

My memory of the main Doomsay+1/Squad comics themselves by Joe Gill and John Byrne was that they weren’t too bad. Getting reprinted on better page in Squad and recolored certainly helped the story’s presentation. Interestingly, the original Doomsday+1 ran 12 issues, with the first six coming out from 1975 to 1976, and then those first six stories getting reprinted as #7-12 starting in ’78. (The stories in the seventh issue of Squad were taken from the Charlton Bullseye mag.) Imagine having had been a big fan of this series, disappointed that it ended at #6, then getting excited seeing #7 on the rack a couple of years later only to find it’s a reprint! Anyway, I’m pretty sure it was reprinted like this due to Byrne’s popularity.

I’m not sure why the title was changed for the reprint…Doomsday+1 is a better name. I’m sure it’s explained somewhere. There was a reboot of the concept by Byrne in 2013 at IDW, titled Doomsday.1.

Okay, enough about that…let’s back to more of our single-vote getters from the “Favorite ’80s Indie” informal poll from a decade or three back.

Destroyer Duck (Eclipse 1982-1984)

Created as a benefit book to help Steve Gerber scrape together some dough for his lawsuit against Marvel Comics, the seven issue run contained some interesting work. Not least of which was the lead, featuring the title character, written by Gerber and illustrated by Jack Kirby and Alfredo Alcala. The first issue alone contained work by Dan Spiegle, Mark Evanier, Marty Pasko, Joe Staton, Shary Flenniken and more…plus the first appearance of Groo the Wanderer by Sergio Aragones!

The entire series is a great sampling of work from creators from all over the comics biz, and well worth seeking out. Also, there was a Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck one-shot released by Image in 1996. Written by Gerber, and illustrated by Chris Marrinan, it essentially functions (in pairing with the Gerber-scripted Spider-Man Team-Up #5) as a way to sneak Howard (in disguise) out of the Marvel Universe and into Gerber’s creator-owned control. Devious, but I don’t think anything ever came of it. Did Howard’s new identity of “Leonard the Duck” ever turn up anywhere else?

But back to that first series…yeah, it’s pretty great. The parody of the aforementioned John Byrne as “Booster Cogburn” is one of the great dunks in dunking history (playing off Byrne’s comment somewhere or ‘nother at the time that he was a willful cog in Marvel’s machine, leading to a wider discussion/free-for-all about creators and their relationship with publishers).

Anyway, good comic, solid pick for the best indies of the ’80s.
Dinosaur Rex (Fantagraphics 1987)

Whelp, you got me, here’s a comic I know very little about. I mean, I know it exists, we carried it at my previous place of employment, even sold a few out of the back issue bins. But I never cracked open a cover on any of the three issues released.

Which is my loss, because it was written by Jan “Dalgoda” Strnad and drawn by Henry Mayo, and included a back-up strip in each issue by William Messner-Loebs and Dennis “Also Dalgoda” Fujitake. So, you know, pretty much guaranteed Solid Comics Work.

This was under Fantagraphics’ “Upshot Graphics,” which was more or less the company’s general audiences/adventure line. It included the aforementioned Flesh and Bones series, Miracle Squad, stuff like that. It was a place for material “like that” as opposed to the more indie/altcomics stuff like Love and Rockets. It’s probably because the “Fantagraphics” label meant a certain kind of book to people, and may have been thought of as a barrier to sales to certain customers in the direct market. I don’t know, just sorta speculating here, but that’s my guess.

Also, if I recall correctly, somewhere in one of the Amazing Heroes issues is a sketchbook section featuring Mayo’s art, which was quite impressive. Which makes it even more of a mystery why I didn’t pick up this comic at the time. Ah well, something to keep my peepers open for in case they ever turn up in a collection.
Dreadstar (Marvel/Epic/First 1982-1991)

Well, here we go, a comic that, as opposed to Dinosaur Rex, I know almost too much about. In fact, when I intially started this topic, it was this series that was going to get my vote for favorite ’80s indie. It did not, however (we haven’t yet got to the title that did) but boy oh boy was it a close one.

Spinning out of the “Metamophosis Odyssey” story serialized in the early issues of Epic Illustrated, Vanth Dreadstar was a feller fighting tolitarian regimes an’ such with his merry band of misfits. It’s just pure weird cosmic space opera as only the man himself Jim Starlin could present it. (And later as only Peter David could present it, when he took over as writer and filled Starlin’s shoes mostly admirably, save for the final couple of issues being a cringey Star Trek parody).

It’s funny, it’s strange, Starlin kept the story moving and never let the status remain quo for too long, like when he put Dreadstar in a superhero outfit, which, whoa, happened way earlier in the comic than I remembered. I suppose that’s a testament to just how much was happening in the comic that I figured that costume change was, like, around issue 30 or so, not showing up on the cover with freakin’ #13.

Despite the occasional doom and gloom and melodrama that’s an integral part of this series (I mean, “Metamorphosis Odyssey” concludes with SPOILER the heroes blowing up the Milky Way galaxy — don’t worry, they had good reason, kinda — and the narrative just pushes on from there), it remains as a wildly entertaining adventure strip that holds up even now. The one caveat is Starlin’s penchant for recaps, as a whole lotta issues seem to have a bunch of exposition explaining What Had Come Before, even if it was just an issue ago. But, eh, you know, if you read a lot of comics every month that probably came in handy, so who am I to judge.

While this series is the primary Dreadstar content, there was other material before this series started (a short post-“Metamophosis Odyssey” story in Epic, a graphic novel from Marvel and one from Eclipse), and material after (a mini-series with Dreadstar’s daughter from Malibu/Bravura by David and Ernie Colón), an appearace in one of the ‘Breed series by Starlin). He also turned up in the First Comics crossover event Crossroads. And there’s new material still, with a Kickstartered graphic novel Dreadstar Returns a while back (which I got but apparently didn’t cover here…I’ll have to address that when I can) and a new equally-Kickstartered graphic novel coming very soon. And yes, both are All Starlin All the Time.

• • •

Good gravy, that’s enough typing. I’ll try to get to more titles on Friday (honest, I’ll really try next time) and we’ll see what weirdies I’ve dreamed up for you on Wednesday. Thanks for reading, pals.

Bloggus interruptus.

§ April 21st, 2023 § Filed under low content mode § 3 Comments

So my Thursday evening blogging plans fell through, so I’ll pick up our ’80s indies coverage on Monday. Thanks for reading, pals, and I’ll see you then.

The Final ’80s Countdown, Part Three and a Half.

§ April 19th, 2023 § Filed under final countdown, indies § 10 Comments

Got an early morning doctor’s appointment, so I’m not staying up late to do a full ’80s indie entry, but I wanted to address a couple of questions from the last post.

First, in regards to my inability to recall where else Dalgoda had appeared, Damien rushed in to the rescue:

“There was a Dalgoda story in issue 4 of the British anthology A1 by Jan Strnad and Kevin Nowlan. That might be the one-off you were thinking of.”

Yup, that’s the one. I have it (the full British run, and the later Marvel/Epic mini…didn’t follow the later ones), and I could picture some of the art in my head, which is how I knew it wasn’t original artist Dennis Fujitake on the story. But Nowlan is a good replacement. At this late date I can’t recall the actual plot, but I do remember being surprised to see the character again, even if it was just for a bit.

Customer Sean asks, hopefully facetiously

“Did Cutey Bunny and Omaha the Cat Dancer ever have a crossover story?”

While it’s possible they were both in the same jam drawing or something somewhere, as far as I know the two characters never met. Certainly the tone between the two is different (Cutey Bunny being very silly gag-filled stories vs. Omaha’s melodrama) and the naughtiness levels were certainly night-and-day (Cutey at most a little risque with no nudity, Omaha just full-on tab-A-into-slot-B action). So beyond the superficial element of each being sexy anthropomorphic animal types, they’re quite different.

Brad Walker notes

“You won’t get all the jokes in Laffin’ Gas #5 if you haven’t read Boris the Bear #1; likewise, you won’t appreciate the opening of Boris the Bear #8 (Return of the Ninja Critters) if you haven’t read LG#5.”

Well, I have read and enjoyed all of Boris the Bear, still one of my favorite runs. As such, I should get all the jokes in the LAffin’ Gas parody…which I should have in my hands Any Day Now as I found a run of issues #1-5 for cheap on the eBay. And I’m looking forward to seeing how that parody enriches the experience of Boris the Bear #8.

Which reminds me I made a…“joke” on Twitter about how I wanted to get a complete collection of 1980s black and white boom comics, sorta inspired by my purchase of those Laffin’ Gases. Now I’m likely just going to keep the #5, but I’ll look through #1-4 but those are probably destined for resale in my shop. I seem to do okay with these black and white books of the period. But all this, thinking about b&w boom books, doing the ’80s book thing here, has got me in a nostalgic mood, and those boom books are scratching that itch a little.

How far am I going to go? I mean, I have been on a search for Shadow of the Groundhog for quite some time. I imagine more will come up. I’m pretty sure I have an issue or two of Geriatric Gangrene Jujitsu Gerbils in the shop right now…will I keep them? Will I start seeking out those elusive issues of Fat Ninja? We’ll see!

Anyway, Brad has a link to a review of Laffin’ Gas #5 from a few years back in case you don’t have a copy for your own perusal.

That’s it for now, back Friday for more ’80s books!

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