Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Spinner Rack - December 1976

Doug: This seemed to be a winner in its inaugural outing last week, so we'll try it again -- anomaly, or fan favorite? If you missed it, click this link to see what all the fuss was about. And if you did, here's a little cut/paste from that post -- sort of like "instructions". In this "category" we'd like your reminiscences of these books, maybe something else you recall purchasing at the same time (I've included a link to today's month/year cover dates so that you can do some  research to check the accuracy of your memories), overall recollections of a particular title or creative team, and even better -- if you can recall when and where you were when you purchased a given comic. You can click on the date below to see a listing of all books published with a cover date of December '76.


david_b said...

First off, HOW DID that Fat Albert Gold Key manage to fend off the dreaded UPC symbol..?? How did they succeed (or stave off for a spell) where both major comic companies failed..?

I was so excited initially that the Titans were coming back as a monthly title that I actually went DC over Marvel for a very short-lived period. And 'course with Heck at DC, he ended up drawing both this title and Batman Family, both I was collecting at the time after leaving the brief Heck tenure on Avengers at Marvel.

"It's like he had it in for me or something...."

Humanbelly said...

Yikes! Link problem, Doug-- it's sending me (at least) to "Take a Stand".

Say, can you link us to the site from last time that lets us look at all of the covers from that month? Is that have do-able-ness?

Yer ol' pal-

(PS-- say, if you could also whip up a sandwich for my lunch while you're at it-? . . mucho appreciado. . .)

Doug said...

HB --

My fault on the link within the text -- it's been corrected. That one's to send people to last week's post so they can read the comments.

You had what you needed -- click on the date and it will send you to the Comic Book Database to see all the titles.


Humanbelly said...

I'm. . . I'm on my own for the sandwich. . . ?

(Thanks Doug- :-) )


Dr. Oyola said...

I had that issue of MAD (probably belonged to my older brother or sister, but I inherited it - and I still have a bunch from the 60s I inherited from my uncle).

Otherwise, I had none of these, but poor Tyroc. He was introduced just to be kicked around it seems. I have an article about him forthcoming in Apex Magazine

Edo Bosnar said...

HB, just in case, here's a link to that other site, Mike's Newsstand, that also features the covers to comics cover-dated December 1976.
Anyway, looking them over, it would appear that this was a slow month in my comics-reading career, as I hardly recall having any of those at the time, except for the Teen Titans issue - one of the few issues of that mag I ever had.
I'm also pretty sure I had that month's issue of Spidey Super Stories, because the cover looks really familiar.

Later, however, I did acquire that issue of the Inhumans, along with the rest of the series, for a pittance. They weren't half-bad, and they had a lot of early art by Perez and Pollard among others.

Anonymous said...

I also use the Time Platform at Mike's Amazing! I looked over the covers and discovered that that month I purchased Conan, FF, and X-Men. That didn't seem right? Three comics? Then I remembered 1976 would have been 6th grade. Not elementary school anymore. We had an entire campus for sixth graders. When we had gone school shopping I found a three pack of shirts, one was Spider-Man, one was Captain America and the last was the Hulk. They all had a word balloon that said "This shirt belongs to " and you could write in your name! I wore the Spider-Man shirt to school and Gigi Giles said two words: Cool shirt. I think I was in love! So yeah, I didn't buy a lot of comics that month, but I did get something much more valuable!

The Prowler (ahh, she was tall, freckled and the cutest thing ever).

Humanbelly said...

Excellent Edo-- and I just bookmarked that that site so's not to lose it this time.

Yeesh- once again I have about 20 of this month's books. But. . . the spinner rack had moved from the east wall of the grocery store to the edge of the "new" section of the "expanded" floorplan (big doin's in a small town). What I distinctly remember is agonizing over all of the issues of PPSM#1 jammed in there, and making the hard economic choice to not buy it. I mean. . . 3 Spidey books??? Get real-!!! (So young. . .so unjaded).

Also, great Kamadi cover there, in its post-Kirby run.


Garett said...

Thanks for the link Edo. Fun to look through these covers. One thing that jumps out-- 9 separate Richie Rich titles that month! Does Richie Rich even have a comic now?

The new Warlord title was exciting, at #4 that month.

Doug said...

Yup, Edo --

I'll start using that site for the link. I wonder if it is as inclusive as the Comic Book Database? I'll do some cross-referencing.

I was FAR from a rich kid (very far, in fact), but a perusal of all those covers shows me that I bought 13 books in this group. Thirteen?!? Surely the memory fades. And what's more -- there are quite a few others I should have bought! Did you all see that Super-Heroes vs. Super-Gorillas book that Karen has reviewed?


david_b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david_b said...

I actually recall getting irked at Marvel about the new 'Peter Parker' title.

Granted they snuck in a few reprints of MTU early on, but I felt to NOW start collecting 3-4 Spidey titles a month (including ASM and MTU, occasionally Marvel Tales..) just to keep up with the exploits of our Mr. Parker?

To reference Garett's comment, who indeed was this guy..? Richie Rich?

Like others here, it just got too rich for my blood (and meager allowance).

Edo Bosnar said...

Actually Garett, there were 10 Richie Rich books available that month: there was also Harvey Collectors Comics, which was apparently just another vehicle for Richie Rich stories. I think someone remarked on it last week as well: Richie was apparently quite popular. I checked November 1976, when there were a whopping 12 Richie mags on the spinner racks, and January 1977, when there were 11. On other words, usually there were more Richie titles coming out any given month than, for example, all of the Disney characters combined! Did anyone here read those? I recall having maybe one or two Richie comics when I went through my funny animal/cartoon comics phase, and I really didn't think much of them.

By the way, I'm not sure if it counts, but since I mentioned the Inhumans, I also later (around 1980) acquired that month's issues of: Ragman, Starfire, Metal Men, Marvel Premiere (with the excellent Solomon Kane story drawn by Chaykin) and Marvel Presents (Guardians of the Galaxy).

J.A. Morris said...

Being a tad younger than most here, the only one I bought off the rack was Spidey Super Stories #20. It was a good introduction to Mysterio.
But I picked up a few as back issues:
The FF story that featured the Frightful Four "job fair" at the Baxter Building was fun.
The Avengers & Super-Villain Team-up issues were part of a crossover that featured Attuma.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was only four-and-a-half at that time, so I wasn't reading any original comics. I've subsequently read a bunch of them (the Spideys, MTU, MTIO, JLA, Thor, Avengers, FF, Warlord, DD, Power Man, Nova, Hulk, Defenders, Captain America). Thank god for back issues/Essentials!

I notice there was an Emergency comic...I used to love that show when I was a kid, but I never knew there was a comic of it.

Mike W.

Edo Bosnar said...

Mike W., re: Emergency. I'm a little older than you (I was 8 in '76), and I used to love that show, too; together with Hawaii 5-0, it was must-watch for me at the time. And I also didn't know there was a comic. In fact, I only learned about the comic way later, like once the internet showed up. At which time I also learned that John Byrne did the art in one or two issues.

Anonymous said...

It was a great year to be a goofy kid who loved comics!
I was eight. Probably my favorite year.
It's been all downhill ever since.

Doug said...

Off-topic, but a happy Bat-birthday to Lee Meriwether, who is 79 today. My second-favorite Catwoman!


david_b said...

Anonymous, it's all relative.

The 'downhill ever since' definitely started for me the year before.

Anonymous said...

Like david_b, I remember being kind of irked by the Peter Parker book. How was it going to fit into the continuity of ASM? Or was it? Looking at all of these in the database also reminds me of how many other new titles Marvel was cranking out as many of these are numbered in the single digits or teens - Champions, Eternals, Invaders, Inhumans... I think I must have been buying some 20-odd Marvels a month at this time. My great math mind tells me that over $6 a month. I know my parents thought I was crazy.

I was also just starting high school and met a new friend who was more into collecting/completism while I was really just a reader up until this point. So besides the current titles, he was steering me towards buying back issues. Sheesh! I guess I was crazy.

I also remember digging the Kirby covers but thinking his Captain America stories were just plain dumb.

Thanks for the memories Doug!

Oh and I have a question for the BAB community. Does anybody remember what the other 2 sides on the top of the spinner rack used to say? Seeing the picture of of "Hey! Kids Comics" (shouldn't that be "Hey Kids! Comics") and Wholesome Comics Entertaining" has me scratching my head about the other 2.


Doug said...

Guys, I actually really liked Peter Parker! Sal was on the art (can't miss there), and I thought the cover to #1 was a real grabber. The Tarantula has some curb appeal. The Lightmaster story was pretty good, the White Tiger story even more compelling, and then another few months and we got the Champions epilogue with Angel and Iceman. But like Edo, the gem of the first three years of the title was the Carrion saga. It was a fitting end to the first clone saga, which I'll stand by liking (Gwen and all).


Anonymous said...

Doug, I'll have to re-visit some of those early Peter Parkers. I just meant that at that time, for me, as I was getting more into collecting, it was all getting to be a bit too much. I'm trying to relate this to modern times - like what would it cost to collect 20 books a month. And this before you're old enough to have a real job.


Humanbelly said...

That's why it killed me, too. I really liked Sal's Spidey! I was very upset that Marvel was putting out a book that I clearly would like, and I simply couldn't afford to add another title to my harvest.

And yet, I did pick up 2001 #1. . . go figure.

MARVEL PRESENTS GotG was a great series; INHUMANS (which I think we've talked about here at some point) was really often quite good--- their best run, IMO. WARLORD was pretty darned cool at this point. NOVA was allllllready running out of steam, though. Geeze, THE MOST HYPED book EVER, it seems like, and man did it not live up to its own pre-determined legend. . .


Fred W. Hill said...

These came out just after I'd moved from San Francisco to Lemoore, CA, and the month I began my freshman year in high school. I purchased 24 issues that month, including that first issue of Peter Parker. Like a few others here, I wasn't particularly thrilled with their being yet another Spidey title, but I was too much of a fanboy to pass it up, especially as my allowance was just enough that I could add it to my habit. One title I didn't get was Master of Kung Fu, but having eventually gotten that issue I'd rate it as the best of the bunch, art & storywise -- part of one of the best multi-part stories of the Bronze Age, IMO. Of those I did get at the time, I'd rate Howard the Duck as my favorite. Most of the rest were pretty average, including what I believe to have been the first chapter of the last pre-Miller Kingpin story, and the Kingpin's first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man since the Schemer storyline over 6 years before. KP was a great Spidey villain but Miller made him an even greater Daredevil villain.

Redartz said...

Wow, I tallied 25 books that month. Sure couldn't do that on today's budget!

The two that stand out most to me were: Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction; loved that magazine. I had started out reading Bradbury and Ellison, so this anthology was irrestable.

Second; Betty and Me ( my comics friend had gotten me started watching "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" and so I picked up this book from the reference. Seems like it was pretty funny ; and I still pick up the occasional Archie publication. Recently picked up a tpb "The Best of Archie Comics" at half price books. Some fun reading, and where else will you find Cosmo the Merry Martian?

Incidentally, I too was a fan of Emergency!. Charlton also published a b/w magazine based on the show which featured some nice Neal Adams work.

Ahhhh, I just love comics....

Karen said...

I had 20+ books this month, but what surprises me is that 4 of them were DC titles! Legion and JLA were regular reads, but Superman wasn't - must have been Bizarro on the cover. And of course super-apes- that was impossible to pass on (and I've relayed that story before). I can't believe how many books I used to get. My whole allowance went to comics, basically! But at 30 cents, they were still cheap entertainment.

J.A. Morris said...

I enjoyed Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man (or PPTSSM, as the indexes called it) as well. It was a nice idea in the early issues to create a new supporting cast consisting of ESU students and professors. Plus, as Doug mentioned, those early storylines were pretty good.

Graham said...

I had 20 or 21 of this month's selections, including the Inhumans and Titans issues pictured. I, too, enjoyed the Inhumans series, with Moench and Perez. Also loved the new Spider-Man series, even though I was puzzled at the time as to why they were doing it.

As I recall, this was just a few months before my local store got out of the comics business completely and I had to start getting my comics in a town that was about half an hour away. Needless to say, my reading suffered for a few months until I saved up enough money to subscribe to a few favorites.

Chris said...

As soon as I saw it was Dec 76 I thought of PPTSSM #1. I was only 3 months into my comics collecting and was absolutely thrilled that issue was available in the UK. Even at 9 I'd worked out that not all the comics were distributed (although of course I didn't know that was the word for it!). Team-Up was usually the only chance to see Spidey in colour. Here in the UK we had to make do with what we got.

And we NEVER got issue #2! :-(

That month I also picked-up Team Up and Iron Man and I've just counted 10 which I've bought as back-issues. Quite a quiet month relatively speaking. Still some good stuff on sale.

William said...

I mostly only bought Spider-Man back then, so I had the Amazing #163 and PPTSSM #1 from that month. I also picked up MTU as well.

I remember buying Both the Amazing and PPTSSM issuesquite clearly. That two-parter where Spidey fights Kingpin is still one of my favorites. And the Spectacular Spider-Man #1 featured the Tarantula which was a lot of fun as well.

Both of those issues had a big impact on me as this marks the exact month that I got more serious about buying comics on a regular basis. In fact, I never missed another issue of ASM from #163 on.

Dr. Oyola said...

This is something of a tangent, but speaking of 1976 I wanted to share this great overview of Steve Gerber' legal issues with Marvel RE: Howard the Duck.

Edo Bosnar said...

Thanks for the link, Osvaldo. I'm looking forward to reading that. I just wish Martin would finally finish and post the second part of his essay on Jim Shooter...

Dr. Oyola said...

I think you mean third part - he already has two parts!

Edo Bosnar said...

Oops! You're right - don't know how I missed that second post last October. Now I have even more reading to do...

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