Friday, November 21, 2014

The Spinner Rack - November 1980

Doug: Hey, we're back again today with a post for you to gauge your Richie Rich purchasing! But seriously, take a peek at this link, which will take you to Mike's Amazing World of Comics. Today we're reminiscing about comics that were cover dated November 1980 -- we'd have seen them on the racks and shelves about the time school was getting ready to start. For me, that would have been my freshman year of high school... and I was getting out of the comics buying habit! The link below will take you to an alphabetical listing of the same titles on the Comic Book Database, in case you desire more information on a particular issue. Have fun!


Anonymous said...

I well remember that Thor story. I think today they'd get a lot more blowback from having him fight the deities of a living religion with hundreds of millions of followers!


Edo Bosnar said...

As I've noted before, this period (late '70s/early '80s) was when I was in the thick of my youthful comics craze. Looking over the covers at Mike's Newsstand, I counted a whopping 25 of that month's issues that I know I had - including, yes, both of the DC digests shown.

There's some really good stuff there, too: Captain America was still in the middle of the wonderful Stern/Byrne run, Byrne was still artist on X-men, and there was also that great annual JLA/JSA team-up featuring the New Gods, and art by Perez.
One that I didn't have, thanks to spotty spinner rack distribution, was New Teen Titans #1. That one still smarts to this day (I discovered my first comic shop a few months later, and never missed an issue of NTT again).

By the way, since Doug mentioned it, there was an unbelievable 16 Richie Rich books on sale that month. Seriously, man, I have to ask again, why was Richie so apparently popular?

Redartz said...

Edo- I can't explain Richie's popularity, but from the looks of that month's offerings, Archie was giving him a run for his money (so to speak).

17 of those comics found their way onto my shelves at the time. Three of my top books- Amazing Spiderman, Fantastic Four and Avengers- were either mired in a creative low point or where about to be. Fortunately there was good reading to be found; as Edo noted, Captain America, X-Men and Titans. Also, Spectacular Spider-Man was putting Amazing to shame imho...

Anonymous said...
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david_b said...

This was smack in the middle of my time away from comics, between my initial collecting frenzy and my resurgence in the mid-80s. I have been eyeing up those GL covers, hopefully not too much Grell art inside. He's alright on LOSH, but have never warmed to his body renderings or facial work in GL/GA.

Other than that all the issues I have from this timeframe (primarily NTT, some Avengers) were backissues from my beloved LCS.

Humanbelly said...

Ah-- this was at the tail-end of the summer before I started my freshman year of college (sheesh, I've got four years on ya, Doug!). That summer for me was so impossibly over-packed with work, community theater, family crises, and (shamefully) numerous relationship pursuits that comics indeed fell COMPLETELY off my radar, other than, I think, the couple of subscriptions that my Dad kept going as a perennial Christmas present. And I know I wasn't reading anything regularly at that point. It's sort of a "dark age" in my personal collecting life from which in the intervening years I've managed to fill many of the resulting holes (where necessary).

That THOR cover is so odd. . . and yet I really love it!

I probably have, maybe, 10 of the issues pictured here. And for the most part, it really wasn't great stuff-- particularly not in a lot of the flagship titles (FF, SPIDERMAN, HULK--- all so very weak). It sort of took the enjoyment-oomph out of acquiring those missing issues later on. It was, like, "all that effort. . . for this???".


Karen said...

My buying had started to tail off at this point. I think I only had nine of these books, plus the Elfquest book Doug put on the post page. I vividly recall the Thor, X-Men, and DC Comics Presents issues. I was really bummed with the Thor issue because I had missed the one before it (number 300!!) and it took me a couple of years before I got my hands on it. But being a nut for mythology, I loved seeing the Hindu gods in comic form, along with so many others.

Anonymous said...

Much like HB, he of the pig farm and dating time, for me this was that last summer before driving. Oh, those halcyon days of yesteryear........

I was riding my 10 speed all over town doing my own comic shopping. I had found that newsstand that carried the magazine sized "comics" Savage Sword Of Conan, Marvel Presents and so on and such as.....

What is, and I don't know if there is a word for this, hard for me to fathom, I only bought Marvel. No DC, not even by accident. Was I THAT much of a Marvel Zombie!?! I guess the proof was in the pudding.

The Prowler (It's almost a feeling you can touch in the air, you look all around you but nobody's there. It's been a long time now since you've been aware that someone is watching you...he's gonna get you).

PS: Crazy question, is that Kars for Kids commercial played everywhere or just where I live?

Dr. Oyola said...

I had not quite started my superhero comic collected at this point - but I would end up owning (some quite recently) several of these issues.

Looks like a great month for comics - first New Teen Titans, Kitty Pryde showing up, Machine Man and Spidey team-up, Jack of Hearts appears in ROM, lots of Richie Rich for Edo to choose from.

Good stuff!

Edo Bosnar said...

David, Green Lantern was well into the Wolfman/Staton run at that point - I was a regular reader at the time, and quite enjoyed it for the most part.

And Redartz and HB, while I'll concede that FF (in the midst of that odd Moench/Sienkiewicz run) and Amazing Spider-man weren't experiencing their best days at that time, Spectacular SM (as Redartz noted) was quite outstanding as Stern had just become the regular series writer, while Hulk - deep into the Mantlo/Sal B. run - was quite solid.
So yes, Osvaldo, it was definitely a great month for comics, Richie Rich and all...

J.A. Morris said...

I had a bunch of these. The most significant for me was the Kitty/X-men issue. The Hulk featured a good knock-down-drag-out fight with Hulk, Doc Samson and Woodgood battling a bunch of half-man/half-animal bad guys.

Moon Knight #1 was a fun story and still is. I just re-read it in a reprint book last month. Typical, solid Mantlo/Buscema production.

Redartz said...

Great comments and memories! Prowler, I shared your cycling experience hunting for comics (and everything else) . However by the time these comics were on the shelf, I was in college and had a car. This worked out well, as all of us comic fans piled in each Thursday to drive to the local lcs. One advantage of art school: lots of fellow fans to hang out with!

Anonymous said...

I remember some of these (Amazing #210 with Madame Web, the Marvel Tales reprint of the Gwen clone's first appearance in Amazing #144), but I don't think I had the Spectacular Spider-Man (and look, Hobgoblin's on the cover!); others look familiar to me (Brave and Bold, Sgt. Rock). I may have had the NTT and Moon Knight #1's, since I was a fan of both.

Mike W.

Humanbelly said...

Hoo-boy, Prowl, can't believe you've retained that level of my personal chronology-! (But, just to keep the canon correctly intact, Pig Farm/hospital girlfriend was the previous summer. THIS was the summer where the entire family vacated the house, leaving me to be janitor-by-day at the very same hospital, and aspiring young, green actor @ IUSB by night. 'WAAAAAY over my head with the amount of freedom at my disposal. . . !)

Edo, I'd definitely grant that the long Mantlo run on the Hulk had some great high points-- in fact, I think this very issue sees Doc Samson come to grips with the fact that the Hulk is about 15 times deeper and more complex than Leonard ever remotely gave him credit for. But-- the run was extremely hit-or-miss. For every good issue with the Gardener or the U-Foes or the Woodgod experiment, you get an issue with some glass-lady in her mansion, or Jack Frost, or Bereet, or (it must be said) Rocket Raccoon. (Folks, that issue of the Hulk could be found in the 25-cent bins two years ago-- now it's out there for sometimes hundreds of dollars-- and honestly, it's NOT A GOOD COMIC!).

Say, do we think the riding-a-bike-all-over, searching-for-comics experience was universal enough that it might warrant its own post down the road? That is an INDELIBLE part of my late-childhood/early teen memories-!


J.A. Morris said...

Upon further inspection:
I had that 'Famous Monsters of Filmland' issue too. It featured an article about Thundarr the Barbarian, that's how I learned of Kirby's connection to the show.

david_b said...

Edo, that's good to hear.., I didn't mind the Stanton art as much.., I collected a few GL issues in the mid '80s and his art was fine.

Graham said...

I was sort of away from comics buying at that time, just what I subscribed to (JLA and Green Lantern) at the time. But I was reading the Stern/Byrne Captain America and was fortunate enough to be in the neighborhood when the New Teen Titans debut hit the shelves.

It was sad to see the JLA without Dick Dillin (I had been reading JLA since '71), but George Perez taking over was the best possible alternative. Too bad his stint was so brief, but it was good while it lasted.

Robert L. said...

Mikes Amazing site has a time machine option. You can see the cover date release dates and actual release dates in relation to other comics from different years.

Out of all of them I remember those Original X-Men reprints. I loved to read those early Kirby stories of the X-Men. Like the Fantastic Four, the book lost it's dynamic look when Kirby left and Werner Roth took over the art chores.

Bill Mantlo's Micronauts were another favorite of mine. I bought that comic each month and was so disappointed when it was canceled. Years ago I purchased a paperback trilogy that attempted to revive the series in book form. I never saw any others that followed so I have to assume it didn't sell too well.

Richie Rich was drawn by Ernie Colon. I wonder if he was Gene Colon's brother? Ernie did a terrific job on the art on Richie Rich and was also known for his early issues of Battle Star Galactica. I also remember he drew some early comics for Epic Magazine, which wanted to compete with the more adult themed Heavy Metal Magazine.

On the subject of Richie Rich:
I used to purchase a lot of those now classic comics. I have to wonder what ever happened to the character? With the current economic depression the U.S. has been going through, I have to say a publisher would have a hard time reviving this once very popular character.

Elfquest was one of the first independently published comics and I could never find them in my local comic shop. There was supposed to be an animated movie. I never saw anything past the initial promotion in Comic Scene Magazine in 1981.

Robert L. said...

When I was a kid in the 70's there were two locations in my town for comics. One was a diner/coffee shop that carried books and magazines.

The other was in a tabacco shop. The only reason I was allowed to enter that place is because my grandmother had to get tobacco for my grandfather.

He had a cigarette machine and rolled his own without the filters! He was too cheap to buy cartons of them so he figured out he could buy cans of Bugler and Top tobacco and make his own.

On the subject of spinner racks:

I saw one or two of them during the 70's. However retailers didn't use them in my area because too many kids read and put back the comics. The ones I bought were neatly stacked on magazine shelves. The spinner racks for comics I usually saw were in the drug or convenience stores.

Robert L. said...

While I was in Books A Million I noticed a small shelf space for current comics. Wow! $3.99 for one issue of a Marvel Comic. In today's dollars I'd easily spend $50 a week on comics. To think that back in the year 1976 comics were 25 cents each. The Kirby Treasury Edition I purchased that year was 100 pages for $1.50! Remember those oversize Treasury Editions? I bought them all. I really wish that Marvel would publish them again. They would probably be $20 today!

Garett said...

Teen Titans and Moon Knight #1! My comics buying was starting to go into high gear at this time. I bought Titans off the rack, and collected it until the mid-40s. Perez on JLA was also exciting. I only got into Moon Knight with about issue 7, then collected those first issues. That series I bought until it ended, so I saw Sienkiewicz's progression, very exciting.

I notice the covers this month. Several by Andru/Giordano for DC- always liked their combo- and a few for Marvel by Frank Miller. I remember being excited by Starlin's cover art at DC at this time, here on DC Comics Presents, but it didn't last long.

I was just getting into Daredevil along with Moon Knight, and they were a cool 1-2 punch for dark night characters. Iron Man, I don't remember this particular issue, but great run and I tried to pick up everything I could. Master of Kung Fu! Zeck and Day rock, for me better than the Gulacy period. Zeck drew everything well, but especially Shang Chi himself--great musculature, poses, intensity.

Savage Sword #58--super art by Buscema/DeZuniga, and a good story. I didn't find much Savage Sword around in this period, but bought many of them later. I don't remember many of the oversize books being sold where I live, just seeing them in the comic ads and drooling over them. Warlord was still good at this time, with Grell's covers looking more sleek and sophisticated all the time. Seems to me he stayed until issue #50. I have the Showcase reprint of this series in b+w, but it'd be cool to have a full color reprint like an omnibus of this series. Grell always had a nice balance in his storytelling--action, romance, humor.

I bought a few Wonder Woman comics at this time--didn't Joe Staton do the Huntress backup story? Staton was really enjoyable around this period, on JSA as well. I think I read that Captain Universe story. Always thought he was a strange character. Yes it was a treat to see Byrne on Captain America at this time. One of my favorite Kirby stories now is Tales of Suspense #85 with Cap vs. Batroc, so I'll have to go check this comic out again and see how Batroc by Byrne compares.

William said...

1980 was great year in comics for me. That's the year I got pretty serious about collecting, and for my birthday I got a couple of long boxes, bags and boards, an original copy of Daredevil #4, and a decent gift certificate to the comic book store. What an awesome time!!!

Daredevil was my favorite character back then, but I had a lot of the other comics on this list. I especially remember that issue of Amazing Adventures. I was very interested in the Silver Age stuff and there were very few TPBs, and no Marvel Masterworks in those days. So I loved books like Marvel Tales, and Amazing Adventures that allowed me to read the classic SA comics without breaking the bank.

Teresa said...

This one really stuck with me for years:

Dc Comics Presents #27. The first of a three issues storyline.

It is the first appearance of Mongul and Warworld.

It only got better from there. Next issue guest starred Supergirl and then the Spectre.

It was sort of a reintroduction of the Martian Manhunter. I had no clue about him.

Writer: Len Wein

Artists: Jim Starlin, Frank McLaughlin & Dick Giordano

Great stuff! I've reread it and it still holds up. Much better than the average DC of the time.

Robert L. said...

I really liked the George Perez/ Marv Wolfman Teen Titans back then. Wish I could get the omnibus editions to read the complete run. That was one of my favorites. I really think that George wanted to work on the X-Men but was unable to at the time. His work on one X-Men annual 3 from 1979..with inks by Terry Austin was terrific. I only wish he could have done more issues at the time.

But I digress, Titans was a memorable super hero book that had great characters and it got me interested in DC comics again. Lots of the Marvel talent defected to DC at time. It wasn't a surprise to see Gil Kane, Jim Starlin, Gene Colon all working on DC characters.

I wanted to purchase the last Perez/Wolfman Titans graphic novel that brings there run to a close. It was called Endgame if I remember correctly.

Garett said...

Hey Robert L., I totally agree with you on the Titans run with Wolfman/Perez. I lucked out and got the first omnibus before the price shot up-- over $200 now on amazon! DC just put out a cheaper Titans TPB:
I like the Epic line that Marvel is putting out now. Glossy reproduction, long runs of a title, and cheaper paperback form. A Titans book like that would be great.

I'm glad Gil Kane went over to DC, as his Sword of the Atom was a favorite miniseries of mine. For Gene Colan, his Wonder Woman, Batman, and Night Force were all ok, but I'd prefer him at Marvel on Dracula. Starlin must have jumped back and forth a couple times through the '80s between DC and Marvel.

Back to Perez, they really should create some oversize reprints of all his work, to show off all the details he puts in. Have you seen in that X-Men Annual #3, on page 3 there's an upside down newspaper-- if you turn it over to read, it says "Perez inker committed to crazy house. Eyes gone, hands still shake, gibbers constantly." : )

Edo Bosnar said...

Teresa, nice to know there's someone else who appreciates that three-issue arc in DC Comics Presents. Karen actually reviewed it a few years ago, but I don't think she liked the story as much we apparently do.
By the way, I loved all of those issues of DC Presents that Starlin worked on (#36 with Starman, and #37 with Hawkgirl).

Also nice to see some love for X-men Annual #3 - that is my all-time favorite annual ever.
Garett, man, good eye on that newspaper bit. I actually dug out my copy to find that: it's really obscure, given that it's written on a rolled up newspaper with Arkon's foot on it. And I remember being quite proud, as a kid when I first read it, of noticing "Byrne's Sporting Equipment" and "Hembeck Deliveries" on page 1 and getting the references.

spencer said...

This was about exactly the time I "gave up" comics, both because I mistakenly thought it was time to "put away childish things," and I was starting my senior year of high school, with sports and girls dominating. It didn't take long, as my sophomore year in college I spotted a new teen Titans in a 7-11.

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