Friday, June 26, 2015

The Spinner Rack - June 1976


Doug: Jump in the wayback machine, kids, to the summer of America's Bicentennial. Well, at least to its spring, as we're going to look at books that were sale with a June 1976 cover date. Head over to Mike's Amazing World of Comics to see all the wares, and then click on the date below to be taken to the good folks at the Comic Book Database for information on your favorite titles.






29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny, I expected to remember more of these, as I was totally infatuated with American comics in the summer of '76 and at an age where they really could make an impression. Put it down to bad distribution I guess (and, sneaking a look at July, I see a number of my favourites at the time - like Jungle Action and Howard the Duck - were bimonthly).

Anyway, Gene Colan achieved a great double that month (as he did regularly - how ever did those guys manage to do that?) with Tomb of Dracula and Dr.Strange. Particularly the latter - I've never been much into a lot of Steve Englehart's stuff, but that Strange run was a highlight of the period. Sadly never properly finished.
Shouts also to Starlin's Warlock and - this will make you all groan - Kirby's Captain America.

With the ever awesome Garcia-Lopez on Tarzan and Nestor Redondo on Swamp Thing, DC definitely outdid Marvel on the art front. Pity about the scripting though... which I believe was Gerry Conway on both those comics (what was he thinking?). And he pulled off a triple of terribleness (?!) by writing the (thankfully short lived) Kirby-free Kamandi.

Although I didn't get it at the time, I acquired some of those Warren Spirits a few years later. Amazing stuff - ad that's before you even consider it was done in the 40s.

-sean

Redartz said...

Wow; pretty good month on the spinner racks here! I tally 21 books for this month. Notably:

Amazing Spider-Man 157- we were on vacation in Gatlinburg, TN when this issue came out. I saw it on a spinner at a tourist gift shop on the strip there, and grabbed it ( and proceeded to take it back to the hotel room for a good reading). Great Romita cover, and Doc Ock's return (although I felt his personality was a bit weak in that story, Ock being the megalomaniac and all).

Emergency! 1- Didn't buy much from Charlton at the time, but this featured my favorite tv show so it joined my collection. Nice painted cover...

Fantastic Four and Iron Man Annuals- the welcome return of the summer specials, with great guest stars in both cases!

The Spirit 14- Don't recall anything specific about this particular issue, but the series was terrific. Introduced me to Will Eisner and his greatest creation, and was always well worth the spending money shelled out for it!

Doug said...

I don't know if I've ever read The Spirit. But you two, and others before you, are making me feel like that's been a bad situation that needs to be rectified.

This summer was certainly in the heights of my comics buying, and for the next two years probably.

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

Yeah, the Spirit is definitely worth reaading, and the Warren magazine was arguably the best format in which those stories were reprinted - however, I only was only able to read a few of those when I was much older.
As for stuff I actually had in 1976, there wasn't much, as I was still in that phase of just randomly pulling stuff off of the spinner rack at the time. This is what I recall having: Hulk #200 (in those days before those big round number issues were double-sized), Iron Man #87, Marvel Premiere #30, Marvel Team-up #46 (Deathlok, baby!), and I'm also pretty sure I had DC Superstars (of Space) #4. But the books I remember best, and most fondly, are the two DC treasury editions, featuring Batman and the Secret Origins of the Super-villains, which were not bought in the store. I remember I actually begged my mom to let me order them, and how excited I was when the the big brown cardboard mailer with them came in the mail.

By the way, I have to say that I really love the covers to every single Charlton romance comic that came out that month, but especially Love Diary (and I think the covers to Just Married and My Only Love are by Jorge Badia Romero).

Oh, and I almost forgot: this month's Richie Rich tally is 10.

david_b said...

As I've mused here before, I had effectively left my initial foray into comic collecting by early '75. But with Avengers bringing back John Buscema for a few issues here, I started collecting them again for a dozen issues until 'Star Wars' came out.

That FF Annual 11 was quite good with the Invaders (picked it up just a few yrs ago), again with Big John at the helm; Sinnott's inks would have helped greatly, Grainger was alright, but Joe S would have been the delicious icing..

That Super Villain Team-Up looks good, may have to track that down.

And again, I really, REALLY hated those UPC corner boxes, nearly as much as the "THIS COMIC COULD BE WORTH.." banners to arrive a few short years later.


Anonymous said...

Remember how misleading comic book covers could be? Well, Super-Villain Team-Up is THAT book. I so wanted to read about Doom without the FF getting in the way, only... I got the origin of third rate Batman knock-off the Shroud instead. Aaargh!
Its not a good book - don't believe the hype, david_b.

-sean

Doug said...

Sean --

Filed under "great minds think alike", bring those sentiments back here on the 30th. That day's post will be right in line with your last comment! And, SVTU is the subject of my first thoughts for that day's ramblings!

Doug

J.A. Morris said...

Being a bit younger than average here, the only issue I bought off the racks was 'Valley Of The Dinosaurs' #8. But I've read a whole bunch of these comics as back issues and/or reprints. Warlock, X-men, ASM all had good months in June of '76. Or was it March?

Redartz said...

I have to give a shout out to that FOOM cover. Beautiful , a shame my subscription had expired by then...

Karen said...

I'm shocked by how many titles I bought this month:23! Of that number, 21 were Marvel, the other 2 being DC (Superman and Legion). This was the height of my comics fever. There were some great titles like Warlock, X-Men, Avengers. But many of the mainstream titles - Captain America, Fantastic Four, Hulk - were on a long slide into mediocrity.

I'll have to take another look at SVTU. I recall sort of mixed feelings about it in the past . I think it might have suffered from some of the same problems as The Champions: poorly defined concept, rotating creative teams, and inconsistent publishing.

Anonymous said...

I was also at the height of my comic buying at this time. I have at least 20 of these Marvel books. And I agree with Karen as I remember feeling that many of the main titles were sliding.

I also remember so many Kirby covers - Avengers, Cap, Champions, both FFs...loved the covers but couldn't get excited about what he was writing (Cap) or would soon be writing (Eternals, Black Panther). His "return" was uber hyped but I saw him as coming in and really disrupting the existing Marvel universe. I enjoyed his collaborations with Stan in the Silver Age reprints like FF, Thor and Cap much more.

Tom

Anonymous said...

I was only 4 at the time, so I wasn't reading any comics (at least, I don't remember any); I've read quite a few of these since then. I like the Unknown Soldier cover, and the JLA one is wild.

Speaking of covers, it's interesting to see a couple here by Earl Norem (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu and Planet of the Apes) who died just a week ago; he did some good stuff.

Mike Wilson

Colin Bray said...

I was 5 years old when these comics were published so didn't get any of them at the time.

However, I have since picked up about 11 of these titles give or take. However, several are still in the 'to read' boxes.

What strikes me is how visually striking the covers are when laid out. They must have looking so exciting on the spinner rack, no wonder so many here just couldn't resist during this period. Like the best sweetshop in the world.

Colin Bray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Oyola said...

I turned 5 that summer, so didn't get any of these at the time, and despite getting quite a number of comics from this era for cheap in the early 80s, I do not remember even one of these being among them. :( The covers aren't even familiar.

Dr. Oyola said...

oops! I take it back, Amazing Spider-Man #157 is a classic. I had it and still have it. :)

Anonymous said...

J.A. said - "Being a bit younger than average here..."

Mike W. said - "I was only 4 at the time..."

Colin B. said - "I was 5 years old..."

Dr. O said - "I turned 5..."

Damn, I feel old!

Tom

david_b said...

Tom, I DEFINITELY agree with you and Karen, I felt my favorite titles were sliding by that time as well, hence my speedy departure.

Anonymous said...

Oh and Edo, I'm realizing that I have at least one of those 10 Richie Rich comics - Richie Rich, Casper and Wendy -- National League #1. Can't remember any of the stories but I bought it because it was about baseball.

Tom

Graham said...

I bought 18 that month. Seems like spring break was during this time for me, so that may be why I bought so many. The ones I remember the most are the FF and Iron Man annuals, the Avengers arc that was going on at the time, the X-Men/Sentinels arc, and The Spirit.....I loved Warren's series. The new look Tarzan was sort of intriguing, but I lost interest as it progressed. Also, I remember that Cap's Love Story issue of Captain America, but not in a really favorable way. Pretty corny stuff. :)

The Prowler said...

ELEVEN!!! I bought 11 that month. Summer before I turned 12. Does that make me old or average? The most surprising of the lot was Hulk 200. I was not a regular buying of Hulk so I could have had extra money? Not sure where it would have come from. This was pre bike and pre-pre lawn mowing. Mowing lawns? Mowing of the lawns? The lawns done been had mowed? All my comic buying at the time was from the local U-totem convenience store. One week it would have been Spider-Man and DD, then FF and Thor, then the Avengers and so on and so forth......

etc.........and such as and .........stuff. I think I'm now rambling.....leaves are falling all around, it's time I was on my way........ sometimes I grow so tired.......but I know I've got one thing I've got to doooooo.......

Anonymous said...

Yeah like Osvaldo I was 5 at the time, so I didn't have much of these. The only one I have here is the X-men issue with the Sentinels in space. Strangely, in this issue Colossus in his armoured form still needs to breathe oxygen like a normal human and cannot survive in space, but some years later in an issue of Spider-Woman #38 he says he doesn't need to breathe in his armoured form. Up to this day I wonder if Chris Claremont changed his abilities arbitrarily, sort of like the Hulk being retconned as being able to breathe underwater because of a special 'gland'.


- Mike 'Hulk swim!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Dr. Oyola said...

If I can get up on the old man soapbox for minute, I was at the comic store yesterday and there were a few 15 year old boys buying comics and being obnoxiously whiny about who paid for what and how much and who should put it on their credit card(!) and why (and how much they had left on it, so I assumed these were the kind of limited cards parents sometimes get their kids), but at the same time they were buying $80 to $90 worth of comics and trades each!

While I was trying to remember what it was like to be 15 and have some empathy for their obnoxiousness, it also reminded me of when I was lucky to have $4 or $5 to buy comics. I remember once I earned $10 doing odd jobs for the guy who owned the jewelry store we lived above and my mom let me spend it on comics. But $90? Even at today's prices, that's a lot for kids to spend willy-nilly I think.

Oh and because of the rewards program at the store I go to my comics yesterday came to $1.39! It was like 1979 prices all over again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your curmudgeon story Osvaldo. Look on the bright side...you're still younger than me.

Tom

Edo Bosnar said...

...and younger than me. Geez (he says slipping into curmudgeon mode), teenagers with credit cards, able to blow almost a hundred bucks at a comic book shop. Oh well, at least now I can say, "hey, you kids get off my lawn, or I'll charge any damage you do to your cards!"
Osvaldo, your story about cash flow problems back then reminded me of my favorite source of unexpected cash: when birthdays or holidays rolled around, and some relative or relatives (usually grandparents) would slip me a five, and sometimes even a ten dollar bill. That was free money! And I pretty much always blew all of it on comics...

Dougie said...

It's just remarkable: I can remember that Legion comic and the Moon Knight solo so vividly. I can "see" the very part of the school grounds where I read it! I was surprised that the X-Men came out that month but that's the Xmas setting playing tricks on my memory. I was also crazy about that Conan/Amra storyline. I got the FOOM issue by subscription because my Conan obsession was at its height for the next two or three years, as I was now able to find the paperbacks (and, almost 13, just old enough to read them!)

Redartz said...

Guess I must be on the upper end of the spectrum here; I was 15 when these books hit the stand! Edo, those cash gifts from friends and family were certainly a winner- who doesn't like to get a card with cash in it? Like you, many of those dollars went into a longbox. Indeed, they still do- my family still gifts me with comic stuff; last year they gave a Marvel comics calender, this year an Avengers t-shirt for my imminent birthday.

Osvaldo- speaking of kids and the money they have available, have you been to a convention lately? The money changing hands there, including from young folk; is staggering. Of course, the nice thing about conventions is saving up ahead of time to blow it on some elusive item you can't find elsewhere, or on a sketch from an admired artist...

Anonymous said...

Being -15 months at the time, I didn't buy any of those off the rack.

I've read 8 of those since. As Sean noted above, it's amazing that Gene Colan put out two great-looking comics that month. I maintain that the Englehart/Colan Dr. Strange could have been among the best comics of the era but the creative team was cut off at the knees after 1 1/2 stories.

I see Defenders 36 & Marvel Presents 5 in there- a double dose of Gerber! I own beat-up copies of both issues. It's amszing how bold he was with his scripts. Considering how long ago his comics were published, it's even more of a shame that Marvel Comics have become so toothless (except Waid's Daredevil and maybe a couple others).

- Mike Loughlin

Dr. Oyola said...

I've never been to a convention. Since I am more interested in buying than panels I have to calculate the price of the ticket into what I would consider buying and it is never worth it in my mind. . . but some day.

As for the story above, I don't want to make it seem like I had even $5 to spend on comics all the time- though having a doting older sister who was working a full time job already when I was still in grade school meant I did have a second person to beg to buy me comics. :)

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