Friday, April 29, 2016

The Spinner Rack - May 1973


Doug: Since we are literally full from tomorrow through next weekend, I thought we'd hit May's Spinner Rack post early. You know how it works - head over to Mike's Amazing World of Comics to see the offerings cover dated May, 1973, and then get yourself back over here to leave us some thoughts. My guess is that for most of us we'll be on the outside looking in, commenting on which of these books we've read as part of collections in this -- the Golden Age of Reprints. By clicking on the date below you'll be taken to the Comic Book Database. Have fun!






AND...


We at the Bronze Age Babies are really excited for the coming week -- actually eight days beginning tomorrow. Come back each day for All Civil War, All the Time, as PF Gavigan, Redartz, Martinex1, Colin Bray, and your proprietors cover the topic front to back and even sideways. We hope you'll enjoy!

29 comments:

J.A. Morris said...

I don't think I have any of these...unless reprints count. The Marvel's Greatest Comics reprint was also reprinted in Origins of Marvel Comics, so I read that one quite a few times. Marvel Team-Up #9 is part of the silly but fun Tomorrow War storyline, I read that one in the Treasury-sized reprint. And I've read the Captain Marvel story, part of Starlin's epic Thanos story. I picked up the reprint of that issue since it featured Super-Skrull, one of my favorite villains.

Edo Bosnar said...

Yep, this month was about 2 years before I got a comic book in my grubby little hands; but as Doug noted, some were read in later reprints or collections or some such.
However, I do have a few thoughts:
1. only 5 Richie Rich titles. I guess this was just before his popularity exploded and he began to dominate the monthly offerings.
2. I've mentioned it before on one of these posts, but again, I really like some of the covers to Charlton's romance titles. Besides the excellent one Doug posted here, there's also Romantic Story #127, which is quite nicely designed as well.
3. Not only was there, unsurprisingly, a Partridge Family comic, but also a David Cassidy spin-off title! And what a great cover - now I'm really curious about the stories and art in that series...

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Looking at Mike’s website (and I’m talking about Marvel here), I’m going to strongly (OK, mildly) disagree with you, Doug. Undeniably, it was the golden age of reprints, but look at the talent you’ve got doing the original material here:

Spidey by Conway and the inimitable Gil Kane, Avengers, Cap, Luke Cage & Hulk all being written by Englehart, Starlin on Mar-Vell and Doc Strange, Thomas / Buscema / Chan on Conan, Gerber on Daredevil & Iron man, Conway & Big John doing Thor & FF, Wolfman & Colan on Drac, Wein & Ploog on Werewolf.

What a time to be alive! I don't think it's the golden age of reprints so much as the golden age full stop.

Having said all that, I will now contradict myself (maybe) because I am struck by the fact that the headline acts are actually not the best stuff here. The smaller titles are where the real interest lies.

FF, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man don’t look like classics to me (I don’t think there was a classic period of Iron Man until DM-JRJR-BL took over). Avengers at that point was brilliantly written, but Don Heck art after we’d been spoilt by Big John & Neal Adams? Cap admittedly is on the cusp of a golden age. DD was being written by Gerber, so why is it not more memorable? Is it just me? Or was it the duff art?

More interesting: Thomas/Conway beginning War of Worlds (with Adams art). Also just finished that lovely if short Beast run. Captain Marvel – Starlin about to go Full Thanos. I have a soft spot for that Ant Man run in Feature. That Doc Strange is by Starlin and that run features some great Englehart stories (though not that issue). Conan was in the hands of an all-time classic team: Thomas / Buscema /Chan. Ploog was doing some interesting stuff on Frankie & Wolfie.

It was definitely a month to play the B sides.

Richard

PS Doug, I just caught up (thanks to your retroactive Twitter postings) on your post from (yikes) September 2013 where you are missing me, Dougie & Inkstained Wretch. Thank you. I was feeling the love (seriously).



Edo Bosnar said...

Erm, Richard, I think Doug means that the present day is the Golden Age of Reprints...

Redartz said...

Richard- fully agree on your praise for the 'second tier' books of that era.There was a lot of treasure to be found, mining those spinner racks.

As for the month of today's discussion, I still about a year away from superhero books. I did have a couple of the Archie books, and possibly that Golden Comics Digest with Little Lulu (by the great John Stanley). That said, I did pick up about 10 of those books over the next several years, when the fever for collecting back issues took me by the throat.

Oh, and I wonder what Richard Nixon was doing with Jackie Jokers...

Doug said...

Richard --

Karen and others have remarked that we are now living in the Golden Age of Reprints. While there were certainly reprint titles available in 1973, I was referring to our ability now to read those old stories in collections.

And we do welcome you back -- you were missing in action for quite some time and it's good to get to hear from you again regularly.

Doug

Doug said...

I only have ever owned three of those books.

Did anyone besides me notice that there is only one DC hero comic (World's Finest) with the May cover date? What the heck was going on? Were all DCs bi-monthly back then? At first I thought it was a glitch on the Comic Book Database when I was grabbing covers for the post. But my quick glance at Mike's site shows that it was accurate.

Where were the DCs??

Doug

Martinex1 said...

Redartz I was wondering the same thing about Jackie Jokers. I only had three of these and I purchased them as back issues. I always thought Thanos looking out the window on Captain Marvel was kind of funny, "Hey, you Superheroes get off my lawn!"

Edo, I like the Charlton work as well here.

Garett said...

Great time for Conan...yes lots of romance titles...many nice Romita covers this month. I read Tomb of Dracula all at once in the Essentials volumes about 10 years ago-- great series! Nice Vampirella cover.

I'd like to read Marvel Premiere 8 with Dr. Strange by Starlin.

Baby Snoots #12! I see this series went 22 issues, twice as long as Kirby's New Gods. If only Kirby could've done a Snoot Wars crossover. ; )

Anonymous said...

Doug, you link to the cover rather than on sale date at Mikes, and I believe DC changed their system to a month further ahead at this point.
You'll notice that House of Mystery cover you've posted is dated June.
In which, btw, Berni Wrightson appears to be paying homage (lets call it that:) to Sensation Comics 109, a real work of genius:) - www.dc.wikia.com/wiki/Sensation_Comics_Vol_1_109

-sean

Garett said...

Super House of Mystery cover by Wrightson, Doug! Man he was amazing at this time. Am I missing it? I don't see this cover up at Mike's.

Doug said...

Sean and Garett --

So there is some discrepancy between Mike's and the Comic Book Database. Yep -- that House of Mystery cover sure is cover dated June! However, I was becoming aware that there were no DC books for me to show, so when I saw that in the May 1973 queue on the CBDB I grabbed it. I should have paid better attention.

Still weird that there are only a few books then with that cover date.

Doug

Garett said...

Interesting connection to Sensation Comics, Sean! And you answered my question about Wrightson's cover at Mike's. Did you just know this Infantino cover from 1952? Seems like the right time period to influence a young Bernie.

Anonymous said...

So, by the simple expedient of looking up June 1973 for DC at Mikes we find they were way better than Marvel at this point.
The brilliance of Kirby at his best on The Demon, Mr Mirace and Kamandi (the amazing issue 6), Kubert on Tarzan, all the different genre books... Thats a lot better than Englehart on Avengers. You know I'm right, zuvembies!
(Richard, I've started hitting the bottle early today:)

-sean

Anonymous said...

Garett - I'm not THAT old:). I just saw it a while back in a post somewhere about old pre-code horror comics and it stuck in my mind. Probably because its so insanely brilliant.
Not hard to see how it might have appealed to a young Wrightson

-sean

Doug said...

Seems like Sean's wanting to jump into the BAB Side-by-Side machine!

http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2015/01/bab-firsts-marvel-and-dc-side-by-side.html

There are posts in that genre covering Marvel and DC between 1961 and 1985. Happy spelunking, kids!

Doug

jim kosmicki said...

i do believe that this is the point where DC changed their cover dates, so that's a strong theory.

but DC only published most of their big titles 8 times a year for a long time. They had the numbers to show which months had better sales than others and adjusted accordingly. It wasn't until after the Implosion that DC management declared that a book had to be monthly to survive.

Anonymous said...

Boy Howdy!
Richard, you're right--'73 was a banner year for Marvel, they were pumping on all cylinders, and it was about the point I discovered comics, at age five, sort of like Skynet becoming self-aware. I picked up three of these much later as reprints, but I'm not sure if the Worlds Finest issue was worth it. As I recall, that comic was just plum dumb.
But a classic F.F. reprint and Spider-man going up against the rampaging Hulk--what more can you ask for?
M.P.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was only a year old at this point, so I wasn't reading anything yet! But I've read about a dozen of these subsequently, most of the "classic" Marvel titles (plus a number of DCs from that time period which, as Doug pointed out, are missing this particular month).

Mike Wilson

Martinex1 said...

Does anybody know, is any company reprinting any of the old Charlton material? I'd like to read some of it but back issues seem pretty hard and expensive to come by.

Thomas F. said...

Just a few months ago, I picked up that 1973 issue of Amazing Spider-Man #120, which was the ending of a two-part story featuring the Hulk. (It was also reprinted in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #12). I especially liked it, because being from western Canada myself, the story took place in Montreal, Quebec.

Of course, Marvel tended to adhere to the usual American stereotypes regarding Canada. In Marvel comics, the Canadian stock characters were just depicted as British clones, and Canada was largely perceived to be a land of "wilderness." For example, in a panel-sized preview ad in the pages of Daredevil #115 (Nov. 1974), featuring Wolverine that predates Incredible Hulk #181, there is written in stark bold lettering: "From the wilderness reaches of Canada comes the dreaded deadly Wolverine!" Same old.

I also happen to have that issue of Marvel's Greatest Comics #42, which reprints a Silver Age Fantastic Four story. I've always enjoyed cosmic sci-fi tales, and have long been a major Silver Surfer fan. Incidentally, the Silver Surfer is a purely Kirby creation, too; yet another example of Kirby's genius.

Garett said...

Martinex, there's E-Man: http://kleinletters.com/Blog/rereading-eman-the-early-years/

And there was a reprint book of the Phantom.

Martinex1 said...

Thanks for the info Garrett

Anonymous said...

Tom, Canada remains shrouded in mystery for many of us Americans, a vague, shadowy country to the north much like Robert E. Howard's Cimmeria..
Don't take offense! It's a mysterious place, I'd like to visit but I'm not sure they'ed allow me in there. All I know is that it's cold a lot of the time and Wild Bill Shatner came from there.
M.P.

Anonymous said...

MP, You forgot lumberjacks.
Of course, from this side of the Atlantic, the US seems an even more mysterious place, an exotic land of water towers on the top of sky scrapers, and the shadowy Donald.
No offence - thanks for Jack Kirby and Miles Davis.
And bagels.


-sean

Anonymous said...

We also gave the world Bruce Springsteen, Sean!
M.P.

Edo Bosnar said...

...and, to keep pace with more recent (albeit sad) news, Prince.

Martinex, like Garett noted, some Charlton stuff has been reprinted, but way too little (by the way, as far as E-man goes, if you can't find that tpb, First Comics reprinted the entire original Charlton series in the mid-1980s in a 7-issue series called "Original E-man and Michael Mauser," and the back issues can be pretty easily and cheaply found online last time I checked).
Also, DC reprinted all of the Charlton Captain Atom, Blue Beetle and Question stories by Ditko from the 1960s in two hardcover archive editions called Action Heroes. Those aren't necessarily hard to find, but they are quite expensive.
Otherwise, though, as far as I know, nobody is publishing any systematic reprints of the Charlton material, which is unfortunate. There is a ton of great stuff there from its horror, superhero, action, romance, and licensed titles (like Space 1999), often with great art by the likes of Aparo, Ditko, Newton, Byrne, Zeck, Staton, Sutton, Boyette, etc., etc., etc. languishing in obscurity. Your best bet for seeing a lot of that stuff is to go poking through the archives at Diversions of the Groovy Kind.

Martinex1 said...

Thank you Edo and Garett. There is a big hole in my collecting when it comes to Charlton. I've been curious for years about some of their titles and the creators involved. There was always something mysterious and cool about Charlton, probably because they rarely showed up on my local spinner racks. As a kid the only one I recall having was a Billy the Kid, though I may have had a horror issue as well. Space 1999 and E-Man intrigue me as does some of the Ditko stories. I've seen some of Byrne's early art and I like seeing how it evolved.

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