Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Spinner Rack - September 1983


Doug: Get over here and have your monthly helping of Spinner Rack nostalgia, friends. Today we're tripping back to a time near the end of our general parameters. I was in my junior year of high school, and had eschewed comics buying during those years. So you may not get much out of me today save a reminiscence of some retroactive reading or reprint collection I later purchased.

Click here to go to Mike's Amazing World of Comics to see the books that were cover dated for September 1983, and then come back to tell us your thoughts and memories. You may click on the date below to be taken to the good folks at the Comic Book Database for some additional information.








22 comments:

Colin Jones said...

The only one I recognize is Fantastic Four but I don't remember if I actually owned it or not. This was the very end of my first phase of reading Marvel comics, which had begun in 1974, before going on hiatus for the next 24 years and returning in 2007. By the way, interesting to see 2000AD - No.1 came out in February 1977 just a few days after my 11th birthday so I suppose I was in the target demographic but I've never read a single issue of this iconic British comic.

Martinex1 said...

Like Colin I was on the edge of a collecting gap right around this time. Avengers and Defenders were at really low points During this time, so I think I only was reading Alpha Flight, FF, and maybe Iron Man. At some point I picked up the Hawkeye limited series.

I don't know why I have it in my head that Archie's Riverdale is in the Midwest, but they sure are at the beach a lot.

Redartz said...

As with both Colin and Martinex, I had cut waaay back by then. Although, somehow I tally 10 books that month, including indies " Somerset Holmes" and "Journey". Had high regard for FF, Stern's "Amazing Spiderman" and the Legion.

Martinex- great comment regarding Archie and the beach! Seems like it was mentioned in "Archie Meets the Punisher " that Riverdale was middle American, but they really did hang out at the beach a lot. Indiana Dunes, maybe?

Graham said...

Sad time for me, looking back. This was right at the end of my collecting period. I was going off to college and totally absorbed in engineering. Besides, there were NO stores in the college town I was in that even sold comic books that I was ever able to find. I think I was able to complete the Sword of the Atom series that started this month and wrap up a couple of story lines I was following, but that was pretty much it.

Interesting thing.....I was wondering if this happened to anyone else, but prior to going into engineering in school, I loved to read science fiction, fantasy, and comic books, but during school, my interest in all waned considerably. I have gone back and revisited some of my old comic books, but never went back to any of them like I did before I started college.

Edo Bosnar said...

This was actually getting close to my first major hiatus from comics. I was already seriously cutting back, though, as looking over the offerings at Mike's, I think I only had about 10 of these. Of course, I was still reading X-men, and also New Mutants, as well as Alpha Flight and FF (I still love that annual). Interestingly, I remember getting the Hawkeye mini, although at this point I had pretty much stopped reading Avengers. On the DC side, all I recall having is Batman and the Outsiders, Sword of the Atom and that excellent issue of DC Comics Presents (an action-packed team-up with Omac, drawn by Perez). I was also still enjoying Groo at the time, great stuff.

Martinex1 said...

It's interesting many of us fell out of collecting around this time. Was it our age or the quality of the work? For me it was a bit of both. I really disliked the coloring method that was going on around this time, but the stories seemed a bit lackluster as well.

I must be missing some reference in the cover dialogue on Captain Carrot. What hat? Am I missing the punchline?

Edo, I never read that FF annual. The cover did not draw me in; curious what the storyline was.

And I never followed Cerebus but what is with the Wolverine homage?

Anonymous said...

Ah, we're getting into my heyday now; I was 11 years old and in the middle of my comic-reading career. It's hard to remember exactly what I had back then, but I definitely remember All-Star Squadron, Amazing Spidey, Batman & the Outsiders, the Return of the Jedi Super Special (which I still have), Marvel Tales (which I also still have), and Spectacular Spidey. I may have had a number of others as well: Batman, Detective, JLA, Legion, Captain Carrot, DD, PM/IF, MTU, and DC Presents all look familiar...though that may be because I've read them subsequently.

It was around this time that I started phasing out DC books and pretty much moved exclusively to Marvel by 1985 or '86.

Mike Wilson

Karen said...

This was getting towards the end of my comic buying years, until I came back again after college. Surprisingly, I was still buying quite a few books - I looked over this month's issues and I think I might have had as many as 14! Hard to say though, because I was working in the comic shop at this time, and I read 75% of everything that came in. I know I was buying more unusual books, like Nexus, Dreadstar, Coyote, etc. As others have mentioned, many of the traditional mainstream titles had really sunk into a morass of mediocrity. You had to go to the more alternative titles to find anything truly exciting it seemed. But I was still picking up Legion, X-Men, and Avengers. Alpha Flight and New Mutants were interesting initially. But they lost me (along with everything else) after a while.

Dr. Oyola said...

This was in the height of my buying years of childhood. I had 7 of these issues, including the Amazing Spider-Man, the FF annual, ROM (of course), and the Defenders issue. A few of these I have only purchased in the last four years, like the Dazzler and the Uncanny X-Men. I never had much a comic-buying budget and relied on flea markets and yard sales to buy back issues.

William said...

Ahh yes 1983, the year I graduated high-school. A lot of great comics and great memories around this time.

I noticed a lot of people saying that this was near the end of their comic buying years. I guess I was weird because once I started, I never stopped buying comics (until a few years ago when they really started to suck). Even when I was away in the Coast Guard I still kept up with my regular monthly titles. I'd get home at least one weekend a month and go by the comic store and pick up all my books they had pulled for me. I'd even bring several of them back to the ship with me and store in the locker under my bed (which is fittingly called a "rack" on a Coast Guard cutter).

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

Not sure what some of you are down on this era about - it was a great time for Marvel. Stern's ASM was hitting on all cylinders. In fact, one of Spidey's greatest runs. Stern was also on Avengers. Someone mentioned that the Avengers was at a low point. What? Again, on a great run. John Byrne was in the middle of his fabled FF run. We were an issue or two away from Walt Simonson's Thor! Think about it - I've just stated three of the most highly regarded runs in comic book history. All during this time! But, I will add - as great as this point in time was - I fell out for stretch shortly after this period. I believe I fell out circa summer of 1985. Been back on and off.

JackAlberti said...

Oh, and the Captain America book was on an excellent run. Regarding the paper and coloring - the switch many are down on did not happen until a year after this point in time.

dbutler16 said...

I was 14 at this point and had a pretty good allowance by then to spend on comics. Adventure Comics #503 is during the digest sized run that Adventure had, with Legion reprints as well as some cool Aquaman and Spectre stuff, if I remember correctly.
Alpha Flight #2 I also had from this month, early in Byrne's excellent run on that title, which completely went into the tank when he left.
Avengers #235 is not jogging any particular memory, but I definitely bought that on the spinner rack along with Batman and the Outsiders #2, Defenders #123 (after all, it had all those ex-X-Men in it!), Fantastic Four #258, Hawkeye #1 (good stuff), Justice League of America #218, Legion of Super-Heroes #303, Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #2, Micronauts #54, New Mutants #7, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #9, Thing #3, Uncanny X-Men #173, and maybe something else I've overlooked such as Thor.

Ward Hill Terry said...

One year after High school for me. This month's offerings did not excite me very much, then or now. I had already dropped most of my long runs at this point. Superman, Action, Spectacular Spider-Man. Batman and Detective were getting closer and closer to getting dropped as I couldn't stand the Nocturna storyline or character, and Mike Decarlo's inks did it no favors. Legion and All Star Squadron were the only DC must-buy for me. I'm pretty sure I bought this month's Amazing Spider-Man. I had stopped buying it in the early 200's, but I came back for most of these Hobgoblin stories. However very little sticks with me. That and The Defenders were the only Marvel books I bought that month. I tried so hard to like The Defenders, but the internal art just quite couldn't do it, and the cover were wonderful! I was no fan of Byrne's F.F. I've tried reading some since and I still don't like it. HOWEVER, look what's happening! First Comics! I was buying those, and soon they would be publishing Nexus and Badger. Many of these titles were about to get better or more exciting within a year or two. Thor, Green Lantern, Flash, Omega Men, and so many new titles! For my money Journey was the best comic this month. What a great series. BTW, Martinex, the punchline to the hat gag is in the third panel, and in Cerebus the "Roach" character was used to satirize superhero comics. He started as The Cockroach (Batman), then Captain Cockroach (Captain America), Moon Roach (Moon Knight, hi-freakin'-larious), and Wolver-roach, as this was at the X-Men ascendancy. Cerebus always just referred to him as "Cootie."

William said...

I pretty much agree with JalRod, that comics weren't bad at all during this time.

In fact my absolute favorite 5 year run of Amazing Spider-Man was from the beginning of 1982 right to the end of 1986 which encompassed the Stern/Romita Jr. and DeFalco/Frenz years. (Now after that things started sliding down hill pretty fast for 'ol Spidey).

I was also still reading Captain America, as Mike Zeck was going strong on the book at this time. Also John Byrne was at the apex of his awesome run on the FF, and Chris Claremont and Paul Smith were cranking out some of the best X-Men stories since Byrne left the book. And there was also some pretty decent stuff coming out from DC as well.

Now, I will admit I pretty much gave up on the Avengers somewhere around this point. The quality of the material that was being published in 1983 just couldn't compare with some of the classics from the previous few years, especially in the art department. (Why Al Milgrom was ever allowed anywhere near a drawing board is beyond human comprehension).

Daredevil was also kind of winding down for me around this time as well. After Miller left, all the excitement I felt reading that book just seemed to fade away. I actually used to get a little bummed out reading it after that because it didn't feel like the same series at all.

However there was still plenty of comics to love in 1983. And there were a lot of good things coming down the road like John Byrne's run on Superman and later on West Coast Avengers, as well as Justice League International by Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire. (One of my all time favorite titles). And there were quite a few other little gems as well that would crop up from time to time.

So IMHO, anyone who completely gave up the comic reading ghost around this time missed out on some really good stuff (from both Marvel and DC) over the next 5 to 7 years or so. Now, if you'd given up around 1990 I'd completely understand.

Garett said...

Jon Sable! Just getting going here with the origin story. One of the best books of the Bronze Age. Dreadstar was great. Nice Alien Worlds cover by Dave Stevens-- I remember picking up some issues of this title.

Alpha Flight was good. I reread the whole Byrne run a year ago and enjoyed it. The Omnibus is coming: https://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Flight-John-Byrne-Omnibus/dp/1302904051/ Camelot 3000 had some nice Bolland art. Sword of the Atom series was cool, some of Kane's best art and maybe the only Atom story I've ever liked.

Some other reprints coming out.
Ka-Zar: https://www.amazon.com/Ka-Zar-Savage-Dawn-Bruce-Jones/dp/1302905066/
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Hands-Kung-Omnibus-Vol/dp/1302901338/
Jim Aparo's Phantom: https://www.amazon.com/Aparos-Complete-Phantom-Dick-Wood/dp/1613451105/

Edo Bosnar said...

I have to agree with the folks who have pointed out that the comics coming out at this time were really quite good; my reasons for cutting back on comics at this time was tied to other things going on in my life, and had little to do with the quality of the comics being produced. And as noted by Ward Hill Terry and Garett, the whole first part of the 1980s was really a fantastic time for comics from the non-big 2 publishers.

By the way, Garett, I saw some discussion of that Ka-Zar book at the Marvel Masterworks forum a few months ago. While it's nice that the series is finally getting some reprints, it's truly disappointing that only the first five issues will be included in that book. I would much prefer it if that series got Epic collection treatment - it could all easily be collected in two books (or even just one really fat one...)

Doug said...

Thanks for the weekend-long participation, friends. As I mentioned, I was out of comics buying during the period 1980-85. Of all of the books pictured, I retroactively purchased only six of them.

And I have an idea for an Open Forum based on this post's comments. Stay tuned.

Doug

Redartz said...

Ward Hill Terry- glad to hear from another fan of "Journey". A great series, unique and entertaining.

As for the question of overall quality of the comics at that time- I agree that there were many fine books being published, and more on the horizon. Among them were the only books I still bought at that time, such as FF, Amazing Spider-Man, and a few others. My interests had just changed, perhaps- going from buying some 20 titles a month in the late 70's to just a handful by the mid 80's. By 1990 it would be down to zero (although I did occasionally pick up a new book here and there). But in 1983, I still had the bug...

dbutler16 said...

Incidentally, since many here have commented on this still being a good time for comics, my meticulous research has revealed that 1983 is the 11th best year ever for comics. Considering that we've had 55 years (or thereabouts) since the beginning of the Silver Age, that's pretty good, methinks.

Eric said...

Alpha Flight, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Hawk eye, Marvel Age, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Uncanny X-Men were all purchased by me.

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