Tuesday, November 27, 2012

1K Worth of Bronze Age Babies Posts -- Today!

Karen: 1000 posts -it's hard to believe! I guess we've had a lot to say about comics, movies, music, TV, all the stuff that we love. Our reviews of comics, particularly ones we read when we were kids, have been especially enlightening to me. Sometimes my opinion has stayed the same, some 30-plus years later. At other times, it's been a surprise to discover that my youthful enthusiasm for a book let me overlook obvious flaws. But regardless, revisiting those old comics has been fun.  Reading a comic from the 70s always takes me back to those days. I recall Saturdays spent on my bike, first collecting empty bottles to supplement my allowance, then riding around to a variety of markets and liquor stores to hunt down my favorite titles. This was before comic shops, back in the days when there was no centralized location to get all your books. One store might have the latest Avengers, but not the new Spider-Man. It was truly a labor of love to get a hold of all the books I wanted.  Once I'd made all my rounds, I might head to the new Taco Bell that had opened near our home and grab a taco for lunch. Then, depending on the weather, I'd either go to the local park or home to read my books. Those days were so care-free, and the books were so entertaining. It was a great time in my life, a great time to be a kid. I can't help but experience a bit of that feeling when I read these comics again. Based on your comments, many of you have a similar reaction reading the reviews. That's the really rewarding part of putting the blog together -knowing that we're not just cranking out a review, but giving everyone a chance to experience that pleasant nostalgia.

Doug:  It certainly is hard to believe -- no way did I ever even imagine those (now) several years ago when we first started blogging that we'd reach a milestone in the four-figures.  But, since we're here, why stop now?  Like Karen, I've really, really enjoyed the discovery and re-discovery of comics from my childhood.  Born in 1966, the Bronze Age was fully blossoming as I came to comics reading near the end of my 6th year.  And, like I've said many times around here, the other treasures of my kidhood were Megos, Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies, the Planet of the Apes franchise airing on network television, AM radio, and Slurpees at the 7-11 store.

Doug:  It's not only a comic mag, but a song that can immediately take me back to those wonderful times.  Elton John's Rocket Man instantly places me in the basement of my buddy Jeff K., using all of the boxes and an old full-size hairdryer chair as landscapes for our seemingly-endless Mego adventures.  Reading the destruction/salvation of Reed and Sue's marriage in the Fantastic Four #140's, the clone saga in Amazing Spider-Man #'s 130's-140's, and the "Celestial Madonna" wrapping up in Avengers and all of those Giant-Size issues was a blast.  Sometimes I even think I get smells as part of those memories.  Give me Paper Lace's The Night Chicago Died or McCartney's Live and Let Die and I'm back in the early/mid-'70's.

Doug:  However, Karen and I wanted to take today to not only say we're still pumped about the Bronze Age, but that in an effort to sustain our quality and even recharge a bit, we're going to take what we feel is a well-deserved vacation.  So here's the deal -- once 2012 turns to 2013, you folks -- our ever-faithful readers -- will be in charge around these spaces.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we're going to run a sort of "BAB Classic" where you'll find reruns of some of our earliest or favorite comic book reviews.  For many of you, you'll be seeing them for the first time; for those of you who've been with us during most of the past three years, we're going to copy-paste the comments that ran back in the day to the bottom of the post.  This way those whose voices were heard on the original publication will receive their due as conversation starters for what we hope will be continued discourse on those stories.  Do not hesitate to jump right in and carry forward any issues raised, or praises or pans as well.

Karen: I'm really curious what you'll have to say -and what conversations might get started, now that we have a more robust community!

Doug:  On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and on the weekends in January, we're going to take some of our famous discussion starters and turn you loose on them.  We'll rotate the following five departments:  The Open Forum, Discuss, Face-Off, Spotlight On... and Who's the Best...?  If you've never noticed, we set our posts to go live each day at 6:00 am Central Time here in the States.  If you're an early riser, or happen to be the first one in on any given day, then you'll have the opportunity to set the topic of conversation for that day's post.  We'll be sure to have instructions at the top of the post, so even if you're new you'll know what sort of topic is fair game for a particular department.  It's easy, really.

Doug:  So we're not going anywhere -- I'm sure on most days we'll jump right in with you and join the fun.  But we wanted to get some time to recover from the holidays and get ahead on some of our comics reviews.  All is golden in BAB land -- you can count on that!  And come February 1st we'll be right back at it with the regular content you've come to expect -- we'll lead off the month with a series of reviews of the "Under Siege" storyline from the Avengers!  Personally, I can't wait to revisit that tale.

Karen: What he said! 


Inkstained Wretch said...

The Avenger's Under Siege? Ohhh, count me in. That's a huge favorite. I have the entire run.

dbutler16 said...

Those are some nice childhood memories, Karen. Like most others here, re-reading these old comics is not only about the stories themselves, but that many of them take me back several decades to the "good old days". I am a fan of nostalgia, but I seem to remember reading a few years ago that some psychologists think that nostalgia is a mechanism put in place by the brain to improve mental health (or something like that) so I don't feel guilty indulging, or even overindulging, in nostalgia. I'm very glad I grew up when I did, though being bro in 1969, I know I'm a little behind many others here in the timescale.

And yes, I'm very much looking forwards to revisiting "Avengers Under Siege".

humanbelly said...

Oh, so much to like about this post--- so MUCH!

First of all-- MANY CONGRATULATIONS on your thousandth post, eh? Looking over the historical log, this blog has really morphed from being a happy diversion into quite a major responsibility, hasn't it? Ahhhh, with great power, etc. . . I honestly don't bounce around too many similar blogs/forums (Avengers Assemble being the only other place I post on regularly), but the bit of exploration of done seems to reveal a blogosphere largely dominated by forums that either a)lie fallow forever & ever w/out any activity, or b) are so overpopulated that there's little sense of any actual community (Discworld's forum comes to mind-- although the folks there are exceedingly nice), or c) man, the given blog/forum is simply populated with loud-mouthed, confrontational jerks.

This blog, so happily, is NONE of those. (Okay, although *ahem* some folks may tend to wind on at insufferable length sometimes. . . ) I think the atmosphere that somehow combines maturity and respect with an undeniable sense of fun can be attributed directly to the tone that both of you, Doug & Karen, set for us. This is a real balancing act, to say the least-- and it's much appreciated on our end-!

Doug, your observation about catching smell-memories is really dead-on. Comic pages, chocolate chip cookies (or just chocolate chips), newly-mowed grass, dank basement--- it's all cemented right in the ol' olfactory lobe-!

Hey, but can I give a shout-out for your "Season's Greetings" header? I LOVE that image! Is that track-downable for the rest of us? It looks sort of like George Perez channeling John B-- and boy the colors are great. ALSO-- if you pull the oddly-included Silver Surfer out of the way, there is really only one moment-- ONE MOMENT-- in the entire Avengers run where this specific grouping could have occurred. Anyone care to hazard a guess, hmm?

Ah, but enough from me--


Mike said...

Guys, CONGRATS on the 1000 posts milestone!!! Amazing! I still consider myself a newbie to the site, although I am starting to comfortably settle in. I look forward to reading your blasts from the past ... kinda your version of Marvel Tales, huh?? You know, I always loved reading Marvel Tales.

Anyhow, take a break to get ready for a rip-roaring new year. I'll be here down in the Comments every once in awhile to humbly throw down my two-cents .. er, I guess here in the Bronze Age its "STILL 25 cents!"

Thanks for all you do, and have a blessed and safe holidays!

Edo Bosnar said...

Hey, HB, who you callin' insufferable?! ... ;)
By the way, that Avengers image is, if I'm not mistaken, is from one of those Holiday Grab-Bag Treasury Editions (Karen or Doug can correct me if I'm wrong).
As to matter at hand: congratulations from me as well on the big 1K post. And Karen, that picture of you is awesome (like the T-shirt as well).
As for your idea of BAB classics - excellent! Since I've done quite a bit of spelunking (to use Doug's term) in your archives, there's been a number of times when I felt like leaving comments on 2-3 year old posts (and I have done so a few times).
I've also always been fond those DIY posts that lets us set the topic, since 6 a.m. Central Time is right around lunch time here in Croatia, so I have no problem getting the jump on those.
And now I'll have to redouble my efforts to find a reasonably priced reprint copy of the Under Siege story...

david_b said...

Great to see all the other responses first..!!

Yep, count me as one of those who check BAB at, like 6:01am each morning to see how fun my day's goin' to be.

(Each morning for a few years now. Now THAT'S devotion...)

Wow.., 1000 posts. Not too much more to say on that, but echoing the congrats from everyone else.

Yes, I NEED to find which Treasury Edition that Holiday image came from. It's gorgeous..!

Maybe it's just me, but I'm a big fan of your collection pics, Doug. Would love to see 'em updated (basically so I know what to hunt down next..) I still have a megomuseum link to this one guy's AWESOME Bronze Spidey collection with vintage comics, merchandise, spinning comic racks, you name it. He had a shelf of 20some Mego Spideys (T1s, T2s, circle patterns, you name it..) with ONE Goblin right in the middle. It looked SO cool, and it encouraged me to pick up a bunch of other Spidey items from that golden year of 1973, stuff I either had and tossed over the years, or stuff I wish I would have bought back then, and now cherish.

For instance I had that Secret Wars Black Spidey on your shelf, but sold him years ago (thus, will have to purchase again).

Speaking of 'cherishing', I cherish you all for your input here and broadening my love of all things Bronze.

Bless you.

Tony said...

Awesome!! I'll be here to state my comments, and make it look like I actually know what I'm talking about, even though I don't lol. You guys have to do more DC books though...

Karen said...

"our version of Marvel Tales" -Mike, you cracked me up with that!

Edo -thanks, I dig that Creature t-shirt myself! I have a confession: I was also supposed to post a picture of myself in my comics room, but I've had a terrible chest cold for a week and frankly, I look like hell! So instead I inserted a pic from the Fry's Electronics store in Burbank,CA, which I visited back in April for the Monsterpalooza show. That Fry's is just amazing.

But I will try to get some pictures of my comics/monster room in the blog soon. It's changed a great deal in the last couple of years. Maybe we can get Doug to do an update on his room as well.

I also wanted to mention that our "Recent Comments" gizmo is broken and we hope that it will get fixed soon. We like having that on the side-bar, so everyone can engage a little more fully on any post.

Thanks again for all you guys bring to the world of BAB!


Dougie said...

That's the back cover of the third Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag from 1976. I'll be reviewing the comic on my Materioptikon blog in a couple of weeks.

My copy was given to me by Alex Harvey, eldest son of the Sensational Alex Harvey.
Alex Snr. was a fan of Marvel Comics, especially the Surfer and Barry Smith's Conan.

HB, is the "one moment" part of "Even an Android can Cry?"

humanbelly said...

Oh, good one, Dougie-!
Yep, that's what it would have to be. Technically, I suppose it really would fit in (quite sweetly) as a scene immediately after the final panel of that issue. Vision composes himself, and Jan- sensing that lightening the mood might do everyone some good at that moment- notices that a gentle, picturesque snow has started to fall on the nightime city-scape. Naturally, she suggests they all take a quick jaunt outside and introduce Vizh to this lovely phenomenon. It's the perfect warm, welcoming epilogue to the story-- an end-credits sequence, as it were. And made all the more remarkable by an unexpected cruise-by from the Silver Surfer.

Perhaps they invite him in for cocoa afterwards. . . who can say?


Call me a hopelessly sentimental sap (you wouldn't be the first), but that whole scenario just completely whisks me away on the wings of Christmas spiritedness. . .

Hmm. Do you suppose the Avengers did Secret Santas? How exactly would that work for Thor? I mean, his dad is already pretty much a dead-ringer for Santa Claus. . .

HB (on a free-association rampage)

cerebus660 said...

Congratulations on 1000 posts, guys! That's impressive to say the least. I don't comment on here nearly as often as I should but I'd just like to say thanks for always posting such entertaining, thought-provoking and consistently high quality pieces.

david_b said...

Karen, forgot to mention, LOVE your shirt. Always a sucker for a Creature from Black Lagoon shirt.

At first I thought that WAS your 'comics room'...?!?

J.A. Morris said...

Wow, congrats, that's great!

humanbelly said...

Dare I also submit, Karen, that you have a terrific face? Without it sounding all creepy-like? It just says, "Hey, come and talk comics with me! I'm there for ya-!"

Oh-- I mean, no offense, Doug. You- uh- you're a total, uh, chick-magnet yourself, pal. Yessir. . . ummmm. . . . uh. . .

Oh- wife's callin'. Gotta go. . .


Comicsfan said...

For your celebration cake, I had to shrink 1000 candles with Pym particles in order to fit them all on the top. Unfortunately, they retain the normal strength of full-size candles, so you'll need to take one hell of a deep breath to blow them all out at once. Heh. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

1000 posts? Nice!

Long live Bronze Age Babies! Excelsior!

- Mike 'let it snow' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Doug said...

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone.

And we're not planning any sort of let-up prior to our upcoming "days off". Nope -- good stuff on the horizon. For comics, we have the Iron Man/Dr. Doom 2-parter; a double-favorite from us to you -- Silver Surfer #4 (many folk's nominee for best-comic-ever); a Silver/Bronze artist tour de force in Marvel Heroes and Legends #1 and then also lots of Open Forums and Discuss-type posts. Karen's digging back into her sci-fi posts for those so inclined, and I'm going to ask you about seasonal comic book stories.

So buckle in -- we'll hit it running right away tomorrow with a Discuss on a quite-controversial topic! See you then.


Redartz said...

Doug and Karen- a big hi five for 1000 columns! Looking forward to seeing some of the older ones, and reading some new comments as well. Your memories bring a smile to my face, much as our Bronze Age tales do. Doug, your mention of the background music of the day particularly hit home. I clearly recall reading Avengers in my best friend's garage while listening to Pilot's "Magic"; ah, that fine summer of 1975...

Anyway, enjoy some rest; and may you have a wonderful Holiday Season!

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