Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Simple Question About Your Comic Book Collection

Doug: At the height of your comics possessing, how large was your collection? You can estimate the number of books you had in gross numbers, number of longboxes, etc. And if you want to talk about periphery goods, that would be nice as well.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Love Will Keep Us Together - Or Will It? Incredible Hulk 148

Incredible Hulk #148 (February 1972)
"But Tomorrow -- the Sun Shall Die!"
Archie Goodwin-Herb Trimpe/John Severin

Doug: A couple of weeks ago I sang the praises of John Severin's inks over Herb Trimpe on the Incredible Hulk book. I was initially going to review Hulk #140, which features the 1st appearance of Jarella. But after noticing that her second appearance contained the above mentioned art team, the decision was pretty easy. So here we are. I'll be reading and scanning from the trade paperback, The Incredible Hulk: Heart of the Atom. I've read several of the stories from the start of the book, and while certainly no Hulk aficionado, I have enjoyed myself so far.

Doug: We open in the New Mexico desert at Project: Greenskin. Assembled are General "Thunderbolt" Ross, Betty Ross, Major Glenn Talbot, and Dr. Peter Corbeau. This was a nice bit of Marvel history for me, as I'd only known Corbeau from the first Sentinels story in the All-New, All-Different X-Men. Everyone's there to discuss how Corbeau's plan for the Hulk, using his StarCore technology, is going to work. Corbeau is convinced that he can permanently free Dr. Bruce Banner from the Hulk. Of course, he has to have the Hulk to make this work. That's where the Hulk-Busters come in. Right then (because, you know, this is a comic book and we only have 20 pages to work with), Ross is alerted to a local Hulk sighting. Immediately four fighters are dispatched to bring in the Jade Giant. Quick comment -- Trimpe's love of aviation really shows in these few panels! We cut to the back 40, where the Hulk lumbers along, oblivious to all around him. We the readers, however, can see over his shoulder the approaching jets. Archie Goodwin does a nice turn when he writes, "Of machines that can out-distance their own sound, that can all but sit on your massive neck before they're heard...?" And then BRA-KOW! Seriously -- bra-kow and the Hulk goes tumbling, his ears ringing. The second pair of planes are on him immediately, strafing him with sedative-tipped missiles. Down, and out.

Doug: We cut to another world, where we see the fair queen Jarella leading a small detachment of men through a wilderness. Above, men loyal to the traitor Visis wait on winged steeds. As soon as Jarella's column emerges from cover, they are set upon. The battle rages, and most of Jarella's men are slain. The queen fights well, and still stands at the conclusion of the fracas. She thinks to herself that she needs a warrior, the man she loved from before. Bruce Banner. For those of you not aware, the Hulk had been shrunk to atomic size by the villain Psyklop, emerging on a microscopic world where he became a champion for the queen. That queen, Jarella, pledged to marry him, which really ticked off Visis, her suitor who would be dictator. As the Hulk could not speak the language of the strange world, Jarella's sorcerers concocted some magicks that not only allowed him to learn the language but also gave him the brain of Bruce Banner while still the Hulk. Got it?

Doug: Jarella makes her way to the retreat of her chief sorcerer and tells him that she would like to regain the services of Banner. Torla, the magician, says that it would take incredible sorcery, and might be so dangerous as to shake not only their world but the very cosmos! Cut to earth, where the Hulk is now bound in the presence of Dr. Corbeau. Corbeau relates that he has more than a humanistic stake in this operation -- he and Banner were college friends, so it's personal. Corbeau says that StarCore's sun-facing orbit is going to allow him to harness the energy of the sun, project it to Earth, and bathe the Hulk in enough solar energy that it will completely eradicate the gamma energy stored in his cells. Guess what? It works! The Hulk shrinks/changes to Banner, and nearby technicians report that there is no presence of gamma radiation anywhere in the area. Banner has indeed been cured! But immediately StarCore's sensors alert the scientists and military brass to a new danger -- a huge solar flare, large enough to have destroyed the Earth. Ross asks Corbeau for an explanation -- Corbeau can only hypothesize on the coincidence of what has just happened with the Hulk.

Doug: Cut again back to Jarella's world, where she is in the process of being sent in search of Banner. Her sorcerers warn that the consequences could be dire. Bravely, she goes through with it. But we see that someone spies on this process. It is Visis, who knows enough magicks of his own to be able to send his top assassin into the stream behind Jarella -- with orders to slay the queen and her champion. Back on Earth, all concerned are monitoring the sun's activity. Banner, hero that he is, tells Corbeau if he really thinks the process to remove the Hulk's presence is to blame, then reverse the process. Corbeau will hear none of it, and offers that Banner should go to Corbeau's retreat on the coast, get some separation and relax. Banner takes him up on it, and after a military flight soon finds himself listening to the surf. Just then a green aura begins to glow on the sands. Suddenly Jarella appears, human-sized, and greets Banner. Bruce is elated to see her and hops the deck's fence to embrace the girl he'd loved those months before. But Fialan the assassin has also made the passage and lurks just yards away. But his malevolent plan is interrupted by the noise of a helicopter. It lands, and Glenn Talbot emerges to ask Banner to return to the desert with him.

Doug: Back at Project: Greenskin, Banner is updated on the sun's status. It seems that the sun has been affected not only by the process they'd used on Banner, but also by "the appearance of some object that ripped the very fabric of our time and space... something that broke from another dimension." Yup - Jarella. And the sun's cure for it's current condition is to burn itself out! Banner speaks up and says that any thoughts of sending her back will surely send her to her death at Visis' hands. Corbeau says to relax, that he's working on an alternative. However, if the solar system burns out, Jarella's world will along with our earth. Very soon a SHIELD craft lands, piloted by none other than Dum Dum Dugan, who has brought Col. Nick Fury himself to the desert. And Fury's brought with him a present -- a Life Model Decoy of Jarella, perfect in every sense. The team gets to work immediately on making the dimensional transfer of the LMD in Jarella's place, which is a mystery to me. Was it just that any transfer was made, or is it Jarella's presence here that is the problem. Seems to me (and what the heck do I know about it?) that if they sent the LMD but she stayed here the problem would not necessarily be ended. Ah, Marvel science. Gotta love it! Anyway, Banner reports that his part of the operation is successful, so they should be good to go. Jarella suddenly appears, to speak in private with her potential betrothed. But again standing just off-stage is Fialan (how's that security at Project: Greenskin, hmmm?). He gets off a shot, and then hovers menacingly above our couple.

Doug: Bruce breaks from Jarella and runs away. Fialan scoffs, as the coward has now left Jarella to him and his mission. As he levels his blaster at her, the building begins to shake. A rumbling emanates from the closed door behind which Banner had locked himself. And suddenly, bursting forth is the incredible Hulk! Fialan levitates higher, out of reach of the behemoth. Hulk turns to see Jarella, and they come together. Just then Fialan blasts a large bank of machinery, causing a huge explosion. Jarella is killed in the chaos, and a distraught Hulk emerges from the smoke right in front of Fialan, whose ability to escape has been destroyed as well. Hulk grabs him, and in one of the very few times I can ever recall metes out his own brand of justice. The following panel is interesting, as Hulk cups his face in his huge hand and says, "Hulk did it... but... It does not bring Jarella back!" But it's Jarella who approaches to console the Hulk -- Corbeau and Ross had planned to employ the LMD once they knew Jarella's assassin was on site. But now Hulk is faced with a new dilemma -- the military still need to save our sun. Hulk stands against them, but he's shot from behind with the heavy tranquilizers. Now down, Corbeau tells Jarella it is time. She consents, and soon is back in her subatomic world. The sun almost immediately begins to quiet its activity and all is right with the world. That is, except for the broken heart of the Hulk.

Doug: I've found these tales of Jarella captivating. It's interesting to read them as stand-alones. Although they tie together, the many adventures that came between these stories make me wonder which is better -- to read this as a running narrative, or as treats dispersed to the reader along the way? Jarella's first appearance was in Hulk #140, the follow-up is in today's issue (#148), and then we saw her again in #156. Then we don't find her until #202, around four years later! So I'd love for any of our readers who came to these stories off the rack to discuss their impact on you. Did you feel that this was a plotline that should have been explored on a more frequent basis? Or did you think perhaps that, knowing Jarella's ultimate fate as we do, the story should have been compressed and told over the course of maybe just a year's worth of issues? While Goodwin's script forced me to suspend my disbelief a time or two, I thought the art was fabulous. Herb Trimpe is a penciler who has a unique style and I'm not always his biggest fan. But under the influence of John Severin, the art here is a winner. This was overall a nice 20-minute diversion.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Holiday Wish Lists -- Whatcha Want?

Doug: As it seems things have slowed down on yesterday's holiday decorating post, we'll use that topic to segue right into a discussion on comics-related goodness for which you'd appreciate landing on the receiving end.

Doug: As I've been saying for quite some time, I've become enamored of Ed Brubaker's run on Captain America. I'm not ready to branch out yet into his Batman and other work, as I'd really like to complete my reading of the Cap/Winter Soldier material. So in that vein I've added The Marvels Project from the main Cap team of Brubaker and Steve Epting. And based on the recommendation of Edo and some others I've also requested that a gift of Captain America: Forever Allies by Roger Stern and three artists.

Doug: I also mentioned in yesterday's post that I have several Hallmark ornaments from years past. This year there is a bevy of choices and I hope I'll get at least a few. I'm always a sucker for a good Captain America ornament, but also of great interest in this year's batch are the Batman '66 and Lynda Carter Wonder Woman ornaments. The upside-down Spidey with the scarf and gifts is a great sculpt as well.

Doug: In the area of books, I've spied a couple of pricey tomes that I'd love to see -- but that's just it. I think I'd be satisfied in merely having a few hours to leaf through them and see all of the nostalgic goodness. I'm speaking of The Full-Color Guide to Marvel Early Bronze Age Collectibles: From 1970 to 1973: Third Eye, Mego, F.O.O.M., and More (Full-Color Guide to Marvel Collectibles) (Volume 2) and its predecessor, The Full-Color Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectibles: From MMMS to Marvelmania. As I said, each book is only over 150 pages yet retails for close to $40 -- that's a bit much. But I'm sure they're quite nice!

Doug: So what about you, kids? What goodness will you be asking for/hoping to receive?

Friday, November 27, 2015

An Oral (Well, Written) History of Christmas Decorating

Doug: Happy day-after Thanksgiving, friends -- or as some say, Black Friday. Meh...

Doug: Yesterday our well wishes featured a few comments about decorating for the holidays. Among others, Humanbelly suggested --

HB: Hmmmmm-- is our topic range expansive enough to touch on some sort of discussion of holiday decorating? Perhaps from the perspective of childhood memories vs. current things folks do? I kind of like the fact that we have a sizable international contingent to weigh in on something like that. . . 

Doug: Why, yes -- our topic range is! So there's your prompt for conversation today (and maybe into the weekend). One thing I recall about my youth was that we always had a real tree. However, it wasn't too long into my marriage that my wife and I decided that we both found that to be a hassle and have had artificial trees for the past 20+ years. It's just so much easier to leave the lights on them and with just a bit of bending and twisting we're ready to go the next year. We really only decorate our porch as far as outside goes -- we did lights on our shrubbery for a few years, but rabbits chewed through the wires. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I've pictured a "family heirloom" that's now come to my house from my mom's. Yes, that's a Coca-Cola Santa Claus. We have had that on display at Christmas time for as long as I can remember, and I love it. When my mom gave it to me a few years ago my sons thought it was a bit creepy. So now we playfully refer to him as "Chucky Claus". Sort of took the luster off of it for me, but what the heck.

Doug: OK, enough about me -- let's hear from you now.

UPDATE: Late today HB sent us a few photographs from his weekend decorating. If you've not been to the comments section, these photos accompany his comment from 8:45 pm.

UPDATE #2: Overnight (to me anyway), Edo Bosnar sent a few photos of the city of Zagreb to reinforce a comment he left in today's post. Thanks, Edo!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from the Bronze Age Babies


Doug: I'm thankful for all of our readers, and for talented people who take the things we love and make them funny. Enjoy your family and friends today, and all the best to all of you.

Visit Go Figures! for many more smiles like this one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Who's the Worst... Suspension of Disbelief? Plus - 1st Civil War Trailer!

Doug: Today we're asking you for the most egregious request that you suspend your disbelief. Myself -- I need to ponder this one for a bit. But the first thing that came to mind? See below (even when I was 11 I was like "no way..."):

Doug: And, whether you saw it last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, or have seen it around the interwebs this morning, the first Captain America: Civil War trailer is out. Wowza, I say!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Guest Post - Under the Radar

Doug: Our pal Redartz is your shepherd today, and he's talking comics -- and who doesn't like that? Take it away!

Redartz: Greetings, folks! Today I'm taking a fairly common topic and turning it sideways; sort of (and a special tip-of-the-hat to our friend Humanbelly, for inspiring today's title with one of his recent comments). Everyone has a favorite comic story, probably several (too difficult to choose just one). Many of these favorites are shared by many other readers, and often have achieved legendary status. Think of the Kree/Skrull War, the Galactus Trilogy, Avengers/Defenders war, Korvac saga. Or DC- there are the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Great Darkness Saga, Dark Knight Returns, Flash of Two Worlds. You get the idea; these are all stories which have (quite rightfully) earned their place in four-color history. Whether it's a single issue story or a multi-issue blockbuster, these are all stories which many, if not all, of us (and most comic fans) have read.

We are not talking about these stories today. My question for you: what is your favorite comic story that most folks probably have never read; perhaps never even heard of?  Think of us sitting around in your living room, chatting about the greatest comic stories; surrounded by longboxes.  These boxes are full of  comics we share a love for, but you pull out a particular personal favorite that has flown “under the radar" of most readers. “Say, what is that?" I inquire. "This", you reply, "is the book that I mention when someone asks me to recommend something they've never read before." 

To start off the discussion, I've rooted out three of my personal favorites. One humor, one adventure, and one historical; from three different eras, two of which may familiar to many of you, the other which may not be.

First selection:

An indie comic from our beloved Bronze Age, “I Saw It” - the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima. This comic, by writer/artist Keiji Nakazawa, was published in 1982, and was my first exposure to anything like Manga. Nakazawa, as a small boy, experienced firsthand the bombing that ended WWII,  but survived to adulthood. He became a comic artist, and used the opportunity to tell his tale. No blame or guilt is placed here, he simply describes (quite graphically) the effects of the bombing, and how they affected his later life. Extremely powerful reading, and enlightening.

 Second selection:

Jonny Quest #2, from Comico, 1986. This is a superb story by writer William Messner-Loebs, penciler Wendy Pini and inker Joe Staton. This comic tells the story of Jonny's mother, and of how Race Bannon came to join the Quest group. I'll not go into great detail here (these aren't reviews, merely a tidbit to whet your appetite), but this story is dramatic, touching, and still features the adventure we'd expect from JQ. I've reread this comic again and again, , and it touches me every time. If you're a fan of Jonny Quest, you really should read this...

Third selection:

My humor selection is from the modern era: Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis II, published by Bongo Comics in 2005.  No doubt most are familiar with the Simpsons, and probably Futurama (Matt Groening's sci-fi romp), but perhaps haven't read any of their comics. This is a two-part story, written by Ian Boothby (a greatly talented writer, IMHO) and drawn by James Lloyd and Steve Steere, Jr. Long story short: the Simpsons are drawn into the future with Bender, Fry and the rest. The whole story is absolutely hilarious. 'Easter eggs' abound for fans of comics, literature and pop culture. Just a tiny sample of the references: underground comix, Star Wars, 2001:A Space Odyssey, Conan, the Village People and binary number theory. You will spend hours scouring each page for all the little touches and laughing all the while. I certainly did!

Now, how about you? What obscure gems do you recommend? I can't wait to hear about them...

Monday, November 23, 2015

War Games and Redemption - Detective Comics 492

Detective Comics #492 (July 1980)(Cover by Jim Aparo)
"Vengeance Trail" and "Chapter Two: At War With General Scarr"
Cary Burkett-Don Newton/Dan Adkins

Doug: Our pal Edo Bosnar, he of the frequent comment and occasional guest post, has long advocated the artistic talents of Don Newton. Upon his repeated recommendations I purchased (via eBay - sweet deal on a new but shelf-worn copy) the Tales of the Batman: Don Newton hardcover. I'll be scanning from that source today. The book contains 22 long and short Batman stories, and I have to declare that I really like what I've seen so far from Newton. The artist unfortunately met an early demise, passing away in 1984 at the age of 49; his comics career had lasted only a decade, and we're worse off for it. For those of you who are fans of Michael Golden, I think you'll see a little Golden in the scans I'll present today; I sometimes get an Alan Davis vibe as well. I chose this particular issue because of the presence of Batgirl. I know many readers eschew the derivative characters and/or sidekicks, but I've always been a sucker for the likes of Supergirl, Batgirl, and Kid Flash. So bear with me -- just sit back and enjoy the pretty pictures.

Doug: There are certain characters of a Spartan demeanor -- can't break 'em. Alfred Pennyworth would fall into that category. But it's a tearful Alfred who awakens Bruce Wayne on a sunny morning. Alfred weeps over a copy of one of the Gotham dailies and tells his employer to look at the headline. "Batgirl Slain by Assassain" is splashed across the top, with a photo of the heroine lying face down on the sidewalk. Bruce grabs his Batman costume and heads for the cave; Alfred just holds his head in his hands. Once down below, Batman phones Commissioner Jim Gordon to offer his condolences over the loss of his daughter and to get intelligence on the investigation. Gordon ask him to come to the house -- there's something he should know. But a few moments hence, Batman enters to find that Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) is very much alive!

Doug: Batman knew it all along, as Gordon's voice betrayed the truth. Batgirl relates her story of coming into contact with an assassin who was gunning for her. The newspaper had detailed that Batgirl had been blasted by automatic gunfire and had fallen 18 stories to her death. The reality was that there was a Batgirl dummy hanged from a flagpole that hung out from the building. Batgirl had taken fire and had been knocked over the precipice, but despite her wounds she'd managed to catch the flagpole. Pulling a knife from her utility belt, she cut the dummy loose and it fell the remaining 15 stories to the pavement. She crouched in the shadows as the gunman peered over the rooftop, assured that his work was done. Cary Burkett wrote this story, and I have no record with his work. But it seems silly that, since the gunman had hung the mannequin to lure Batgirl into the open, he'd perhaps have assumed that maybe it wasn't the real Batgirl laying in a pile beneath him? By the way, we'll learn in chapter two of this story that the gunman had actually taken a little girl hostage, and that's what had initially interested Batgirl. It's an important detail that would have worked much better here at the beginning of the story. I had hoped to not have to go to my "Oh, but this is a Bronze Age DC" place. I'm going to try hard to stay out of it.

Doug: The real shocker comes at the conclusion of Batgirl's story when she tells the Dark Knight that she's through -- that she could have died has proven to her that crimefighting as she's been doing may not be for her. Batman is bewildered by her stance, and Batgirl storms out at the pressure she feels she's getting from both Batman and her father. The two men are left alone, and I must say I was surprised at Gordon's take: he tells his old friend that he supports his daughter. After all, he never would have chosen this life for her. We then scene shift to downtown Gotham, where a General Scarr is holding court with a bunch of nasties. Although we've not heard of him prior, Scarr is apparently a bigtime crime boss in Gotham City. His Agent Cormorant is receiving a medal for killing Batgirl; some of the assembled toughs think it's silly to go on like this, but they seem to tolerate Scarr's eccentricities. The group moves to the planning room, where they plot against the revenge mission they know the Batman will soon undertake. There's a trap laid, and they can't wait.

Doug: Batman found a tag in the Batgirl costume worn by the dummy, and follows it to the shop from which it was sold. As usual, he's operating under cover of the night, and uses no light as he enters the shop. Moving silently through the store, he doesn't see Scarr's men hiding. Back at the Gordon household, Barbara is in her father's study holding some of the memorabilia from his police career. Gordon enters and they have a conversation about his career. In the exchange, Gordon says, when asked about the constant danger, "Frankly, there were times when I felt I couldn't take the chance any longer! I guess I thought about what would happen if everyone gave up -- if nobody was willing to take the risks to fight crime! Somehow I felt that if I didn't do my part to help people, then I couldn't expect anyone else to!" You see right where this is heading, right?

Doug: The Gordons' conversation continues as we're taken back to the costume store. Gordon's narration of his admiration for the Batman, his training, his perseverance, is side-by-side with the attack by Scarr's goons. They open fire with machine guns, and the Batman barely avoids the first bullets. But as Gordon says, he's no normal man and takes the battle right at his assailants. Newton's choreography in this scene is fantastic, with a great blend of emotional close-ups and drawn back action panels. The colorist (Adrienne Roy) also does a great job in this sequence. Of course the Batman beats the odds, and his victory comes as Gordon tells Barbara that Batman defines what a hero is and does. Batman grabs one of the bad guys, the only one who is still conscious, and gets information from him that Scarr is behind things. Batman calls Gordon to inform him, and Gordon leaves the house. Barbara stands at the window, lamenting that she cannot now even fight her own battles.

Doug: We cut then back to Scarr's headquarters, where his men from the costume shop are back on their feet and reporting that they'd let the Batman get away. Scarr's hearing none of it, though, and has Cormorant put a gun to the head of one of the men, dressed in a knight's suit of armor. Scarr orders the man to remove the helmet, and it's revealed that the Batman had actually gotten into a costume (as many of the men had done for the initial ambush at the costume store) and had left the shop with Scarr's own men! Scarr asks him if he doesn't think that this "Trojan Horse" ploy isn't a bit old? Scarr goes on a rant about how smart he is -- Batman counters with the truth: Scarr never made it past private! Scarr tells the tale his way, narrating a blah blah blah of how his superiors never respected his talents, etc. In his mind, the army even tried to kill him in a combat drill -- the source of his facial scar. So he deserted, and swore he'd build up his own army. This is apparently how he came to be a crime lord in Gotham City, although again -- even the Batman had only heard mention (he says) of this guy before this issue. Part One of the story ends with Batman's hands chained above his head, his feet dangling inches from the floor. And oh yeah -- there's a firing squad awaiting Scarr's orders!

Doug: Part Two commences with Batgirl on the rooftops, her arm still in a sling. She tries to swing between rooftops, but has no balance with only one useful arm. So she does what only Spider-Man would do -- she hits the pavement and hops into an idling cab. She asks the driver to take her to the Krak de Chevaliers building. When she's been working the case earlier, she'd noticed a security passcard in the shirt pocket of Cormorant. It's really the only clue she has to go on, and hopes it pays off. Arriving at her destination, she's met by a security guard, but a right uppercut takes care of his diversion. Grabbing an elevator, Batgirl begins to ascend toward the floors where she'd heard a ruckus. Upstairs... ruckus indeed! The Batman is doing his best to swing away from the gunfire that's meant to kill him. He manages to use his legs to grab Scarr, who had ventured too close (idiot). As the two men swing about, we learn that the Batman had palmed a lock pick as the men were binding his hands. He drops Scarr at the moment his hands come free, so you know it's game on. You'd think these thugs would know.

Doug: Scarr makes tracks, fast, to a control room where he seals himself. Before Batman can get out of the "execution room" the doors all slam shut. Soon sliding panels open to reveal miniature tanks, firing real shells! Moments later, fighter planes enter the mix and Batman is ducking and dodging for his very life. In a separate viewing room Cormorant is watching the festivities. We see Batgirl enter the room through a door left ajar. But she's filled with self-doubt and wonders to herself if she'll be able to attack the man who thought he'd killed her. And that ends up being her ace -- Cormorant turns to meet her and he's so freaked out that she's alive that he falls to his knees, begging for mercy. Batgirl uses her good hand to smash Cormorant's face against a wall. Minutes later she uses an acid vial in her belt to burn through the lock on the door behind which Scarr is gleefully watching the mechanical attacks on Batman. Batgirl also dispenses a little manual justice to Scarr, and it's mission over. Batman is freed from his "danger room" and Commissioner Gordon and his men arrive to clean up the mess. Scarr tosses an insult Batgirl's way as he's hauled away, but Batman turns it into a compliment, helping to restore Barbara's confidence.

Doug: While this wasn't a horrible Batman story, it wasn't the greatest. The art definitely carried the day. I did enjoy the inclusion of Batgirl, although when I sat down to read it she was not treated as I'd thought she would be. The character was, however, redeemed at the end of the tale, and it was refreshing to see someone other than Batman save the day (although he certainly did his share of extraordinary things). I think the other thing worth mentioning is the length of the story. At 25 pages, it's indicative of the value the reader received when purchasing a Dollar Comic. The original material ran five pages longer than a typical story, and there were three more yarns included (also all new, to the best of my knowledge) -- a "tales of Gotham" story and adventures featuring Man-Bat and Robin. Talk about 60 minutes of pure joy!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Discuss: Flame-outs

Doug: We have all seen moments of brilliance - zenith, even - followed by Poof! Gone! I'm thinking of the aforementioned Mike Ploog on Monster of Frankenstein. Obviously as moderator I don't want to take any more suggestions away from our conversational readers, but I'd lie if I didn't say Marshall Rogers' run on Detective Comics didn't fit into this category.

Doug: So here's the charge today -- who are those creators whose tenures on a given book were so short that it just left a hole in your reading enjoyment after their departure? And as we said last Tuesday, the following writer or artist (or combination) didn't have to be a step down -- I mean, John Buscema followed Ploog, for crying out loud! Not exactly a consolation prize. You might mention, if you know, who the succeeding creator was (hey, if you know the preceding creator that might be fun as well) and we can add that to our discussion. Should be fun!

PS: Karen's a lucky duck -- she and her husband have been at Disneyland the past few days. She hopes to bring you a report very soon on the Marvel and Star Wars influences in the park. I'm looking forward to it!

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