Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hee-Haw #1 (Charlton Comics, 1970)

When I was akid growing up in the sticks, this television show seemed to be required viewing amongst folks of my parents and grandparents age. Now, I was a kid that stuck out like a sore thumb amongst my peers....and sought a means to escape my rural farmland hometown via education. I thought further education was a means of escaping the stereotypes that had been thrusted upon my peers. And I succeeded...somewhat.

Then, a weird thing happened in my twenties, after graduating college.

I started to become nostalgiac for this odd culture...the so-called "hill-billy" lifestyle, that I struggled to leave behind. It's weird the things one finds comfort in as they grow older, I guess.
Anyways....I love oddball comics. I love Charlton books. And, just to show you that Charlton would license's 1970's Hee-Haw #1.

The Flash (1990 TV Series) TV Guide Promotional Material

This is a little something I cooked up after discovering a box of junk I'd been lugging around since high school, in which I saved various TV Guide promo images and write-ups from other publications about the CBS live-action show. Please forgive the sloppy scans, but basically I was dealing with 20 year old clipping from TV Guide that were mounted into a makeshift scrapbook....

Download Link

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Essential Marvel Tails (Marvel, 1987-91)

Here's what happens when I have way too much time on my hands, folks.....I edit and compile a cbz full of scans collecting every single one of the Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham back-up stories that appeared in the much-missed Marvel reprint title Marvel Tales during a period from 1987 to 1991. Why? Because I was bored, had always wanted all these stories collected into one nice neat package....and I love the character, and have since childhood. So, enjoy....

Friday, April 23, 2010

HKC's Longbox: Manhunter (Mark Shaw)

I've decided to start presenting a feature here at the blog focusing on short-lived titles that I collected and had a great love for during my youth that are either now forgotten....or nobody really gives a crap about these days. I've decided to title it "HKC's Longbox"....because this is the kinda crap I've been carrying around for a little over 30 years in longboxes.

Around 1987 or so, I was a follower of writer John Ostander's work at DC Comics, having been a fan for a year or so of his run of Suicide Squad. I thought this particular incarnation of the concept was pretty brilliant thinking on his part, and even though I really didn't enjoy (in hindsight) some of the things that came out of DC's most-recent "event" book, Millenium, I was eagerly awaiting this new take on the Manhunter property that he was going to be involved with because I found it too to be a pretty innovative idea, comic book-wise.

The concept was simple: Mark Shaw was a costumed bounty hunter....who specialized in bounties involving super-powered criminals. Here's a hero who actually sought to profit on taking down bad guys. One of the typical cliched conventions of superheroes I always found kinda weird was the idea that once you received super-powers, a magic ring, were rocketted from a doomed planet, struck by lightning, got hit by a gamma always suddenly grew a set of morals and a a code of ethics.

Download First Issue Special #5- the first appearence of Mark Shaw, Manhunter

The Mark Shaw Manhunter incarnation was a concept that had been created by Jack Kirby, used once in the 1970s, and discarded. Other writers picked up on it in the years that followed but kept changing Shaw's costumed alter egos (at one point, he was a pirate themed character called The Privateer and a cosmic powered bad guy calling himself the Star Tsar), but nothing seemed to stick. Thankfully, after the Millenium cross-over, where it was revealed the secret society/cult that saw first encountered and gave him the mantle of Manhunter was actually in league with the evil android Green Lantern villians, Shaw turned back into a good guy, and after the Manhunters were destroyed (at least for a short time), became the only person in the DCU to carry that mantle.

Download Manhunter #1-24 (1987-89)



Evel Knievel Ideal Toys Give-Away (Marvel Comcs, 1974)

If you're a child of the 1970s, much like myself, then you probably have a great love for that particular decade's version of Jackass...Evel Knievel...

Oh, how I covetted and desired the Ideal toys, begging my parents until they broke down and bought me all of them....

Well, here for you reading pleasure is the give-away comic that was packaged with the toys....I sure do miss rip-chord cycles....

Download Link

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seduction of the Innocent

From Wikipedia:

Seduction of the Innocent is a book by American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, published in 1954, that warned that comic books were a negative form of popular literature and a serious cause of juvenile delinquency. The book was a minor bestseller that created alarm in parents and galvanized them to campaign for censorship. At the same time, a U.S. Congressional inquiry was launched into the comic book industry. Subsequent to the publication of Seduction of the Innocent, the Comics Code Authority was voluntarily established by publishers to self-censor their titles.

Seduction of the Innocent cited overt or covert depictions of violence, sex, drug use, and other adult fare within "crime comics" — a term Wertham used to describe not only the popular gangster/murder-oriented titles of the time, but superhero and horror comics as well. The book asserted, largely based on undocumented anecdotes, that reading this material encouraged similar behavior in children.

Comics, especially the crime/horror titles pioneered by EC, were not lacking in gruesome images; Wertham reproduced these extensively, pointing out what he saw as recurring morbid themes such as "injury to the eye". Many of his other conjectures, particularly about hidden sexual themes (e.g. images of female nudity concealed in drawings of muscles and tree bark, or Batman and Robin as gay partners), met with derision within the comics industry. (Wertham's claim that Wonder Woman had a bondage subtext was somewhat better documented, as her creator William Moulton Marston had admitted as much; however, Wertham also claimed Wonder Woman's strength and independence made her a lesbian. However, she is traditionally portrayed as a heterosexual and a virgin). Wertham also claimed that Superman was un-American and was a fascist.

Wertham critiqued the commercial environment of comic book publishing and retailing, objecting to air rifles and knives advertised alongside violent stories. Wertham sympathized with retailers who didn't want to sell horror comics, yet were compelled to by their distributors' table d'hôte product line policies.

The fame of Seduction of the Innocent added to Wertham's previous celebrity as an expert witness and made him an obvious choice to appear before the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency led by anti-crime crusader Estes Kefauver. In extensive testimony before the committee, Wertham restated arguments from his book and pointed to comics as a major cause of juvenile crime. The committee's questioning of their next witness, EC publisher William Gaines, focused on violent scenes of the type Wertham had decried. Though the committee's final report did not blame comics for crime, it recommended that the comics industry tone down its content voluntarily. Possibly taking this as a veiled threat of potential censorship, publishers developed the Comics Code Authority to censor their own content. The new code not only banned violent images, but entire words and concepts (e.g. "terror" and "zombies"), and dictated that criminals must always be punished. This destroyed most EC-style titles, leaving a sanitized subset of superhero comics as the chief remaining genre. Wertham nevertheless considered the Comics Code inadequate to protect youth.

Seduction of the Innocent was illustrated with comic-book panels offered as evidence, each accompanied by a line of Wertham's sardonic commentary. The first printing contained a bibliography listing the comic book publishers cited, but fears of lawsuits compelled the publisher to tear the bibliography page from any copies available, so copies with an intact bibliography are rare. Early complete editions of Seduction of the Innocent often sell for high figures among book and comic book collectors.

Among comic-book collectors any comic book with a story or panel referred to in Seduction of the Innocent is known as a "Seduction issue", and is usually more valued than other issues in the same run of a title. Seduction of the Innocent is one of the few non-illustrative works to be listed in the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide as a collectible in its own right.

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B-Movie Madness: Gorgo (Charlton, 1961-64)

I love this book....not only is it an adaptation of the 1961 British attempt at ripping off Godzilla (I'm a HUGE fan of the Toho Titan), but it features a ton of great art by Steve Ditko.