Archive for the 'Big Kids Reading Comics' Category

Marc Bolan with Man-Wolf, Circa 1975

Marc Bolan 1975

The magazine behind Creatures on the Loose #33, identified by Richard McKenna, is Modern Screen (November 1974). Bolan was a huge Marvel fan who interviewed Stan Lee on the BBC’s Today show in 1975, where Lee revealed that Angie Bowie was interested in doing a Black Widow TV series—which would have been so much more entertaining than whatever morbidly expensive glob of superhero goo that came out last week (or the week before, or the week before, or the week before…). Bolan himself was interviewed about comics in 1975 by soon-to-be Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant (credit to McKenna once again). You can read the transcript here, and there’s a picture of the article below.

Bolan Interview

Bonus: here’s Bolan with Stan Lee and Roy Wood (ELO, Wizzard) at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1975. The Marvel exhibit ran from October 18 through November 2. Bolan died in a car wreck two years later, on September 16, 1977.

Marvel I.C.A. 1975

(Photos via @jackellyreed and everything second-hand)

Queen City Book Store, 1977 – 1980

Queen City 1977-4

Queen City 1977-3

Queen City 1977-2

Queen City 1978-2

Queen City 1978

Queen City 1979

Queen City 1979-2

Queen City Late 1970s

Queen City Early 1980s

Emil J. Novak, Sr. opened Buffalo, New York’s Queen City Bookstore in 1969. He and his family still own and run the place. I found all of the remarkable photos on the website’s history gallery. Some of the gems I spotted are posted below.

What can I say that I haven’t said before? We need more stores like this. Kids need more awesome stuff like this. They deserve the chance to roam around in places that exist with them in mind (I’m talking about libraries too), flip open a random book, and have their minds blown forever. What we now dismiss as “obsolete physical media” once propped up local communities and ignited the imagination of generations. It’s not just books that influenced and inspired me, but the places I found them in.

You can see more book stores and comic book stores here.

Alien Trading Cards 1979

LOTR Fotonovel 1979

Star Trek Catalog 1979

Star Wars Special Edition 1977

Space Wars 1979

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee Reading Horror Comics (Circa 1974)

Cushing Creepy

Lee Dracula #4 1974

Two of my heroes. The issues are Creepy #11 and Dracula Lives #4.

Lee passed away on June 7, 2015. Earl Norem, who painted the cover of the issue Lee is reading, died on June 19, 2015.

(Images via The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society UK)

Big Kid Reading Horror Pulp, 1941

Horror Stories April 1941-2

Horror Stories April 1941

The first photo was found at an estate sale and sold on eBay. It looks like a press photo of some sort, but I can’t identify the gent holding the magazine.

Horror Stories was a forerunner of the horror comics boom ignited by EC Comics. This particular issue was published in April 1941.

(Cover image via Fantasy Ink)

American Soldier Reading Comic Book, 1941

Soldier 1941

Sparkler #16

(Images via Collectors Society and

Comic Book Store, 1978

Comic Shop 1978

The ad, showing Vancouver’s The Comic Shop, is from The First Vancouver Catalogue. The pic on top shows rows and rows of fantasy paperbacks in the glorious heyday of fantasy paperbacks. Several editions of Conan appeared between 1966 (Lancer Books) and the early ’80s. They included Howard’s original stories and new works by contemporary authors, notably L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter.

The Marvel titles in the bigger photo are mostly obscured, but what a great look at all the magazines. Will Eisner’s Spirit, 1984, The Hulk! (formerly The Rampaging Hulk) #10 (Val Mayerik cover art), and The Savage Sword of Conan #33 (killer Earl Norem cover). On the second row, you’ll see a `Jaws vs Ape’ headline. That’s Famous Monsters of Filmland #146.

FM #146 1978

Not cover specialist Bob Larkin’s best work, and why the hell is the ape beating on Jaws, anyway? Here’s my best guess.

1976’s A*P*E (no shit, it stands for Attacking Primate MonstEr) is compellingly awful, and introduces a young Joanna Kerns (the mom in Growing Pains). RKO sued the production company for its blatant attempt to rip off Dino De Laurentiis’s 1976 King Kong remake, hence the hilarious disclaimer at the end of the trailer.

Also, listen for the very poorly edited “See giant ape defy jaw-shark!” I’m sure the narrator originally used ‘jaws’, but was forced to change it due to legal pressure from Universal Pictures. So, in true exploitation fashion, they replaced the ‘s’ by dubbing ‘shark’ over it.


I’m happy to report that The Comic Shop is still there. On the website’s history page, I found a bonus photo of co-founder and owner Ron Norton in 1975. You can spot several more comic magazines behind him, including Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #1, and more fantasy and sci-fi paperbacks (Zelazny, Silverberg) in the foreground.

Comic Shop 1975

(First image via Sequential: Canadian Comics News and Culture)

(Video via TrashTrailers/YouTube)

Comic Book Spinner Racks, 1982

Comic Book Rack '80s

Comic Book Spinner Rack 1982

There are two racks in the first shot. Looks like a pretty awesome comic shop. I see The Spectacular Spider-Man #68, The Uncanny X-Men #159 (starring Dracula!), Star Wars #57 and #58—all of them “wholesome,” according to the banner.

The rack in the second photo is in a book store. Captain America #268 makes yet another appearance on 2W2N. That’s three times so far.

I worked in a music store in 1990, and one of my jobs was refilling the spinner rack when new comics arrived. (I had experience, after all.) I had to tear the covers off the old comics and trash the books. The covers were returned to the publisher for credit.

(Images via Blog for Rom Fans and Derf City)

American Soldiers Reading Comic Books, 1942 – 1951


A sailor reads a comic book aboard the USS Doran in 1942


Private Ernest Dandou reads a comic book at paratrooper camp, Georgia, 1944.


Lieutenant Frank Hensley reads a comic book after loading cargo on plane, 1950


American troops read comic books during the Korean War, 1951

All of the photos above are from a Life retrospective called Life with the Comics: In Praise of a Classic American Art Form.

Hell Demon Reading Comic Book, 1979

Grim Reaper Reading Comic

Miamicon, April 6, 1979

Warlord #23

(First image via Seattle Washington Archive/eBay)

Clown Reading Comic Book, 1972

Clown Reading Comic 11-24-72

Press photo: November 24, 1972

Marvel Premiere #6

(First image via Vintage Photos 2012/eBay)




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