Archive for the 'Comic Books' Category

Gobots on Earth and War of the Gobots Super Adventure Books (Golden, 1984)

Gobots Ditko 1984-1

Gobots Ditko 1984-2

Gobots Ditko 1984-3

Gobots Ditko 1984-4

Gobots Ditko 1984-5

Gobots Ditko 1984-6

Gobots Ditko 1984-7

Gobots Ditko 1984-8

What’s interesting about these books is that they were illustrated by comics legend Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and creator of Doctor Strange. It’s hard to believe now that someone like him would do art for a kid’s book about a second-rate transforming robot franchise, but comics artists and writers at the time held no rights to their work, and worship at the altar of pop culture was not a mainstream pursuit. Illustrators had to knock out an endless amount of pages to make a living. From a New York Post article from 2012:

To this day, Ditko has probably made very little off his billion-dollar co-creation [Spider-Man]. He has no ownership of the character and was paid a modest per-page rate at the time. He does collect royalties each time the comics are reprinted, but he says he has not earned anything off the films, despite his name appearing in the credits.

The covers of both books are illustrated by Jeffrey Oh and written by longtime Ditko collaborator and champion Robin Snyder.

(Images via eBay, Beer and Robots, and Life with Fandom)

Dragon’s Lair Coloring Book: ‘Dirk the Daring Battles the Giddy Goons’ (Marvel Books, 1984)

DL 1984-1

DL 1984-2

DL 1984-3

There were two coloring books and two coloring/activity books based on Dragon’s Lair, all of them published in 1984 by Marvel Books. The second coloring book is The Magic Sword, and the coloring/activity books are Dirk the Daring Battles the Black Knight and Dirk the Daring Battles the Crypt Creeps.

More on Dragon’s Lair here, and I talk about the Marvel Books imprint here.

(Images via Dragon’s Lair Fans)

Fantastic Four Meet ‘The Witch’ Coloring Book (Whitman, 1977)

FF Witch 1977-1

FF Witch 1977-2

FF Witch 1977-3

See more at Random Acts of Geekery.

(Images via DIG Auctions)

Woolworth’s Halloween Ads, 1965 – 1969

Woolworths Sunday Comics 1965

Woolworths Sunday Comics 1968

Woolworths Sunday Comics 1969

Beautifully illustrated ads that originally appeared in the comics section of the Sunday paper. They sold recently on eBay for a large sum.

50 pieces of Bazooka bubble gum for 79¢? A Spider-Man costume for $1.98? Speaking of which, the Ben Cooper Spider-Man costume is probably the first Marvel licensed product, originally appearing in 1963, just a few issues into the comic’s run. It’s got a very interesting story that you can read at Hero Envy.

Ben Cooper Darkseid Costume (1984)






Darkseid? Darkseid. It appears that DC/Ben Cooper were banking on the success of Super Friends: The Legend of the Super Powers Show, which debuted in September 1984 and was the first animated series to feature the super villain. The Kirby creation had been around in the comics since 1970.

Doctor Strange Cosplay, 1973

Strange 1973

From Equicon/Filmcon I via The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society.

Man-Wolf Cosplay, 1979

Man-Wolf 1979

Man-Wolf 1979-2

The first shot is another winner from lfics’ Flickr. The event is Galacticon II, 1979. Second photo is from Supercon 10, same year, via The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. The costume is based on the character as seen in Marvel Premiere #45, with cover (below) and interior art by the great George Perez. The cosplayer—obviously not a term anyone used at the time—is unknown.

Premiere #45

The 1975 Warren Awards: Ken Kelly, Berni Wrightson, Alex Toth, and More

Warren 1975-1

Warren 1975-2

They’re all legends. In fact, I just wrote a piece on Kelly for Warpo Toys called Ken Kelly and the Golden Age of Toy Art. Please check it out. If you share the post on Facebook and/or Twitter with the hashtag #CthulhuIsComing, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win an autographed (by Kelly!) Legends of Cthulhu coloring book. Kelly, if you didn’t know, did the spectacular art for Warpo’s Legends of Cthulhu line.

(Images via Booksteve’s Library)

There’s a New World Coming by Hal Lindsey and Al Hartley (Spire Christian Comics, 1974)





Ten years Before Jack Chick’s Dark Dungeons, there was Hal Lindsey and Spire Christian Comics. Lindsey, who I mentioned briefly here, started a Christian ministry at UCLA in 1970 to target members of the hippie community. That same year he published The Late, Great Planet Earth, a bestselling smash that fit the global ills of the day into end times prophecy—this was 25 years before the Left Behind series debuted, mind you. The irony is that Lindsey used the same formula—simple, unassuming prose presenting provocative, faith-based ideas—made popular by Erich Von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods (1968) and other occult-related popular literature of the era.

The comic is based on the book of the same name, also published in 1974. I found the pages above at one of my favorite blogs, Garage Sale Finds, where you can and must read the whole comic. “The Great Snatch!!!” refers to the Rapture, for those not hip to the Jesus, and that’s not the last uncomfortably unwitting sexual innuendo in the book by a long shot. The comic is meant specifically to deter hippies from stuff that hippies like—there are a number of references and panels condemning drugs, as well as “free love,” all things occult, and, for some reason, martinis. But the comic also presents being “saved” during the Rapture as the most awesomely psychedelic event in the history of the universe.

My favorite bit describes the “bodily resurrection of the dead,” when we’re told that it doesn’t matter how messed up or decayed the dead body is: “even if it was chewed up by a man-eating shark—Christ puts it all together again.” How very specific! All in all, it’s just a real pleasure watching these beautifully-dressed white folks getting sucked up into the swirling, rainbow-streaked sky and chatting matter-of-factly about the whole thing. Sucks to be the guy swallowed in hell fire, I guess, but you can’t win ’em all.

Oh, and here‘s that kick-ass Larry Norman song.

Geoffrey’s Comic Shop, Circa 1981

Geoff 1981-1

Geoff 1981-2

Geoffrey Patterson Sr. (first photo) opened his awesome shop in 1978. Geoffrey Jr., who is interviewed here, took over in 2004. The South Bay landmark is still going strong.

The guy wearing the hat in the second photo is wearing an X-Men t-shirt—the hat may also say X-Men. The movie posters hanging from the ceiling are Raid on Entebbe (1976) and High Risk (1981). Can’t make out the arcade cabs.

More comic book stores here.

(Photos via Geoffrey’s Comic Shop and eBay)




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