Archive for the 'Comic Books' Category

Marvel Con ’76 Program (1976)

Marvel Con 76-1

Marvel Con 76-7

Marvel Con 76-3

Marvel Con 76-4

Marvel Con 76-5

Marvel Con 76-6

Marvel Con 76-2

Select pages only. The Bruce Cardozo Spider-Man film mentioned in the third photo is not available anywhere, but the earliest known Spidey fan film, produced by Don Glut in 1969, is here. Glut went on to write for the animated Spider-Man (1981-1982), Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981-1983), and The Transformers animated series (1984-1986).

Spiderbike, Spiderbuggy, and Spidercopter (Corgi, 1979)

Corgi Spidey 1979

Corgi Spidey 1979-2

Corgi Spidey 1979-3

For those of you amused by the inaccuracy (and irrelevance) of Corgi’s Star Trek II Klingon Warship, I present these gems. The Spidercopter has an “amazing flicking spider tongue,” which Mary Jane may or may not have appreciated. A Spidervan came in the same series.

D&D/TSR Commercials (1982 – 1985)

These are all the TSR-produced commercials I’ve been able to find so far. They aired in (from top to bottom) 1982, 1983, 1983, 1984, and 1985. I’ve posted them before with the exception of the 1984 spot, which is very well done and advertises not only the red cover Basic Set (Frank Mentzer revision), but the Marvel Super Heroes and Adventures of Indiana Jones RPGs. The 1983 Star Frontiers commercial is my favorite.

Let me know if I missed any.

A&M Comics and Books, 1978

A&M 1978

A&M 1978-2

A&M 1978-3

Among the many ruined institutions of post-internet life lies the pulp book shop, where deviant human beings of all ages, nauseated by the mundane modern world and its small-minded minions, once went to find comfort and adventure. My dream is to open one and slowly go broke as three or four or five of us roam the aisles, sifting through and savoring all the accumulating treasure.

A&M stands for owners Arnold and Maxine Square. Pat at Destination Nightmare worked there in the late ’70s and tells the story here.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Characters Coloring Book (1983) (Part Four)

D&D Characters-1

D&D Characters-2D&D Characters-3











D&D Characters-4

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D&D Characters-7

D&D Characters-8D&D Characters-9











D&D Characters-10D&D Characters-11











D&D Characters-12

D&D Characters-13

AD&D Characters BC

The fourth and final installment of the AD&D Characters Coloring Book. My favorite page in this lot: “Mercion is a good cleric. Scary things like skeletons are afraid of her goodness.” I think Zarak looks appropriately sinister, but isn’t he a little short for a half-orc?

Parts one, two, and three of the book are here, here, and here, respectively.

Read Magazine #13 (February, 1975): Interview with Stan Lee

Read 1975

Read 1975-2

Read 1975-3

Read 1975-4

I haven’t been able to find much on Read magazine yet, but it seems to have run from the early to late 1970s, and focused on giving young readers fun, relevant stories and articles.

Lots of good stuff in the interview about what does and doesn’t constitute “serious culture.”

 “The public accepts all the media more now,” explained Stan. “Take movies. Thirty years ago movies were considered frivolous and unimportant. Now they’re taught in schools and colleges, analyzed, etc.”

The literary novel was also considered frivolous until at least the first quarter of the 20th Century. Today, graphic novels and comics are taught in schools and colleges, and many universities offer degrees in Pop Culture.

Stan again on “why Marvel’s heroes had so many failings”:

“We’ve always felt that if readers could accept the fairy tale quality that this person has green skin or can burst into flames or whatever, then everything else should be realistic… We can write much more interesting stories with human heroes than with unreal ones who never lose their cool.”

Lee, Kirby, and Ditko created a series of interconnected myths that are just as powerful in their way to the modern world as the stories of Zeus and Odysseus were to the ancient Greeks.

(Images via Steven Casteel/eBay)

Le Sourire du Dragon (Transecom/TSR, 1987)

Sourire 1987-1

Sourire 1987-2

Sourire 1987-6

Sourire 1987-3

Sourire 1987-4

Sourire 1987-5

According to French Wikipedia, the Dungeons & Dragons animated series premiered in France in 1984 (IMDb says 1987, as do other sources), and was rebroadcast starting in 1986. The series was called Le Sourire du Dragon (The Smile of the Dragon), as was the song used for the intro, sung by Dorothée. Listen to the full version here, and watch the actual intro here. It’s very sweet, but also kind of creepy, maybe because it reminds me of the Twin Peaks soundtrack.

The game was designed by François Marcela-Froideval, an influential figure in the introduction of RPGs in France. He came to the U.S. in 1982 to work for TSR, where he collaborated with Gary Gygax on Oriental Adventures (1985), among other projects.

Tignous is credited as the interior artist, and comics innovator Bill Sienkiewicz painted the cover. Sienkiewicz got his start on Moon Knight and The New Mutants, and went on to do mind-blowing art for Elektra: Assassin and the Daredevil: Love and War graphic novel, both of them written by Frank Miller.

See detailed views of all the game pieces and instructions at Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Encyclopedia.

(Images via eBay and Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Encyclopedia)

American Soldier Reading Comic Book, 1941

Soldier 1941

Sparkler #16

(Images via Collectors Society and

Blip #5 (June, 1983): ‘Technology + Tradition = Summer Fun’

Blip #5 1983-1

Blip #5 1983-8

Blip #5 1983-5

Blip #5 1983-6

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Blip #5 1983-2

Blip #5 1983-3

Blip #5 1983-4

Blip was Marvel’s short-lived—seven issues only—foray into the video game world. It was colorful but silly, printed on comic stock and marketed to younger kids.

Page two talks about the development of Atari’s E.T., and refers to TRON (the movie) as a “flop.” Ripping every gamer’s favorite flick was probably not a good idea.

The activity on pages 12 and 13 is representative of the entire run. Kids of every age would have found it condescending.

Pages 14 and 16 are about computer camp, one of my favorite subjects. I wrote about the Atari camp here. I love the robot on the lawn chair, even though it’s a clunky (pun intended) metaphor.

And, if you weren’t feeling old enough already, how about the “News Blips” on page 23?

The most amazing feature of the Concept 100 is its satellite hookup. That’s right—this car will actually have a computer that is tuned in to a satellite orbiting in space. What good is this? One big advantage is tracking. If you ever get lost, just order up a map and the satellite will find your car…

Read the whole issue, and the whole run, at

Girls Reading Comic Books, 1957

Girls Reading Comics 1957

September 25, 1957. (Photo: Miami Herald)

Girls Reading Comics 1957-2

The Decent Literature Council, established in 1956, was active well into the 1960s. Its mission was “to protect youth from obscenity and pornography.” Here’s one of the directors, from a 1961 Miami News story:

We have found from resource reading… that pornographic literature becomes like a drug. As a child reads, he requires stronger doses, and it finally becomes destructive.

And here’s Charles Keating, Chairman of Citizens for Decent Literature (est. 1958), speaking to the Decent Literature Council in 1964:

The material constitutes a detailed course of instruction in perversion…

These sex-mad magazines are creating criminals faster than we can build jails to house them.

The publications provide youngsters with an entry to the world of lesbians, homosexuals, sadists, and other deviates whose names and actions are unknown to most decent people of this country.

If Keating’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was at the center of the Savings and Loan Crisis of the late 1980s. He was convicted of fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy, and went to jail. (Luckily, we still had one to house him.)




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