Best Combat Comic Book Covers of the Day!

Okay I was in TERRIFICON in 2018, and that among other things really launched my love for classic Bronze and Silver Age War Comics. Specifically DC, because with the combo of the great Joe Kubert and the great Robert Kanigher DC made the best war comic books, period. Especially during this very brief, sweet spot, when Kubert was Art Director/Editor for the line, the war books are the stuff of legend.

And you have many combat books from DC, OUR ARMY AT WAR (which becomes SGT ROCK), STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES, GI COMBAt, and OUR FIGHTING FORCES.

This article concentrates, on OUR FIGHTING FORCES, while not the first, nor arguably the best of DCs combat books, it is the first one that woke me up in 2018 to the greatness of these classic combat books, I immediately became enamored and a rabid collector of OUR FIGHTING FORCES, largely for the exquisite cover design by Joe Kubert that ran from 123 to 141.These 19 issues, where Joe Kurbert is Editor and Art Director… and makes the typography part and parcel of his stunning cover design; are the high water mark of COMIC BOOK covers as art.

And with stories by the great and prolific Robert Kanigher and interior art by geniuses such as Ross Andru, Russ Heath, Joe Kubert and Sam Glansman this run of comics from cover to cover may just be the most underated and slept on comic book related gems… ever.

You can buy collected editions, but the individual issues, of these specific 19 issues, are art items in and of themselves.

 

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Get your issues here:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=180611&AffID=200301P01

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Favorite Purchase of the Day : NEGRO ROMANCE #1

 

Romance books as well as Comic Books in general really picked up steam in the post World War II years. The comics finding themselves picked up by everyone one from kids to teens to adults. GIs and their wives also making a regular audience for these comic books.

In the prosperous post World War II years America was riding high, and you can see it in everything from the cars to the boom in home ownership to the boom in the birth rate, to the boom in comic genres and publishers.

In an America where currently comics struggle to sell a 100000 issues, comics back then routinely sold upwards of half a million copies. The more popular titles in the millions.

Romance Titles were one of those lifted by the general explosion of comics. And mainstream comics, though another war had just been won, ostensibly for liberty and freedom, were still victim of an America cowtowing to Jim Crow restrictions. Books that had people of color,could not be sold in some southern states if those depictions were not jingoistic or demeaning.

Evenhanded or respectful depictions of people of color, would likely get your book banned from that particular retailer. It was an extension of the same restrictions movies dealt with, that led to the ‘race’ movies of pioneers such as Director/Producer Oscar Micheaux in the 1920s and the creation of Black Film Production companies, and more importantly a Black owned circuit of theaters.

However Comics, while more popular than today, were still a niche medium and attempts to break the Jim Crow mandated codes against people of color, while valiant and brilliant… were unfortunately short lived. Especially where legal protections against mob behaviour/lynchings were virtually non-existant.

So that the NEGRO ROMANCE comic  existed at all (much like the earlier ALL NEGRO COMICS) is down to the courage and talent of people who at the end of the day just wanted to tell good stories, without the Minstrel Show trappings of the time. That the book lasted two issues before being literally white-washed, removing characters of color and renaming it, is unfortunate.

But at least we had those two issues. And Thanks to Karl A. Therrian, after 70 years of being  lost from the light of day, these issues, along with ALL NEGRO COMICS are currently available.

I could not be happier to own these reissues, in FANTASTIC condition of these extremely rare comics. Get them while they last.

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https://amzn.to/2M5427P

I will cover the book in more detail in an upcoming post.

However, I would strongly suggest not sleeping on these books. Yes, you can buy them from various people, but it is apparent the love and care that Karl A. Therrian puts into his reissues that sets them above the competition.

Buy it while available.

SATURDAY SLABS : Key/Investment Grade Comics – SGT ROCK/OUR ARMY AT WAR Issues 1 to 100!

SLABS –slabbing is slang for getting a comic professionally graded and encased in an un-openable hard plastic shell from CGC, PGX, or CBCS. A slab therefore is that graded comic, encased.

I’m not a big one for getting books encapsulated (the more technical term for slabbing), especially for modern books. But I do understand the benefit of third party grading, especially when it comes to older books. Ensuring the book is complete, annotaing any issues, and providing a grade from an outside third party, eliminates much of the haggling regarding condition that would otherwise occur when buying or selling a comic book.

So for reasons of liquidation, I see the benefit of comic book certification (including encapsulation), but again, I see the benefit as it relates to older or scarce books (real scarcity, and not this manufactured scarcity of variant covers on modern books). Now that said while I can see the use of grading and slabbing for select investment grade books, I DO NOT agree with the fad of pressing comics.

What is pressing comics?

It is a relatively new bit of snakery, people attempting to make the cover of their book look better, by actually applying moisture and heat to their comic, to ‘press’ out wrinkles, creases, folds, rounded spines etc.

And while it will make your cover lay better and arguably get you a slightly higher grade, based on a nicer cover, ‘pressing’ does this as the expense of the interior which in older books is newsprint. You can not apply heat and moisture to newsprint without shortening the life and speeding up the degradation of that pulp paper.

Period.

No ifs, no ands, no buts. Heat+moisture+newsprint = nothing good. That comes from the Library of Congress.

Now no specific long term studies have been done to show the damage of ‘pressing’. In 10 years when you open up that sealed book, will you find it is more degraded and corrupted then a say non-pressed book? Have those previously white pages started to brown rapidly due to the excess moisture pressed into those pages? have you induced mold growth into your valuable collectible.

There is no science to pressing comics, no agreed upon heat settings, or moisture exposure times, or drying times, it is a bunch of disparate people making it up as they go along, giving you short term results, at the expense of the longevity of your book. Why on earth would you let your collectibles be the guinea pig for such untested experiments.

Just say no to pressing your comic book.

That public service announcement out of the way, onto this installment’s investment grade books.  Out of the first 100 issues of the ground breaking DC War Series OUR ARMY AT WAR, here are the issues worth adding to your collection… and why.

 

 

15 MUST OWN ISSUES OF OUR ARMY AT WAR!

 

Our Army at War 1 - Dc - Superman - National Comics - Sword - Battle - Carmine Infantino

You do not expect sophisticated storytelling from a nearly 70 year old comic book, but this debut issue of OUR ARMY AT WAR offers up just such a compelling and surprising reading experience. Particularly in the story ‘DIG YOUR FOXHOLE DEEP’. OUR ARMY AT WAR #1 is a pricy acquisition, but one worth acquiring if you have the disposable income.

Next of the must have issues would be #15:

Our Army at War 15 - Explosive Battle Action - Fire - Thunder In The Skies - Sunday Walk - Fifteen Minute War

Just based on that striking cover with its beautiful use of yellows and purples.

For similar reasons, the following issue, #46, makes the must own list:

Our Army at War 46 - Soldier - Army - War - Action - Explosive

 

Next up, #50:

Our Army at War 50

This issue is notable in that, from here forward, the cover art gets far more sophisticated. It is also the first taste of the letterbox covers that would come much later,

The next 50 issues, from 50 to 100, with one or two exceptions, are all worth owning.Standouts being:

53,54,56,57(1st Grey Wash Cover), 61(Wonderfully desperate and emotive faces by Frank Robbins I believe), 71(Great, you-are-there pov camera angle), 74,75,80,81,82,83,87,89,90,92,94,95,96!

 

Our Army at War 53 - Dc - Tank - Soldier - Machine Gun - WarOur Army at War 54 - Gun - Sword - Jan No 54 - Grenade - Battle Line - Joe KubertOur Army at War 56 - Joe KubertOur Army at War 57 - Bullets - Machine Gun - Helmets - Men - ExplosiveOur Army at War 61Our Army at War 71 Our Army at War 74 - Bullet - Face - Head - Fear - AirplaneOur Army at War 75 - Blind Night Fighter - Airplane - Gunfire - Double Length Story - GooglesOur Army at War 80 - Tank - Ruins - No 80 - Tank Bait - SoilderOur Army at War 81 - Dc Comics - The Rock Of Easy Co - Gun - Nazi - HelmetOur Army at War 82Our Army at War 83 - Gone With The Gun - Flying Machines - The Trooper - Big Guns - The WarfareOur Army at War 87 - Battle Action Comic Book - Vintage Army Comic - Easy Company Army Stories - Wwii Tank Warfare Comic - Chute Dragging Soldier Into TankOur Army at War 89Our Army at War 90 - Easy Company - Dollar Comics - Superman - National Comics - Approved By The Comics Code Authority - Joe KubertOur Army at War 92

Our Army at War 94 - Target Easy Co - Combat Happy Joes - Battle - New Two Part - Fight - Joe KubertOur Army at War 95 - Battle Of The Stripes - Barb Wire - Gunfire - Crawling - Battle - Joe KubertOur Army at War 96 - Tank - Building - Panzer - Gun - Dc Comics

Well those are my collectible/investment picks for this installment.

Now you can actually pick up some of the aforementioned issues via one of my current favorite comic book stores, LONE STAR COMICS. Better known by there website presence, MY COMIC SHOP. Please use the link below to order from them, and when you do you will earn this blog a few pennies, that will be greatly appreciated and go back into the blog, and more content you can use.

So Thanks to anyone who supports this blog, and this specific post, via the following link:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=180591&AffID=200301P01

Thank You for looking and come back next Installment for more great selections!

Excelsior!

RIP To Stan Lee 1922 to 2018.

My Favorite COMIC BOOK Youtube/Roku Channels of 2018!!! Starting off with AFTA COMICS, MERCENAUT and HERB TRIMPE!?!

COMICS

  • TheGO2 Geeks
  • Silver-Aged Dave
  • AFTA Comics
  • Regie Simmons IFBB Pro
  • DS Comics
  • Earl Grey
  • Comics with Bueller
  • Wallace Ryan
  • ComicTom 101
  • Pop Culture Philosophers
  • SleepyReader666
  • Professor Thorgi
  • Metarog
  • Chycho
  • ETA Nick
  • Nighttiger
  • Comichyjinx
  • LeeKirbyDitko
  • CurtisCamron
  • Farley’s Nerdcave
  • Rwheatley0206
  • Saddle City Comics
  • Forest City Coins and Comics
  • BargainHuntersThrift
  • Area 51
  • Arkham Comics las Vegas
  • Comic Buying
  • Tony Sanders
  • Tony Tothe
  • Tom Ryan
  • DrVonChilla
  • CaptainStrangeLife
  • Simon Comics
  • UltimateChance
  • Thugie1
  • Comic Book Ninja
  • ComicHero77
  • Comic News Network
  • Gotham Comics
  • HeroHunter81
  • Longshanks_78
  • Master X
  • Lord Tatman
  • Symphonic-Elk
  • Knights_of_Old
  • Jerno’s Comics
  • YicketyYackety
  • TJ Watson
  • WhatCulture
  • Wiebes TV
  • Windy City Comic
  • Yanni Gogolak
  • Islord 372
  • Batzman’s Classic Cars & Comics
  • Mercenaut

I will be speaking on all these channels in more detail, regarding why they made my 2018 best of List.

I am going to start with the last on this list MERCENAUT and work my way up.

https://www.youtube.com/user/mercenaut

Mercenaut is on this list, not for being a White Supremacist or Black Activist ( inside joke, watch his channel) but for a single show he did in 2018, where he showed off a copy of CAPTAIN BRITAIN #8. With that episode, this guy along with the Epic Marvel Podcast and Afta Comics, started my hunt and love for Herb Trimpe covers in 2018. The CAPTAIN BRITAIN mag sported a STUNNING Herb Trimpe cover which is shown below.

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Prior to that while i remember Herb Trimpe, I never really paid attention to how great of a cover artist he was. Between MERCENAUT’s showing, and the brilliant Trimpe Western cover’s that AFTA Comics showed, this year has very much been the year of collecting Herb Trimpe and Larry Leiber comics. Some of Trimpe ones I picked up this year are:

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https://i0.wp.com/www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/511/183423_20120804222034_large.jpg

 

As great as Trimpe’s Super Hero Covers are (With his work on the INCREDIBLE HULK being arguably his finest) his western work which I did not get exposed to until this year, I love even more. Just look how much storytelling he puts into those covers.

In an age where modern comic covers no longer tell a story, largely are just pinups having nothing to do with the content of the book, Herb Trimpe was able to tell a great story using just the cover.

Thank You Mercenaut, Afta Comics, and Epic MArvel Podcast for putting the late great Herb Trimpe on my radar!!

Okay quick rant on variant/multiple covers.

Darn you Variant Covers!!! You are diluting the medium. You can not have an ICONIC issue and multiple covers. Now again everything in moderation. A variant cover here or there is fine, but it has become the rule rather than the exception.

As a consumer, buy what you like. But as the publisher/producer of this content too much choice in a market can be as harming as too little, if it generates confusion, and stymies adoption by potential readers, in favor of courting speculators.

 

And that is just what is happening in the market place. In an effort to milk a diminishing audience, the mainstream publishers resort to the skankery of pimping multiple covers (yes I did just coin the word skankery 🙂 ) to the speculator segment, which harms the iconic nature of a work as much as alternative endings, to those of us who actually think books should be read.

To be iconic a thing must live memorable, in the shared consciousness and memory of the audience.

A memorable cover, or a memorable line, or a memorable poster, or a memorable ending. You think of Exorcist you think of a singular poster, You think of Casablanca you think of that ending, you think of Citizen Kane you think of that beginning, if you think of the original UNCANNY X-MEN 138, you think of the classic cover of Cyclops walking way from the X-MEN and toward the reader. And the background framed by all these beautiful UNCANNY X-MEN covers tinged in purple. For my money the single most beautiful and poignant X-men cover of all time, by John Bryne, another great artist,

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That… for an image, or line, or scene, to stay memorable not just in your memory, but in the memory of a generation,… is to be iconic. People my age have a shorthand, a shared pop-culture language, that makes us part of a shared conversation.

Unfortunately people growing up on comics today, have no such singular, iconic cover or image to define a moment or a book. Because that one clear vision is muddied and diminished by multiple covers so the publisher can try and milk the speculator market, rather than serve the longer and more far reaching nature of creating something singular and memorable.

It’s the same way mainstream publishers are diluting their most popular characters with these shoddy imitations/iterations that only help to eradicate what was unique about the original character. You have now 15 variations of wolverine running around, Including one that is part Hulk, part Wolverine. Really? This is fan-fic, being done by the publishers, with no real consideration beyond milking the speculator market. They have strip-mined their own effectiveness as a sequential platform. 

That and the price point of Marvel and DC Comics is why I have stopped getting them in periodic format. There is no reason the mainstream publishers can not hold their price point at $2.50 or $2.99 cents, and make a profit and sell millions of copies at that price point.

The movies and video games have done the hard work of providing name recognition to the masses,the publishers inability to translate the billions these characters make in other mediums to even millions in the comic medium, comes down to mismanagement and an outdated vision/model from the comic publishers.

So these days if I need a monthly comic, I gravitate to the Independents. If I hear good things about a mainstream storyline, I pick it up in collected format or rent it from my library.

And if I really yearn for the days of great iconic covers, in mainstream comics, well thankfully there are always great Herb Trimpe comics to pick up in back issues!

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave your comments or send emails! I will be covering other channels in upcoming updates.

Excelsior!!!

 

 

 

Youtube Inspirational Video to Start 2019 Off Right! A must Watch! THE SPEECH THAT BROKE THE INTERNET?

While a two year old speech, today was my first time hearing/encountering it.

While politically I have my issues with Arnold Schwarzenegger, I do not have an issue with this speech. Clear and inspiring!

 

January 2019 Movies being released Theatrically!

Well let’s start 2019 off with a post showing all the interesting movies being released theatrically in January!

 

 

You can view any of these trailers a multitude of places. One to try would be:

https://www.comingsoon.net/movies

I’m not a big trailer guy. If it is a movie I know I am going to see, such as BLACK PANTHER or INFINITY WAR, I do not see the trailers. Much less like some critics and reviewers do, watch ALL the trailers, and clips, and features on a movie, than complain about the movie having no surprises or feeling familiar. It is to diminish the experience for the viewer, and to diminish your validity as a reviewer.

However for movies that are unknown to me, I will watch the first trailer to see if it piques my interest. But once I decide that ‘yes this is a movie I want to see’, I am done with watching anymore trailers or content till I see the actual film.

Of the films shown above, THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING, while I am typically not a fan of films for the juvenile market, this one appeals to my love of the myth of Camelot (instilled in me by the brilliant 1980s John Boorman film EXCALIBUR) so it goes on my ‘to watch’ List. Plus the trailer is charming.

Of the remaining GLASS, THE VANISHING, REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN, and ESCAPE ROOM also had trailers or story synopsis that intrigued me.

None of them am I going to pay to see on the big screen, but will check them out when they come to streaming or DVD/Blu-Ray.

 

If I am missing a theatrical movie being released this month that you are excited for, let me know. I will give it a look. Thanks and…

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Best discoveries of 2018!

Youtube App on platforms such as ROKU is far more watchable than its web version.

The Youtube Comic Community is an addictive and wonderful bunch (As in all things, avoid the hatemongers and triffling contingent)

Atlanta, Memphis, New London Conneticut were all nice places to visit this year.

I listened to all the Marc Olden BLACK SAMURAI BOOKS, as well as his standalone masterpieces POE MUST DIE  and BOOK OF SHADOWS. Pull the trigger on these audio books tonight, and start the new year off right. And earn a few pennies for this blog. A win-win.

Lots more to say but 2018 is winding down, for now… HAPPY NEW YEAR!

BEST OF LISTS and FAVORITE LISTS to come!