I have an appreciation for the late, great Joe Kubert here in 2018 as an adult, that I really didn’t have for him as a kid. And much of that is down to exposure, as well as a broader scope of reading material.
As a kid, comics that interested me were what interested most kids of the latter 20th century. We were children of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Chis Claremont and John Bryne, Marv Wolfman and George Perez, David Kraft and Keith Giffen, Bob Haney and Jim Aparo. The very exciting and colorful, but delineated world of Superhero comics.
But then the late 80s happened, and creators like Alan Moore and Frank Miller and William Mesner Loebs created works that seemed to challenge and expand the horizons and genres and tropes of the medium. They were following in the footsteps of late 70s pioneers such as Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy, and the aforementioned creators, who all had their moments of scripting comics with an Indy sensibility before the term existed.
And now as an adult, having explored much of the growth of the mainstream comic industry from their golden age roots, to their big screen interpretations, here in 2018 I am revisiting some work that was largely before my time.
Namely the westerns and horror books and combat books, of the late 60s and early 70s.
And this deep dive into this world (I mean I have gone deep in 2018), has solidified and cemented and revealed somethings. Most notably is 1/ The western comic books of Marvel Comics, the 12cent and 15 cent, etc comics, RAWHIDE KID, TWO-GUN KID, GUNHAWKS, MARVEL WESTERN, by mostly Larry Lieber, and Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, and Gil Kane, and Herb Trimpe and John Severin are masterpieces. And these books are MUST OWNS. And many have not been reprinted. And while MARVEL COMICS were hands down producing some of the best Western Comics, some other notable comics in this genre are the painted cover LONE RANGER comics by Dell and Gold Key Publishing, and DC’s TOMAHAWK–
(Brief interuption to gush on Kubert’s TOMAHAWK. The last 25 issues or so of TOMAHAWK go from Neal Adams covers to the final ten which are Joe Kubert covers, from issues 131 to 140. There are not many people who can follow Neal Adams on covers, and be able to equal him.
When Neal Adams does a run of covers, those become the definitive sought after covers, especially during this period of the 60s and 70s in DC. Whether BATMAN or DETECTIVE or SUPERMAN or SUPERBOY, to this day the definitive covers for all those titles, are the ones drawn by Neal Adams, and with good reason. Neal Adams is a master artist.
So it is no small compliment to say not only does Joe Kubert’s ten issue cover run on TOMAHAWK equal the work of his good friend Neal Adams, they surpass them. As someone who just acquired those ten books this year, listen to me when I say they are INCREDIBLY undervalued, sporting both stunning covers and interiors, and no true fan of comics should be without them. If you can get them in high grade for $10 a book, that is a steal.
Get those issues at the link below. You get great comics AND you earn a few pennies to keep this blog’s lights on.
–and ALL STAR WESTERN & WEIRD WESTERN. All fantastic and I will be doing a bit on Western Comics in an upcoming post.
And 2/ where the Marvel Comics of yesterday ruled the WESTERN genre, the WAR or COMBAT genre was ruled by DC Comics. Largely because of two names the great Robert Kanigher and the great Joe Kubert. Both men master story tellers, one with words and one with images, and both men incredibly prolific and productive. My favorite TEEN TITANS story of the silver age is by Robert Kanigher, my favorite FLASH stories by Robert Kanigher. So I always meant to pursue Kanigher’s work into his combat/conflict/war books of the period, and I am finally getting a chance to do that in 2018. And what immediately sells these books is the iconic covers and visual storytelling by the late, great Joe Kubert.
His work, especially pre the mid 70s, where his covers got to play with the typography and marrying that to the cover image… gold. Absolutely gold. To the point where covers for OUR FIGHTING FORCES and OUR ARMY AT WAR for a brief period in the late 60s, early 70s are cover art truly raised to the level of Art with a capital A. Why anyone would pay $4, $5, $6, and $7 for a brand new comic book (that can be found in the $1 bins or reprinted in a much better quality trade in a few months), when you can take that same money and get a classic issue from this period of comics… is beyond me.
It is work you are typically not going to see unless you go looking. Not many people are showing off 50 year old war comic book covers. In 2018 I have gone looking.
Let me show you some of what I’ve found. We will start with a taste of his unconventional and relatively rare Superhero work and move onto his more prolific genre work.
SYFYWIRE’s Matthew Funk says it best when they say…
“G.I. Combat #88
Kubert’s contributions to the visual language of war stories can’t be overstated, and this cover proves as much. This is very Stanley Kubrick-style imagery, but the comic predates Full Metal Jacket by 26 years. Kubert was creating iconic, haunting, and cinematic images of war that would influence generations of storytellers.”
When you think of great, iconic cover artists, the names Gil Kane, Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Nick Cardy, and more recently Alex Ross come to mind. And all deservedly so. But one that arguably has gotten overlooked by the masses is Joe Kubert, and this is largely because he worked mostly in genres that did not get the attention back in the day. But now as an adult and getting into genres of Western and War and Horror, I am getting exposed to the work of great artists such as Joe Kubert, I am seeing much of it for the first time, and it is…. ASTONISHING. What really amazes me about Kubert is when he gets to play with Typography in his covers, and make that part of his story-telling, those are absolute game changers. Such as the above, and many of his Combat books.
Ready to own some of these great comic books?
Then use the link below and start ordering:
I think the last word goes not to me, but Youtube Reviewer Micah Harshaw.
Between him and John Campea they are two of the most level headed, rational and informed Movie Entertainment Reviewers out there.
I personally think she is doing a great job. And the very vocal negative feedback that people are so concerned about, from Youtube or twitter, etc, is coming from the faceless mob.
A mob has always been an unreasoning, twisted beast, filled with bias and hate and prejudice.
People are entitled to have an opinion, but people are entitled to share, only an INFORMED opinion. And that unfortunately is not how our current social media model works, that thrives on lowest common denominator, unmoderated comments, from unknown and oft trolling sources.
That thrives on insinuation and accusation as reason enough to call for people to be fired or torn down… rather than waiting for that accusation to be proven in a court of law or through due process.
I have no stomach for mobs or witch-hunts, no matter what social media bs dressing it hides under. Especially when it comes to calling for someone’s job, because you personally did not like a single film. That is the height of a tail wagging dog society, where the inmates have taken over the asylum.
So yeah instead seek out INFORMED opinions from people who have a body of work, by which you may gauge their stance. Rather than just going off the knee-jerk barking of unfed dogs (ie facebook or twitter or Youtube trollers).
AFTA COMICS is a GREAT reason to add the Youtube app to your Roku III or Amazon Fire device. Between Hulu, Amazon Prime and Youtube I definitely get my streaming money’s worth.
Netflix, not so much. 🙂
But especially Youtube, and their various shows are just great. And as a comic book, boxing/mma, Tesla, OTR, Short Horror Film fan, it offers me a diverse range of community created content that can not be found anywhere else.
AFTA Comics is one such Youtube channel.
With a comforting, stalwart made for radio voice like Adam West, diverse content shown of his classoic Western, etc collections, what really takes this above and beyond just about any other Comic Channels, is his stories.
Stories that sometimes have nothing to do with comics, or only peripherally,his stories are wonderful. Life as we remember it when we look back.(to paraphrase Warren Ellis).
They are phenomenal stories, sometimes heartwarming, sometimes bitter sweet.
I watched his latest and was stunned, stunned that his videos do not have thousands of views. While others who do nothing positive with their channel have thousands of views.
It is a discrepancy you really should help correct. Go to Youtube, search Afta Comics, listen to any of his episodes, and then subscribe.
You will thank me. 🙂 Grade: A-.
The above steps tell you the details but in broad strokes you would do the following:
Have or buy a big screen TV. For a small or average size room a 32″ is fine. But of course if you have the space for a 70″ TV then go for it. Just allow enough distance from your TV.
Generally speaking the TV should fill 30% of your vision, in a general home, mixed use setting. With a 32″ TV that means sitting about 4.5 to 5 ft away from your TV.
With a 62″ TV you need to be a minimum of 8.7feet away from the TV when viewing.
The following link has a great easy calculator for determining viewing distance based on TV size.
And when getting a TV, do not drink the koolaid, you don’t need a 4K or 8K. Like any examination of the math will show you, at the recommended veiwing distance even someone with perfect vision will not notice any benefit in 4K or 8K over traditional HDMI specifications. The stuff that matters is refresh rate and contrast/dynamic range and backlight technology. The higher the contrast/dynamic range, the better.
And do not get a smart tv. The documentation and horror stories are out there.
On the other hand, a 3D TV should be cheap now, because people did not buy them, I like gimmicks. So I would use the 3D function sparingly, only for my select Bluray 3D movies.
3D is a brain trick that should not be done often, it should be the exception, not the rule.
Especially to those in your hosehold with developing brains, the kiddies, keep the 3D to a minimum.
Buy a roku. Roku 3. Do not get the streaming stick. The Amazon Fire is also an option.
Connect it to your TV, using an Ethernet cable, avoid connecting just via wifi (if you have an option). Your Ethernet wired connection will be faster and more stable/secure than using wireless.
Also do not use voice control. If the remote comes with voice contol, replace it with a basic ir remote. The smart voice remote actually broadcasts its own network. A potential security issue.
With those basic fixes in place, add your Youtube app, and begin enjoying the great Youtube channels available, but without the ignorant and often hate filled comments that make Youtube via a web browser, not a place you want to visit.
But courtesy of the app, it is great. You can still give people likes, but no comments.
A win, win.
Next installment I will highlight my selections for best Youtube channels!
This is the last day to preorder books that will be shipping in December at a discount.
Here are my suggestions for the books worth your time:
Nothing. I can recommend nothing from Marvel Comics. Marvel is GROSSLY overpriced. Save your money and either pick up these issues for a $1 or $2 each in a few months, when they are no longer new, from the secondary market. Or wait till they get collected into trade paperbacks and read them from your local library for free. Or buy them used online for a fraction of what getting the individual issues would cost. I grew up with Marvel Comics, and i think they still have some fantastic creators I would love to read on a monthly basis, Ta-Nehisi Coates CAPTAIN AMERICA , comes to mind. After much hate from the moronic bigoted internet crowd, the moronic antisjw nazis, it turns out Coates CAPTAIN AMERICA is shaping up to be great. The same with just about anything Al Ewing touches. Unfortunately these great creators are sabotaged by a unsupportable comic price, and horrible editorial and marketing decisions.
The movies quite frankly are a lot better, and a lot less disorganized, stupid, and at times ingrained bigoted than the comics. The comics play lip service to diversity, and it is great to see creators like Coates and Walker get a chance to start their vision, but inevitably Editorial steps in and ruins/aborts their process/ending. The comics back pedal from everything to try to pander to the racist anti-change and anti-diversity mob, who typically don’t even read the comics they complain about.
The movies so far under Feige’s reign have embraced diversity with no back pedaling or moronic denigration that makes up so much of what goes on in the comics when it comes to characters of color (‘Oh Well we can’t have the Black Nick Fury be his own man. Let’s explain him away as the son of a White Nick fury.’ What????? Yeah this is the stupidity and racist great ideas that is happening in Marvel Comics, by there non-writers of color and editorial department.)
So yeah, so far the movies are actually better by far than the comics. So stick with them for now. Or until they start following the stupidity of the current comic books.
Unfortunately DC that was doing a good job of keeping their prices under $3 a comic, ever since hiring the trojan horse of Brian Bendis, they have adopted Marvel’s disastrous and customer offensive pricing policy. Of charging $4, $5, $6,and $7… for COMIC BOOKS!!!!
And I like Brian Michael Bendis as a creator, but I despise him as a shill for the company, and his arrogant frat boy attitude to companies milking the audience, and his basic ‘ah they will pay the higher price. Lower prices do not sell.’ I’m ten years of proving Bendis is wrong. It is not diversity that is the cause of Marvel Comics’ inability to keep from bleeding readers, it is the bloody price of their books. Add to that the over abundance of ads, poor placement of ads, and atrocious paper quality and you have a company that is repeatedly slapping their customers in the face, then wondering why the customers are not sticking around.
DC will soon find they will have the same issue as Marvel Comics. They will keep the die hards for a while, the sheep who buy multiple issues and variants, and the speculators, but that is a far cry from the millions of people a publishing arm of Times Warner should be reaching.
Besides their last $2.99 books, which word is they are going away soon… The only book over $3 that I get from DC, that I make an exception for, is Christopher Priest’s brilliant DEATHSTROKE. And that is going to change, as editorial has decided to reward the critical acclaim that series has received, by mixing it into their editorial marketing ploy, basically gutting Priest’s ability to tell unhindered stories with the character. Once Priest leaves, so do I.
So what is worth getting?
Here is my list for September Pre-orders:
|Beyonders 4||On order||1||$2.59|
|Bitter Root Cvr D Williams 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Cavewoman A Wizard A Sorceress And Meriem 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Cemetery Beach 3||On order||1||$2.59|
|Cinema Purgatorio Vast Cvr 16||On order||1||$4.54|
|Dark Ark Cvr A Doe 11||On order||1||$2.59|
|Deathstroke (2016) Cvr B Var Ed 37||On order||1||$2.59|
|Dick Tracy Dead Or Alive Cvr B Tommaso 3||On order||1||$2.59|
|Feast Or Famine 1||On order||1||$0.98|
|Gideon Falls Cvr B Suayan 8||On order||1||$2.59|
|Hillbilly Red Eyed Witchery From Beyond 4||On order||1||$2.59|
|Infinite Dark 2||On order||1||$2.59|
|Infinity 8 7||On order||1||$2.59|
|Jook Joint 2||On order||1||$2.59|
|Leviathan Cvr B Guillory 4||On order||1||$2.59|
|Lightstep 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Lodger 2||On order||1||$2.59|
|Magic Order Cvr A Coipel 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Moth And Whisper 3||On order||1||$2.59|
|New World Cvr B Moore And Muller 5||On order||1||$2.59|
|No World Primer 2018||On order||1||$0.16|
|Oblivion Song 9||On order||1||$2.59|
|Outer Darkness 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Proxima Centauri 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Raid Cvr B Photo 4||On order||1||$2.59|
|Red Sonja Cvr A Caldwell 23||On order||1||$2.59|
|Rick And Morty Cvr A 44||On order||1||$2.59|
|Rick And Morty Presents Pickle Rick Cvr A 1||On order||1||$3.24|
|Shadowman Cvr C Veregge 9||On order||1||$2.59|
|Sideways 10||On order||1||$1.94|
|Silencer 11||On order||1||$1.94|
|Sink Cvr A Cormack 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Skyward 8||On order||1||$2.59|
|Spawn Cvr B Mattina 292||On order||1||$1.94|
|Stellar 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Terrifics 10||On order||1||$1.94|
|Unexpected 6||On order||1||$1.94|
|Walk Through Hell 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Warning 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Whispering Dark 2||On order||1||$2.59|
Order yours here:
And tell them HT sent ya!!!!