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.

THE LAST WORD: Joe Kubert’s BEST Comic Book Covers!!(Some of them)

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.

The Brave & The Bold #84 - Neal Adams

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.

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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.

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?tid=181351&pgi=101&AffID=200301P01

)

–and ALL STAR WESTERN & WEIRD WESTERN. All fantastic and I will be doing a bit on Western Comics in an upcoming post.

 

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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.

Joe Kubert’s cover art on Our Fighting Forces #135

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.

 

 

 

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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.”

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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.

 

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SGT ROCK

G.I. Combat (Volume) - Comic Vine

Our Army At War 254 - Sgt. Rock - Joe Kubert

Cover

Ready to own some of these great comic books?

Then use the link below and start ordering:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?q=our+army+at+war&pubid=&PubRng&AffID=200301P01