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Savage Tales #5
Feb 18th, 2018 by Rusty

Savage Tales #5 cover

Savage Tales #5

Date: July 1974
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 20 black and white pages (Skull River story)
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom
Notable Notes: Conan gets a new horse!

No Water

What is the longest you have ever gone without water? I once went about 30 hours, and it was terrible! I am a big water drinker, even now, since it is suppose to be healthy, and I do prefer it to the overly sweet sugar drinks that are so prominent these days. But I wonder if we, like Conan in this story, had gone a long time without anything to drink, would be prone to blackouts or agreeing to take on stupid jobs. Hmm, hopefully I’d die before fighting a rich prick and then giving all his gold to manipulative villagers! 😉
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ElfQuest #5
Feb 11th, 2018 by Rusty

ElfQuest #5 cover

ElfQuest #5

Date: August 1979
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2018 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 33 color pages plus editorial and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The end of the first Elfquest chapter.

Follow Gandhi’s Example

Whenever I see a herd of stampeding horses, or other grazing beasts, in movies or read about them in books, I always recall the movie Gandhi. It is there that the title character urges people to lie down, saying that the horses won’t step on them if they are prone. For some reason I have often thought about that part of the movie. Although I am not sure if that is true or not, it does seem logical that horses wouldn’t want to step other living creatures. I guess we are kind of like that too – how many of us would run across of carpet of cats, for example? Anyway, there is a part in this comic book where I thought the characters should heed Gandhi’s words and all lie down. However, the award winning movie didn’t come out until three years after this book was published – so I guess I can’t fault them!
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Daredevil #85
Jan 21st, 2018 by Rusty

Daredevil #85 cover

Daredevil #85

Date: March 1972
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2018 Price Range: $3 – $35
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and letters page
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: Gene Colan, Syd Shores and Jon Costa
Notable Notes: DD battles The Gladiator in the sky (on a 747!)

The End of the 747

Last year, as I was flying home from San Francisco on United airlines, I heard the news that the coolest passenger jet ever was being retired from service. I was a bit sad to hear that, because I liked 747s. I only flew on one a few times, but it was always fun to see them parked in terminals, with their big double-decker bubble heads. Anyway, this comic book was a blast to read because nearly the entire issue takes place on one of those iconic jets! I think it would have been cool if the last 747s left in service would have ordered a bunch of copies of this issue and distributed them to passengers – you know, as a kind of farewell gift!
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ElfQuest #4
Jan 14th, 2018 by Rusty

ElfQuest #4 cover

ElfQuest #4

Date: May 1979
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2018 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Bearclaw and Joyleaf pin-up art, Laugh “Wolf” and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: 1st appearance of Madcoil!

Rival Spurning

Have you ever been spurned by a rival? I’m talking about when you finally decide to play nice, and so you make a reconciling gesture only to be scoffed at, turned down or ridiculed? This can lead to even higher tension between rivals. I remember one case, in particular, when I was in high school where “my nemesis” and I elevated proverbial blows until we were ready to kill each other. Ah, the good old days of teenage testosterone! Nowadays I usually (emphasis on usually) laugh and let things blow over, because I am older and wiser… or is it older and weaker? One of those. Anyway, in this issue we see some male-rival-spurning going on, and I’m sure it will lead to more aggression in later issues. I can’t wait!
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24 Awesome Batman Comics to Read Online for Free
Dec 24th, 2017 by Rusty

A gift for you, dear readers! Here is a list of high quality Batman comics that you can read online for free! It took me a long time to scour the web and compile this list, so I hope you enjoy it and make great use of it! Presented in alphabetical order, here are what I believe to be 24 great Batman comics to read online for free: Read the rest of this entry »

ElfQuest #3
Nov 12th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #3 cover

ElfQuest #3

Date: December 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Rayek pin-up art, Meet the Wolfriders and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: Cutter and Rayek battle for Leetah’s love!

Fight For Your Right

Would you fight, literally fight, to win the heart of your sweetie? What about your job? Or your family? Or your home? Or your comic book collection? 😉 Sure, we’ve all heard of fighting for true love, but as I read this comic I asked myself “What do I consider worth fighting for?” It gave me a little bit to ponder… but not for too long, because I had the rest of the comic to read! Here is a great comic – beautifully rendered and fun to read!
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ElfQuest #2
Oct 26th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #2 cover

ElfQuest #2

Date: September 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $40
Stats: 31 color pages plus pin-up art, welcome and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The first book from WaRP Graphics

Love At First Sight

Ah, love at first sight… does it really exist? I tend to think that it should more accurately be called “lust at first sight” – at least in the real world. But in the world of fiction perhaps love at first sight is a thing that actually works out. In this issue of ElfQuest the Wolfriders’ leader, Cutter, is so smitten with a beautiful woman that he kidnaps her! But that works out OK for him – and that is another way to tell that we are in fictional world!
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Iron Man #56
Oct 21st, 2017 by Rusty

Iron Man #56 cover

Iron Man #56

Date: March 1973
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2017 Price Range: $5 – $75
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and letters page
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artists: Jim Starlin, Mike Esposito, Charlotte Jetter
Notable Notes: The origin of Ichabod Rasputin

Roller skates

My daughter is really into rollerblading right now. She even got me to go with her yesterday, and now I have sore legs! Anyway, I was telling her that when I was a kid it was roller skates that were the big thing. Why am I telling you this? Because this issue of Iron Man starts out with him zooming around NYC on his jet powered roller skates! Yes, it is quite ridiculous! Iron Man himself even admits that he feels like a kid. Heaven knows he sure looks like one!
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ElfQuest #1
Oct 10th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #1 cover

ElfQuest #1

Date: April 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $4 – $50
Stats: 31 color pages plus forward, pin-up art and Elf-olution
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: A spruced-up reprint of ElfQuest’s first appearance!

Convoluted Publishing History

Some comic book series just really fly through the publishing companies. Astro City is one that comes to mind. ElfQuest is another one. Beginning in the late 1970s the Elf saga started off in Fantasy Quarterly #1 by an independent publisher, then it switched to the Pini’s homegrown company WaRP Graphics. Years later both Marvel and DC would pick up licenses to it, and so would Boing Boing and Dark Horse! Sheesh! Oh well, at least it is a good series, and one that deserves to be published – regardless of who is doing that publishing!
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Doc Savage #1
Sep 6th, 2014 by Rusty

Doc Savage #1 cover

Doc Savage #1

Date: October 1972
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2014 Price Range: $3.00 – $42.00
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and “Meet Doc Savage” page
Writers Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart
Artists: Ross Andru, Jim Mooney and John Costanza
Notable Notes: 1st issue – based on the pulp fiction story “The Man of Bronze”

The First Superhero?

OK, I’ll admit it – this was the first Doc Savage story I have ever read! Of course I’d heard of him, and being the big SF fan that I am you’d think I would have read one of the many novels about him – but no. So after reading this cool comic book that was given to me by my sister several years ago, I looked up some information about this classic character. It turns out he started in story form back in the 1930s, and has been featured in a variety of media since: magazines, novels, comics and even movies. He has quite the interesting history and a cool gang of side-kicks. I think I’ll have to delve more into some of the Doc Savage stories. See – comics are still a great medium for introducing people to new characters and properties!
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Batman #227
Apr 12th, 2014 by Rusty

Batman #227 cover

Batman #227

Date: December 1970
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 15¢
2014 Price Range: $15 – $350
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Letters to the Batman”, Direct Currents, 1 page Casey the Cop story and Daily Planet Extra.
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artists: Irv Novick and Dick Giordano
Notable Notes: Batman rescues Alfred’s niece!

A Difficult Comic to Collect!

Last fall I decided that I wanted to collect and read some of the Batman issues in the early 200s. I started with #224 and worked my way up from there. This one, #227, proved the most difficult and expensive to get so far. I didn’t realize it before, but it has a few things going for it that makes it so collectible. First, the awesome cover art is a swipe from Detective Comics #31, which itself is the classic “Batman over castle” image from 1939. Second, the cover is by the great Batman artist Neal Adams. And third, there is a wonderful classic Batman story inside by none other than legendary scribe Denny O’Neil! Put those three things together and you can see why I spent weeks on eBay bidding for copies, and finally ended up paying $50 for a mid-grade copy. And you know what? I am totally happy with it too!

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G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #18
Feb 22nd, 2014 by Rusty

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #18 cover

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #18

Date: December 1983
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $18.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Postbox: The Pit!” letters page and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: Larry Hama
Artists: Mike Vosburg, Jon D’Agostino, Edward Norton, George Roussos
Notable Notes: Joes and Cobra invade Coney Island!

Old Amusement Parks

Have you ever encountered an old, abandoned amusement park? I have, once, in Guam! I remember seeing it from the highway – all the rides overgrown with tropical vegetation. It was downright spooky! I did think it would be fun to play hide-n-seek or some sort of war game in though. Can you imagine how fun that’d be – running around and hiding amongst all the old rides and game booths! I’ve haven’t thought of that old amusement park in a long, long time – but this issue reminded me of it because both the G.I. Joes and Cobra head to a famous amusement park to carry out their plans.

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Batman #226
Feb 17th, 2014 by Rusty

Batman #226 cover

Batman #226

Date: November 1970
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 15¢
2014 Price Range: $6 – $80
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Letters to the Batcave” and 4 page backup story
Writer: Frank Robbins
Artists: Irv Novick and Dick Giordano
Notable Notes: Origin of The Man with Ten Eyes!

Blind – But Not Powerless

Would being blind be so bad? I’m not saying I want to try it, just that blind people seem to live incredibly full lives – especially in comic books. I’ve mentioned before that when I was a little kid I would wrap a blindfold around my head and play for long stretches of time while pretending to be blind. And Daredevil doesn’t do too bad does he? In this issue Batman is temporarily blinded, and has a tangle with another blind man – but the other man has a secret that Bats doesn’t know about!

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G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #17
Dec 8th, 2013 by Rusty

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #17 cover

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #17

Date: November 1983
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 Price Range: $2.00 – $18.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Postbox: The Pit!” letters page and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: Larry Hama
Artists: Mike Vosburg, Jon D’Agostino, Joe Rosen, G. Roussos
Notable Notes: Cobra fugitives get lots of help!

Bus Troubles!

I commute to work on a bus nearly every day. It is nice because I can read, or surf the internet or just take a nap. But sometimes, in the back of my mind, there is a little bit of worry that something crazy is going to happen. You know, something like the driver getting us in a big crash, or even worse – the bus gets hi-jacked like in the movie “Speed”! This issue has a scene where a bus gets taken over by one of the Cobras, and as you can see from the cover it makes the ladies cry – now how sad is that! Plus, now I’m going to have nightmares about my own bus getting attacked by some crazy para-military group – sheesh!

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Batman #225
Nov 17th, 2013 by Rusty

Batman #225 cover

Batman #225

Date: September 1970
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 15¢
2013 Price Range: $6 – $80
Stats: 24 color pages plus ads and “Letters to the Batcave”
Writers: Denny O’Neil and Mike Friedrich
Artists: Irv Novick, Dick Giordano and Mike Esposito
Notable Notes: Batman the murderer?

When Good Heroes Go Bad!

It’s not a unique idea – in fact it is quite common – when good guys become the bad guys… or appear to do so! I think that it would be every legitimate peace-keeper’s fear that a powerful superhero would turn into their worst enemy. That is what happens in this issue… well, almost, anyway. This time it turns out that Batman is framed, and he must use all his Bat-skills to evade the police long enough to prove his innocence!

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