L.I.F.E. Brigade #’s 1 and 2 by C.A. Stormon, Blue Comet Comics, 1986
This is one funky ’80s black n’ white superhero book. Some of the penciling is stiff, but the inks are really rich and bold. For some reason I could relate to that. Unfortunately, I have never read a comic more in need of an editor. Tons of simple spelling and grammar mistakes definitely interrupt the flow and make it more difficult to follow than it should be.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, Mirage Studios, 1990
This is the comic book adaptation of the first Ninja Turtles movie, from way back in 1990. This is actually not a bad Turtles primer comic, as it introduces us to all the characters and their world, as I guess the movie did. And since it is from Mirage publishing, as opposed to Archie Comics, it is all done in the original Eastman and Laird style. It is black n’ white, gritty, and fun too.
Omega The Unknown #1, Marvel Comics, 1976
I don’t usually pick out Marvel comics, but this one seemed fairly interesting. It actually ended up being a somewhat complicated story. There are two separate narratives, one involving the superhero and the other involving the little boy. Ultimately the narratives converge, in more ways than one. This was not completely unlike watching an episode of the tv show Lost, only in the amount of mysterious questions that are raised. In all, I guess it was fun getting to read an old 70’s Marvel comic.
Thunder Bunny #1, Red Circle Productions, 1984
A kid activates an energy box which in turn supplies him with the power of… Thunder Bunny! In order to transform, all he has to do is clap his hands and picture it in his mind. Of course, the same act is required to reverse the process, only for this the mental image must be of himself. So in order to complete this process it is reinforced to him that “you must never lose sight of who you really are!”
It didn’t exactly rock my world, but overall it’s a relatively fun 1980’s comic book.
Mr Lizard #1, Now Comics, 1993
This looked like a pretty cool find when I came upon it in the bargain bins (for 20 cents). It was amazingly still in a polybag with an “instant Ralph Snart capsule” included (those sponge dealies that expand in water).
So this is a spin off of the Ralph Snart series, created by Marc Hansen, that was relatively popular at the time. I remember liking the Ralph Snart books, though I can’t specifically remember much about them, aside from the funky/deranged/fun artwork. Marc Hansen himself provided a top notch cover here, though the guts of the book where handled by a team of other people.
Unfortunately, this was a very uninspired read. The issue tells the story of a single date that Mr Lizard goes on, by way of a “Mr Lizard’s Guide to Scoring With Hot Babes” guidebook motif. Pretty predictable, boring, unfunny stuff. The Ralph Snart capsule that came included was probably the most exciting part. Gotta love that cover though!
Atomic Man #1 by Jeff Bonivert, Blackthorne Publishing, 1986
Yes! Now this is a one of a kind endeavor. I’m convinced the comic book gods placed this in the bargain bins just for me (it put me back 20 cents). Otherwise, somebody else would have easily scooped it up long before I got to it. Look at those colors… Look at that logo… Look at the… Everything!
Art deco meets new wave. That about sums up the look of it. And it seems as if it was crafted in its entirety with the drafting tools of an engineer. Every single pen line is a perfect geometric shape or angle of sorts, down to the curls on the hair of the people’s heads and the fingers on their hands.
As for the story, Atomic Man, a famous superhero family man, is faced with stopping an evil communist scientist’s plot to pit America against itself, quite literally, by way of a roving Statue of Liberty.
Honestly, this thing is so unlike anything else that it is hard to give it a proper grade. Some of the artwork gets a bit cramped in places, but other than that, this is a fun and unique book that any comics fan should appreciate.
Angryman #2 by Eric Haven, Iconografix, 1992
I knew nothing of this work when I came upon it in the bargain bins (I got it for 33 cents, I think). The crazy looking cover is actually not very representative of the tone of the inside, as it is mostly a subdued (although angsty and humorous as well) character based drama.
Since this is the 2nd issue, I’m not clued into exactly how things got to be the way they are at the start here, although it is still a very enjoyable read in its own right. A guy who appears to be a drifter (although it turns out he does live there in town), looking kind of grungy (appropriate for the early 90s) with lots of big bags, sets off with a waitress he just met as she closes up shop at the all night café she is working at. She regales him with an assortment of tall tales (or perhaps simply crazy truths) over breakfast before they head back to his place to take a load off.
I really liked this book. Great art, story, and characterization that would fit right in today’s alternative scene, or any other scene of any era, really. Good comics are good comics, right? Going into this I did not know of the work of Eric Haven, but learned after googling him that he is still active and had a series that I was actually familiar with (but had not read) put out by Sparkplug books in recent years, although those newer works appear to be more fantastical and adventure based, at least based on the titles and covers (although I learned with this issue that the cover didn’t exactly match the drapes, so to speak). At any rate, this was a great find!
Whenever I attend a “mainstream” comic convention, one thing I try to do is take at least a little time to peruse the dealers section. Depending on the size of the convention, there can be rows and rows of long boxes calling out my name. What am I looking for in these long boxes, you ask? To put it simply, I’m looking for cheap, weird books. The dealers I like best are the ones who bring randomly packed boxes filled with unbagged comics from any which era and offer them for anywhere from 2 for a dollar to 5 for a dollar.
My favorite finds tend to be black n’ white books from the late ’80s and early ’90s. Basically, I’m looking for weird/ridiculous/dumb/awesome/cool/funky comics, and I’m picking them all up for cheap. Some are dumb in an awesome way, some are dumb in a horrible way, some are legit reads, while others are… something else altogether.
I’ve been wanting to find a way to share these books with y’all that wouldn’t take a lot of time or energy, and I think Tumblr may be the perfect way! So this is one way I’m gonna start using Tumblr, by sharing specific issues and giving my two cents about ‘em. The stack in the pic is mostly from the recent C2E2 convention, and I’ll probably start with those, though I suppose I’m free to do whatever I want, cuz this is my Tumblr, yo! Get ready, y’all.