Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Quarter Bin: Gone and Perhaps Forgotten!

Martinex1: When Redartz and I started The Quarter Bin and the "$1 Challenge" all those moons ago, we promised to look at some of the obscure books you actually might find in the Local Comic Shop  quarter box.   Well, I am finally getting around to it.

I can honestly say that I don't believe I own a single issue shown below (I may be wrong as my memory gets a little foggy nowadays but I do "believe" that to be true).  I stretched the borders of the Bronze Age a bit when I searched for issues to spotlight, so we are looking at an approximate 25 year span from the late 1960s until 1990.  The books include many genres, from war stories to humor to licensed material,  and they are from many companies.   It is definitely an eclectic set, but all of the comics depicted below are #1 issues.  

Some characters I recognize, and others I have no clue as to who they are, what they do, and how their story unfolds.   You will see comics from the big two, Marvel and DC, plus samples from Archie, Harvey, PC, Comico, Charlton, Atlas-Seaboard, and more.  They include work from Kirby, Steranko, and many other recognizable talents.  Some are reprints. Most have new stories.   All are relatively obscure.

So your chore as a BitBA reader is to sort through the selection and let us know what four you would choose to purchase given the opportunity.  And please, if you have any recommendations regarding any of the books we would appreciate it.  It is always fun to find something new and enjoyable on a comic hunting trip.  I am sure somebody may criticize me for never having read The Forever People, Ragman, or Obnoxio the Clown, but that is why I rely on you BitBA fans to steer me in the right direction.  Likewise let us know what is better left alone or relegated to the bird cage.

Have a great time diving into oddities looking for forgotten treasure.   Cheers all!





Doug said...

I actually had four of those - Strikeforce: Morituri, Obnoxio the Clown vs. the X-Men, X-Men Spotlight on the Starjammers, and Firestar. I had a friend in college who had the Silverblade book. Many others I've heard of or recall seeing on the racks. Only the Starjammers would have been worth a quarter to me now...

Again, great research, digging these up from the dust of history!


Edo Bosnar said...

Hmmm, of these I have or (more often) had:

Archie's Super Hero Special - a digest, which I now have, with about an even mix of the Archie 'gag' heroes (Pureheart and Evilheart, Superteen, Capt. Hero) and the MLJ heroes (the Black Hood, the Shield, the Web). The second one is much better, as there are more 'serious' hero stories in it, and some art by Neal Adams, Wally Wood and Gray Morrow. However, if you can find this one now for a quarter, snap it right up.

Doc Savage - have this in the paperback that collects the entire Marvel series from the '70s. The art here (almost all by Ross Andru) was better than the stories. Marvel's black-and-white Doc Savage magazine had far better stories.

Ragman - used to have the entire (5-issue) series. Really liked it, and I wish DC would collect and reprint these.

Obnoxio vs. the X-men - had it because I pretty much bought anything with the X-men in it at the time. Don't really remember much about it, except that that humor was pretty lame.

Silverblade - used to have the whole series; lots of folks online think the world of this one (and it does have nice art by Gene Colan), calling it one of the highlights of comics in the 1980s. I thought it was solid, but nothing special.

Silver Star - bought these as they were coming out back in the day. If you're a Kirby fan, you'll probably like this. I thought it was just all right, and preferred Kirby's other offering from Pacific, Capt. Victory.

Starfire - also had the entire series; it's a good concept: the titular character leads a rebellion against some lizard-like aliens that conquered her home planet, but it was really uneven, as over its 8 issues it was handled by four or five different writers. The art, though, by Mike Vosburg, is actually quite good, though. Wouldn't mind a reprint of this, either, just for the sake of nostalgia.

There's quite a bit of stuff I'm curious about here; I know many people really like the Elementals, Flaming Carrot, Strikeforce Morituri and Coyote, for example. But I'd spend my hypothetical 4 quarters on a few I regretted never picking up at the time:
Bold Adventure
Sun Runners
(surprised I missed these two at the time, as I was really into Pacific for a while in the early '80s)
Alien Legion (double-sized issue!)
Atari Force (Jose Luis Garcia Lopez!)

ColinBray said...

I have four of these - Ragman, Obnoxio, Starjammers and Generic Comic Book. Read none of 'em yet of course but the day will come.

An aside: I moved 10,000 comics around the house recently and as a result made the momentous decision to sell the 6,000 comics I have already read, retaining only the 4,000 unread comics plus my near-complete Avengers run. Why? It struck me I have years of good reading booked in regardless, and I can always buy back portions of the collection in the future when I have more space and time. Perhaps even big portions if the sellers market goes south. But wow, a big decision.

Unknown said...

I have/had nine of those. Destructor being my favorite. I recently got another copy because the original was un-readable! It traveled everywhere with me one summer.
Colin I recently parted with 25 long boxes. At first it was hard imagining not having them, but now, it is soooo freeing. Plus I'll use the funds to get some books I've always wanted. I still have 15 short boxes in fresh bags and boards, in alpha numeric order. I plan to cull the keepers from them and sell the rest. I have most of the Marvel stuff on disc that I dropped onto a NAS drive and read on a tablet. So, at this point I am a cover collector. Currently pouring over my 20 cent stuff, so beautiful!

ColinBray said...

Thanks for the reassurance Luther. I like your style. Perhaps the belief that I may buy back much of the collection one day makes it possible for me to part with it.

Well we are not what we own and it's good to be reminded of that sometimes.

Garett said...

Nice cover to Time Force-- Rudy Nebres? I'd like to check that out.

Seems to me Alien Legion was ok. Destructor was pretty good, think I still have it. Atari Force had nice art and interesting characters. Beowulf and Starfire I read as a little kid so I have a soft spot for them. Flaming Carrot was a hoot-- would it hold up now? Not sure. I always browse through Man from Atlantis in the quarter bin, never picked one up.

Agree with Edo about Silver Blade. I was really looking forward to it, and it was just all right. Forever People isn't my favorite Kirby, but it's still Kirby and worth a read.

My picks: even though they look terrible, I have a hankering to open up Spyman and Dell Super Heroes. Curious! For my last two, I'll get Vicki and Underdog. And I'm curious to look at Ronald McDonald. Who is the Goofy Guru he talks to?

Mike Wilson said...

Hmmm, some obscure titles this time around. But my picks would be a bit more "traditional":

Spidey and DD (because I like both of them);

Firestar (I always found her interesting);

Checkmate (I've always been curious about those series, though I've heard the second one is better);

and definitely the Archie Superhero Digest (I had that one as a kid and I agree with Edo about how good it is)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Still have Destructor, had Lomax.

Still have Doc Savage.

If I had a quarter, I'd get the Underdog. I mean, I grew up on him and Polly Purebred, Simon Bar Sinister. Me and my buddies would pop sweet tarts, mimicking UDogs pills.

Colin B- I am in that process now. I'm selling off the Archive / Masterworks first to free up shelf space. Then come the long boxes. My only observation is that posting on ebay and trips to the post office is quickly becoming tedious.

But the math is pretty straight forward... we probably have 10,000 good days left to live starting now, if we are fortunate. Do I intend to read a comic a day, every day, for 10,000 days...? I'd be 85+ years old. It takes me a couple weeks, sometimes, to work my way through one. I may want to read a Beano or Dandy Annual and that'll set me back, LOL.

So, it goes as we realize we are on the "Back 9."

B Smith said...

Could be wrong, but I believe that hand on the Spyman cover was Jim Steranko's first printed work.

Redartz said...

A lot of unusual, intriguing, out-of-the-box comics today. I love it; love our Marvel and DC mainstays, but I also get a huge kick out of 'just comics'.

Like Edo and Mike W, I had that Archie digest. If I ever find a cheap copy, I'll own it again. Otherwise, I actually have that "Angel Love" comic. My wife found those interesting when they came out in the 80's, and I found them rather charming (and they did, actually, tackle some issues; drugs, for instance). And to be honest, the character rather appealed to me in that she was a young artist starting out; much as I was at that time.

I have a couple of Underdog issues and a Flaming Carrot, but not those specific ones. Does that count?

To choose: I'll take the digest, Destructor, Ragman (on Edo's recommendation), and Coyote. Ah, eclecticism...

Charlie- yes, we are playing that 'back nine', but we may still have a few good drives left! Like you and Colin, and Luther, I'm paring down the ol' collection. But it's not a steady thing: I pull a hundred books out to sell, and add twenty from new acquisition. So the overall total is dropping, at any rate. And less quantity can mean greater quality...

Martinex1 said...

Yes Steranko did the art for the hand on the Spyman cover as well as a page inside, and he also wrote the story. I wonder if he stayed with Harvey instead of working on S.H.I.E.L.D in Strange Tales if Spyman would have evolved similarly.

david_b said...

I collected some of the Atlas 'Planet of Vampires' issues circa 1973 just for the heck of it, pretty much from the time when I was MOST excited about comics and just missed buyin' them.

Also yes, just picked up a few Doc Savage due to those incredibly-influential house ads. Y'know when you see 'that ad' for 30some years.., you just wanna actually buy the issue, just to have a 'what if I bought it back in the day' moment..?

I'm such a sucker for advertising... LOL.

RayAtL said...

bronze age

May 12

I’ve been enjoying this blog so I’ve decided to stop ‘lurking’ and join in the discussion…

These are truly indicative of what one might find in the quarter (and dollar) bins at the small ‘cons’ around metro Atlanta, though I’ve given up that practice over the last few years …

If I was diving through quarter bins, I would pick up the Underdog (because I remember the series) and Ronald McDonald (because it just seems so odd…)

I would pay a dollar for Malibu’s ‘Liberator’ just because that cover seems interesting … ditto for the Checkmate, Lomax and Captain Savage issues… (though for Checkmate, I gotta guess its a part of a multi issue arc, no?)

I owned a lot of these (maybe still do if I dive through my long boxes…)

Atari Force was kind of an exciting series for the time. The Garcia-Lopez art was a strong pint for sure!

Coyote — I owned the first several issues and don’t know if I would like it more if I reread it today … I’m sure there may have been concepts that went over my head at the time…

Starjammers, Firestar, Obnoxio … I owned these due to my X-men love at the time. I bet a lot of folks felt the same way.

Man from Atlantis … still own the whole series (oddly?) … I seem to remember the covers were always better than the interior art.

Ragman, Starfire … owned both of these first issues and never really followed up on the series at the time. I kind of wish I would have circled back around to Ragman… (always felt like Vince Coletta over Vosburg was a bit ’sketchy’ … ahem)

SilverBlade … looks interesting… Colon and Janson are a winning combination!

Beowulf … I picked up issues one and two because I remember this being brought up in junior high school English class (… or was it world history?) Nice art on both and its cool that version of the character has resurfaced from time to time in ‘modern’ DC lore (… Wonder Woman or ’52’?)

Loved the early Doc Savage from Marvel (particularly the b+w issues) … the david b comment about early Marvel house ads is spot on!

RayAtL said...

Aside to Colon and ‘Luther Manning’ …

Congratulations on moving some of your collections out of your life …

May I ask what process did you gentlemen use to cull 6,000 comics and 25 long boxes (respectively)?

Sell to a dealer? Have your own ‘garage sale’ (I’ve read Tony Isabella did that)… eBay them all?

I ask because I’m in a similar situation of course…

Martinex1 said...

RayAtL - we are glad you stopped lurking. We appreciate you comments.

Interesting comment on Coyote. I've never read it but seeing that Englehart wrote it, I am curious if his typical themes continued ( or if some version of Mantis appeared). I may have to pick it up if it is recommended.

Ragman having some "sketchy" art may actually have been appropriate. Ha.

Cheers! And thanks for joining in

RayAtL said...

Thanks Martinex... I meant the Colleta inks over Vosburg on Starfire... though with Kubert on Ragman, his style seemed appropriately messy for that... I would like to read that Ragman run collected now that I'm an "adult" and the themes may resonate more.

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