Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Chew the Fat: A Quick Quantity of Questions, Comics Connected...


 Redartz:   Anyone up for a quick quiz? Here's five questions for each of you to mull over. No right or wrong answers, no pressure, no biggie. 

1.  What is the oldest (in terms of earliest date published) comic you ever possessed?

2.  What is the most recent comic or graphic novel you have acquired?

3.  Congratulations, your life story is about to be made into a comic. Who writes and draws it?

4.  A young person, newly introduced to comics, comes to you for advice. What sage wisdom do you give someone 'just starting out'?

5.  For many of us, 'superhero' comics are the genre of choice. But what is your second favorite comics genre; what do you turn to when you want something different?

 As is only fair, here's my answers to the above questions...

1.  Back at the height of my original collecting years, I had an old Little Orphan Annie promotional comic from 1934. I still love to pick up promotional comics, as they tend to be rather unusual (and often somewhat cheaper than 'ordinary' comics. Don't recall why I parted with that, but so it goes...

2  My most recent comics purchase was DC's "Superman Smashes the Klan", a tpb done in anime style, and an issue of Bart Simpson's "Treehouse of Horror" (it being Halloween season, and all).

3. Being a rather odd individual, Steve Gerber would be a natural for the script. Artwise, I'm kind of old school, so Bruce Timm would be a good fit, he'd keep it light.

4. Very simple, I'd tell them to collect what they like to read. Don't worry about value, just find  your own interest and follow it.

5. Humor, without a doubt. If I'm not reading about Spidey or Batman, I'm perusing Archie or Uncle Scrooge...


Like I said, quick and easy. Now it's your turn!


Humanbelly said...

Oooo-- let's see, let's see---

1) Oldest is a Dell Comics TARZAN #24 from 1951. And I don't think it even rises to the level of "Poor" on the grading scale. Is "Archaeological" an accepted comic book grade? I've seen mummy wrappings at the Smithsonian that are in far better shape. . . After that, it would probably be Avengers #2. . .

2) It's been a couple of years, tbh-- but probably the Marvel Treasury Holiday Grab-bag #8? The one that reprints "Even An Android Can Cry. . ."--?

3) (I like your Bruce Timm call, Red-- that's solid--) Thinking a bit outside the industry sphere, I believe Terry Pratchett writer and possibly Walt Kelly as the artist (reading Pogo these days---).

4) Find starting points (for Marvel at least) in the late Silver Age, and if a title grabs you, work backwards to fill in your homework "gaps" as you see fit. That's the point where the writing wasn't abandoning you if you didn't have a great handle on long-term continuity. Then proceed along until you hit a point where it stops bringing you joy. (*COUGH*DISASSEMBLED*COUGH*)

5)Even though I never really "collected" them-- horror-anthology comics. . . esp DC's. Very much comfort-comics. If they didn't cost a fortune now, I would probably happily pick up a box of them even now. . .


Anonymous said...

1. Never really been much of a back issue person - not knocking anyone who is, its just when I was young it cost enough keeping up with new stuff - and I've no idea what my oldest one is.

2. My most recent comic is the book Streets Of Paris, Streets Of Crime, a collection of (surprisingly enough) crime stories drawn by the amazing Jacques Tardi.

3. Naturally my life would have to be written and drawn by Howard Chaykin!

4. No one listens to me. Which is just as well as my advice would be to read what you like, whatever anyone says about it.

5. Well, I'd say I like anything with a bit of style thats distinctively its own thing... but if I had to pick a favourite comic book genre it would be weirdo French science-fiction.
Even back in the day, superheroes didn't top my list, and my fave US 70s genre was the post-apocalyptic "world gone mad" comic - Kamandi, Killraven, POTA, stuff like that. I even bought Atlas' Planet of Vampires!
Also, lets have a shout for war comics, seeing as they've pretty much disappeared (at least when Garth Ennis is busy with something else). Sure, some weren't that good - which is true of any genre - but Russ Heath, John Severin, Joe Kubert... those geezers could really draw (you can't really fake it in war comics).


Mike Wilson said...

Ahhhh, multiple questions!

1) I don't have it anymore, but I did get the final chapter of the Korvac Saga (Avengers 178, I think?) at a rummage sale when I was a kid.

2) I'm not even sure; if digital comics count, probably one of the comics I'm reviewing on my blog. If we're talking actual paper, I can't remember ... maybe a Batman?

3) Well, I'd want someone who could make me look better than the reality! I'd probably go for someone like Ron Randall or Mike Grell ... I think they could do me justice.

4) I'd tell them to figure out what kinds of stories they like and then find something in that genre. The great thing about comics now is that you can find every taste represented, so there's really something for everyone.

5) For non-superhero stuff, I'd probably go for Fantasy; comics like Conan, Warlord, or Xena would be my choice for great stories and great art.

Edo Bosnar said...

1. The oldest comic I have is part of Batman #68 from 1951; I say part, because I 'acquired' it as padding around another book I ordered off of eBay a few years ago. Only the cover story, "The New Crimes of Two Face," two one-page 'Varsity Vic' features and the two-page text piece are complete. The two other Batman features are missing pages.
Not counting that, the oldest intact comics I've ever owned are two that I have now: Not Brand Echh #9 and Nick Fury #3, both covered dated August 1968. I bought those for about $5 each from a local comics dealer about 7-8 years ago. (Back in my initial collecting phase in the late '70s and '80s, the oldest comics I had were some back issues from 1971 or '72 that I bought as back issues.

2. Atomic Robo v2: Dogs of War. Bought it last week during one of my rare trips into town to take care of some stuff at the bank and post office - I ventured into a local comic shop as well, and they're having a 50% discount sale on most of their stock in the English language.
(By the way, HB, back in the day I had that treasury edition you mentioned - always loved it because of the framing sequences that included the superheroes having a snowball fight in Central Park.)

3. Writer Marc Sumerak and artist Chris Eliopoulos. (For those scratching their heads and getting ready to consult Google, it's the guys who did all of those Franklin Richards comics back in the '00s.

4. Yeah, I'm with everybody else: I'd just say find what you like in terms of genre, art and writing style, etc., and go with that. I'd maybe just mention some of my favorite creators as examples of what I consider worthwhile material to read, e.g., Will Eisner, Alan Moore, Roger Stern, Jean Giraud/Moebius, Walt Simonson, John Byrne, Jeff Smith, Joann Sfar...

5. Tough question. There's lots of different non-superhero stuff I like, but I suppose I'd also say humor, if you define the category really broadly to include not only stuff like Archie or the Disney ducks (by Barks and Rosa, mainly), but also Groo the Wanderer, and stuff that straddles the line between humor and SF or fantasy adventure, like Bone or Zita the Spacegirl, or the often hard-to-define but definitely whimsical stuff by Joann Sfar.

Selenarch said...

1) That would be Sensation Comics #58 from 1942. With a neat Mr. Terrific backstory.

2) Department of Truth #1. Not great, but not terrible ... yet.

3) Neil Gaiman and Riley Rossmo. I'm not a terrific Gaiman fan, but I think he could pull off something about my life which is more than a summer crossover event, and Rossmo would make every panel interesting.

4) Yeah, collect what you love. But it doesn't hurt to love first appearances. If you do decide to collect for something, artists, writers, characters, etc.. make sure there is an endpoint you can realistically reach.

5) I'd go with horror. There are a million stories in the naked city, and some of the really great ones are darkedy, dark, dark.

pfgavigan said...


1. The oldest comic I have is the first issue of the extremely limited run, of one issue, of the Nineteen Fifty-One Sci-fi comic, "Major Inapak". It was the comic book tie-in to some Ovaltine competitor.

2. The PDF of the latest collection of the on-line comic "Girl Genius" from Studio Foglio. Yeah I can read it for free, but actually purchasing these downloads lets me feel what it's like to be a functioning human being.

3. My life story?? The comedian Steven Wright would probably be best choice for writing while Sergio Aragones could pencil. If either gentlemen were still with us I would consider Carl Barks or Frank Robbins.

4. The advice I would give a young person interested in comics; first, invent a time machine . . .

5. I've been getting more into Disney, but European Disney. I've really been enjoying what translations I have been able to find of Donald Ducks adventures as the Diabolical Paperinik and his 'mostly' successful efforts to avenge himself upon those who would exploit him.

And I think you can all guess who number one on the list is.



Charlie Horse 47 said...

Oldest book I own: early 1940s WW II comics like Human Torch, Boy Commandos, Leading (7 Soldiers of Victory) Wings, Daredevil, Cpt Aero, Whiz, Cpt Marvel Jr.

Last books I bought: Archie (monthly for a few years now) and Thor. (Thor is now Galactus’s herald. Galactus is the herald of the “death cloud” or such.)

No one should have the burden of artistically portraying me, lol. Though, post-divorce, I might think Joe Kubert’s style would reflect my mood.

Recommendations: you got to go with what interests you. E.g., you like War and / or History, then check out Maus I and II.

Non-superhro preference: I read humorous Archie monthly. I also dig sci-fi. I will check-out Sean’s recommendations. (O.m.g. does Sean know the French stuff!!!) But this often means re-reading EC reprints like Weird Science Fantasy with copious quantities of NON-SUPERHERO Wally Wood whom, ironically, never thrilled me with his superhero Marvel stuff.

dbutler16 said...

1. What is the oldest (in terms of earliest date published) comic you ever possessed?
Lassie #3. Apr-Jun 1951 cover date.

2. What is the most recent comic or graphic novel you have acquired?
In terms of the most recent publication date, as opposed to which one I’ve most recently acquired, I assume? In that case, it would be Paul Levitz's last Legion run, which was the New 52. I've got the whole run, comics at the beginning then TPB's for the rest of it. That goes into 2013.

3. Congratulations, your life story is about to be made into a comic. Who writes and draws it?
Roy Thomas and George Perez. I’m not sure I have a great reason except that they’re probably my favorite writer and author, respectively.

4. A young person, newly introduced to comics, comes to you for advice. What sage wisdom do you give someone 'just starting out'?
I guess I’ll also say collect what you love and don’t get too wrapped up in continuity and collecting something just because of crossovers and things like that. Of course, you may need to experience a variety of comics to find out what you do like. Sometimes a library can have a decent selection of comics to choose from that won’t cost you anything.

5. For many of us, 'superhero' comics are the genre of choice. But what is your second favorite comics genre; what do you turn to when you want something different?
Probably science fiction, though I do love Master of Kung Fu and humor is always nice, when it’s actually funny.

Anonymous said...

1 — oldest comic : HUMAN TORCH #7, Spring 1842

2 — most recent : SWAMP THING GIANT #3

3 — gonna write and draw my life story : Peter Bagge

4 — advice to newbie : ‘Have fun!’

5 — 2nd favorite genre : Horror (EC, Warren, DC, Atlas, Marvel, Charlton, John Stanley’s Dell one-shots)

- b.t.

Daxam1978 said...

My oldest is Superboy no.76 from 1959
Not that old but it is the debut of beppo the SUPER monkey!😄
Last comics I got were
FLASH no.763
& SHAZAM no.15
Written by Cary Bates
Drawn by Steve Ditko
My advice would be go with your gut if you see a cover you like give it a go.
Don't worry about "hot"comics.

Redartz said...

Well done all, keep the answers coming!

HB- Avengers 2? I'm impressed! Great choice with Walt Kelly. He would be brilliant, his humor peerless.

Sean- so how was "Planet of Vampires? Never picked that one up. And you're spot on regarding those war books. The art in those was masterful. Another fine talent therein was Jerry Grandenetti...

Mike W- sure, digital counts! Reading is reading, after all. Also, Fantasy is a terrific second choice. You can never go wrong with some Conan the Barbarian.

Edo- love hearing about your vintage Batman. Those old books were fascinating for much more than just the stories. The ads, the Henry Boltinoff cartoons, so much history wrapped in a fun paper package. And you named some great humor books. I only recently started reading "Groo", and was instantly hooked.

Selenarch- wow, that Sensation sounds terrific (sorry). A Golden Age gem...

Pfg- you've piqued my interest. Must investigate the Diabolical Paperinik. Barks and Rosa are faves of mine too, but the Euro Disney is new to me. More to hunt down...

Charlie- your Golden age collection sounds awesome! Your eclectic tastes are evident. As for Wally Wood, his work is a thing of wonder. Just staggering. Regarding his superhero work, his inks over Don Heck in those early Avengers was sharp. Heck never looked better...

Dbutler16- excellent advice , the Library is a perfect way to explore different genres and formats without emptying your wallet.

B.t.- Human Torch 7; that's some fine early Marvel (okay, Timely). And Peter Bagge? EXCELLENT!

Daxam1978- the debut of Beppo! Now that's cool.DC sure had a super menagerie back in the Silver age. Just plain fun comics. Thanks for commenting!

pfgavigan said...


Hey Redartz,

I don't know how you feel about Amazon, there's something about that smirk on the box that gives me the shivers, but they do have a fair amount of EuroDisney material and I am about to purchase a hard cover edition of translated works concerning the Duck Knight.

I missed it, but IDW did have a limited series dedicated to a more heroic version of the character.



Humanbelly said...

Oo- Oo---

Getting lots of inspiration from other folks' answer for #5. . . and it reminds me that, if I were to throw myself laser-like into a single collecting challenge, no holds barred, I would probably do me darnedest to acquire Dell's (or was it Gold Key's?) 12 or 13 issue run of THE MONKEES comic they produced. I have one, single coverless issue. . . and it is honestly a hoot. It really holds up surprisingly well, and captures the spirit, tone, and humor of the show very well. The humor gets a lot more wry than one would expect-- surely over the heads of the editors, who probably had no idea who the group even was. . .


Graham said...

1. Oldest comic is Amazing Spider Man #66. I actually got it at a school Halloween Carnival as a prize for one of the games.

2. Most recently acquired hard copy was the graphic novel collecting Batman and the Court of Owls. Ebook-wise, I picked up the 70’s Black Panther series for free during a recent sale on Amazon.

3. Writer and artist - Roger Stern and John Byrne

4. Advice to new reader - Start in Silver/Bronze Age....not too complicated and easy to get in board with characters.

5. Second favorite- Sword and Sorcery

Killraven said...

Very cool answers!
Love the quiz style set up Red!

1.A non comic book collecting friend gave me a few of his Dad's old comics. The oldest by a few months was F.F. #11 (Impossible Man) 1962. They were all in pretty rough shape. Weird to think though, that they were only about 15 years old when I got them.

2. Most recent TPB I got was The Complete Super-Villain Team-Up collection. You want a cross sampling of 70's penciler's? No less than 20 artists if you include the covers.

3. Byrne/Byrne To do my life story (I'll need his creativity to punch it up a bit!)

4. Advice- Try all the genres, you may have an interest in something you didn't realize. If it's Superheroes, go to the source material first to get your base, then venture out to other creators.

5. Horror/Monster

Redartz said...

HB- good to see the Dell/Gold Key product getting some love. Their TV- based properties were often loads of fun. I've no Monkees, but do have an issue of "The Munsters" which is a kick, and very true to the characters.

Graham- nice school prize! And a great classic Mysterio story. Did you get a copy of the conclusion in issue 67?

Killraven- good friend you had! That FF book is wonderful, 2 great stories. And thanks for the tidbit of information regarding SVTU. Never realized there was such a parade of artists on the title...

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