Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Doctor Strange # 4: Just for the sheer nostalgic heck of it!

Doctor Strange #4, 1975, Newton Comics
Cover artist: Frank Brunner

...Where Bound'ries...DecaySteve Englehart/Frank Brunner/Crusty Bunkers/Dick Giordano
(Doctor Strange #4, October 1974)

A Woman Possessed!Gary Friedrich/Tom Sutton/Syd Shores
(Ghost Rider #1, September 1973)

Note: This is the third issue in the series, incorrectly numbered #4. The following 'real #4' issue was numbered 4A.

I mentioned yesterday that I’m not a completist when it comes to the pamphlet format K.G. Murray reprints from the 1950’s.

I feel similarly towards the Newtons. However, the difference with the Newtons is that I do feel a strong nostalgic pull towards them. I think I must have bought just about every Newton comic in the first year they were out, and read them cover to cover, over and over – including the iron-on transfers! I may have read Spider-Man comics before the Newtons, but it was via the Newtons that I first read the earliest Ditko issues.

These days I don’t have many Newtons around the place. I’m not sure why not. Maybe because I have the material that most interests me in Masterworks editions or Essentials volumes or other reprints. But if I come across a nice copy of an issue which I had as a young kid, say any of the first dozen Spider-Man or Planet of the Apes or Avengers or Fantastic Four issues, well, it’s an easy sell.

And so it is with this issue of Doctor Strange. I didn’t go looking for it, but when it fell in my lap like a stray begging for a home, I resolved to take care of it and make it mine. And the Brunner art in black and white is still very nice to look at. I think I have the proper colour issue somewhere in the junkyard, but sometimes that’s really not the point at all.

And I do have a hankering to replace my old Planet of the Apes issues. What a strange series that was – at least from memory. I haven’t read it since the 1970’s, and although I guess I could find it reprinted somewhere, I’m not really interested in doing so. I think I just want to pick up or put together a run, and read them in exactly the same format as I did when I was in the fifth grade. Just for the sheer nostalgic heck of it.

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