Thursday, January 31, 2008

Would you like your Man-Thing Giant-Size or small and pink...?

If there’s one thing guaranteed to induce involuntary fanboy giggles of a certain pitch it’s the phrase Giant-Size Man-Thing.

Yaffa were adamantly having none of that. Their Man-Thing issue (reprinting #’s 4-6 of the 1974 series) was titled Swamp Creature (all uncanny references to Swamp Thing be damned!).

And it was digest-sized.

Ha! Mock-proof!

But it makes me giggle anyway.

PS Not sure what to make of the shocking pink palette, nor the decision to ‘correct’ the reflected headlights and impact flash of the original cover… maybe they were working off black and white copies of the cover…?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

If you're really desperate for a Spider-Man costume..

If you were really desperate for a Spiderman (sic) suit in 1975, you could enter the Newton Comics competition by completing the statement “Thor’s identity is:”, clipping the coupon, and posting it off by the 4th of August. Or, you could buy one from The Fun Shop in Bourke Street – it says so on the same page!

But you’d have to really be desperate to want this ugly specimen, and damage your copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #4 in the process. Is that not the most unintentionally gruesome kid’s mask you’ve ever seen? The expression on the face reminds me of the Lost in Space episode in which Doctor Smith discovers a machine which makes zombie duplicate Smiths, and Will Robinson is also transformed into a zombie with a facsimile of Smith’s face. Same expression, I swear! Mortifying!

I could never understand why such costumes available in Australia never looked remotely like the genuine article. There was a red and black Batman costume kids wore in the early 1970’s which looked like a cowboy costume with “Batman” written on the vest. Something tells me they weren’t quite officially sanctioned items.

Update 10/1/2019: It appears this is a Ben Cooper costume. Here's a close-up of the 1963 version. Well, the Halloween connection certainly answers the question I posed above.

The other Mammoth/Gigantic titles: Young Love Romances, All Love Romantic Stories, Scary Stories Annual

I have covered Mammoth Annual and Gigantic Annual a few times on the blog, but I have not mentioned a few other K.G. Murray titles which also comprised rebound coverless returned issues.

Young Love Romances is a contemporary of Mammoth and Gigantic featuring romance comics. The only copy I have seen is the issue linked to James’ site. Presumably there are three previous editions as this is #4.

All Love Romantic Stories is a Federal Comics-era variation with cardstock covers and square binding. This appears to be on the heels of the series of the same name.

Scary Stories Annual is a Federal Comics horror ‘companion title’ to All Love Romantic Stories, being in the same cardstock/squarebound format.

Both of these titles carry rebound magazine-size issues, most likely one-shots. For example, my copy of Scary Stories Annual includes Haunted Love (I have not identified the other two issues yet). Note also the discounted cover price - there may have been two editions of this issue.

There may be other such rarely seen compilation titles.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Gredown double-dipping...

...and another couple of regular Gredown double-dips...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Seeing Double with Gredown again... and Page!

...and some double-dipping of a different kind...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Doomsday #16

Doomsday #16, c. 1974

The Hitchhiker!!
Joe Gill/Jack Abel
(Haunted #14, September 1973)

Crypt of the Vampire
(The Thing! #3, June 1952)

The Clutch of Doom
Bob Forgione
(The Thing! #3, June 1952)

The Man Who Vanished!
Joe Sinnott
(Marvel Tales #105, February 1952)

The Weird Tale of the Rock Bound Ghost
Bob Forgione
(The Thing! #6, January 1953)

Mirror of Yesterday
Joe Gill/Joe Staton
(The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves #37, March 1973)

The Last Man
(This Magazine is Haunted #5, June 1952)

Not much to say about this issue as the contents speak for themselves – it’s basically another great Doomsday issue with plenty of pre-Code material from Fawcett, Atlas and Charlton, with a couple of contemporary stories to fill the 52 pages.

Someone asked me recently whether there was any horror material appearing in both Gredown issues and in the K.G. Murray titles. Although I couldn’t recall offhand any specific stories being duplicated, my instinct said it would be quite possible. In my mind’s eye I saw Charlton Ditko material as likely candidates for such duplication - partly due to the volume of Ditko material routinely found in each, and also given the propensity for Charlton to recycle their own material.

Browsing through some of my issues to hand I now recognise This Magazine is Haunted is a prominent source of crossover material for both publishers, and hence is a strong candidate for duplicated reprints. As mentioned in previous blogs, Gredown’s This Comic is Haunted appears to be the designated local repository of the Fawcett/Charlton classic (which is not to say they don’t appear in other Gredown titles too!), but I’m also identifying a swag of This Magazine is Haunted material in the Doomsdays too. I haven’t yet spotted any duplications, but regardless, both Doomsday and This Comic is Haunted are proving to be dependable sources of reprints from This Magazine is Haunted.

Of course, there were two 1950’s series of This Magazine is Haunted - it was both a pre-Code and a Code Approved title, and appeared under the auspices of both Fawcett and Charlton… so maybe this will prove to be a salient factor. Or maybe not, too early to tell – the picture will be clearer once these issues are all fully indexed.