Friday, August 1, 2008

Blackhawk #1: Spotters Rejoice...! Now, where's the Kleenex...?

Hot on the heels of Superman Supacomic #7 comes confirmation of another genuinely scarce and ‘previously unseen’ 100-Page K.G. Murray issue - Blackhawk #1!

It was only a week or so ago I that I prodded some Blackhawk collectors on this issue, only to be advised that to the best of their knowledge, no such issue existed. Indeed one prominent Blackhawk collector had been led to believe if a #1 existed at all, it was likely to be the first issue of some other K.G. Murray anthology series.

There are not many such unearthed issues left for the intrepid KGM-spotter. The underground network of KGManiacs has managed to fill in most of the gaps in the collective cover-image grid, so that the blank spots now resemble the burned-out pixels on a cheap plasma screen.

Sometimes the triumph at the end of the struggle is tinged with sadness... Consumation and tristesse


mcannon said...

Indeed, Spiros, it's wonderful to finally see this. Even for those of us with only a general interest in Blackhawk, it's great to be able to finally confirm that the issue actually exists!

Perhaps our recent discussions caused it to surface -"If you talk about it, it will come"? : )

Interesting to see the "Blackhawk Adventure Comic" title; by issue #2 it was just plain "Blackhawk". Maybe KGM initially wished to distinguish it from the previous, long running Youngs "Blackhawk" series?

And I'm still intrigued as to just what made Blackhawk so popular in Australia that, after the the 127+ issues of the Youngs series, he merited his own long-running KGM title. Unless you count the various Giant Albums and the Superman Library digests, it was KGMs only single-character "Superhero" title of the 1960s. So I assume that a lot of people liked and bought the title!

spiros xenos said...

You're correct Mark, Blackhawk is an anomalous 'title' amongst the KG Murray 100-Page titles. Even Superman/'s Supacomic sounded like the anthology it was.

Apart from the question of popularity/target audience, my guess is that, being a war/adventure hybrid strip, it just didn't 'fit' any other title in the KG Murray stable at the time. Having said that, Blackhawk did appear in other titles later on such as All Favourites, All Star Adventure Comic and World's Finest... and I would have to check more closely whether these were 'excess' stories, or refried padding from the KG Murray Blackhawk series...

Jerry Lewis and Dobie Gillis were other prominent eponymous titles from KG Murray, but they're a different kettle of fish altogether.

mcannon said...

Yeah, I thought of Jerry and Dobie, but as you note, as humour titles they're a different case. Jerry's career in Aussie reprints outlasted just about everything else published by KGM, with the last Jerry Lewis Album of which I'm aware (#20) appearing in the Murray Comics era. Come to think of it, his Aussie comic pretty much outlasted his movie career, too!