Friday, October 13, 2017

The Human Torch #5: The Yaffa edition

Some time ago I mentioned that I had a Yaffa The Human Torch #5 listed in my database, but could not confirm whether it was a legitimate entry or an erroneous reference to an unnumbered reprint of the first issue in the series.

Well, here it is:


I found this the old fashioned way - browsing through a secondhand collectibles shop, which I didn't even know existed, just a few kilometres from home. Talk about lucky!

As I mused in my previous entry on this series, there is not a lot of material left to cover more issues in a title like this. This issue contains three Human Torch stories from the last couple of issues of the U.S series from 1975, and is padded with an Omega the Unknown story from 1977. So, I'm guessing there aren't any more issues in this series, but if there are, no doubt they will be recycled reprints of previous issues. 

And I'm once again deeming this series in my collection complete!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Giant-Man Doctor Strange 100 Page Mammoth Marvel Masterpiece: Anatomy of a Newton cover

Newton published a number of comics with covers produced in-house, especially in their second phase of one-off titles. Typically these covers were collages of images cobbled from interior images, although there were exceptions whereby the images were culled from other sources

Giant-Man Doctor Strange 100 Page Mammoth Marvel Masterpiece reprints a number of Giant-Man and Doctor Strange features, but oddly enough does not feature Doctor Strange on the cover:


The various images are sourced from interior contents as per below:





The other thing that stands out on these in-house collages is the colouring. You'd swear they were done with textas! Utterly charming, of course - nowhere near as stomach churning as their bone fide printing errors.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Invaders: The complete Yaffa cover gallery

Here's a cover gallery of my collection of Yaffa/Page Publications' The Invaders:

 #1, c. November 1977

 #2, c. January 1978

 #3, 1979 

 #4, c. August 1980

 #5, c. March 1981

 #6, mid/late 1981

#NN, c. May 1982

The first four issues are regular/magazine-sized editions, and the last three are digest-sized editions.

I believe this is the complete run of this series. However, I am mindful that the digest-sized issues #'s 5 and 6 are 'short' editions, and a series such as this, with many more issues ostensibly in the can to be published, generally had one or two 'long' digest editions published before the recycling began. So, like my Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man cover gallery, I'll call it complete until another issue turns up.

The dates noted above are approximations based on my information to hand. I have a mental asterisk next to a couple of them pending future evidence that will hopefully be forthcoming.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #10: The Yaffa edition

Sometimes I love it when I'm wrong...

A few months ago I presented a cover gallery of my complete collection of Yaffa's Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man. I didn't know at the time that my collection was incomplete - there is in fact a 10th issue in the series:


This issue is quite scarce. I certainly had not come across a copy until I secured this copy for myself. I checked with a few other collectors, none of whom could recall having seen a copy before, and there is no reference to it on AusReprints either.

Scarcity aside, I should have guessed it might exist, as according to my own profile of Yaffa Marvel editions, long-running series tended to include a couple of 'tall digest' issues with new content before the reissues started.

Hmmm... I wonder whether there was an unnumbered $1.10 cover price magazine-size reprint of the the first issue following #10...?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Origins of Great Marvel Comic Heroes: The pukey Newton edition

Longtime readers of this fair blog may recall my perverse appreciation for printing errors on Murray Comics and Newton Comics - samples for the cause include Bumper Western Comic #1, Superman Supacomic #87 and Captain America Giant 100 Page Annual.

Well, feast your eyes on this ripper variant of Newton Comics' Origins of Great Marvel Comic Heroes:


Perfectly pukey, right? Well, if you feel the bile rising maybe the proper edition can serve as mouthwash:


This cover image is taken from an interior page in Fantastic Four Annual #6:


As you can see both linework/inking and colour modifications are evident on the repurposed image. No doubt the purists amongst you will choke on your secondary bile at the heresy of such modifications.

But not me. I reckon the existence of the blue stinker kinda compensates for the initial crime against Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott. 

Interestingly both versions of this Newton comic were widely distributed at the time and can still be found, unlike the Captain America Annual which, as far as I am aware, was only ever issued in its pukey glory.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chatto's revenge: Spy Stories Picture Library #4 and the duplicated Mystery Suspense Library covers



When Keith Chatto was charged with the duty of providing the cover for Spy Adventure Picture Library #28 he did what he was presumably often asked to do - copy and adapt the cover of the source material, in this instance, S.A.T.A.N. #10:


However, when Rule of Force was reprinted a short time later in Spy Stories Picture Library #4, he did his own thing:


There are many instances in which Chatto adapted a panel from the story for cover duties on Yaffa digest comics, but this is not one of them - the T&A is all his own.

Indeed, the cover appears to be related to an earlier cover illustration by Chatto for Mystery Suspense Library #2:


Obviously not identical, however the various elements - the gunman on the left, the girl on the right looking over her left shoulder, papers in hand - are clearly very similar in the two images. And again, the image does not appear to be related to any panel in the story Shoot Me an Epitaph! It is quite possible that this image is related to the source material, but I have not identified the source.

Curiously, this image was recycled shortly afterwards in the next issue of the same series:


According to AusReprints this issue contains the story Black, the Blood Of Evil, which is odd for Yaffa as they would typically recycle stories with a new cover rather than recycle covers with a new story. Which suggests to me that Chatto may have been, shall we say, rather frustrated at missing an opportunity exercise his creativity and imagination on this issue, and duly rather mischievously took his frustrations out on the poor girl at the next opportune moment.

Friday, August 25, 2017

All Star Adventure Comic: The collection completed!

In 2008 I owned 86 issues of All Star Adventure Comic. It has taken 10 years to source the 10 issues I needed to complete the series, and the issue which has finally completed my run is All Star Adventure Comic #46:


There are certain issues I would like to upgrade, but by and large it's a collection which is in very reasonable condition. There is one issue which is incomplete - it is missing the four pages in the middle of the comic - but I also have a coverless copy of it rebound in an issue of Mammoth Annual, so I'm deeming it complete for my immediate purposes.

All Star Adventure Comic morphed into Superman Presents Superboy Comic with the 97th issue - in tandem with the second Planet Comics logo - and I have the complete run of that series too.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Marvel's Greatest Comics #1: The Yaffa edition

Further to my previous posts on this series, I now have my own copy of Marvel's Greatest Comics #1:


The splash pages for the stories are scanned below:








Note the references at the bottom of each splash page to the original source of the reprint. Presumably these notes were included in the U.S sources.

Heart to Heart Annual and Twin Hearts Annual

Longtime readers of this blog know of my love of compilations of coverless rebound comics - long-running K.G. Murray series such as Mammoth Annual and Gigantic Annual, but also short-run series such as Young Love Romances, and one-off issues such as Scary Stories Annual and All Love Romantic Stories.

So it was with pleasure and fascination that I recently came across two other such series from K.G. Murray which I had not been aware of: Heart to Heart Annual and Twin Hearts Annual. I don't know how they managed to escape my attention until now, given they were documented on AusReprints.net - in the case of Heart to Heart Annual almost 10 years ago! - but they did.

The interesting thing about these issues is they are compilations of digest-sized issues. It's the only such series of digest-sized issues that I'm aware of. 

My copies are as follows:

 Heart to Heart Annual #2, $0.30 cover price
Contents:
Heart to Heart Romance Library #155
Unidentified [cover story Clinging Vine]
Twin Hearts #156, April 1971


Twin Hearts Annual #1, $0.30 cover price
Contents:
Heart to Heart Romance Library #165
Heart to Heart Romance Library #164
Twin Hearts #167

As per AusReprints.net, these issues appear to have been published end of 1972.

I would love to find that there is a companion edition related to another K.G. Murray digest-sized series, Superman Super Library - but there ain't.

There are a few other such series of coverless rebound comics published in Australia. I've even taken to picking up editions of the U.K Double Double series of silver age comics. I'll review some of my editions in a future post.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Magic Moment Romances #76: Reach for Happiness Episode 26

Magic Moment Romances #76 was published circa January 1970:


The cover is sourced from Secret Hearts #135.

The cover story is Reach for Happiness Episode 26. This is a long-running serial with an interesting history.

The first episode was reprinted in Australia in Magic Moment Romances #55. I'm not sure if all instalments were reprinted in Australian editions.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Navy Action Library #2

Yaffa's War in the Navy #2 was reprinted as Navy Action Library #2:

The Unknown Warriors in triplicate, Chatto style

I recently mentioned in passing that Yaffa's War at Sea #1 was later reprinted by Yaffa as Navy Battle Library #2:



Published in between these two issues was yet another reprint of "The Unknown Warriors":


Navy Warfare #3 also features a Chatto cover. No doubt the swipe source will be identified in good time.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Two Chatto covers for War in the Navy

Here's a couple of cover scans of the first two issues in Yaffa's War in the Navy series:



This is a digest-sized series, and both covers are illustrated by Keith Chatto.

The third issue in the series is a reprint of the first issue with a new Chatto cover. A cover scan and information is available on AusReprints.net.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

All Love Romantic Stories #'s 6, 17 and 26

And speaking of issues dropping into the Junkyard, here's three issues of All Love Romantic Stories which have come my way over the last few weeks:

All Love Romantic Stories #6

All Love Romantic Stories #17

All Love Romantic Stories #26

I wasn't chasing these with any great intent but they were within reach whilst I was hunting the main game, so figured I'd snag them. It's not like they turn up when you're looking for them, so may as well claim them when they do come up for air.

Marvel Team-up #9: Bonus date stamp bonus!

Hot on the heels of my date-stamped copy of the Yaffa edition of The Invincible Iron Man #9 comes this copy of Marvel Team-Up #9:


This copy is also date-stamped June 1982.

So now my gallery of Yaffa's Marvel Team-Up is incomplete, as is my collection - I must have #8! - but I gotta say I love discovering 'new' Australian reprint comics.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Invincible Iron Man #9: Date stamp bonus!

Nice to have this copy of The Invincible Iron Man #9 rock into the Junkyard over the weekend:


Nice of it to also come complete with a June 1982 date stamp on the rear cover. Being a 'tall' digest with a $0.70 cover price and no Australian indicia date I figured it was an early/mid-1982 issue, but pleasing to have it confirmed nonetheless.

This issue could have been on the shelves in March 1982, but I tend to favour a later date of April. As often mentioned in these parts, newsagency markings on the Yaffa's suggest a 2 or 3 month shelf life, but the fact that this was the last issue in the series - I don't know of, say, a #10 reprinting the first issue - suggests to me it was more likely published quite late in the piece in this phase of Yaffa's Marvel reprints.

And I don't have a copy of The Invincible Iron Man #8 to check - nor do I recall ever spotting one - but I'm betting that it is also a 'tall' digest. And the date - should it come to light - will be no earlier than September 1981, and not later than February 1982. So let's say November 1981. Just calling it now.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dating the Federal DC's: The logo story

Federal Comics used five distinct logos on their DC reprints between 1983-86:

Murray the Cat/Federal logo
March-June 1983
A transitional logo amending the pre-existing Murray the Cat design.
Many issues were actually cover-dated March-April or April-May 1983

Federal Comics FC (red and blue) logo
July 1983-January 1984
The first fully-fledged Federal Comics logo

Federal Comics FC (black and white) logo
January-March 1984
A distinct short-lived variation on the FC logo

Australian Edition DC logo
March 1984-June 1985
DC replaces FC in the circle, and Australian Edition replaces Federal Comics in the outer ring

DC bullet
July 1985-March 1986
Australian Edition tagged alongside the standard DC logo

Clearly the logo story outlined here begins earlier, not just with the Murray variations but with Planet Comics and the Colour Comics Pty. Ltd. branding, but for the moment we are just concerned with the Federal Comics period.

With most of these changes there is a transitional month in which both logos appear. I've noted above the ones which cross over in my data - January 1984 and March 1984 -  but I wouldn't be surprised to find crossover instances in June-July 1983 and June-July 1985.

The DC bullet logo appears in random colours - blue, red and black being the most common, but I've seen a pink one, and there may be other others. I doubt there's an underlying pattern to them.

The above images are placeholder samples pending clear high-resolutions samples of each without the masthead intruding.

Obviously the Federal Marvel editions have a different logo story.