Enough of the exclusive clubs and fetishistic idol worshiping.
What Silver Age comics are you currently reading?
In the last week, I sampled some Human Torch stories in Strange Tales 101, 107, and 114. More enjoyable that I would have thought. Of the three issues, 114 was the best. A little sparse on backgrounds, but that's okay. Beautiful, clean Kirby/Ayers artwork. And how many SA comics have a cool 60s Ferrari in them?
I've also been reading some Spider-man comics. Re-read the first three Green Goblin stories (14, 17, 23). But there's a little too much teenage drama for me. So now I'm reading the first Kingpin story arc in 50-52 for the first time. Much better. Guess I'm a Romita fan. Plus, Peter is older and there's not as much silly teenage drama.
ASM 50 is a classic Spider-man story. They say that Kingpin in one bad mutha... shut your mouth! Just talkin' 'bout Kingpin. And he's got a badass pimp cane.
ASM 51 and 52 continue the storyline. In 51, Kingpin defeats Spider-man with another handy-dandy gadget when Spider-man destroys his pimp cane.
Reading issue 52 now. It's not looking too good for Spider-man and J Jonah Jameson.
#3612957 - 11/26/0909:02 PMRe: Silver Age reading room.
FACT if I stop posting, trillions and trillions of transistors would be out of work.
Loc: Small Town Ontario
I picked up these Millie the Model comics at the next-to-last CLink auction. Books sold pretty cheaply that first night and my "take a shot at it" bids held up. (This was good because shipping to Canada cost the same as all three books.)
I wanted the books for my collection but I also bought because I intended to crack the slabs, read the books and see first hand what CGC meant, in this case, by 7.0, 7.5 and 8.0. (I found the differences to be subtle.) I also wanted the opportunity to look at paper quality. Here, comparing OW to W with OW. (OW did look distinctly more "yellow" to me compared to OW to W.)
I am going to post front and back scans because two out of the three back covers display ads that you don't see on the superhero or western books.
Millie the Model #125, December 1964. (September 1964, newsstand.) CGC 8.0
Millie the Model #131, October 1965. (July 1965, newsstand.) CGC 7.0
There are several long, mostly non-colour breaking, creases that run vertically down the left side of the back cover that help make this a 7.0.
Millie the Model #133, December 1965. (September 1965, newsstand.) CGC 7.5
The books are an interesting read. All Marvel's teen titles (Millie the Model; Modeling with Millie; Patsy Walker; and, Patsy and Hedy) are undergoing a subtle shift in genre which is just about complete by mid-1964 as they leave behind the "Archie" teen world and take on very obvious soap opera themes. You can still see some of the more "comic" elements in the colophon in the top left corner of the cover to #125. Millie features are more girlish and she is wearing a tiara. By #131, Millie's features are more sophisticated (read: mature) and the tiara is gone.
And though I have only these three issues as examples, I note a change in cover colour pallet as the pastels in #125 give way to richer deeper colour hues in #131 and #133.
The covers, themselves, lay out very clearly the conflicts in the stories, whose roots almost always lie in a misunderstanding of some sort. Lack of communication leads to misunderstanding and resolution lies in heart-to-heart conversation and a confirmation of friendship. These are feel-good stories that, though formulaic, teach heart-felt lessons.
I try to imagine my collection as what could sit on the bookcase shelves of a slightly compulsive teenage boy who collects every Marvel, circa Christmas 1965. The collection would sit in neat piles beside a ball glove and an Aurora model of the Mummy.
Currently finishing up Iron Man from his TOS run and continuing into his own book.
I always find it interesting to watch the Marvel editorial/writing change from very early to mid 1960's anti-communist stuff, to the later 1960's and early 1970's political stuff involving pollution, Civil Rights, Vietnam, and campus unrest. For an example, around Iron Man issue #30 or so, fan letters start trickling in questioning Tony Stark's role as a Military weapons manufacturer, whereas for almost ten years of publication the inventing and manufacturing of munitions seemed to be a highly esteemed thing to do.
This is not meant to imply any personal views on these subjects, I just find it impossible not to notice the shift. I may not be able to travel back in time, but reading a run of old comics sometimes comes close. Kinda.
I, too, have been re-enjoying the Torch stories from Strange Tales. I just read the Acrobat story where Johnny discovers that he's been attempting to conceal his identity while the entire world knows that he's the Human Torch. It's a classic!
As for everyday reading, I have my reading run of Fantastic Four and my Essentials in easy reach by my recliner in Comicland. I just grab a comic randomly sometimes.
Now complete on Strange Journey to Astonish Into Suspense Tales of Mystery! Still working on Adult Adventure Worlds of Amazing Strange Fantasy! KirbyJack's FeedBacks!
I always find it interesting to watch the Marvel editorial/writing change from very early to mid 1960's anti-communist stuff, to the later 1960's and early 1970's political stuff involving pollution, Civil Rights, Vietnam, and campus unrest.
I noticed this, also. I'm reading the third Kingpin story arc in ASM 68-69. Much different tone than the previous arc in 59-61. Campus rioting, fighting "The Establishment", and the civil rights movement.
I'm currently reading ASM Marvel Masterworks vol. 1 for a class I'll be teaching the next 3 weeks. It's turning out to be a very different way of reading these books as I'm also trying to develop study guides for them.
While it feels like I'm sanitizing the books to an extent by treating them academically, I'm also seeing more depth in them by approaching them from this angle. Good stuff!