I’d never been in the VFW before. Despite the warm weather outside it was freezing inside because the place hadn’t been heated all winter. We only stayed for a few minutes. I found a Frazetta romance reprint.
Over at the main building we waded through the crowded aisles and dug for hours. Then Lex and I found a stash of coverless romances from the 1940s and '50s. It was like leafing through a dank basement if such a thing could be materialized as a pile of comic books. They just stank and little bits of dried newsprint would flake off all over us when we looked through one. But it was worth it. I scored a half dozen Simon and Kirby romances and a stack of really bizarre Charles Burns-esque looking material. I never see old cheap romances anymore ever. So I was fine with smelling like a sewer for them.
Lex found some good Charltons and pointed me in the direction of some Pete Morisis I didn’t have. Jim surfaced with a stack of cool stuff including that Connor Willumsen's Punisher issue. I encourage all makers out there to at least do one traditional-sized North American comic book so as to be included in the roll call that is the comic book dollar sale. O Ben Katchor where art thou? Not at the dollar sale. Which is probably why he's well liked by people who don't read comics (insert smiley gif here).
I reined it in and stopped at 100 dollars. I’m gonna read all of them. We were talking about how you can only buy it if you are going to read it. Lex recommended a wacky '70s sports comic from DC. It’s hilarious. Strange Sports Stories number six has a story called "The Monster in Hole 18" and it reads like a stream of consciousness romp. A monster from another dimension pulls the players into the cup and into the monster’s dimension and has the two golfers compete there. But like their feet turn into skies and then their hands turn into tennis racquets. I appreciate how in comics you can think up a crazy gag and then abandon it and the whole direction of the story, the set, the costumes, the monsters and veer left. In the movies they stay with gags and storylines and sets because it would be so expensive to veer left every minute. I’m generalizing but you catch my drift. Lines on paper, babe, lines on paper.
Dolla, dolla bill, y'all !
Here are some of my finds. John Stanley and Barry Smith before he added that paintbrush name as his middle name. You didn't know he made that up? Barry Windsor-Newton Smith.
Track this one down folks:
I love DC comics in the early '70s. They had no idea what they were doing and so sometimes something awesome happened.
Yes! Archie Madhouse! The Owl by Jerry fucking Siegel! Pete Morisi Vengenace Squad! Six Million Dollar Man by Pat Boyette!
Girls roller derby story by Art Capello in a romance comic from the early 1950s - True Life Secrets!
Good use of the center of the page :) from Dark Mysteries number one (below) - this isn't the lead story - I couldn't track down the artist. Maybe Nadel knows.
Here's that Charles Burns looking mofo (below). I dunno who this is either. There's no cover, no indicia, and no pages with the name of the book inside that I can find.
And finally, my real score. A sampling of the Simon and Kirby romances I found. Did you know that Simon and Kirby practically invented the romance comic book? They made the first issue by themselves and didn't show it to a publisher and made this crazy deal with Prize Comics where they got fifty percent of the gross. The first issue sold 500,000 copies. And look, another girls roller derby comic!! I like seeing the original colors because some of them are really "off" and weird. Michel Gagné did a great job restoring them in the reprints but it's always more fun to find them in the raw.
Over and out. Happy digging.