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Wonder Stories

Today on the site, Joe McCulloch brings in some of the last comics of the year. 

Elsewhere:

Retired comics critic and TCJ-contributor Matt Seneca is making some of his best writing available in printed and bound form.

A local neighborhood story on SF and comics writer Otto Binder.

Leela Corman’s We All Wish for Deadly Forced is reviewed here.

Check out some images from the great Ara Peterson’s (Paper Rodeo, Forcefield) new exhibition over at the Paris Review.

Finally, Richard Kyle passed away last week. He was 87 years old. He edited and produced one the greatest magazine about comics until TCJ, Graphic Story World (also called Wonderworld) and contributed to Graphic Story Magazine . His taste was prescient in the extreme, running from Red Barry, Howard Nostrand, Jesse Marsh, and Osamu Tezuka as well as many other (especially European) artists who would not gain recognition until much later (if at all). It remains one of the great resources of comics history, and it was published in the late 1960s and early 1970s! Kyle is also generally credited with coining the term “graphic novel”. In 1970 he founded and ran the Graphic Story Bookshop, where he imported and sold European and Japanese comics before, I think, anyone else. I remember him telling me he’d proudly sold a Druillet book to Jack Kirby in the early 1970s. Makes sense. Speaking of Kirby, it was Kyle who solicited and published Kirby’s Street Code in 1983 (it was only published in 1990 in Argosy), and insisted on doing so as a pencil-only piece. A first for the great artist. Kyle also had a second career as a pulp crime novelist under a few different names, none of which he would divulge (and nor have I been able to discover them). Kyle was a man way ahead of anyone else. I spent a wonderful afternoon with him in 2010, and then lost touch. I hope to pull together the interview I conducted… soon.pages-2-and-3-graphic-story-world-2_-1971-july


6 Responses to Wonder Stories

  1. Mark Mayerson says:

    You are confusing Richard Kyle with Bill Spicer. Kyle was the editor/publisher of Graphic Story World, later changed to Wonderworld, but Bill Spicer was the editor/publisher of Graphic Story Magazine, originally called Fantasy Illustrated. I believe that Kyle wrote for Graphic Story Magazine, but I don’t have my copies handy to check.

    Fantagraphics has been myopic. While congratulating itself for being an early advocate of comics as art and linking itself to EC fandom through John Benson, it has ignored Spicer (who is still alive) and Kyle. They were post-EC and pre-TCJ and were fighting the battle for longer, more sophisticated stories before Gary Groth ever published a fanzine.

  2. Jeffrey Goodman says:

    I hate to be a shtickler, but wasn’t Graphic Story Magazine the venture of Bill Spicer? I just pulled out my Wolverton issues and see no hint of Richard Kyle. Was he a silent partner there?

  3. Dan Nadel says:

    Jeffrey and Mark: Of course you’re right. Kyle wrote for Graphic Story Magazine, but was not a publisher of it. I’ve edited the text accordingly.

  4. Jeffrey Goodman says:

    Hey Dan I used to get Graphic Story World and Graphic Story Magazine confused when I was a kid, buying them when I could. Happily, Spicer continued with his zine Fanfare for awhile and made it much easier to differentiate between them.

    I very much look forward to reading your interview with the late Mr. Kyle as I’ve always been curious and eager to read about the people who looked beyond the more mainstream comics. I used to enjoy Funnyworld quite a bit, as well, but thought it was a little too Disney-centric for my tastes, however Mr. Barrier did occasionally cover Undergrounds and other weird bits of cartoon history that made it essential, back in it’s heyday!!!

  5. Sammy says:

    Post that interview, please.

  6. Dan Nadel says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I know I need to, I just need to find the time to edit the damn thing.

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