Friday, April 3, 2020

Items of Interest to Invigorate Your Imagination!

Hey, Kids! Comics from 50 Years Ago!
March 31,  & April 1-2, 1970

Groovy Age Splash Page of the Week

Groovy Age Spotlight On...
Blue Moon Comics' Diversions!

Okay, Groove-ophiles! Yers trooly has behaved long enough! It's time for some braggin', horn tootin', and pluggin'! I'm sure you've noticed the big ol' Blue Moon logo that's been hangin' out on the top right-hand side of the blog (It's a link to the Blue Moon Comics website, ya know). You've no doubt had your eye caught by the colorful JW Erwin Diversions cover(s) just below that logo (links to Drivethru Comics and IndyPlanet where you can order copies of Diversions). Maybe you've clicked on the logo or covers (if you have, many, many thanks) or maybe you've resisted the temptation. May Ol' Groove ask that you resist no more?

Ya see, Blue Moon Comics in general and Diversions in particular is a labor of love that's been a long time comin' for Ol' Groove. A lot of you probably know that in the late 90s/early 2000s I published a couple dozen small press comics under the Blue Moon label. They were homemade and sold via mail-order during the fledgling days of the interwebs. The folks who got 'em dug 'em, but time marched on and Blue Moon faded away. At least, for a while.

Ol' Groove scratched his comics writing itch for a spell by writing about comics here on DotGK, but in time, opportunities started cropping up that allowed me to write some comics stories for a variety of wonderful small press/indy publishers like The Creeps, Will Lill, Surprising, Lucky, and Golden Era. No doubt, you've seen those mags displayed on the right sidebar over the last few years, as well. I've had a great time writing for those folks. Still do some writing for some of 'em! In fact, I have a story coming out in the next issue of The Creeps (#25)--but more on that at a later date!

Night Spider art by JW Erwin

But the stars have finally aligned so that I could get back into publishing my own comics. I dusted off my old Blue Moon label and didn't have to think twice about the title for my flagship title: Diversions! What else would I call my package of brand new comics whose goal is to recapture the fun and freewheeling spirit of the Groovy Age?

Diversions (The Comic) is a 24 page black and white anthology comic in which I hope to explore most every comics genre we love. In the first issue we have a street-level superhero (Night Spider), a fighting female seeking revenge in the Old West (Guns & Rosa), and a short science fantasy shocker (Other Worlds: "King of the Hill!")! We have more superheroes in the works, but we also have sword and sorcery, horror/mystery, kid's adventure/humor, and so much more. My goal is to make each issue feel like a trip to a Groovy Age spinner rack with its variety of genres and artistic styles!

"King of the Hill" art by Donnie Page and Ken McFarlane

The artists I'm lucky enough to work with on Diversions, JW Erwin, Joe Koziarsky, David Johnson Jr., Greg Rieves, the late Donnie Page, and others, are true pros! They're talented storytellers and stylists who love making comics as much as I do. As you can see by the samples sprinkled throughout this post, they pour 100% of their titanic talents into every panel!

Guns & Rosa art by Joe Koziarski

Diversions #1 is ON SALE NOW, and Ol' Groove really hopes you'll give it a try! You can get .pdf copies at DriveThru Comics, digital copies at IndyPlanet--and you can also pre-order PRINT copies at IndyPlanet (which they'll send out as soon as their state-mandated "stay-at-home" order is lifted ). I and my artistic pals plan on continuing to create cool content for Diversions over the long haul (we're already working on enough material for at least three more issues, with plans for lots more!), so get in on the ground floor and grab a copy (digital or print) of the first ish right away! Ol' Groove would sure appreciate the support!

Cover art by JW Erwin

Friday, March 27, 2020

More Mirth-Inducing Memorabilia!

Hey, Kids! Comics from 50 Years Ago!
March 24 & 26, 1970

Groovy Age Splash Page of the Week

Amazing Spider-Man #96

The Groovy Age Essentials

Last week I mentioned a tpb that was worthy of saving from a fire. That got Ol' Groove to thinking: we wouldn't really risk saving a comic from a fire (would we? naw...), but what are the absolute essential comics in your collection? Which comics do you go back to over and over? I've mentioned a lot of 'em here, but these are five that come instantly to mind for Ol' Groove...

Marvel Treasury Edition #4: Two of Roy Thomas' best REH adaptations: "Rogues In the House" and "Red Nails" featuring sumptuous Barry Windsor-Smith art from the color comic inked by Sal Buscema ("Rogues") and bravura BWS art from the b&w Savage Tales mags ("Nails") in for the first time in color in the giant tabloid format. Apes, wizards, dinosaurs, lost cities, beautiful women, savage battles...the stuff sword and sorcery dreams are made of! Best tabloid ever? It is to Ol' Groove!

Thrilling Adventure Stories #1: Atlas/Seaboard's "men's adventure" comic mag! It starts off with a grim and gritty (well before the trend) super-hero, Tiger Man with (literally) killer art by Ernie Colon, then gives us a survivor story (that deals with racism, yet!), a caveman story, Lawrence of Arabia (!), a WWII prison camp story, and articles on the films of Alistair Maclean and the (then) upcoming Doc Savage movie! And did I mention the art on those stories was by Leo Summers, Jack Sparling, Frank Thorne, and Russ Heath? And I'd never seen a cover like the one Colan did for this mag in my life! It's still one of the most unique I've ever seen!

Strange Tales #178: The beginning of Jim Starlin's Magus saga! The gorgeous art, the clever recap of Adam Warlock's history, Adam's mission beginning with total failure (!), the story of the Magus, the psychedelic battle with Warlock's inner demons, the Magus' reveal, and Warlock's final realization. Breathtaking, heart-wrenching, memorable, original stuff. Probably my all-time favorite single issue. Probably.

Detective Comics #437: You knew there'd be a Batman comic in here, didn't you? Well, this issue of Detective Comics is comicbook perfection, so it has to be in this list, baby! Archie Goodwin's debut as editor of 'Tec just blew me away. It's the reason I say Strange Tales #178 is "probably" my favorite single issue. See, not only does Goodwin team up with one of the greatest Batman artists of any age, Jim Aparo, to provide a perfect Batman tale featuring mystery and possible mysticism (like a serious Scooby Doo episode, but waaaay better!), but he also brought us the one-two punch of the (then) new Manhunter with Walter Simonson art! Punisher and Wolverine eat your heart out, Manhunter was what you wanted to be and more before you ever showed your guns are claws! Aaaand Goodwin brought back the original Detective Comics logo, too! Good grief, wotta comic!!

Red Circle Sorcery #8: I know. DC had cornered the market on "mystery" comics in the Groovy Age. They turned out great ones. Hundreds of them. They did! But...Archie Comics' foray into the realm of supernatural comics, led by editor/writer/artist Gray Morrow was just so special, man! Especially this particular issue. The line-up of artists in this issue die for! Frank Thorne, Morrow, Carlos Pino, and Alex Toth! Cool, spooky stories by guys like Don Karr, Don Glut, and Marv Channing featuring tales of highwaymen, satanic maestros, poltergeists, swordsmen, pirates, Death, and, best of all, pulp heroes gone mad! From cover to final page, this entire issue is magnificent and memorable!

Okay, Groove-ophiles, let's hear about your five essential Groovy Age mags! Share 'em in the comments! Pax!


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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!