Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If You Blinked You Missed: Strange Sports Stories

Sorry about the tardiness of this post, Groove-ophiles. While it was written ahead of time and scheduled to go live at 12:02, as usual, Blogger is having some kind of issues with scheduling, so I had to publish it manually. Hopefully they'll get on the ball and get things fixed. Until then, we'll hope for the best. Onward!

One of the late, great DC editor Julie Schwartz's pet projects was Strange Sports Stories. Beginning with Brave and the Bold #45 in late 1962 and through0ut the Silver Age, any time Schwartz got the chance to showcase his fun hybrid of sports, supernatural, and sci-fi, he did it. Finally, in June, 1973, Julie's brain-child got a shot at headlining it's own title. Strange Sports Stories ran for only six short issues, but it was a cool experiment, and every issue was a fun romp, with work by faves like Frank Robbins, Curt Swan, Dick Giordano, Irv Novick, Martin Pasko, John Rosenberger, Elliot S! Maggin, Denny O'Neil, Murphy Anderson, and Nick Cardy. DC should definitely collect these babies in a trade paperback. Until then, Ol' Groove'll share some of his faves with ya from time to time, like this one from the first ish. Here's "To Beat the Devil!" by Frank Robbins, Curt Swan, and Dick Giordano!

5 comments:

  1. Interesting this would be posted today, Groove!

    I just shook the hand of Dick Giordano this past weekend at the Charlotte Heroes Con, thanking him for his inspiration. He reviewed a portfolio of mine many years back and really tore into me, but it was what I needed to hear at the time. He seems to be getting up there in years, but was appreciative of my effort to see him.

    Also, my father had this comic book. In the 70s, while I was the classic Marvel zombie, my father was purchasing DC comics here and there. And I remember the devil baseball story....I had forgotten all about this title!

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  2. Another lost classic, and yet another reason why the '70's was the best time for comics ever. What makes it even better is that Julie clearly put this book out simply because he could!

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  3. I love these books! One of my favorite stories is the “Saga of the Secret Sportsmen!” from The Brave and the Bold #47. It seems to predict the Nintendo Wii!

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  4. This is one of my all-time favorite "deal with the devil" stories. The devil is beaten by his own rules. I loved this book. I may have to dig it out of the box and lick it wonderfully devil-taste!

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  5. I read (and may still have) the 1970's run of SSS! More than one letter to the magazine compared it (justifiably, I think!) to The Twilight Zone---it certainly had the flavor! The 70's were the greatest time to be reading comics. It's probably what made me a writer today! Thanks for posting this and thanks to the creators of the wonderful Strange Sports Stories.

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