Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Funnies: The Genie-ous of Steve Skeates

Happy Birthday, Steve Skeates! (Yeah, I know, I'm two days late, but it's the thought that counts, right?) As all good Groove-ophiles know, Steve Skeates is one of Ol' Groove's favorite comicbook writers. From Lightning to Dr. Graves to Abbott and Costello to Aquaman to Teen Titans to The Mummy to Captain Fear and everything in-between, I dig Skeates' snazzy storytelling. But my absolute favorite Skeates stories are those he did for DC's magnificent Plop! Steve's wild and crazy imagination was given rampant reign and editor Joe Orlando teamed him up with some of the true geniuses of comicbook art for his efforts. Take for example these two classics from the genie-themed Plop! #11 (January 1975). "Sssssppprrrtttzzzzz!" with art by Alex Toth and "The Aladdin Frame-Up!" plotted and illustrated by Sergio Aragones. It's all the magic a Skeates fan can wish for!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Groove's Faves: Spidey Meets The Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time-Players

In 1978, both Spider-Man and Saturday Night Live were still extremely cool. In a move that would make headlines today, but then only got a notice on the Bullpen Bulletins page, Marvel worked out a deal with NBC to make this wild and crazy team-up happen. (Was it due to some behind-the-scenes effort on the parts of Marvel EiC Jim Shooter and SNL producer/creator Lorne Michaels? Inquiring minds would like to know!) If the idea of Spider-Man teaming with John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Garrett Morris, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman to battle Silver Samurai weren't wacky enough, writer Chris Claremont and artists Bob Hall and Marie Severin tossed in Stan Lee as SNL's guest-host and Rick Jones as musical guest. As a story, it's definitely a groovy diversion. As a peek into what was far-out in 1978 in general (well, sans disco, take that as you will) and SNL in particular, it's a must-read, baby! So here's the rarely-seen Marvel Team-Up #74 (July 1978)..."Live From New York, It's Saturday Night!"

Friday, January 29, 2010

(P)Raising Kane: Captain Action Faces "A Mind Divided!"

Captain Action's short-lived mag went out on a high-note, artistically. Gil Kane's story and art are top-notch: sleek, sophisticated, hip, and timely. Wally Wood, one of the all-time great comicbook artists in his own right, natch, does an outstanding job inking this issue. Kane wrapped just about everything that was hitting us where we lived into one heavy story: mistrust of authority, the generation gap, violence and rioting in the streets, mental illness, and love. Hard to believe he poured all of this into a comicbook based on a kid's toy...mebbe that's why the mag didn't last too long? That's beside the point, though. The point is that Gil Kane and Wally Wood blew us away with Captain Action #5 (March 1969) and "A Mind Divided!" Dig it, Groove-ophiles!

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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!