Friday, June 20, 2014

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: June, 1979--35 Years Ago This Month...

Some say comics were on the rocks back in 1979, but you couldn't tell it at the spinner rack! Yeah, Charlton was in full-reprint mode, but Harvey, Gold Key, and Archie were still producing tons o'comics, DC was still giving us our old fave super-heroes along with plenty of mystery, war, and western titles, and Marvel was still Marvel with tons of super-heroes plus Conan and the other licensed mags. If I posted the covers of all the mags published this month, that's be nearly 150 covers! Ol' Groove loves ya, baby, but that's even too much for moi! Instead, I'll share a bunch of personal faves (with, as usual, a big ol' shout-out to the Grand Comics Database for the far-out scans) and hope ya dig it!


















































5 comments:

  1. Yep, 1979 was a real big year in my comics reading - I was 11 and really devouring this stuff. Of the covers posted here, I counted 21 that I recall having.
    Among my favorites: the issues of X-men (duh), Iron Man, Avengers, Marvel 2-in-1 (oh, yeah! Project Pegasus!), Marvel Team-up (the conclusion an awesome 4-parter!), and the Archie Super-hero Digest (which I've since reacquired). But all of it was good, I mean how can you go wrong with Miller's Daredevil, that ongoing space opera in Fantastic Four, or all of the goodies in Adventure Comics?
    Thanks for posting this, Groove; as usual, it brought back some great comics-reading memories.

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  2. Good God, I was so happy in 1979....

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  3. I was 14 in '79, and already crestfallen at how schlocky most mainstream comics titles looked, especially with the gaudy color choices and the horrible printing on plastic plates (interior art particularly suffered). At that point I already had about 1,000 comics from prior years, all the way back to the early Golden Age, so I could easily compare and see how the page count went down, the price point went up, and the printing quality went down. There were a few hidden gems here and there, though. That Kaluta cover on SECRETS OF SINISTER HOUSE I'd not seen before now. By and large, though, my faves had already left mainstream comics: Frazetta (in '64), Steranko, Wrightson, Neal Adams, Jeff Jones, Barry (Windsor-)Smith. The crummy printing prohibited artists like Alfredo Alcala from shining like he once did (his early '70s DC horror comics work had remarkable atmosphere)....so I was mostly reading the Warren mags (CREEPY, EERIE, etc.), but even these had already begun the downward slide in quality, so it was off to HEAVY METAL for me, and the occasional NATIONAL LAMPOON story or drawing by some of the aforementioned artists, and, in 1980, on to EPIC magazine. That, and buying back issues---silver age Marvel titles were still pretty inexpensive and so much fun to read and collect. I also had over 100 issues of MAD magazine, but even that title was on the downturn (classic cover artist Norman Mingo seldom worked after 1976 which was a great loss). I was watching the whole DC implosion of '78 firsthand as well. It looked like the whole medium might fold up. I mentioned this in another, earlier post, but it's amazing to see how much better the cover colors and printing looked only six years earlier. It seems 1974 was a turning point year in many ways. Comics were so much fun in the early '70s!

    Chris A.

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  4. Defending the books that I grew up with...

    After reading your comment Chris, and I do understand where you are coming from that earlier in the 70's the formats of both DC and Marvel had there own unique style and format but in no way does that diminish the work of others. I was all but 8 to 9 years of age when most of these books came out.

    I think we all, of those of us who do truly love comics still have an appreciation for the comics that we grew up with and our memories of readings these books first hand brings back simple memories of days gone by and look back at them with fondness. I know I sure do. I still have some original books from when I was kid from this time and still hold on to them even as tattered as they are they are in essence where my love for collecting comics comes from. They are books that I will never part with.

    I'm in no way am I looking for an argument just wanted to share my thoughts after reading your comment.

    Shane G.

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  5. That's fine, Shane. What I was saying was that I literally put those comics SIDE BY SIDE in the '70s---the early, the mid, and the late '70s stuff---and I clearly saw a downward progression in page count, in quality coloring, and in quality printing which ultimately did such a disservice to the art that a classic like Wrightson's SWAMP THING #1 - 10 (1972-74) turned to absolute MUD when reprinted in 1978.

    It's like living long enough to remember the old Milky Way candy bars, and seeing what they've now become. Or, get this---Pelikan ink used to be the best for comics artists in the early '80s. Now it's horribly diluted at best. An old friend found a 33 year old bottle of Pelikan which, once opened, still worked like brand new and the ink was JET BLACK. We're seeing the cheapening of many, many products over the years. Now we're living to see the elimination of much that is physical product so that there is only digital media (but that's another story!).

    Chris A.

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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!