To be honest, I'd truly thought about retiring after this 2000th post. So much Groovy Age material is in print or coming our way (even Skull the Slayer is getting a tpb, baby!), I figured my job was done. But we've had a surge of new readers and FaceBook members--plus I've hit a mini-goldmine lately of Groovy Age stuff that's not yet in print (and may not be for a while--I hope for my own selfish sake), that I feel kind of revived! So onward and upward, Groove-ophiles!
Whew--I know, "Enough already, Groove! On with the comics!" Okay, baby, how 'but this little gem? From Byron Preiss Visual Publications and Pyramid Books, it's the second issue of Fiction Illustrated! Second ish? What about the first? Well, that's what Teen Groove thought, too, that early 1977 winter's day 'pon which I spied an extremely cool and unique little digest comic sitting on the magazine rack at Bookland. I'd never seen the first issue of Fiction Illustrated, though I'd seen ads for it in the ultimate Preiss/Pyramid publication Weird Heroes (which I promise you I'll get to rapping about--if I can ever find groovy scans of the logos and interior art--or bring myself to bend up mine own yellowing, first print copies--ouch!). The first ish of FI featured Schlomo Raven, a Sherlock Holmes send-up in the early MAD comicbook manner by Priess and Tom Sutton. Yeah, Ol' Groove'll get to that one'a these days, too. Let's get on to Starfawn, huh?
Byron Preiss was writer, publisher, innovator, and a lover of all things cool, it seems. He loved sci-fi and comics and pulps and other pop culture goodies. His dream (like the dream of many fans) was to pull them all together and get those ghetto-ized art forms the positive recognition he felt they were due. Weird Heroes was a shot for the pulps, Fiction Illustrated was his try at creating graphic novels to help lift up the name of the unappreciated comicbook. Starfawn was an incredibly good (if verbose) try, Ol' Groove might add!
Stephen Fabian is a sci-fi/fantasy illustrator of some popularity. His gorgeous, lush illustrations appeared in most sci-fi and fantasy mags of the day, and of course he was a prolific paperback cover illustrator. Wish he'd done more comics besides this and a few illos for Savage Sword of Conan! What a great style he had. Such a unique way of inking...
Preiss was smart enough to hire two of the best in the industry as letterer and colorist for Starfawn. annette Kawecki was an innovator who lettered many an amazing Marvel mag, and of course Marie Severin was (and still is) renowned not only for her art, but for her coloring skills for EC and Marvel.
A lotta build-up, huh, Groove-ophiles! Well, ya know how we want these anniversary posts to be special! One more thing before Ol' Groove turns ya loose: kudos to jodyanimator for these exceptional scans! Notice the pages (except the covers) were scanned side-by-side. Ol' Groove thought of splitting them up, but I really dig the way the side-by-side pages look--it looks, to moi, anyway, like you're actually reading a squarebound, card-stock covered digest mag--so I left 'em that way. Hope you dig it!