Friday, February 10, 2017

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: Weird Heroes

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Today Ol' Groove is (finally) sharing the covers of his all-time favorite paperback novel series: Weird Heroes! Byron Preiss' brainchild of New American Pulp will be getting lots and lots more digital ink in the future, so right now I'll just say the series was beyond amazing and its arrival was definitely a life-changing event for moi. (Why? Look at the names of the talent listed on these covers and you just might figure it out...) Instead of my rapping, let's just salivate over Weird Heroes as covered by artistic masters Jim Steranko, Alex Nino, Ralph Reese, Jeffrey Jones, and Stephen Hickman...








13 comments:

  1. I cherish my copies of these. It was so special to find comics material in different formats back then. Comics lived on spinner racks and sometimes in magazine stands. But paperbacks were another world save for MAD for the most part. Seeing actual comics stuffy by pros I respected doing new characters who felt a bit more adult (sometimes) was really fresh. The late Byron Preiss really seemed to be a guy who wanted to push comics into new shapes and get that science fiction crossover firmly established. The earliest comics had talent cross over from pulps to the four-color stuff and this was a tiny bit of the reverse trend. These need to reprinted in big handsome trades.

    Rip Off

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    1. Once more, Rip, we are on the same wave-length! I loved the fact that comics led to pulps and comics led back to Weird Heroes. I also loved the fact that the "New Pulp" idea was to get pulp away from the extreme violence of The Executioner, The Destroyer, and those other popular paperback series' of the time.

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  2. Groove!

    About time Weird Heroes got some recognition. I remember stumbling across the first volume in a bookstore when I was a kid. Opened up a whole new world for me. Byron Preiss was a real graphic art visionary of the 70's.

    James Chatterton

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    1. I've been wanting to do posts on WH since the Diversions' inception, James, but seems like something always kept me away. I plan on having lots more to come!

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  3. Always loved those covers, great post.
    I'm still waiting for the last installment of the Gypsy story with Alex Nino art too!
    ~jim

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    1. Wouldn't that be great if Ron and Alex would finish the Gypsy saga? After chatting with Mr. Goulart on Facebook, though, it doesn't sound hopeful. He told me he had some ideas, but no clear resolution for the saga. Said he was kind of relieved that Weird Heroes ended and got him off the hook! Personally, I think (well, actually, hope and pray) he was being cagey and maybe something is in the works! ;D

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    2. Ah, yes. One of the great disappointments during my formative years was after Weird Heroes ceased publication and it became obvious as the years wore on that Gypsy was never going to be finished. At this stage I'd be happy if Ron would just cobble together an outline on how it was supposed to wrap up and post it.

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  4. Hi all! I'm not familiar with these. Are they strictly text inside or was there some art as well? Have a great weekend!

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    1. Each story was accompanied by at least one page of art. I'm working on scanning some of those pages--if you think the covers are impressive, wait 'til you see some of those interior b&w plates!

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  5. Ohh! A new, unknown gem to discover! I can't wait to hear more about these, Groove. Color me interested!

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  6. I wasn't aware there were any volumes past 3. Although the others were probably hitting the racks during my 9 year hiatus from comics (1977 - 1986). The first volume will probably remain my favorite, with its assemblage of bronze age talent that was hot at the time and it's exquisite Steranko cover.

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  7. You have no idea how important these books were to a pulp-besotted kid of the 70s! I thought they were coming back....

    The Doc Phoenix book and story, along with Greatheart Silver were the gems of the series, though there was much to like. I sat at the same table with Goulart at a Mystery Writers of America dinner and asked the same question about the Gypsy. He was, that night at least, a fairly argumentative guy, picking fights with other people at the table. A mutual friend, Chris Steinbrunner, told him to knock it off, and he did.

    Preiss was a great talent and he'll be missed.

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  8. Oh man, I've got a couple of these in a box with a lot of other old paperbacks. I also have the collected Greatheart Silver stories. There was some fantastic stories in these, maybe I should do some internet cruising and look for the volumes I don't have. Thanks for reminding me of these fantastic tomes!

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