Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: John Romita, Sr. Presents...

We know that John Romita, Sr. created some of the most iconic and awe-inspiring Spider-Man covers of all time (and Ol' Groove'll be sharing some of 'em in the future). But know ye this: as Marvel's art director during a huge chunk of the Groovy Age, the Jazzy One treated us to some superb work on the covers of Marvel mags featuring the debuts of new characters and new costumes. When you saw one of these iconic, pin-up style covers, baby, you just knew something big was gonna happen in that particular ish! Heck, even if nothing big did happen, you had a comic with a far-out cover! Here are a few of my faves...

What about you, Groove-ophile? What are some of your favorite non-Spidey-starring John Romita, Sr. covers?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Miscellanea: Two Girls, A Guy, Back Issue, and X-Men Forever

ITEM! I don't know how I've overlooked it, but now that I've found it, Ol' Groove is ga-ga over Two Girls, A Guy, and Some Comics. An excellent, round-table-discussion style blog covering the Silver and Bronze ages of comics, TGaGaSC is fun, informative, thoughtful, interesting, and extremely cool. Recent entries have covered the "Cap's Kooky Quartet" era of the Avengers (there's a lot of Avengers love on that blog--and I do dig the Avengers!), the Adult Legion of Super-Heroes, the history of the Vision, and lots more cool stuff. Their discussions are very in-depth, analyzing and dissecting most every aspect of whatever topic they're covering. Mega-kudos to Karen, Doug, and Sharon for creating such an outta-site blog! And speaking of Karen...

ITEM! ...Not only does Karen Walker contribute to Two Gals, and Guy, and Some Comics, but also to TwoMorrow's Wonderful Back Issue. Ol' Groove was able to nab Back Issue #34 recently, and really dug Karen's article on Adam Warlock (my all-time fave, ya know!), "The Life and Death (and Life and Death) of Adam Warlock". Lotsa other cool stuff in that ish, as well, including articles on Jim Shooter, Marvel's New Universe, DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths, Marvel's Logan's Run adaptation, DC's Star Hunters, the third and final part of a nearly all-encompassing interview with the lovely and talented Steve Skeates, and more. Track down or order a copy, Groov-ophile! And tell 'em Ol' Groove sent ya!

ITEM! Ol' Groove actually bought a couple'a new comics--and dug 'em! Got my paws on the first two issues of X-Men Forever written by none other than Chris Claremont (the man who put the "X" in the Groovy Age) with pencil-art by the oh-so-talented Tom Grummett. I have to admit, Ol' Groove was a full-time X-Men fanatic in the Claremont-era, but I lost interest after the Cheerful One stopped guiding the lives of our Merry Mutants. Oh, I dipped back in from time to time, but things were more complicated than ever with all the "X"-titles and cross-overs--I just couldn't get into it. X-Men Forever, though, looks to be set in its own little universe, picking up where Claremont left off when he left the "X" titles in 1991, ignoring all that came after, and going off into its own reality/continuity. The first two issues were fun and fast-paced; really enjoyable for an old-timer like yours truly. Plenty of action, big doses of soap opera, and just overall exquisite storytelling. I hope the "young-uns" give support the title, 'cause I'd sure like to keep on reading it! (Even if each issue does cost four bucks a pop!)

ITEM! This post is late due to the double-whammy of Blogger's inability to correct whatever is wrong with their "post options" settings and my electricity having been out for about 16 hours. Thanks to all who continue to stop by and check in in spite of these posting woes!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sports Sunday: "Tall In the Saddle!"

Groove-dom seemed to take a special liking to Strange Sports Stories, as last Tuesday's post was the biggest hit-maker of the past few weeks! Ol' Groove can take a hint! Here's another Strange Sports Story, this time combining the unlikely trio of horse-racing, witchcraft...and dinosaurs!?! From Strange Sports Stories #2 (August 1973), here's "Tall In the Saddle!" by Frank Robbins, Curt Swan, and Murphy Anderson!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Twice-Told Tales: "Believe It...Or Not!" By Dan Adkins and Bill Everett

A couple of weeks ago, Ol' Groove shared the Jack Kirby shocker, "And Fear Shall Follow" from Chamber of Darkness #5 with ya. Believe it or not (witty, ain't I?), Dan Adkins and Bill Everett retold that self-same story a few months later in Chamber of Darkness #8 (September 1970). Why did editor Stan Lee go for such a stunt? Maybe he just needed to fill space, since this rarely-seen tale was sandwiched between two Lee/Steve Ditko reprints (and backed by a new Don Heck-drawn feature). Or maybe he thought it was just too cool of a story to waste, 'cause, baby, that Adkins/Everett art is far-freakin'-out! Whatever the reasons, I'm glad the story saw print. See if you don't dig it!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah Fawcett--In a Comicbook?!?

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Famous First Fridays for some breaking news.

Yesterday, 1970s icon (one of the few actually deserving that title), Farrah Fawcett, lost her battle with cancer. I know this is a comicbook blog, and there never were any Charlie's Angels comicbooks (there should'a been!), but still. children and fans of the 1970s are gonna miss Farrah like crazy. Besides, Ol' Groove spent about as much money on buying mags and posters with pics of Farrah (and the other Angels, and Cher, and Lynda Carter...) as he spent on comics! I thought it would only be appropriate to pay our respects here by sharing some pics of Farrah from back in the Groovy Age. (The first two decorated Teen Groove's room, baby!)

But you know Ol' Groove ain't gonna stop there. Farrah--or at least her hair-style and the character she played in the Logan's Run movie--did appear in comicbook form, int the Marvel Comics adaptation, Logan's Run #3 (December 1976--thanks to my pal Joe Bloke for the scans!). Here's the cover and a few pages from that exquisite issue courtesy the talents of writer Dave Kraft, penciler George Perez, and inkers Tom Palmer (cover) and Klaus Janson (interiors).

Things'll get back to normal (at least as normal as they get around here) tomorrow. Thanks for your kind indulgence, Groove-ophiles!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Diggin' Ditko: Man-Bat #1

In September, 1975, popular Batman hero/villain Man-Bat got his own short-lived series (it lasted only two issues). Man-Bat creators Frank Robbins and Neal Adams were no longer at DC by the time Man-Bat was awarded his own title, so the writing and art chores--for the first issue only (that's what really bums Ol' Groove out when it comes to the Groovy Age--revolving door creators)--fell to writer Gerry Conway and artist Steve Ditko. Conway and Ditko (superbly inked by Al Milgrom in this issue) gave Man-Bat an even more Gothic style than Robbins and Adams' version, complete with castles and evil sorcerers. It was a fun first issue, worth the price of admission just to get to see Steve Ditko draw The Batman--how often does that happen? And dig that far-out Jim Aparo cover!

Cool trivia note: Ditko did get to draw the villain, Baron Tyme, about four years later when Tyme battled the Demon in Detective Comics issues 483-485!


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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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!