Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer of '76! Groove's Faves: "Mr. Buda!!!" by Kirby and Windsor-Smith

What it is, Groove-ophiles! As we've seen over the past few days, there was lots on the spinner racks for us Groovy Age Real Frantic Onesto choose from during the Summer of the Bicentennial. As I gazed at the myriad of colorful covers and thought about all the fun I had collecting so many of those classic (and not-so-classic) mags, I kept trying to decide which was my favorite. Naturally, I have many, many (many, many...) favorites, but Captain America's Bicentennial Battles kept jumping at me. For so many reasons, that tabloid-sized masterpiece veritably screams "Summer of '76!" at me, and there are a variety of reasons why that's so. First up, is the aforementioned tabloid format. The size, the cardboard cover, the $1.50 price tag--ah, heaven on earth. Next, it's part of Kirby's return to Captain America, love it or hate it, but it's Krazy Kirby Kool through and through. When you add that several pages of the King were inked by a bonafide comicbook "god", one Mr. Barry (Windsor-) Smith, who, natch, had started out aping Kirby and evolved into one of the greatest illustrators of, well, ever, that's another check mark in the "only in the 70s" column. And finally, the mag does celebrate our nation's 200th anniversary, which could only happen in 1976. Yeah, if one mag had to sum up what the Summer of '76 meant to Young Groove, Captain America's Bicentennial Battles would be it.

Whew! To reward you for reading all of the above lovingly long-winded longings, here's a glimpse of the awesomeness that is Kirby and Smith!

Okay, that's Ol' Groove's take on the mag that best represents that sensational summer we call "1976". What's yours?


  1. I very much remember being surprised that the combination of Kirby and Smith worked as Barry's art had so quickly transcended its Kirbyesque roots. But work it most certainly did! The writing was still cringe-worthy in spots but this was, in my opinion, the high point of Kirby's return to Marvel.

  2. This to me was indeed the groovest book out that summer. I mean come on JACK "KING"KIRBY! BARRY WINDSOR SMITH! Capt.A! Bucky! Nazis! Adolph Quitler! Look at how beautiful even the trees look almost 3-D! One of the truly iconic books of the 70's!As another Captain would say. HOLY MOLEY!Nuff Said!I am so greatful I grew up in the 70's!

  3. "What's yours?"

    I loved the 'Bicentennial Battles' Treasury, but I didn't have my own copy until a few years after '76.

    I'm a bit younger than you, so for me,this issue best represents the Summer of '76:

    Spider-Man and Captain America chase Kang through time, in the process they get to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

    Also, since you also ran an 80s comics blog, you may appreciate my newish blog dedicated to Marvel's Assistant Editors' Month:

    And thank you, 'Diversions' helped inspire me to start my blog.

  4. the genius of this book was not lost on me in 76 when i was twelve.
    the combination of inkers was perfect.
    but the barry smith work is beautiful,and to think he started off as a kirby copyist,and then does something new with the kings work.....the caravan site we holidayed in every year always stocked the treasury editions.

  5. Wow. Guys, I've never seen this work! It's freakin' gorgeous. What excellent inks. Thanks Groove Agent!



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