Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Black and White Wednesday: The Question by Stern, Uslan, and Toth

What it is, Groove-ophiles! Today we're gonna plant our peepers on a rare treat--Alex Toth illustrating Steve Ditko's The Question from Charlton Bullseye #5 (Summer 1976). The untitled story, plotted by Roger Stern and scripted by Michael Uslan, no matter how good it may be, is only an excuse for us to admire the artistic prowess of a true master of the medium. How did the CPL Gang (Bullseye's publisher) manage to snag Alex Toth for their fanzine? In an interview with John Cooke in Comic Book Artist #12, CPL editor Roger Stern answered that

"Dumb luck, I guess. Somehow, we'd gotten Toth's address and sent him a complimentary copy of CPL. Then, we managed to get him to draw a cover for issue # 11. When Bob (Layton) launched Charlton Bullseye, one of the things we both really wanted to do was run a new Question story—and since we weren't sure how to get in touch with Steve Ditko, we hit on the idea of asking Toth. I think Bob called him. Anyway, Toth said yes."

 Dumb luck rocks, dunnit? Check it out!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Random Reads: "Death Is My Dominion!" by Dorfman, Brown, and Anderson

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Ya know, Superboy didn't spend the Groovy Age truckin' it to the future to hang out with the Legion of Super-Heroes all the time. Sometimes he just hung around Smallville battling it out with his ex-pal Lex Luthor. You know, like in Leo Dorfman, Bob Brown, and Murphy Anderson's "Death Is My Dominion!" from Superboy #179 (September 1971). Dig it!
Cover art by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson

Monday, July 29, 2013

Five Years Old and Still Truckin' Through the Groovy Age! PLUS: A Peek at The Groovy Agent's Pad!

It's really been half a decade (as of yesterday) since Ol' Groove decided to start up a comicbook blog! I didn't really know what I was doing (as you can tell from the first few posts!), just breaking a (probably old) news about a classic 70s character (Warlord) making a comeback under his creator (Mike Grell). As the days went by, though, I started getting a feel for what the Diversions should be about, along with finding the "voice" of the Groovy Agent (I mean besides the Wolfman Jack/Casey Kasem/Dr. Johnny Fever mishmash in my head). "Departments" started coming to me, like Famous First Fridays, Black and White Wednesday (probably the most popular), and Grooviest Covers of All Time. Within a couple of weeks, folks started commenting, treating the Diversions like it was something worthwhile. Now, after over 1,600 posts, hundreds of followers, and nearly three million (!) page views, Diversions is part of a lot of folks' daily routines and a place for fans to go when they want info on a comic mag or character. It's a lot of work (especially considering the ground that's already been covered), but I love this blog and I really, really love my Groove-ophiles (fans and pros alike!). Every once in a while I think, "That's enough. What's left? Why keep this thing going?"--then I get an e-mail or comment from someone telling me how important the Diversions is to them or challenging me with a really cool request or question that fires me right back up again. So, what's Ol' Groove trying to say here?

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, GROOVE-OPHILES! You keep on visiting Groove City, and yers trooly will do his best to make it worth your time. Deal?

Meantime, how'd ya like to take a look at the Groovy Agent's recently remodeled pad? It's not completely finished, but it's preeeety close...

Yep, that's my original FOOM poster hanging by the closet door! The "pictures" I made myself, using scans of favorite panels (on the FOOM wall) and covers (on the Superman wall). Wanna see 'em a little closer up? Pics are taken using my phone, so they may not be the highest quality, but you can make 'em out...

Just for fun, anyone wanna try to pin down the panels I used in the FOOM wall pics?

Ol' Groove'll be back tomorrow with more comicbook stuff. See ya then!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Groove's Countdown: Top 10 Wolverine Moments of the Groovy Age

The Wolverine hits theaters 'round the U.S. today, and Ol' Groove is rarin' to see it. Yeah, tall and handsome Hugh Jackman isn't our Groovy Age Wolvie, but in the Marvel Movie-verse he's got the swagger and attitude to pull off playing our fave berserker. That's not the point of today's post, though, Groove-ophiles. Ol' Groove'll stop the pluggin' and get on with it! Today's all about...

The Top Ten Wolverine Moments of the Groovy Age! 

NOTE: These events are in chronological order, not order of importance. Just sayin'...

10) X-Men #96: First view of Wolverine's Berserker Rage! We'd heard about Logan Unleashed, but we finally saw Wolvie cut loose with all his fury on one of the N'Garai...did a super-HERO ever go that nutso before?

9) X-Men #98: Wolverine Unmasked! He has a face! And a funky hair-do. Who'da thunk it?

(Yeah, Logan was unmasked on page one of ish 98, but we didn't know it fo sho until the panel above that it was Wolvie. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it...)

8) X-Men #98 (again!): Wolverine's Claws Are a Part of Him! Here we were thinking those adamantium Ginsu knives were in his gloves...

7) X-Men #101: Wolverine Says It with Flowers (Or Not)! A rare early glimpse of Wolverine's tender side as he deals with his feelings for Jean Gray in his own inimitable way...

6) X-Men #108: Wolverine Is HOW Tough? While battling the Imperial Guard, Logan is punched literally into orbit and survives. Yeah, the scene is played for laughs, but think about it. Approaching escape velocity. Alive. Wolverine. One tough dude!

5) X-Men #109: Wolverine's Not Just About Killing... Logan has a sensitive side and  a depth neither the X-Men nor many of us readers had given him credit for up to this point...

4) X-Men #116: ...But Wolverine Will Kill Without Mercy! When lives are on the line and stealthy assassination is a must, Logan will do what he has to do . And his fellow X-Men will just have to live with it...

3) X-Men #118: Wolverine Meets Mariko. Logan meets the love of his life, giving us a new and very unique wrinkle in our enigmatic hero's personality--the romantic ronin. (And she'd better be in this new flick!)

2) X-Men #132: Wolverine Emerges from the Sewer, Ready to Kick Butt! ZOOM! Logan's cool-factor multiplied by triple-digits with the last page of X-Men 132, one of the all-time iconic images in all of comicdom. Beaten and humiliated, his teammates captured, the baddies aren't a bit worried about Wolvie. They think he's dead. Their bad.

1) X-Men #133: Wolverine Lives Up to His Promise (and Does a Pretty Good Dirty Harry)! We expected to see Logan go to war on the Hellfire Club's minions when we got our eyes filled with that last page of X-Men 132. We tear back the cover of ish 133 to see if our expectations are fulfilled. Boy, are they ever!

What d'ya think, Groove-ophiles? Those are my picks. What are yours?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ol' Groove's Request Line: "75-25 or Die" by Kanigher and the Redondo Studio

Lots and lots of you out there in Groove City have been asking for more Ragman. Well, here ya go, Groove-ophiles! From Ragman #2 (July 1976), here's "75-25 or Die" by Robert Kanigher and the Redondo Studio!


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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!