Friday, April 28, 2017

Making a Splash: Kerry Gammill's Groovy Age Power Man and Iron Fist

Whazzup, Groove-ophiles! Ol' Groove doesn't know why we've never rapped about Kerry Gammill's su-poib Power Man and Iron Fist art, but we're gonna rectify that sitch today (or is that "two days"--two days past Kerry's 63rd birthday, that is)! Writer Mary Jo Duffy had been working with another fine young artist, Trevor Von Eeden, to make PM/IF one of Marvel's most fun and satisfying mags of the late Groovy Age. Kerry Gammill took over the penciling with PM/IF #61 and immediately, for Teen Groove at least, took the mag to a whole 'nuther level. His pencils were a truly Marvel-ous combo of John Buscema and Gene Colan, but, at the same time, totally their own thing. Gammill drew issues 61-68, 70-72, 74, 75, and 77-79 (November 1979-December 1981), going slightly beyond the Groovy Age. I still think these pages are amazing, having recently re-read them in the first Power Man/Iron Fist Epic Collection. Wanna check out his Groovy Age era splashes? Then here ya go!

If you ask nicely, Ol' Groove could very easily be persuaded to share Kerry's post-Groovy Age PM/IF splashes with ya sometime soon. Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Funny Stuff: "Something Funny Is Going On"

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! A couple weeks ago, Groove-ophile Kevin L. asked about Rich Rich Vault of Mystery. Well, Kevin, RRVoM ran for five issues (August 1974-April 1975) before it changed its name to Richie Rich Vaults of Mystery and ran thru issue 47 (June 1982). Just so happens that Ol' Groove has scans of RRVoM #1 lying around (funny how that happens, huh?), so why don't we take a look at the lead story, "Something Funny Is Going On"?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Black and White Wednesday: "The Soft, Sweet Lips of Hell" by O'Neil, Adams, and Englehart

HowOOOOO's it shakin', Groove-ophiles! Today we're gonna take a look at somethin' creepy and kooky. No, not the Addams Family, Lester! Ol' Groove's rappin' about Stainless Steve Englehart's (who's 70th birthday was this past Saturday, by the by) first comicbook credit in Vampirella #10 (December 1970)! Unknown to editor Julie Schwartz at DC(well, Julie might've know, but it sounds cooler this way) , his titanic Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow team of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams were working together on a story for Warren's B&W Vampirella mag. "Wait, Groove," you say, "you started off talking about Steve Englehart!" I know, I know. We've mentioned here before that before breaking into comics as a writer (on strips like The Beast in Amazing Adventures, as well as a couple'a little-known mags like Captain America and Avengers), Mr. E. tried to get work as a comicbook artist. He managed to land the awesome assignment of assisting Neal Adams (a dream job, to be sure). According to Steve on his website (right'chere), he and Neal took turns laying out pages, penciling, and inking pages to the point where even he isn't sure who did what. In those days, assistants worked in anonymity, but Adams gave Englehart co-credit for this particular art job to help Steve "...start a career." How cool is that? And how cool is (are?)..."The Soft, Sweet Lips of Hell!"

Yo, Rocky! That's why Mick was so cranky!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Decent Comics: "To Doomsday and Beyond!" by Skeates, Sherman, and Abel

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Here's the second of Steve Skeates, James Sherman, and Jack Abel's three Challengers of the Unknown stories for Super-Team Family! "To Doomsday and Beyond" is from Super-Team Family #9 (November 1976) and it's another tale that features the Challs acting kinda like Doc Savage's Amazing Five--without Doc around. It also features a mad scientist, bombs, a volcanoe, and a hidden civilization. In other words..."Ho-hum! Saving the world again..." (Ol' Groove loves that line!)
Cover art by Rich Buckler and Jack Abel

Monday, April 24, 2017

Marvel-ous Mondays: "And Then Came...Blockbuster!" by Edelman and Mooney

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Today we're looking back at Omega the Unknown #7 (December 1976), the first of two fill-in issues ordered by Jim Shooter (who was acting as Marvel's Editor-In-Chief, although Archie Goodwin still had the title). Shooter's goal was to get Marvel back on track schedule-wise. He ordered lots of fill-ins and short back-up features to help keep Marvel from publishing any more reprints-as-fillers since 1976 was filled to overflowing with them (1977 had its share of 'em, too, but that's fodder for another column). According to Scott Edelman from his very own website (you can read it for yourself if ya wanna), OtU was in danger of falling to the Dreaded Deadline Doom for some reason or another. In order to head the problem off at the pass, Shooter took Edelman and Roger Stern to dinner to tell them that they were to write fill-ins that wouldn't upset the continuity of Omega (in other words, no major changes to the status quo--such as it was under regular writers Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes). And he needed those stories right away. Edelman managed to get the art done by regular OtU artist Jim Mooney. You can find out next month who drew Stern's ish (if you don't already know!). Anyway, Ol' Groove feels Edelman did a pretty good job of keeping the ball rolling with "And Then Came...Blockbuster!"
Cover art by Dave Cockrum


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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!