Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Groovy Thanksgivings of Yore!

Some of Ol' Groove's favorite comics came out in November, and I've shared a whole lot of 'em here on the blog. In a weird bout of nostalgic nostalgia, Ol' Groove would like to help you (in the U.S.A) celebrate Thanksgiving (happy Thursday to the rest of the world!) with some of my most favorite faves that I've shared here with you in our past Thanksgiving Feasts! So, instead'a cooking to enjoy these tasty morsels of comicbook wonder, all ya have to do is click! Enjoy, Groove-ophiles!

Strange Tales #178 (Jim Starlin's Warlock epic begins!), The Destructor #1 (Archie Goodwin, Steve Ditko, and Wally Wood give us a most unexpected super-hero), and Scorpion #1 (Howard Chaykin's pulp-hero supreme)! Click here to read 'em all!

Ol' Groove's all-time favorite ish of Creepy! Read the best of this issue's best here, here, and here!

Marvel's greatest one-shot mag featuring early solo tales starring The Punisher and (Howard Chaykin's "reboot" of Scorpion) Dominic Fortune and the twin debuts of The Huntress (better known as Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird) and Weirdworld!

A special (or should I say Super Special) "issue" of Savage Sword of Conan in full color!

And finally, one of the best b&w comic mags of all time! The debut of Tigerman, Lawrence of Arabia...The Sting of Death...and Escape from Nine by 1!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thanks for Everything, Stan!

I knew I'd have to write this post someday. It's something I dreaded for years. And I certainly didn't intend to come out of "semi-retirement" for this particular post, but here it is: Stan Lee passed away this morning at age 95.

Let that sink in for a moment. The Living Monument to Marvel Comics is no longer with us. People always want to debate "who created what" in the Marvel Universe. Being a sometimes creator myself, I know how diluted and confusing all of that can be. This I do know for certain: Stan's voice was the voice of Marvel for me. The letters pages. They cover hype. The Bullpen Bulletins. The Mighty Marvel Checklist. Stan's Soapbox. The feeling of friendship and community that made us Marvelites. That all started with Stan...and I'll always love and admire him for that.

Your positive memories and thoughts on Stan the Man are most welcome in the comments section. Let's use that space to celebrate one of the all time greats. Our friend, Stan.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If You Blinked You Missed: Super Cops by Channing, Morrow, Pino, Alcazar, and Thorne

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Here's one of those weird one-shots that popped up from time to time during the Groovy Age. Two real-life policemen, Dave Greenberg and Bob Hantz became minor media sensations for their daring methods of fighting crime--methods that included crashing through windows a la Batman and Robin (which became their nick-names). A book was written about them, then the book was turned into a movie, and late into the game--as usual--came the comicbook. And what a lovely comic mag it is! Published by Archie Comics under their Gray Morrow-helmed Red Circle imprint, Super-Cops #1 and only featured art by Morrow, Carlos Pino, Vincente Alcazar (as V. Hack), and Frank Thorne. The whole book (including the text feature giving Greenberg and Hantz's biographies) was written by Marvin Channing. Now, the stories weren't earth-shattering. You could even say that they're kinda mundane...but Ol' Groove always dug the fact that this mag was something different for the super-hero/super-natural/cosmic dominated 1970s. Let's head back to May 1974 and hit the streets, baby!

Anybody wanna buy a watch?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Approaching 3000!

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Well, we're just ten (10!) posts away from #3000 here on The Diversions. That's a big deal, don'tcha know! It's also gotten Ol' Groove to do some thinking. Ten years ago, I was a substitute teacher. Now I'm full-time, looking at retirement in just a shade over four years. Ten years ago, I didn't have any grandchildren. Now I have five loveable grandkiddos. Ten years ago, I didn't have a regular (as we say 'round here in South East KY) home church. Now I'm a deacon at the little church on the hill just out the road. Ten years ago I had retired from writing comicbooks. Now I have two regular books, and am doing stories for nearly a half-dozen publishers.  A lot has changed during for me in the last ten years, huh? And it's ALL good!
The MARVEL-ous logo

Ten years ago there was little out there extolling the virtues of 1970s comic books. Most of the trade paperback collections focused on modern comics. Now there are magazines, books, and tons o'websites dedicated to the 1970s and/or the Bronze Age of Comics. Books we thought we'd never see collected (Skull the Slayer, E-Man, Marvel's Doc Savage and Master of Kung Fu, Creature Commandos fer cryin' out loud!) line our bookshelves. It's an amazing time to be a lover of Groovy Age comics!
The Halloween logo

Ten years ago, when I started this blog, I had a name for it and not much else. It quickly found its footing and became a place to share and discuss comics from 1967-1980. I've enjoyed the company of thousands of like-minded fans and dozens of pros who dig The Diversions. Ten years ago I my goal was to do 500 posts. Now we're nearing #3000.
The Marvel/DC logo

While there are still some uncollected and unshared Groovy Age gems out there, I think we've done what we've set out to do here--and, thanks to you dedicated Groove-ophiles--even more. We've made a fun "home away from home" where we can escape into our beloved comics and our four-colored childhoods for a while every day. We've campaigned to see our Groovy Age mags treated with more respect--and to be given the high-quality tpb treatment. I'm not taking credit for anything, but isn't it nice to know that we now have collections featuring the Groovy Age Black Panther, Adam Warlock, OMAC, and more? Stuff we didn't have ten years ago? Yeah, it's a coincidence, but hey, mebbe someone out there was listening to you guys! :D
The Christmas logo

So, now what? As you can see, Ol' Groove is one busy dude. I'm going to have to slow down in some places so I can move forward in others. My love for Groove City hasn't diminished one bit, but, as I said, we've more than accomplished our original mission. No, I'm not shutting down or locking up The Diversions, but I am going to slow down. My posts will be more irregular, but I'll be around. With nearly 3000 posts, you should still have plenty to "discuss", and I'll be around for that, too. I'm not saying "goodbye." Nope, no intentions of that. I'll post when the muse hits. When I discover (or re-discover) something really cool. I guess what I'm actually saying is, "I'll be seein' ya." And thank you, so very, very much.

The short-lived Stan "sticker" 

See ya tomorrow, in fact! Let's make this countdown to #3000 a par-TAY!

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: Mike Zeck's Chilling Charlton Covers

Dig it, Groove-ophiles! When we think of the Groovy Age art of Magnificent Mike Zeck, we most often think of Master of Kung Fu (and post-Groovy Age Captain America, Punisher, and Secret Wars). Like many other super-stars of the late 20th Century (John Byrne, Joe Staton, Jim Aparo, and Don Newton, to name a few), some of Mighty Mike's earliest professional color comics work rolled off the printing presses at Charlton Comics in Derby, Connecticut. Here are the scary and stunning covers he produced from 1975 to 1977. Not nearly enough of 'em, but t'was about quality--not quantity! Enjoy!


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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!