Saturday, February 28, 2015

The More The Merrier - 1943

Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn enjoy the latest installment of Dick Tracy while Jean Arthur sunbathes in George Stevens' 1943 WWII romantic comedy The More The Merrier.

Arthur chides the guys for wasting their time on reading the comics, and they vigorously defend their choice of leisure activity. Coburn even adds that he once missed two straight Sundays of Superman, and he "was never the same since."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Life Tales From The Spinner Rack Audiobook ON SALE NOW!

The audiobook edition* of Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Life Tales From The Spinner Rack is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and Audible! Please check it out and if you like it, leave the book a review!

*Note: Tim Neenan's essay, "The Field", is exclusive to the print and Kindle editions.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hey Kids, Comics! Audiobook Free Preview 2

The audiobook edition of Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Life Tales From The Spinner Rack will be available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes shortly. In the meantime, enjoy this sample chapter by clicking on the link below!

Listen: "Secret Origin" by Steve Englehart

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hey Kids, Christmas!

This is me, Christmas of 1984. A pretty good haul, though since I never played Dungeons & Dragons I'm not sure why Santa left that for me.

More exciting for this blog's purposes is the issue of Blue Devil sitting next to me. A close-up reveals its Blue Devil #9, on sale in November of that year:
My parents never bought me comics (they could have never figured out what I had), so I must have been carrying this with me at all times that day. That sounds like me.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hey Kids, Comics! Now on Kindle!

I'm thrilled to announce that Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Life Tales From The Spinner Rack is now available on Kindle for only $2.99! Head over to Amazon to download your copy--and what the heck, get one for a friend for Christmas!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Brewster McCloud - 1971

Actor John Schuck (playing a dim-witted cop) shows up in the trailer to Robert Altman's 1971 oddball film Brewster McCloud, reading a copy of Captain America #121 (cover dated January 1970). I haven't seen the movie, but judging by the trailer, it seems that Altman is using comic book reading as visual shorthand for lack of intellect. Seems funny, coming from the man who would eventually direct Popeye.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

"It Is An Omen! I Shall Become--A COLLECTOR!"

Bryan W. Frazier Everyone has that one comic book--the one that turned them from a casual reader into a collector. Mine was Batman #311. Oh, I'd been reading comic books since 1974, but it was always just whatever caught my eye on the spinner rack. But, Batman #311 was different. "Dr. Phosphorus Is Back!!" The cover looked great , Batman shielding special guest star Batgirl from a burning "Skeleton Man!" I had to read this book! So, I paid my 40 cents and I couldn't wait to get home and read the book! I was not disappointed.

The artwork was clear, and yet moody all at the same time. Batman meets Commissioner Gordon on a foggy night. Batman's sudden appearance from the mist so unnerves a police officer, that he takes a shot at the Batman! Fortunately, Commissioner Gordon hits the rookie's hand, causing the shot to miss the Batman. "Officer --, What the Hell?!?!" It was the first time I'd ever seen the word "Hell" in a comic book. I read about Batman's first attempt to bring Dr. Phosphorus to justice when he attacked his former boss, (and the man who was responsible for making him Dr. Phosphorus in the first place--Rupert Thorne) I didn't know at the time of writer Steve Englehart's previous run on Detective Comics. Nor did I realize that this was a new story by Englehart. I just knew that I loved the book. The comic even had Batgirl (whom I knew from the 1966 Batman TV show) , who helped battle Dr. Phosphorus with Batman's own specially treated cape! I became a life long Batman fan thanks to that issue.

I still remember re-reading that comic book on my front porch one day. I was struck by a sudden realization. I already had a few issues in the Batman 300s (#'s 301, 303, and 307-311), what if I went back, filled in the gaps in my collection, and kept buying Batman every month? I could get an unbroken string of issues going all the way to Batman #400! And so, with that, I made sure to grab the newest issue of Batman every month from then onward. I bought (and enjoyed!) Batman month after month from elementary school, through junior high, and on into high school. I still remember the day I picked Batman #400 off of the stands at the Rock Bottom bookstore. I was ecstatic! I was collecting almost everything DC, Marvel, and just about everybody else was putting out by then. I might have started off as a reader but, it was Batman # 311 that made me a collector!