The Comic Book Attic (favorite comics)
Podcasts that Celebrate the Back Issue Bin. Also home to Mike's other assorted podcasts
some of my favorite comics 26

Spider-month Part 3 of 3: Marvel Tales #206

So yes, this is a reprint book-- mostly.  And, to their shame, in years prior to this issue, Marvel often abridged their stories for reprint titles without the public’s knowledge. (This happened all over in Marvel Tales, Marvel’s Greatest Comics, Marvel Double Feature, Marvel Super-Heroes, etc.)  By the time I started buying this title, fortunately, that awful practice was left behind.  Why collect a reprint title and not the current Spidey books?  Because they were old stories.  I loved the old comics even then.  Much of that was because I liked them, much of it was because I didn’t have access to the older stories on my negligible income at the time, and much of it was because I was such a fan of Marvel Saga, a book that chronicled older Marvel.  This is probably the first issue of Marvel Tales I bought off the rack, continuing a few issues later when they were running a bunch of Punisher appearance reprints.  I also enjoyed that they would often run new material in the form of a Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham back-up feature, which this issue did.  What drew me to this issue, however, was a grand tale reprinting Marvel Team-Up #70 about the struggle of the X-Men’s Havok with The Living Monolith (both of whom I love).  Throw in Thor and art by John Byrne, and it’s a party.  The most memorable thing about my experience buying this comic was that I bought it on a family shopping outing to another county one night.  On the drive home, when I would normally read my comics, it was getting too dark to read.  I would use the headlights of the cars behind us to read the comic.  Because we were on a highway, the cars would often pass, and I’d have to wait for the next car’s lights to read what happened next.  What a way to prolong the suspense!  Anyway, years later, I bought the original MTU issue as well as a paperback black and white reprint of this story, with panels rearranged to fit the small book. Both items are living happily in my collection with this issue of Marvel Tales.

Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 9:09am EST

some of my favorite comics 25

Spider-month Part 2 of 3: Spectacular Spider-Man #139

This was one of the first issues of Spectacular Spider-Man I bought off the racks myself.   I had been aggressively collecting comics for a short while when this issue came out, and Spider-Man comics weren’t part of my regular collecting list (with the exception of Marvel Tales, which I bought to read the older comics; older comics were my thing even then).  For whatever reason, I bought this issue. Could be that I had read a few issues of Spectacular Spider-Man from my friends and liked it?  Who knows?  I didn’t own hardly any issues of the title at this point.  This story drew me in, though.  The villain of Tombstone was so bad and nasty that he seemed like a real threat, especially to poor Joe Robertson.  I haven’t looked at this issue in years, but the art of Sal Buscema was the style I picture when I think of this title, just as I tend to picture Alex Saviuk when I think of Web of Spider-Man.  Another plus was the writing of Gerry Conway, who wrote many classic Spidey stories years before in Amazing Spider-Man. A fun time and a landmark reference point in my relationship with this title.

Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 9:00am EST

some of my favorite comics 24

This month, I’m focusing my sights on the web-flinging wall-hugger as I have been reading a lot of Spider-Man comics lately. I am preparing a Spider-Man-themed Far-Out Sounds from the Six-Panel Grid episode, and here (returning, finally) you'll receive three Some of My Favorite Comics entires that will be Spider-themed.

Spider-month Part 1 of 3: Web of Spider-Man #1

When I was a youngster, I remember beginning to go to the barber for the first time.  The first visit was, as I remember, rather frightening.  One fixture of the barber shop that helped eventually relax me and look forward to going was the supply of comics that were sitting in the bottom of a little stand, specifically put there to keep kids entertained.  These comics were well-read, and a few were coverless (I’m not sure if this issue in question could have been one of the coverless).  That’s where I first read Web of Spider-Man #1.  Also piled on this stand were issues of Whitman Disney comics, an issue of Captain America, an issue of Cloak and Dagger, and others.  Over the years since, I have gathered copies of all these into my collection, but one that stands out as a favorite is the first issue of Web.   I recall the story being so different from the other older Spidey stories I had read, plus there was the black costume, which was a strange new thing for me.  I remember this issue and the others in the stack stayed there for years, getting more and more worn and eventually disappearing as they either got thrown out or taken.  Years later, when I finally got my copy of Web of Spider-Man #1, I found it strange to hold a copy that wasn’t tattered and smelling of hair products and cigarettes…

Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 8:43am EST

some of my favorite comics 23

Mighty Crusaders #13 is another childhood yard sale buy, and it introduced me to Archie's universe of heroes.  As listeners of the podcast know, I'm a fan of these characters (especially in the 1960s series), and Archie is once again bringing the Mighty Crusaders back in 2012.  This comic was so intriguing to me at the time because it was full of colorful, old-timey heroes.  It was drawn in an older style thanks to Dick Ayers pencils, which I enjoyed.  As I said, it was colorful, but in such a way that the colors were full, bright, and fun.  I even loved the lettering stlye by Bill Yoshida.  There was a main story, which the cover advertised, and a back-up story focusing on The Fox by the same creative team.  This was the last issue of this particular series, but I've always been on the lookout for the first twelve issues, of which I own about half as of this writing.  Despite it looking like a kid-targeted series, you can bet I'll be giving the new Archie series a try.

Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 7:41am EST

some of my favorite comics 22

Invasion #3 from DC Comics.  Whe I was a kid, I walked into the grocery store one day with my family, and there on the magazine rack inside the door was Invasion #3.  I hadn't seen the first two issues before that (not that I recall, anyway), and this one made my young jaw drop.  All those heroes on the cover!  All those heroes inside!  United to face a global threat of alien invasion! So many ill in a full page shot of hospital beds!  I would hunker down there beside the rack and flip through the pages, so excited about this comic.  As I said, the magazine rack (more like shelves) was right beside the entrance to the store, and I remember many times hunched there getting a blast of cold air whenever someone entered the store in winter. I don't know if this was one of those times, but if it was, I wouldn't have noticed as entranced as I was.  I have since bought issues 1 and 2, but as yet haven't read them. 

Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 7:35pm EST

some of my favorite comics 21

Outlaws of the West #84 from Charlton Comics.  This was probably my first western comic; if not, it was my first Charlton western comic.  This issue was given to me (or traded for something) by a friend of mine back in grade school.  It's one of my favorite comics merely because of the memory/nostalgia of it; I remember little about the contents.  What stuck out to me at the time was the details of the Charlton printing when this comic was made: the colors were a bit blotchy and the bottoms of the pages sometimes had serrated cut patterns.  I also remember the western dialect used in the stories was heavy.  Overall, probably not a great comic, but it'll always stick in my mind affectionately.

Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 7:24pm EST

some of my favorite comics 20

If you were a kid in the 70s/80s, book and record sets were fun because everytime you heard a chime it gave you permission to turn pages.  How authoritarian! Of course, the only thing better than a book and record set was a COMIC book and record set.  When I was very young and listening to my grandparents' big floor model record player, I'd occasionally get comic book/record sets to listen to.  At some point, someone gave me Star Trek: Passage to Moauv, and I enjoyed listening to it many times. I probably haven't heard it since I was a kid, but it is still stored with my collection, joined by many other comic book/record sets.  Considering my later love of Star Trek, this one deserves to be dug out of storage and re-experienced.  If you'd like to experience some of these sets (and find mp3s of the records), here's a link you might want to try:

Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

some of my favorite comics 19 The Sensational She-Hulk #7 was the first issue of this series I picked up at a local gas station when I was young.  The depiction of an old Marvel monster on the cover made me buy it.  Once I read it, the book was a revelation.  The old fourth-wall-breaking gag was in full effect as part of this book's makeup.  John Byrne was having tons of fun being humorous with the readers as She-Hulk would talk to them and integrate conventions of the comic book into her story. 
It was also fun to see semi-obscure characters given something to do, as U.S.1 (from his own short-lived series), Razorback (from old Spidey comics), Blonde Phantom (a golden age character), and Xemnu the Titan (the old Marvel monster who also appeared in issue of Incredible Hulk and The Defenders) all played a part in the tale.
I couldn't afford to keep buying this title at the time, but I have since sought out and read most of the rest of Byrne's She-Hulk issues.  He worked on #1-8, then took about 20 issues off before returning to do another 20 issues. 
Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 1:40pm EST

Here's a link to a former blog entry for The Amazing Spider-Man paperback book reprinting the first several issues of that title, as well as Amazing Fantasy #15:
As the entry says, this is where I first read Spidey's first several issues, although I had previously read the origin story elsewhere.  I remember being a kid in the family vehicle reading this little paperback full of old Spider-Man stories.  Fond memories are wrapped up in the first appearances of Doc Ock, Lizard, The Tinkerer, and Sandman... and it was in color, unlike many other paperback reprints.
Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 9:55pm EST

some of my favorite comics 17 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe vol.2 (Deluxe Edition) #16 was the 3rd issue of this series I bought when I was young.  I was and still am obsessed with character handbooks thanks to these Marvel Handbooks.  This issue began a five issue spotlight on the "dead" Marvel characters.  At the time, I thought it was the coolest thing to read about these characters' histories and how they died-- especially since I hadn't heard of many of them.  I waited quite impatiently for each new issue of the "dead" to come out.  So, in the spirit of Halloween, I present this as one of my old favorites.  It's still fun to go through these five issues and see how many of the characters have remained "dead," and how many have returned from the grave...
Category:favorite comics -- posted at: 3:16pm EST