Back Issue v1 #52, 2011 - Celebrating horror comics from the 1970s, the articles feature mostly DC characters: Cain, Abel, Madam Xanadu, Black Orchid and others. One article briefly covers Charlton horror comics from the same era, highlighting the work of Steve Ditko. Other features in this fanzine include artists Gerry Talaoc and Sergio Aragones. Bernie Wrightson is interviewed (see interior page below) and also illustrates the breathtaking cover. See more Back Issue issues.

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Frank Buck #70
Frank Buck v1 #70, 1950 - Exploits of the famous big game hunter are finally captured for the comic book medium. Haphazard writing and primitive artwork fill the issue, not uncommon for the time period. Wally Wood appears to have contributed at least partial pencils and inks on all of the stories. He often collaborated with artist Harry Harrison early in his career, and this could be one of those examples. Unfortunately, the draftsmanship is pretty bad and Wood's unique style is barely recognizable. One bright spot is his handiwork on the opening of "Making of a Killer" (see interior page below). This is number 1 of 2 Frank Buck issues with Wood art and/or covers. Find >this issue or more >Wood or >Frank Buck issues on ebay.
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"The Spoor of the Elephant Rustlers" Wood (partial?) story pencils and inks 8 pages (1 page in duotone) = **
"Gentlemen of the Jungle" Wood (partial?) story pencils and inks 8 pages = **
"Making of a Killer" Wood (partial?) story pencils and inks 5 pages = **
"Tiger Plague of N'Gessa" Wood (partial?) story pencils and inks 8 pages = **

Wally Wood
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Turok Son of Stone / Four Color Comics v2 #596 (#1), 1954 - In search of food and water, two Native Americans enter an underground cavern and emerge into a new world. A vast, undiscovered valley somehow contains creatures from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras. Turok and Andar survive attacks by ancient beasts and dinosaurs before befriending a tribe of stone age people. This story was reprinted in >Golden Comics Digest #31. This Dell golden age adventure comic marks the key first appearances of both characters. See more Turok or key first issues.
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"Turok Son of Stone and the World Below" 33 pages

1st Turok appearance

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Action Comics v1 #413, 1972 - Along with some new Superman and Metamorpho stories, this issue also contains an Eclipso tale from House of Secrets #65 (art by Alex Toth). Other artists in this DC bronze age superhero comic include Curt Swan. Cover by Nick Cardy. 

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Walt Disney's Comics and Stories v1 #207, 1957 - Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge compete in a miner's competition to win a uranium mine. The only problem? Gladstone Gander is competing as well. Carl Barks thinks of several brilliant scenes where Gladstone's legendary luck comes into play. The drawings capture the characters' intentions and emotions with ease. Note the interior page below, where Donald and Scrooge show a shared hatred of Gladstone with nearly identical stances and expressions. This story was later reprinted in >Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #379. Barks' ventriloquist-themed cover also meets expectations. Other artists in this Dell golden age humor comic include Paul Murry. This is number 167 of 278 Walt Disney's Comics and Stories issues with Barks art and/or covers (not including reprints). Find >this issue or more >Barks or >Walt Disney's Comics and Stories issues on ebay. 
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Untitled mining contest story Barks pencils and inks 10 pages = ****

Carl Barks
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Lone Wolf and Cub v1 #43, 1991 - An attacker on horseback seemingly appears from nowhere, catching our hero off guard. Mike Ploog employs a subtle Z shaped path for the reader's eye to follow. The diagonals bring added excitement to the scene. I even like how the horse is maniacally threatening. Other artists in this issue include Goseki Kojim. This is number 7 of 7 Lone Wolf and Cub issues with Ploog art and/or covers. Find >this issue or more >Ploog or >Lone Wolf and Cub issue on ebay.
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Ploog cover painting = ***

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Creepy #100
Creepy v1 #100, 1978 - An unnamed city experiences wanton crime and destruction through a city-wide blackout. Oriented in a horizontal format, Alex Nino lays out his pages (except the opening splash) into six vertical panel grids. As the story is told as a sequence of events, the format works rather beautifully. Each panel is meticulous in its design and purpose. Nino's varied drawings ensure there's maximum clarity with little monotony. Other artists in this Warren bronze age horror magazine include John Severin, Luis Bermejo and Russ Heath. This is number 6 of 14 Creepy issues with Nino art and/or covers (not including reprints). Find more >Nino or >Creepy issues on ebay.
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"They're Going to be Turning Out the Lights" Nino story pencils and inks 9 pages (black and white) = ****

Alex Nino
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Original page from Batman #376

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Tarzan #81
Tarzan v1 #81, 1956 - Trapped in the cleft of a cliff, Dan-El fends off a gang of killers led by Nagopa the witch man. Russ Manning varies his layouts,  his own style progressing quite nicely. His animal renditions are especially good this issue, staring with the dangerously lunging lion on the first page. Other artists in this Dell golden age adventure comic include Jesse Marsh. This is number 39 of 132 Tarzan issues with Manning art and/or covers (not including reprints). Find >this issue or more >Manning or >Tarzan issues on ebay.
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Untitled Manning Brothers of the Spear story pencils and inks 6 pages = ***

Russ Manning
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Joe Kubert
Our Army at War v1 #233 featuring Sgt. Rock, 1971 - A renegade GI named Johnny Doe makes short work of the enemy, and anyone else that gets in his way, including civilians. There's a nuance and complexity to the story that Joe Kubert captures perfectly. Varying perspectives and changing panel shapes, the artist holds the reader's attention from start to finish. Kubert's strong sense of design also permeates the layouts (see interior page below). This story was later reprinted in >DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #18. Other artists in this DC bronze age war comic include Sam Glanzman. This is number 167 of 235 Our Army at War issues with Kubert art and/or covers (not including reprints). Find >this issue or more >Kubert or >Our Army At War issues on ebay.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
"Head Count" Kubert story pencils and inks 12 pages = ****


Joe Kubert
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Jack Kirby
Challengers of the Unknown v1 #6, 1959 - In two separate adventures, the Challengers are forced to become performers in an interplanetary circus and an uncharted island endows magical powers on June, the Challengers' unofficial fifth member. Jack Kirby's cover is disappointingly short of detail,  but his story art meets expectations. Wally Wood's inking continues to add clear definition and greater richness and texture. Of the two, "Captives of the Space Circus" is more memorable due to its creative setting and characters. This story was later reprinted in >Super DC Giant #S-25. This bronze silver age science fiction comic was published by DC. This is number 6 of 8 Challengers of the Unknown issues with Kirby art and/or covers (not including reprints) and number 3 of 5 Challengers of the Unknown issues with Wood art and/or covers.
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Kirby cover pencils and inks = **
"The Sorceress of Forbidden Valley" Kirby story pencils / Wood inks 10 pages = ***
"Captives of the Space Circus" Kirby story pencils / Wood inks 15 pages = ***


Jack Kirby / Wally Wood
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Quiz:
Which comic had the only collaboration between Jeff Jones and Barry Windsor Smith?
Answer

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Battle #55



1. Battle v1 #55, 1957 - Though relatively short, Al Williamson's story about a World War II tank battle is a masterpiece. The openness of his panels allow the reader to flow from one scene to the next, while others suggest the tank's claustrophobic nature. Williamson's exceptional drawings are further augmented by his precise inking. Shadows are meticulously rendered and placed to infuse dramatic tension at the right moments. Overall, the story is among the finest works of his career. This story has also been reprinted in War is Hell #1. Other artists in this issue include Gene Colan, Bob Powell and George Woodbridge. Cover by John Severin. This is number 1 of 3 Battle issues with Williamson art and/or covers. This Atlas golden age war comic is also one of my Top 10 Williamson comics. Find >this issue or more >Williamson or >Battle issues on ebay.
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"Helpless" Williamson story pencils (Roy Krenkel inks) 5 pages = *****

Al Williamson
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Happy Comics #21
Happy Comics v1 #21, 1947 - Three Frank Frazetta works benefit this issue, all illustrations for single page text stories. Both "High Flying Squirrel" and "Friendly Spider" are drawn straightforwardly with few additional details. A third story, "Sharpy the Salmon", displays a tad less enthusiasm and effort. Other artists in this golden age humor comic include Al Hubbard and Jack Bradbury. This is number 2 of 18 Happy Comics issues with Frazetta art and/or covers. Find >this issue or more >Frazetta or >Happy Comics issues on ebay.
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"The High Flying Squirrel" Frazetta text illo pencils and inks 1 page = ***
"Sharpy the Salmon" Frazetta text illo pencils and inks 1 page = **
"The Friendly Spider" Frazetta text illo pencils and inks 1 page = ***

Frank Frazetta
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The Unseen #15

The Unseen v1 #15, 1954 - No Alex Toth art in this Standard golden age horror comic, despite what some comic book price guides say. However, Toth did draw 4 other issues of the Unseen. Find >Toth or >Unseen issues on ebay.

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