Nov 26, 2014
There is no amount of conversation in the interview that follows that will possibly satisfy a 1970s comic books fan such as myself. Look, I have read and studied comics all the way back to the dawn of time and there is no era I enjoy more than the four-color symphonies produced from about 1969 to 1978. Why?
JASON SACKS podcast excerpt: "The 1970s was an interesting decade from a creator's perspective because it was the first major wave of fans to become comic book professionals. People like the Friedrich brothers, Jim Starlin, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman. These were the first true comics fans to come out of the fan movement of the 1960s and their biggest ambition in life was to write for comics."
In no particular order: Giant-Size X-Men. Howard the Duck. Man-Thing. Nova. Thing vs. Hulk. Human Torch vs. Ice-Man. The Invaders. The Defenders. E-Man. Conan the Barbarian and Roy Thomas. Red Sonja and Frank Thorne. Atlas Comics. George Perez, Steve Gerber, Neal Adams and Denis O’Neil. R. Crumb, Denis Kitchen and the undergrounds. Frank Frazetta paintings. Wait – there’s more. Warren reprints of The Spirit. Green Lantern/Green Arrow drug stories. The Death of Gwen Stacy. Superman vs. Spider-Man. Superman vs. Muhammad Ali. Star Wars. Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth. Great Fantastic Four adventures. Two Captain Marvels. Prez. Plop! Crazy.
KEITH DALLAS podcast excerpt: "In the 1980s I lived in a part of Brooklyn where Elliot S! Maggin ran for office -- assemblyman, I think. He didn't win. But I would see his campaign signs and say, 'That's the guy who writes Superman!'"
Black comics that weren’t actually black but seemed it at the time, including Black Lois Lane and Black Green Lantern. How about subsequent Black comics that were more Black than that, including Black Panther Luke Cage: Hero for Hire, Blade the Vampire Killer, Brother Voodoo, and even Tony Isabella’s Black Lightning. Steranko’s History of Comics. The explosion of comics fandom as an industry, including the first Comic-Con, the first Overstreet Guide, and the development of a resale marketplace for original comic book pages. The Comic Buyers Guide and Murray Bischoff.
JASON SACKS podcast excerpt: "The Defenders were this loose amalgamation of second-rate superheroes. Nighthawk was a rip-off of Batman. There was The Hulk, Dr. Strange, and Valkyrie. And there was a wonderful 10-part storyline in which all the heroes go through great scenes of existential doubt. It became a satire of the 1970s self-help movement. There was a prison drama in the middle of it. It went to all kinds of wild and crazy places!"
I was a teen-ager and I couldn’t wait for the new comics to be delivered on Wednesdays to the Krauszer’s Dairy Store a short bike ride from my house, or for the Braunsteins to bring the latest issues to monthly Fans of Central Jersey meetings at the North Brunswick, New Jersey, Recreation Center. For these reasons and many more, I’m like a pig in mud reading the latest installment of Twomorrows Publishing’s American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1970s, written by Jason Sacks and edited by Keith Dallas. I could get lost in the stories, pictures and memories of this fantastic volume for days, maybe weeks. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy and doing the same. (And in the interests of full disclosure, I must mention that I have a title of my own coming out from Twomorrows in 2015. But that had no influence on my decision to feature this book; all my best comics memories originate in the ‘70s. And that’s the truth!)
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Keith Dallas Facebook • Twitter • Watch Keith Dallas talk about American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1960s on Mr. Media! (2013)