I had a last minute chance to attend the Baltimore ComicCon this past Saturday. I was happy to have been able to make it even for just a day, which turns out to be the perfect amount of time to enjoy the show (unless you’re running a booth, of course). I caught up with Joe Keatinge for a bit (Mr. Glum thanks you, Joe!), which included giving me the Hard Sell to move to Portland. The rent situation actually made me reconsider for a second. Also, I got to meet Tom Scioli of Godland & the Myth of 8-Opus fame. I saw the original pages of his web comic, American Barbarian, and they were gigantic… probably the best way to read this comic.
In between booth hopping and catching up with folks, I dug up a few comics of interest.
I’ve always liked the cover for Green Lantern Corps #208 by Ed Hannigan & Joe Staton, Jan ’87, but I’ve never read the title. I finally decided to pick it up. Steve Englehart wrote it. Thinly veiled communist sympathizing using the alien, Kilowog, as the mouthpiece? Count me in! By “sympathizing”, I don’t mean spreading propaganda (notwithstanding the cover art), but it does not paint the Russians as moral villains the way most American entertainment did at that time. Instead, Englehart attempts to show the Soviet ideology… in a condensed 22 page monthly DC book kinda way. I wonder if sales dropped after this issue hit the stands. Anyway, look at the inking on that cover, as if it were inked with the largest, crappiest brush… so good!
I don’t know what it is about Marvel Comics’ splash pages during the early 70s, but I’ve seen a few really striking ones recently. Marvel Super Action #33 (reprinting Avengers #70, Jan ’70) has such a splash page. I’m not sure if it was Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, or Sal Buscema who came up with this type of post-Steranko, Eisner-esque solution… but I’m going with Sal on this one. I like Sal.
Manga Spider-Man #14 by Ryoichi Ikegami, July ’98. I don’t know much about this series, but it looked too good to pass up. I can’t tell if the original series was from the 80s or early 90s, but it’s pretty neat to see regardless.
Now for my favorite find in a while: “Dirty Job” written by Bob Haney and drawn by Alex Toth. It originally appeared in Our Army at War #241, Feb. 1972, but I found it reprinted in Sgt. Rock Special #11, March 1991… and what a find it was! I had never seen this story before, but it may be one of Toth’s best. He packs so much story and subtle behavior in the characters within a mere 4 pages. Well… more like 3 pages; the last page is unreal. A printed page, let alone a scan of the printed page, cannot do it justice. Imagine receiving the original art of this story for the first time, being hit over the head with the undeniable mastery of Toth’s decisions.
Not bad for a couple of bucks. Thanks to Bryan with a Y and to Roger and his Time Machine for the hook ups to the show!