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  1. #1
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    Default The Fifth Day of Classic Comics Christmas 2012

    Today's selection is not the title you turn to when you're looking for an innovative exploration of the medium's potentrial or a fresh insight into the human condition. But if you're craving good old-fashioned super-hero action, you can't go wrong with

    #8. Giant-Size Spider-Man #1-6

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    Why? Well, there's Ross Andru, who pencils the first five issues (#6 is a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man Special #4). I love his Spidey to begin with and Andru really pulls out the stops here. The writing's not bad either, with great stories from Len Wein in #1-2 and a trio of tales (one good, one very good, one "meh") from then-current Amazing scripter Gerry Conway. But ultimately it's the co-stars selected that make this book--which really ought to be called Giant-Size Marvel Team-Up--so memorable: Dracula (it shouldn't work but damned if it doesn't), Master of Kung Fu, Doc Savage, The Punisher and Man-Thing.

    #2, featuring Spidey and Shang-Chi manipulated by Fu Manchu into fighting each other, is the highlight of the series but the clever Savage story in #3 (in which the heroes battle the same menace 40 years apart and thus never actually meet) and the introduction of the corrupt Deterrence Research Corporation and its bat-shit crazy president Moses Magnum in #4 are also top-notch.

    Oh hell, they're all good!

    Cei-U!
    I summon the big fun!
    It's hardly a secret that something is badly wrong with me. - Dan B. in the Underworld
    I am ... a condescending prick sometimes. But I usually mean to be. - Paradox
    I'm not infallible. I just act like it. - Me

  2. #2
    I say thee nay! icctrombone's Avatar
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    #8 Shadow state #1-5
    Broadway Comics 1995
    Writer: Jim Shooter And Various Artists: Stefano Gaudiano




    This company was Jim Shooters Third attempt at running a comic company and I think it rates right there with Valiants stories and concepts. Shadow State appears to have been planned as a Anthology title with “Til Death do us part” as the main story and Blood S.C.R.E.A.M. as an accompanying counterpoint to it. The first 2 issues also had Fatale as a backup. The story was about a married couple , both criminals, who are transformed into “Image comic “ characters by magic gone wrong. It seems Troy is a big comic fan and he interrupts a magic spell by a cellmate and it results in a wish/fantasy fulfillment transforming him
    and his wife into big ,no pupils people in the style of the Then Rob Liefeld books. Of course he’s a brute and uses this for bad intentions while his wife doesn’t want to stay that way. The first 5 issues comprise an arc , which is nice .
    I don’t imagine it would be too expensive to get these books but it’s kinda hard because they’re scarce.


    As you can see, It's a problem living in these oversize bodies





    Last edited by icctrombone; 12-17-2012 at 07:10 AM.
    Life is what you make it.

  3. #3
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    On the fifth day of Christmas I give unto thee...

    The Books of Ballads and Sagas #1-4 (Oct 1995-Jan 1997, Green Man Press)

    Charles Vess creating a book on a subject he is passionate about with a little help from some friends like Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, Jane Yolen and others. As Vess says in his introduction to the first issue: You are holding a dream in your hands. It’s a dream that all artists have; to be able to make a living by producing work that signifies a deep personal satisfaction.”

    In these four black and white issues, Vess and friends adapt a number of classic tales from folklore, most of which appeared as folk songs somewhere in their history. Some are collected and some brand new. All of them are illustrated by Charles Vess producing some of the best work of his career. Vess is one of my personal favorite artists, and this series is a tour de force of what he does best. Some of the tales included were personal favorites of mine before I saw them here (Thomas the Rhymer and Tamlin foremost among them), and others were either new to me or tales I knew of but had never heard. Along the way we also get discussions of the evolution of some of these tales, recommendations for musical versions of some of the ballads, a sample of Linda Medley’s Castle Waiting, and other treasures.

    The contents include adaptations of the following tales, all illustrated by Vess:

    #1
    -Thomas the Rhymer with Sharyn mcCrumb
    -The False Knight of the Road with Neil Gaiman
    -Skade with Robert Walton
    And an article on the music of Faery by Terry Windling

    #2
    -King Henry with Jane Yolen
    -Sovay with Charles DeLint
    -and Skade with Robert Walton continues

    #3
    -Barbara Allen with Midori Snyder
    -The Galtee Farmer with Jeff Smith
    -The Daemon Lover with Delia Sherman
    -an article on southern folk ballads by W.K. McNeil
    -a Vess miscellany, a collection of pin ups and art pieces plus the short story Scarecrow written and illustrated by Vess

    #4
    -Tam-Lin by Vess
    -Twa Corbies with Charles DeLint
    And a 6 page preview of Linda Medley’s castle Waiting: The Curse of Brambley Hedge

    Each features a full color cover painting by Vess as well.

    Cover to #1

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    The series is also collected in a lovely hardcover edition. This is one of the few series I like enough to own both the individual issues and the hardcover and not even consider getting rid of one or the other.

    Now get the minstrels to tune their instruments, there are songs to sing for this holiday!

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  4. #4
    Bronze Age Fan AZBarbarian's Avatar
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    8. Preacher Special: Saint of Killers (1996) #1-4

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    When I read Preacher, this character made an impact. His origin story is simply pretty cool. This is my favorite cover of the limited series.

  5. #5
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    #8. Giant-Size Spider-Man #1-6
    This was a great series. Just a ton of fun. And I really love the MoKF issue.

    When I was a kid there were a couple of grocery stores that always seemed to have Marvel Giant-Size books in cellophane two-packs. This was easily five or six years after they had appeared on the newsstands. I have no idea who packaged them, but I got quite a few of the books that way.

  6. #6

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    8. Atari Force #1-5

    Now, I know what you're thinking: But Atari Force ran for 20 issues! You can't just include the first five, that's cheating! Okay, clam down rhetorical construct. I'm not talking about the beloved ongoing series so many of us are fans of. I'm instead talking about the original Atari Force:




    You see, back before DC put out their all-too short sci-fi classic, they did an earlier run of Atari Force for Atari. This five issue series wasn't available on newsstands or at comic shops; instead, copies came included with select cartridges for the Atari 2600 game console.

    That's where I read them. And to be honest, I haven't read them since, because they are kind of hard to track down and can be a little pricey when you do. But the series still has a special place for me, for a couple of reasons. My comic book collecting narrative, as I have told before, begins in 1984 with the first comic I ever purchased, Blackhawk #269. But recently I've begun to suspect that, lost in the mists of memory, I must have been reading some comics before that time. Archie, for instance, seems to have some kind of instinctive hold on me even though I don't actually remember ever buying any issues of it. But the one comic I am sure I read before Blackhawk, and which therefore helped set me on the path to comic book fun, is this Atari Force series.

    Just which games I had that included these I'm not sure. And I know I never got all five issues. But I very clearly remember reading this and enjoying it, which is no doubt why Atari Force is one of the first comics I started buying once I became a comic reader.

    Also, the comics themselves are very cool. Written by Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas, they have art by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano. More, the story is a direct prequel to the ongoing series, as the events in it -- which take place 20 years before the ongoing -- directly set up the plot in the second run.

    I've been trying to track these down cheaply for while now with no luck, both fof nostalgia and just to read the backstory. No luck yet, but for all the reasons above, this one has to make my list. Plus, I really wanted to include Atari Force, 12 issue limit or not.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    8. The Book of Ballads and Sagas by Charles Vess and friends.

    MRP beat me to it, but this series really is Vess' masterpiece, with absolutely gorgeous art.

    #2 is my favorite issue for "Sovay," a story of love, disguise, devotion, and robbery, as a young woman tests the loyalty of her fiancee through a gauntlet of courage that may cost him his life. R-rated it may be, but wow, is it beautiful.

    All of it is beautiful, as well as superbly researched, for those with a penchant for authentic UK folklore and occasional Norse mythology. Hard to find? Yes. But gorgeous.
    Last edited by Polar Bear; 12-17-2012 at 08:25 AM.
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
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  8. #8
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 1.





    I was probably hard-wired to love this series. I first read both Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life some time in junior high. I first read Lord of the Trees and The Mad Goblin early in high school in that beautiful Ace Double that I picked up in The Paperback Bookworm on 16th Street. I was hooked. I was a Wold Newton fanatic.

    Fast forward and we have Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill going whole hog Wold Newton with virtually the entirety of Victorian fiction. But it wasn't just a case of spot-the-character. There was a full-fledged story that propelled forward at the breakneck speed of a penny dreadful. A steampunk spectacle that is equal parts Moore's story and O'Neill's incredible rendering of a world that has true heroes, evil villains and many who lie somewhere in between.

  9. #9
    Longstanding Member MWGallaher's Avatar
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    8. Marvel Feature #1-12, 1971-1973

    Has a Marvel comics tryout series ever been as successful as this one?
    The first three issues introduce The Defenders, which was to be my favorite Bronze Age Marvel title, running for over 150 issues. And although the "non-team" premise was the most fun part about the Defenders, I think the original trio of Hulk, Sub-Mariner, and Dr. Strange was the best. I really just love the idea of these three adventuring together. As I was beginning my exploration of the Marvel Universe, it was this team that gave me the first 3 of my favorite Marvel characters.
    Marvel Feature also treated readers to the reintroduction of Dr. Strange, in a solo story that undid the status on which he had ended his own comic a couple of years before, paving the way for an ongoing, long-running, and successful revival, first in Marvel Premiere, then in his own comic again.

    And as further proof that Marvel Feature was perfectly wonderful in every way. even the reprints were real treasures: Sub-Mariner stories from his mid-50's revival, drawn by Bill Everett in what I might have thought was his prime if I hadn't seen what he had yet in store for us in his final years!

    But it was issue 4 that introduced me to my very favorite Marvel character, the astonishing Ant-Man! Okay, maybe this run wasn't successful in the sense of initiating a long-running series, but I look at it as Marvel's first real miniseries. The premise--Henry Pym is stuck at a height of a few inches and separated from his usual support group of Avengers--was not going to last for a long term run, but it makes for a dandy finite series, one that neatly reintroduces his arch enemies , the (up-to-then) rarely-used Egghead, and Whirlwind (whose true identity was blatently hinted at but not explicitly given, a touch that I got a big kick out of). I had seen Herb Trimpe's work a time or two before I got MF #4 off the stands, and had always kind of liked it, but his Ant-Man I loved at first sight. Trimpe was the perfect artist for this comic, with great skill at rendering the microscopic perspectives. His Jack Davis-inspired work was packed with personality and adventurousness, his Egghead a leering sleaze, his Henry Pym an upright inspiration, his ants almost gleaming with an alien sci-fi quality on the given visual scales. I was disappointed that Trimpe left the series, although I console myself with the thought that maybe the artist that inherited the strip, a young P. Craig Russell, may not have had the same career trajectory without this early opportunity, and comics would be a far sadder place without Russell's works over the years.

    And finally, in its last two issues, Marvel starts its second team-up series, this one starring the Thing (with The Hulk and Iron Man). I'd already gotten hooked on the team-up comics thanks to Brave and Bold at DC, and I'd been buying Marvel Team-Up, but I never really liked Spider-Man's team-up appearances. Ben Grimm made a far better co-star, I thought, and these stories, with art by Jim Starlin, were a lot more fun than Spidey's team-ups to me. Evidently Marvel figured a new #1 was warranted, and Ben moved on to Marvel Two-In-One, with this comic retired for a few years. Bad for "Marvel Feature", but good for me, since the cancellation (in name only, really) made this terrific comic eligible for Classic Comics Christmas 2012!
    Last edited by MWGallaher; 12-17-2012 at 10:06 AM.
    "We're Santa's elves, and we're here to tell you about ourselves!"--Summer and Eve

  10. #10
    Senior Member MDG's Avatar
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    8. The Shadow #1-12 (DC, 1973-75)

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    I don't know if it's the best, but probably the definitive run of the character, again from when DC was trying a lot of different things and when comic fans and pulp fans were still closely linked.

    The series probably had some of Denny O'Neill's most consistent work, and Kaluta captured the 30s mood extremely well. (I've heard stories that both Alex Toth and Jim Steranko were approached to draw the book, and while I'd've loved to have seen Toth on it, I doubt either would've lasted more than 3 issues.)

    I have to say a few words about Kaluta's replacement. I'll admit that at the time, the transition to Frank Robbins was a bit of a shock--I think there are a couple people here who still haven't gotten over it--but he did a fine job on it. Stylistically, I can't think of two artists more diametrically opposed than Kaluta and Robbins, but Robbins also had the feel of a 30s adventure strip (from a Canniff/Crane tradition rather than from the Raymond/Foster approach), and it's hard to beat his action scenes.

    I don't know why the switch to Robbins (my guess is that the man could meet deadlines) or the final switch to Cruz (fans probably wanted the more "elegant" look kaluta had--I should go back and check the letter columns) but, like a lot of books from this time, the writing was on the wall.
    "It's just lines on paper, folks!"

  11. #11
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWGallaher View Post
    8. Marvel Feature #1-12, 1971-1973
    Since this is my pick for tomorrow, do you mind if I just cut-and-paste your post?

    Cei-U!
    I summon a serious case of the lazies!
    It's hardly a secret that something is badly wrong with me. - Dan B. in the Underworld
    I am ... a condescending prick sometimes. But I usually mean to be. - Paradox
    I'm not infallible. I just act like it. - Me

  12. #12
    Cute.5 Aaron King's Avatar
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    8. Enigma #1-8 (March 1993-October 1993)

    I'm pretty sure I've used this for one of my previous CCCs. This is one of my favorite Vertigo series of all time. It has existentialism, comic book obsession, an engaging mystery, and a funny narrator, all illustrated by the fantastic Duncan Fegredo.
    All-Star Western, Casanova, Criminal, Daredevil, Dark Horse Presents, Funnies, Hellboy/BPRD, King City, Orc Stain, Snarked, Unwritten, Usagi Yojimbo

  13. #13
    Variant Hunter METAROG's Avatar
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    8. The Destructor 1-4 1975

    This is yet another series I remember getting off that drug store spinner rack… in fact I think I got 2 or 3 issues at one time. The origin is similar to Spider-Man in many ways but with an edgier tone. Although not the most expertly crafted series it was a fun ride through superhero troubles. Not the most original stuff but pretty well done especially in the eyes of a young Metarog!

    The first couple issues had some nice Ditko/Wood art and I really like the cover on #1 (with Wood inks). The last two issues are not the greatest but still okay considering. This was an exciting little series with some good action and average storytelling. One of my favorites-more for nostalgic reasons than anything else but still a cool read even today.

    30 cent variant set finally finished!

  14. #14
    Longstanding Member MWGallaher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    Since this is my pick for tomorrow, do you mind if I just cut-and-paste your post?

    Cei-U!
    I summon a serious case of the lazies!
    After your expressed affection for the Andru/Everett team last year, I had a hunch this one might be on your list, too.

    The more I think about it, I believe Marvel Feature had the highest success rate of any "tryout" comics, with either 66% or 75% of its features (depending on whether you count Dr. Strange, and disregarding the Sub-Mariner reprints as "filler" rather than "tryout") going on to long-running series success!
    "We're Santa's elves, and we're here to tell you about ourselves!"--Summer and Eve

  15. #15
    Senior Member mrc1214's Avatar
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    8. Brat Pack 1-5

    Written by Rick Veitch and self published under King Hell Press. It's an extremely dark take on superheroes and sidekicks. It takes what that whacky shrink said years ago and runs with it. By no means is it easy to read and I'm not even sure I would pick it up to read again. Its shocking and on my list because it left one heck of an impression on me. And obviously many other as comics like this are still be published today to show the dark side of superheroes. There is a homage to the Jason Todd death where the audience of a radio who will call in and vote to determine the final fate of the sidekicks.

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