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

    Damn, damn, damn, I am hard-pressed for time this morning and I hate giving short shrift to

    #5. Justice Society of America #1-10

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    We all know I loooooove the JSA and this is my favorite incarnation of comics' first super-hero team. A wonderful fun book that stood out like a diamond in a coal field amongst all its grim-n-gritty contemporaries, blessed with the clean open art of the late Mike Parobeck. Good stuff, Maynard!

    Cei-U!
    I hate being rushed!
    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
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    On the Eight Day of Christmas I give unto thee...

    The Spirit: The New Adventures #1-8 (Kitchen Sink, March 1998-Nov 1998)

    Eisner is a master craftsman, and the Spirit is perhaps his best known creation, and this series gave us a glimpse of others playing in Eisner’s Sandbox. Featuring a line up if stellar creators crafting tales of the Spirit’s adventures, each issue has a treasure to offer up.

    #1 features three 8 page Spirit stories by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, plus a classic pin up by Eisner.

    #2 features a story by Neil Gaiman and Eddie Campbell, one by Jim Vance and Dan Burr, and one by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra.

    #3 features a Brian Bolland cover, a 10 pager by Alan Moore and Daniel Torres and a 14 pages by Mark Kneece and Bo Hampton.

    #4 features a troy by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson, one by Mark Schultz and David Lloys and third by Mike Allred and friends.

    #5 features a full length story written and drawn by Paul Chadwick aith inks by John Nyberg.

    #6 features a Tim Bradstreet cover and stories by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, Scott Hampton, and Mark Kneece and Tim Bradstreet

    #7 features the work of Dennis Eichorn and Pete Poplaski, Eddie Campbelll, Marcus Moore and Pete Mullins, and Jay Stephens and Paul Pope.

    #8 features a full length story by Joe R. Landsdale and John Lucas.

    The stories capture the essence of the Spirit but offer unique creations by different voices. Each tale has its merits. Purists who only want to read Eisner’s Spirit may not enjoy this but I loved seeing some of these talents take on the Spirit and create something new and enjoyable.

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    Enjoy.
    -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

  3. #3
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    Skreemer #1-6
    by Peter Milligan, Brett Ewins, and Steve Dillon.

    I love Peter Milligan. I love many of his works.

    My list is mostly miniseries and has plenty in common with others' lists. My only self-imposed rule was nonredundancy. No repeating of writers or characters. For better or worse, this led to a list based around writers and characters. My scratch list read like:
    "Something with Spider-Man, Avengers, X-Men, Batman (no Batmans made the cut)... a crime noir comic... something by Dematteis, by Claremont, by Miller, by Milligan..."

    So this is my Milligan entry. Human Target and Enigma were both strong contenders.

    Skreemer is illustrated by Brett Ewins and Steve Dillon. Ewins isn't an artist I know well. Many a panel and face looks like Dillon art to me. The rest reminds me of John Byrne.

    I've had to do a ton of rereading to make this list, mostly on the choices I was less certain about and the comics which got cut they contended with. The ones never really in doubt thus kept getting pushed later and later.

    I almost had to review Skreemer without rereading any of it. But I squeezed time into my tight schedule (as you are all aware, I am very busy and important) to read the first issue. A real tour de force of an issue as it turns out. Most of what I had hoped to say is summarized in the fist issue, and better than I would have described it at that.

    My family name is Finnegan. My forebears survived, somehow, or I wouldn't be here now. We are the ones who got this far. I was born in an age called the Rebuilding. This is the story of the age that preceded it, the age of the Giant. And the greatest giant of all was the one calld Veto Skreemer, born the day the age was born. After the fall, the country was run by many presidents, held aloft by the violence of their gangs and the virulence of the age. It is now 38 years after the fall, 38 years into the Age of the Giant.
    This is set to the image of a crucified man with a destroyed face. We then jump back in time two days earlier to see that man tell us,
    You can't fight change, Veto. And the country is changing. Plague's wearing off. So many new drugs we can't control them. New food lines established... In short we are entering new times. We're creatures that thrived in certain conditions. Now those conditions are altering and a new type of creature will thrive. We're dinosaurs, Veto.



    The nonlinear storytelling allows the story to begin near the climax and slowly fill in the years and decades leading up to that point. Because this is more than the story of a man, it is the story of an age, from its beginning to its end.

    After the setting and main character is introduced, we then meet Charles Finnegan, grandfather of the narrator of our story and soon-to-be father to a side character from the "present". A good man to contrast with the star of the story. But he was born into a time that makes good men bad and bad men wicked.

    But again, this is the story of an age, and its end. Veto Skreemer knows this, for Veto Skreemer can see the future. He knows his attempts to fight against his coming fall will fail. But he fights anyway. What else can he do?

    Finnegan's Wake has been mentioned in comparison to a couple other comics. This comic alludes directly to, both the novel and the song repeatedly within the pages. I've never read the novel. Dubliners was too much for me, so I never moved on to harder Joyce. But I do love a good Irish drinking song. The song goes in a circle. A man lives then dies then lives again. I'm told the book is one without beginning or end. These ideas are discussed in great detail in Skreemer. With questions about morality and free will and choice. But it's all rather complicated. "Leave those things to God and James Joyce", Charles Finnegan used to say.

    formerly coke & comics

    Sleepwalker is Sandman done right. ~Tadhg

  4. #4
    Longstanding Member MWGallaher's Avatar
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    #5. Concrete #1-10 by Paul Chadwick, 1987-1988

    I'm astonished to realize that Concrete is 25 years old! It still feels so fresh and recent.

    Concrete is a masterpiece. This is "superpowers in the real world". It's thoughtful, it's soulful, it's heartbreaking and meaningful, and I expect to see this one ranking high on a lot of lists these last few days here, so I suspect many of you reading this know what it's about: Ronald Lithgow is transformed into "Concrete", a massive superpowered life form, kind of like The Thing. He tries to make the best of his life, and use his new form to good purpose in something more akin to the real world than most comic worlds (that is, there are no super-villains or mad scientists on the loose, criminals can't be conveniently discovered while on "midnight patrols", etc.).

    What I love is the depth of Chadwick's exploration of the psychological and societal consequences of this situation; in that respect, it is akin to my choice of a couple of days ago (Doll), in that it's that kind of science fiction that I love: take one thing and use its impact on the familiar world to explore humanity, ecology, and other such grand concepts. Concrete feels so genuine; sure, we've seen Ben Grimm bemoan his fate, but that's entertaining melodrama. With the fate of Ron Lithgow, we have the chance to focus on the details (since the series is not obligated to devote pages and pages to superhero pyrotechnics). Hence, we discover just how crippling such a power is, and share in the joy of discovering how this handicap can come to be appreciated as a gift, as our hero seeks out purpose and satisfaction in a life forever removed from ordinary humanity.
    "We're Santa's elves, and we're here to tell you about ourselves!"--Summer and Eve

  5. #5
    Longstanding Member MWGallaher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris N View Post
    Finnegan's Wake has been mentioned in comparison to a couple other comics. This comic alludes directly to, both the novel and the song repeatedly within the pages. I've never read the novel. Dubliners was too much for me, so I never moved on to harder Joyce. But I do love a good Irish drinking song. The song goes in a circle. A man lives then dies then lives again. I'm told the book is one without beginning or end. These ideas are discussed in great detail in Skreemer. With questions about morality and free will and choice. But it's all rather complicated. "Leave those things to God and James Joyce", Charles Finnegan used to say.
    Well, now I know what I'll have to dig out of my long boxes next. I'm sure I bought Skreemer but I didn't appreciate it back then. Now, even from your brief synopsis, I can see where the themes of this comic are echoing FW, so I'm looking forward to delving into Skreemer more carefully now!
    "We're Santa's elves, and we're here to tell you about ourselves!"--Summer and Eve

  6. #6
    Nice Melons DubipR's Avatar
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    5- DESPERADOES
    1-5 (Image) 1997



    Mix the grittiness of a revisionist western and mix it with 90s X-File paranormal craziness and you have Desperadoes. Writer Jeff Mariotte and John Cassaday gave 5 incredible issues of Western goodness. This is the first time I heard of John Cassaday and was blown away with his detail to each panel. Be it the splotch of mud on the boot to the scorched iron after a bullet passes through the barrel, I was enthralled with Cassaday. Mariotte, I was a fan of the Image books he was writing. It was great seeing a Western on the racks in an age when there wasn't any counter-cape books that didn't come from the big companies. The first 4 issues center around the main antagonist Gideon Brood and his band of gunslingers chasing after the man who killed his wife and child. Shotguns, Indians, Horses, Barren desert landscapes and creepy killers.

    I still pull out this series every year and re-read it.
    "If you live among wolves you have to act like a wolf."

  7. #7
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    5. Marvel Universe #s 1-7 (Marvel, Jun-Dec 1998)

    When I was assembling my list, it occurred to me that mine might be the only pick of Marvel Universe. Instead, it's shown up at least twice already, further confirming my conclusion that the Classics clan tends to have darned good taste.

    I'm a real sucker for out-of-(or maybe I should say pre- &/or retro-)continuity stories, & of course that was this series' raison d'etre. I don't know if these all-too-few issues were the labor of love that Roger Stern made them seem like, but I obviously read them that way.

    (And it was nice, BTW, to get a bit of a callback to the series last year with the Doctor Strange from the Marvel Vault one-shot, based on a never-used Stern script for MU.)



    Last edited by Dan B. in the Underworld; 12-20-2012 at 08:01 AM.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  8. #8
    Senior Member MDG's Avatar
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    5. Skull 1-6 (Rip Off Press/Last Gasp, 70-72)

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    While I read comics as a kid, I really came to be a fan in the early 70s via EC and undergrounds (despite being 20 years too late for the former and not being old enough to legally purchase the latter). So, obviously I'm going to have a soft spot for the book that most directly combined the two.

    Although it had a short run, it morphed from somewhat humorous dope-influenced horror, to somewhat straighter horror, to Lovecraft adaptations, to--best of all--original stories in the Lovecraft tradition. As with many undergrounds, the art is uneven, but plenty of great stuff by Greg Irons, Jaxon, and Corben.
    "It's just lines on paper, folks!"

  9. #9

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    5. Sinister House of Secret Love #1-4



    Secret House of Sinister's Love's sister series Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love has already made an appearance, so it's only fitting that I round out the pair, as these two were basically identical in terms of concept and contents. Fusing romance and horror, DC attempted to cash in on the gothic romance craze of the late 60's by putting out a comic that basically was a romance novel. Not only did they design the covers to imitate the look of romance novels of the time, the stories inside were usually full length stories as opposed to the little 6-8 pagers in most of the romance books. And since these comics were 48 and 52 pages, a full-length story was serious a whole novel's worth of romance, horror and adventure.

    Plus, the series featured some tremendous talent. Issue #3, for instance, has a 36 page epic penciled by Alex Toth. How can you beat that?

    Unfortunately, the gothic romance craze had apparently already peaked a couple of years before this, so DC was a bit late to the party. With #5, both series changed titles and with #6 switched to a regular DC horror anthology format, though both #5's are actually gothic romance epics created to run in the original series before the decision to change formats had been made.

    Here's the opening page of Toth goodness from #3:

    Last edited by Scott Harris; 12-20-2012 at 10:18 AM.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  10. #10
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    You've got the title backwards, Scott, as per both cover and indicia.

    Cei-U!
    I summon the scramble!
    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

  11. #11
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    5. Giant-size Conan the barbarian #1-5, Marvel comics.

    From what I understand reading the fan press, the giant-size Marvel comics were a stunt meant to generate some quick revenue for the cash-starved company. As such, one could have expected them to be little more than oversized fill-ins, with little impact on the respective series' course. Luckily for us readers, the creators of that era very often rose to the challenge and took advantage of the larger format to give us very significant stories, as we saw for example in Avengers and its celestial madonna saga.

    When it came to Conan, which was a top seller for Marvel at the time, we were in for a real treat. Roy Thomas, who's as much of a historian as a writer when it comes to telling stories, decided to use this special mag to adapt Robert E. Howard's sole novel featuring his Cimmerian hero, The hour of the dragon. Because the giant-size comics were not published monthly and had more pages, there was more space to tell the story with all the attention it deserved, and in addition we were treated to beautiful artwork by Gil Kane and Tom Sutton. (Sutton is an amazing inker, by the way. His own art style would suggest that he'd never work well as an inker on Kane and would smother his pencil lines with tiny brush dashes, but that's far from the case: here and in John Carter, Sutton did an outstanding job of respecting and enhancing the penciller's work).

    The first four issues featured the serialized adaptation, backed by text pieces and maps that help put the story in context; and as an added bonus, we also had reprints of some (then-) rare Conan stories by Barry Smith.

    The fifth issue, for reasons that elude me, skipped the rest of the adaptation and reprinted the Michael Moorcock-Roy Thomas collaboration(actually more of a James Cawthorn-Roy Thomas collaboration, but hey) on Conan the barbarian 14-15, in which the character Elric of Melniboné appears with his funny pointed hat (respect)! It also featured the only Conan cover drawn by Jack Kirby (as far as I know), albeit one where John Romita redid Conan's face.

    The rest of the adaptation of the hour of the dragon would eventually see print in Savagae sword of Conan #8 (art by Kane) and #10 (art by John Buscema).

    That short-lived series was really one to make a kid dream!

    People in white coats (science cartoons, updated daily) | Art Blog

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    You've got the title backwards, Scott, as per both cover and indicia.

    Cei-U!
    I summon the scramble!
    Maybe they have the title backwards!




    Although, it was probably me. Thanks!
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  13. #13
    Bronze Aged B.A.L.'s Avatar
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    #5 - 1963 #1-6 by Alan Moore and Various artists (Image, 1993)



    I lied when I said Aztek: The Ultimate Man was my only pick from the 90's. That's just a testament to how timeless this Alan Moore series is, that I'd even forgotten it had come out in that time period.

    This is Moore's homage to the Silver-Age era of comics, and he does it well. Many of the characters are re-imagined heroes from the Marvel Universe, and most of the stories are straight-forward and simple superhero fare, just like they would have been in 1963 with nothing too complex or dated -- the only hint of 90's comic-terror comes at the very end of the series in a surprise finale. Each issue features a different superhero tandem which leads up to issue six where they all come together in the Tomorrow Syndicate.

    Quick explanation of each:

    1. Mystery Incorporated - Fantastic Four re-imagined.
    2. The Fury - A Spider-Man/Daredevil hybrid.
    3. Tales of the Uncanny - Two stories, one features a Cap-type hero called U.S.A. and the other is The Hypernaut, a sci-fi tale starring an android.
    4. Tales From Beyond - Two stories, one starring the Hulk-esque N-Man and the other is Johnny Beyond, reminiscent of Dr. Strange.
    5. Horus, Lord of Light - A Thor/Dr. Fate hybrid.
    6. Tomorrow Syndicate - This is where they all meet up at Mount Rushmore, which is actually the top secret HQ of Inframan for the grand finale.



    There are all sorts of Easter eggs for fans of the Silver-Age to discover, as well as pin-ups, fake ads, etc. Great series that had me begging for more.
    Last edited by B.A.L.; 12-20-2012 at 10:26 AM.

  14. #14
    Mark Brodersen hondobrode's Avatar
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    Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman # 1-9



    First published in 1980, Reid Fleming is a long-running cult hit lasting almost two decades with less than a dozen issues to its credit. The star is an ornery milkman who delights in dumping milk in customers’ fish tanks and drinking on the job. His real joy, however, comes from battling his boss, Mr. Crabbe. The ornery Fleming crashes milk trucks with alarming frequency, assaults everyone in sight, and manages to stay employed only through the use of blackmail and dirty tricks.

    Honestly, this is easily one of the funniest comics I’ve ever read. In fact, it’s one of the few comics I’ve bought extra copies of and given to friends who’ve never read a comic since childhood for a good laugh.



    Eclipse did a collection, but for some weird reason only collects # 2-6 and is way long out of print. IDW put out a complete hardcover collection a couple of years ago.

    Another interesting, but heartbreaking, little tidbit : This was optioned to be a live action movie with Jim Belushi in the starring role. I can’t think of a more perfect fit for this classic counterculture cult character.



    Part of my perverse joy in reading this is my business background. My parent's owned a soda distributorship when I was growing up. Our biggest brands were Dr Pepper, 7-Up, RC Cola. Yay !! Though it was wholesale B2B to stores for resale, I could identify with a lot of this. One of our salesmen, Dave, was particularly like this. He smoked Swisher Sweets all the time, had crazy hair and wild googly eyes, ripped us off, had way too good looking a wife that never made sense to us, and the best part is, he later became a state Congressman. Unbelievable !

    My first full-time job out of college was working as a loan officer for a finance company. I was promoted to Assistant Manager and later ready to get my own branch, but the company was wanting me to move to a state I didn't care for. I had been solicited my a local manager with Schwan's, a direct to consumer door-to-door service company selling a line of excellent frozen foods. I hired on with them, on straight commission, and did very well with them. However, some of Reid's exploits are a secret cathartic release for some of my repressed evil side.

    This isn't the time or place, but maybe some day I'll post where Reid is at a stop light and a couple of punks pulled up and challenged him to a drag ! Reid smokes em. Guilty admission - The same thing happened to me. 2 days a week I had a sales partner that worked with me and we split the loot, running extra big route days together. He was a character too. This punk in a Camaro was revving his engine challenging me. I geared back and we tore out of the light. Shifting gears like mad, I beat him. No way I could have done it if I weren't going home with an empty truck, but as it happened I accepted the duel challenge, and won. Reid was somewhere in the back of my mind the whole time while my partner was laughing his butt off.
    I am what I am and that's all what I am

  15. #15
    Mark Brodersen hondobrode's Avatar
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    New Adventures of the Spirit was cut from my final list, but just barely.
    I am what I am and that's all what I am

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