Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Marvel Solicits - May 1984

This time around Marvel is touting a 14 issue subscription for six bucks. But the big deal is that when you order two titles at that rate you can subscribe to a third book for just $5 more!

Regardless of the deal, thou
gh, this is one weird looking Hulk. His head is frighteningly small for the body it's resting atop, and his face is kind of a caricature of itself -- looking more Cro-Magnon than gamma-irradiated. That same theme seems to be carried throughout the rest of the figure because based on the perspective of the drawing, his knuckles must drag on the ground when his arms rest at his sides. And what about his feet?! Good lord! His feet are as big as his legs are long!

This is the third subscription solicit I've featured so far that's signed by the artist (here next to Hulk's left foot). It looks like an "SEV" but I'm not certain. I'm guessing that Marvel had an intern in late 1983 who was the nephew of Jim Shooter, and he was able to convince his then-editor-in-chief uncle that he could draw. ("Listen Uncle Jim, I swear, I've been practicing! I can do this!") And in a moment of weakness, nepotism carried the day, "SEV" got his shot at the big time, and we got Baby New Year Hulk.

Giant diaper? Check.

Oversized safety pin? Check.
Year-emblazoned sash? Check.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Book List 2008

I have kept a Word document called "Book List" since 2002 where I track what I've been reading by year. I log every book I read on that list in the order I read them (although I did separate the list by type for clarity here). I tend to read more non-fiction than fiction, and this year was no exception. Only three books this year were fiction, and all of them were read in the last half of the year. But combined, I averaged about a book-and-a-half per month.

The list doesn't include all the monthly comic books I read in a year, but the number of comic book trade paperbacks and hardcover collected editions are the most numerous. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I averaged one collection per week, but seeing it laid out like this is still kind of amazing. I discovered a lot of great new stuff thanks to John (Invincible), Matt (a lot of the Batman and DC stuff), and others. In all, a good, fun year of reading.

  1. Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography - David Michaelis
  2. The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell's Fatal Obsession with Alaskan Bears - Nick Jans
  3. The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star - Nikki Sixx
  4. Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life - Steve Martin
  5. The Franchise: LeBron James and the Remaking of the Cleveland Cavaliers - Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst
  6. DisneyWar - James B. Stewart
  7. All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House - David Giffels
  8. Silent Bob Speaks: The Collected Writings of Kevin Smith - Kevin Smith
  9. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King (Can't believe I'd never read this before! What a fantastic book for writers of every stripe.)
  10. Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek - The First 30 Years - John Booth
  11. 13 Seconds: A Look Back at the Kent State Shootings - Philip Caputo
  12. The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City - Peter Sanderson
  13. My Incredibly Wonderful, Miserable Life: An Anti-Memoir - Adam Nimoy
  14. The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula - Eric Nuzum (So disappointed I missed Eric's talk at the Akron Summit County Public Library in October.)
  1. The Book of Lies - Brad Meltzer
  2. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Sean Williams (Fun read. But I'll likely skip the video game.)
  3. Devil May Care - Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming (Sort of the opposite approach of the new Bond movies where they have updated the character and set him in the present day. This new book puts 007 firmly back in the '60s with entertaining success.)
Trade Paperbacks and Hardcover Collected Editions
  1. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Vol. 1 - Larry Hama
  2. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Vol. 2 - Larry Hama
  3. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Vol. 3 - Larry Hama
  4. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Vol. 4 - Larry Hama
  5. G.I. Joe: Declassified - Larry Hama
  6. Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 - Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker
  7. Secret War - Brian Michael Bendis
  8. Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2 - Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker
  9. Daredevil - Visionaries: Frank Miller, Volume 1 - Frank Miller
  10. Thor - Visionaries: Walter Simonson, Volume 1 - Walter Simonson
  11. Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 - David Petersen (Read with the kiddo. Good stuff!)
  12. Sub-Mariner: Revolution - Matt Cherniss and Peter Johnson
  13. Powers: The Definitive Hardcover Collection, Volume 1 - Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Avon Oeming
  14. Giant-Size Marvel - Various
  15. Marvels - Kurt Buseik, Alex Ross
  16. Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... Volume 3 - Resurrection of Evil - Various
  17. Pride of Baghdad - Brian K. Vaughan
  18. Runaways, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan
  19. Ares: God of War - Mike Avon Oeming
  20. Iron Man: Extremis - Warren Ellis
  21. Captain America Omnibus - Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Mike Perkins (Simply stunning.)
  22. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire - Mike Baron (Meh. Skip these and stick to the Timothy Zahn books.)
  23. Star Wars: Dark Force Rising - Mike Baron
  24. Star Wars: The Last Command - Mike Baron
  25. Star Wars: Mara Jade - By the Emperor's Hand - Timothy Zahn, Michael A. Stackpole
  26. WE3 - Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely (Interesting, graphic, sad little tale.)
  27. Mystic Arcana - David Sexton, Louise Simonson, Roy Thomas, Jeff Parker, C.B. Cebulski
  28. Classic Transformers, Volume 1 - Various
  29. Marvel 1602 - Neil Gaiman
  30. Doctor Strange: The Oath - Brian K. Vaughan (Can BKV do no wrong?!)
  31. Runaways, Volume 2 - Brian K. Vaughan
  32. The Hood: Blod from Stones - Brian K. Vaughan
  33. Fantastic Four - Visionaries: John Byrne, Volume 2 - John Byrne
  34. Wolverine - Chris Claremont, Frank Miller
  35. Kitty Pryde and Wolverine - Chris Claremont
  36. Fantastic Four - Visionaries: John Byrne, Volume 3 - John Byrne
  37. The Sensational She-Hulk - John Byrne
  38. The Death of Captain Marvel - Jim Starlin
  39. Avengers: Defenders War - Steve Englehart
  40. Civil War: Front Line, Volume 1 - Paul Jenkins
  41. Civil War: Front Line, Volume 2 - Paul Jenkins
  42. The Immortal Iron Fist: The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven - Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction
  43. Annihilation, Book One - various
  44. Young Avengers, Volume 1: Sidekicks - Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung
  45. Annihilation, Book Two - Various
  46. Annihilation, Book Three - Various
  47. Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways - Zeb Wells, Stefano Caselli
  48. Power Pack & Cloak and Dagger: Shelter from the Storm - Bill Mantlo
  49. Fantastic Four: Books of Doom - Ed Brubaker
  50. DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore - Alan Moore (In this collection are the first two Batman comics I've ever read: 1987 Annual #11, "Mortal Clay" and the legendary "Killing Joke" story.)
  51. Batman: The Long Halloween - Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (This would then, I guess, be the third Batman story I've ever read, and it blew me away.)
  52. Runaways, Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Marvel Solicits - November 1984

Even today, Aurora from Alpha Flight still makes me a little uncomfortable in that "adolescent boy just discovering girls" kind of way. But if there was any sure-fire way to get me to pony up for a Marvel Comics subscription as an early teenager, I suppose the tingly hint of four-color sex was the way to do it. And late summer 1984 would have been right around the time I was re-upping my subscriptions to titles like G.I. Joe and Uncanny X-Men.

There is something to be said for the way Marvel has always positioned itself in relation to its customers. Just like the Bullpen Bulletins used to make us feel like insiders wandering the hallowed House of Ideas halls, using a quartet from the pages of John Byrne's Canadian team to frame this as a "Special Subscriber's Club" is well within the grand tradition of all things Marvel. Here, your 26 quarters and the completed "Enrollment Certificate" will practically buy you a membership into the greatest comic book club on the planet along with that 16 issue subscription!

I came across this Byrne-drawn ad (signed just below Sasquatch's right shin) in the back of issue #2 of Tom DeFalco's Machine Man four-issue limited series (and run again in the December 1984 issue #3). Around the time of this subscription solicit, Sasquatch and Aurora were struggling to find their way in a relationship while dealing with Aurora's multiple personality disorder, but it's obvious from that grin on Sasquatch's mug that things are good here as he hoists his best girl and teammate Marrina above his head. And check out that authentic Canadian flair the ad copy gives Puck. Good stuff all around, eh?