Bob, is it possible that some of the comics of yesteryear will ever be available on the web or on CD? I know I would love to read some of the really old ALL-FLASH comics, and the ADVENTURE stories from the 40s. Do you think this will ever happen?
— Lance Mendenhall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Some years ago, there was a company that started producing microfiche versions of Golden Age books, thinking that there would be a market for such material. (I agreed with them; a few of the books they photographed were my copies.) Unfortunately, the idea never really caught on.
Since then, with the technology growing in leaps and bounds, it would seem logical that some ambitious marketer would try again to capture that audience that is interested in READING the old stories. The logical way would be with a website or a set of CDs. Of course, this would require clearing all sorts of copyright problems with the owners of the material. More important, however, is finding out just how many potential customers there are for such a product, what they’d be willing to pay for it, and whether it makes financial sense to do it. As the technological capabilities continue to expand, it is only a matter of time before it becomes cost-effective to produce at least some of the material.
I know the 80s wave has hit comics, but what the heck happened to the 70s wave? Where’s my SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN/BIONIC WOMAN or MAN FROM ATLANTIS???
— Joe Bass Jr. (email@example.com)
…Why wasn’t there a 70s revival in comics? I mean what happened to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN/BIONIC WOMAN, SPACE 1999? The 80s are great, but why wasn’t there a 70s wave?
Where’s the 70s revival? We have the 60s (I DREAM OF JEANNIE), We have the 80s (GI JOE, THUNDERCATS, ROBOTECH, HE-MAN) So where are the 70s (MAN FROM ATLANTIS, SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, SPACE:1999)?
Also, I can’t wait for 80s revival: Round 2 (MANIMAL, POWERS OF MATTHEW STAR, SUPERTRAIN, TJ HOOKER).
— Michelle Hewitt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hmmm, is there a movement afoot to bring back comics from the 70s, or have all three of these letter actually been generated by the same person?
On any case, if one publisher or another sees a market for such titles, you can be sure they’ll be back again.
THE DEPARTMENT OF QUICK ANSWERS:
In what issue was the Spoiler’s first appearance?
— Dylan (email@example.com)
That would be DETECTIVE COMICS #647, the August, 1992 issue.
Who’s had more members The Avengers or Justice League?
I guess it might depend on how many of the Justice Leagues your want to count (International, Europe, et al), but I’d have to say a JL reunion would be far more crowded than one for Marvel’s team.
Hello Bob. Is there a new version of the “Herbie” comics out now?
Yes, there is.
Is there anyway to get reprints of the Phantom Lady comics that contributed to the big stink that led to the comics code?
Only if DC decides to publish them. Perhaps you could start a campaign to get a Phantom Lady Archives published.
Who is the 1960’s alternative style comic book character who has a long beard, robed and wears boots?
— Susan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
That would be R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural.
What was the name of Bruce Wayne’s dog in the Batman comics?
…The name of Batman’s dog, in the original comic?
Hmmm, I smell a trivia quiz out there somewhere that asked this question. The answer is Ace, who first appeared way back in BATMAN #92.
What is Klarion’s last name?
— Kandy Kane (email@example.com)
The Witch Boy.
Someone in my office swears to me that there was an old DC superheroine who was briefly a member of the Justice League whose power was the ability to split into 3 people. He thinks her name was Triplicate Girl (which I am SURE that it is not). Do you have any idea what he’s talking about?
— Adam Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I hope you didn’t bet on this, Adam. Triplicate Girl was the three-part member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. After one of her bodies was killed by Computo, she became Duo Damsel.
Have you seen the film “’Malcolm X”? Well, in its final credits there’s a legal disclaimer that reads something like “All Marvel characters are copyright Marvel Comics and blah blah…” Do you know why? Is it because of the ‘X’? Otherwise, if there’s any reference to any Marvel character in the 3+ hour long movie, I certainly overlooked it.
Contrary to popular myth, Marvel does not own a trademark on the letter “X.” I suspect that somewhere in the movie, someone is shown reading a Marvel comic book or there is one lying in the background..
Regarding the origin of the name “Clark Kent”:
The websites http://www.nashville.com/~al.schroeder/siegel.htm and http://members.tripod.com/~MitchellBrown/cancom/supermanatthestar.html back me up that Jerry Siegel got the name from actors Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, not from Clark “Doc” Savage and Kent “The Shadow” Allard. (Though the fanboy in me would like to believe the latter was true.)
And I first read about it in an interview in NEMO #2 (August, 1983). Siegel stated that the name “Clark Kent” came from actors Clark Gable and Kent Taylor (page 15 of the issue, for those who want to check). He also said that Clark’s appearance was based on Harold Lloyd, Superman’s on Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and the name Metropolis came from the Fritz Lang film.
— Bob Buethe (email@example.com)
…While it’s very possible that Siegel may have combined the identities of Doc Savage and the Shadow for the name Clark Kent, he did go on record (literally — in “The History of Superman Radio Special” in 1981) as saying that the names did come from Clark Gable and Kent Taylor.
— Howard Margolin (DoctorOHM@aol.com)
Thanks, Bob and Howard for providing specific reference on that hotly debated topic.
How much is a DC comic card from the golden age of Lex Luther of Villain Heritage worth?
Card number #25 from the 1992 Series 1.
…Do you know how much Pogs are worth? Thanks.
— Allie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
… I’m trying to put together the Marvel Value Stamps 1 & 2. Do you know where I could get some extras? I only need seventeen to finish both sets and have extras to trade.
— Tom MacIntyre (email@example.com)
…A suggestion to those folks who want to know what their Pogs, Pokemon cards and DC cards are worth, maybe you could suggest they look on eBay to see what similar items are selling for. (Actually, the Pogs guy shouldn’t bother. None of the Pogs are worth anything.)
— Answer Boy
Consider the suggestion made. As I’ve said before, they are worth whatever somebody is willing to pay for them, but there doesn’t seem to be anybody out there willing to pay anything.
A couple of corrections on your 100th Column Quiz…
First off, Charlton’s STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES became CAPT. ATOM, not the BLUE BEETLE, with #78 (question #49).
More important is the answer to #8: The price change from a dime to 12? occurred in October of 1961, not 1962, with those DC comics being dated Dec. 1961. (A quick check of my Batman in DETECTIVE covers confirms this with #297 being a dime and #298 being two pennies more. I would assume that ACG–since Liebowitz was part owner–had the same 2+ months dating and went up in price the same month. Archie also aped DC both in being dated 2+ months and going up in price in Oct. ’61, but Marvel held out one more month, going up in price in Nov. ’61 with those comics dated either Jan. or Feb. ’62, depending on whether they were 2+ (like JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY) or 3+ (STRANGE TALES, TALES OF SUSPENSE, TALES TO ASTONISH).
I’ve often wondered why DC, et. al. went up in price in Oct., NOT a month noted for kids having more spending money than usual to pay the extra 20%, until I happened to notice the date on a Statement of Ownership saying it was filed SEPT. 30th, carrying the sales figure of the issue closest to filing date. DC, knowing there’d be a drop in sales, hedged their bets by filing sales figures BEFORE the price increase!
Dell, on the other hand, raised their prices 50% to 15?, and on comics that skewed to a younger crowd with their Disney, WB cartoon and H-B characters (and this younger crowd was a part of the reading public LEAST able to afford such an increase!). Dell arrogantly counted on Western’s distribution (by then the leader) to overcome any reader resentment, but the drop off in sales was so severe (and Western, natch, saw it first hand), that in 1962 they refused to renew their licensing agreement with Dell and instead launched their own comics imprint — Gold Key Comics, which proudly proclaimed “Now Only 12?” on their covers.
I don’t know when Dell went down to 12?, but it did happen eventually, as my Dell Monster Hero comics attest. Ironically, Western in May, 1968 had stopped printing their comics out of their Poughkeepsie plant, instead going with World Color. Well, this additional expense caused them to raise their price to (you guessed it) the odious 15? that they objected to Dell charging in the first place, and anticipated the industry’s rise to 15? in May, 1969 by an entire year!
Gaff, better known to older fans as Carl Gafford, worked in DC’s Production Department back in the 70s and is one of the original “Woodchucks.” He has been a colorist for a variety of publishers over the years. He produces the monthly “This Month in Comics” ‘zine for capa-Alpha.
More Q & A next week. meantime, don’t forget my daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia
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Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.