By Beau Smith

Recently I was conned into going to Wal-Mart with my wife as she sought out things to clean my cave. Not wishing to join her as she navigated the endless isles of mutants and rejected cast members of Deliverance, I chose to go look through the magazine and book section that I knew would be unscathed by the non-reading “Wilma & Wally Marts” that reside in Wal-Mart 24/7.

As I gazed through the racks I came across something very interesting. There was an end cap rack of these small comic books. They measured 5 X 6 1/2 inches. They had color covers and black and white interior pages. They caught my attention because they were of collections of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The Avengers and The Incredible Hulk. Each comic collected the first three issues of the Silver Age series debuts of each character. The price was only 99 cents each. I bought all three of these little comics. After all, where could you get nine issues by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Stan Lee for four dollars?

There wasn’t much fanfare with these issues. The only ad was on the back of the comic where it asks you to visit for these and other great Marvel titles. I kinda liked the retro attitude of that little ad. These books were brilliant ideas and until seeing them on the rack, I had never known Marvel had done them. That’s a shame because these are really nice items. I guess you might call them “traveler books” because of the size. Either way, they were a great buy and something that made me think that all publishers with any sort of catalogue should try and do. Granted, not all can get into Wal-Mart, but it would seem to me that these 99 cent books would go over well almost anywhere. Four issues for less than a buck each and classic issues at that! I also heard that they were available through Family Dollar stores and even in the direct market. I have to admit, I usually keep up with what’s being sold in the direct market, but these got passed me. I believe the Family Dollar store editions have their log on the cover, but the Wal-Mart editions I bought didn’t have any logo other than Marvel’s.

If you get the chance, you should try and seek these books out. At this price they make great gifts for friends.

Speaking Of Great Team Ups…

I was going through my comic collection the other evening and came across a gem that I hadn’t read and looked at in a long time. Teen Titans #23 from DC Comics 1969. The reason this book is such a gem is because of the artwork. It teamed up two of the best super hero artists of all time, Gil Kane and Nick Cardy.

The cover was a real eye catcher when I first saw it in the supermarket spinner rack as a kid. It really did look like Wonder Girl was smashing right out of the page at you. Inside, both Kane and Cardy treated us to some great action and very innovative camera angles. Both of these guys showed us that when you know what you’re doing you can make any story compelling. They both had a way with motion that few have been able to copy. They really knew how to make the human body move in this issue and when someone swings in from above you can almost feel the vertigo set in.

This summer when you’re attending some of the conventions that will soon be starting, make sure you try and find a copy Teen Titans #23. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: Adventures Of The Fly #21
Archie Adventure Series, 1962

In these modern times the cover word balloons may remind you of those annoying genital herpes TV ads that they play way too much. That is if your mind is as twisted as mine.

As a kid I always loved the Archie Adventure Series line of comics, The Fly, The Jaguar and other wonderfully odd characters. The great art by Bob Powell was always a treat. Even today, these issues are great, fun reads. I’m amazed that they haven’t been reprinted. (If they have, somebody let me know.) I really cannot stress enough picking these comics up if you get the opportunity. They’re fun and the art will never let you down.

Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Norah Jones

She can sing and look really good while she does it. She plays a mean piano and looks like she’s got some acting chops as well. Norah Jones is a Texas born, dark haired beauty that always comes through with her music. She’s one of those artists that I can pre-pay for a CD and know that I’ll like it. She’s smart and always a great interview when on TV or in print. It’s great to hear her talk about the creative process in making and writing music. As a writer I always love hearing this kinda stuff. Check her out. I have…A lot.

The Roundup

Don’t know about you, but here in the Mountain State we’ve way too much rain for my satisfaction. First day of Spring the pollen comes out and attacks me and then followed by all this crummy rain that pops up when I least want it…which is all the time. I’m looking for it to go away. It cramps my outdoor activities.

This past weekend, my wife, Beth and I watched the grandson, “Jethro”. We had a little help from our dogs, Blue and Chubb as you can see by the photo. Blue was real interested in the noises Jethro was making when he drank out of his cup. Everybody else thought he was looking to eat the boy. Naw, he’s just protecting him. I tormented Jethro’s mom and dad by telling them that I had filled the cup with Extreme Mountain Dew and topped off his dinner with Hostess cupcakes. I like to shake ’em up and send ’em home. It’s called a grandparent’s revenge.

This week here at the ranch I’ve been writing columns, the second issue of Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars, Lost & Found, the Parts Unknown screenplay and looking to get the GREEN light to start a DC Comics book that I was contacted about. More on that when the light goes GREEN.

Okay, in the mean time I want you to run out and buy my stuff that is out or about to come out:

24: Cold Warriors (IDW Publishing)
No Guts, No Glory: How To Market Yourself In Comics (Blue Line Pro)
Cobb: Off The Leash Collection (IDW Publishing)
Parts Unknown: The Collection Book One (Afterburn Comics)
The Tenth: Blackout trade paperback (Dark Horse Comics)
The Complete Wynonna Earp. (IDW Publishing)

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author


Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin