By Beau Smith
FOREWARNING: This week’s Busted Knuckles won’t be quite as long as usual. In the last few weeks I’ve had a series of eye surgeries, as well as an injection directly to my left eyeball yesterday – the other eye gets it August 1st, so my vision right now isn’t the usual 20/20 and I’m seeing “floaters and the actual medicine swim around in my eye, a bit annoying and distracting to say the least. I’m fine and even though I did go through the EC Comics-“Injury-To-Eye Cover” thing, everything is good. I just wanted you to know so you didn’t think I was short changing you on the word count this time.
Promotional and Giveaway Comics At Their Best
As a comic book reader, collector and creator, I have always enjoyed the rare promotional comic books that publishers like Marvel and DC have produced from time to time. I especially enjoy the older promo comics from the early 1980s, when they popped up a lot. I was very lucky in those days to have friends working at both Marvel and DC that knew I enjoyed the hard-to-find promotional comics, and those friends would send me a handful of promos from time to time when they came out.
The comics were fun, action-packed, and contained solid story telling. There was always a sense of 1960s Saturday morning cartoon enjoyment that I found entertaining on a few different levels. The comics were created for all ages – and I truly mean all ages. They had oddball team ups of heroes and you never knew what bad guy(s) they would toss in. Here are a few just to give you an idea:
Good Guys: Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, the X-Men, Spider-Woman, Storm, Power Man, the New Teen Titans with the Protector, Firestar and Iceman. One issue of courtesy of Marvel and the Dallas Times Herald newspaper, had Spider-Man team up with The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL in an all-out battle with The Ringmaster and his Circus Of Crime!
Bad Guys: Daddy Long Legs, King Rat and his Army of Mice, Kingpin, Dr. Doom, Magneto, Sandman, Dr. Octopus, Kraven The Hunter, the Beetle, SmokeScreen, the Enforcers, the Absorbing Man, the Rhino, the Wizard, the Enchantress, and the Trapster! Those are just a few of the great rogues that show up in these books.
The creative teams that they used were a true Who’s Who of solid professionals such as: John Romita, Sr., Marie Severin, David Anthony Kraft, Kerry Gammill, Mike Esposito, Stan Goldberg, Jim Salicrup, Jim Mooney, John Tartag, Alan Kupperburg, Rick Parker, Chic Stone, Johnn Costanza, Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Ross Andru, Joe Giella, Sal Buscema, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Ed Hannigan, Al Milgrom, and many more.
My personal favorite of these is a 7 Eleven/Marvel issue where they teamed up Spider-Man, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Woman to battle the Enchantress, the Wizard, the Rhino and the Trapster. It’s a fun issue with the Wizard in love with the Enchantress, a really pissed off Rhino and the Trapster still trying to live down his original name of Paste Pot Pete. The issue is also filled with cool ads where you can order 7-Eleven/Marvel shirts, cups, posters and other such hard-to-find items. In fact, most of the issues do include ways to subscribe to Marvel & DC issues and local ads for the stores and companies that helped to sponsor these fun comics, folks like 7 Eleven, Acme & Dingo Children’s Boots, Foley’s, the American Cancer Society, Concentrated All Detergent, the President’s Drug Awareness Campaign, the Chicago Tribune, Nestle Quik, the Kansas City Star, the Fight Against Tooth Decay, the Dallas Times Herald, Sanger Harris May D&F Stores, and more.
On the collectors’ side, I’ve seen these issues go for a pretty penny with retailers and dealers. I don’t know what the print runs were for these oddball comics, but since these were giveaways to non-traditional comic book reading crowd, I suspect that not very many of these were kept and put away. More than likely they were lost and thrown away, making the issues even that more collectable. I know I cherish mine and enjoy them to this day. I highly recommend them for your collection and hunt of oddball comics, promotional and giveaway comics are a whole sub-genre of collecting on their own. Join in and see what you can find.
Bigfoot, Yeti & Snowmen
For those of you who, like me, just can’t get enough of reading about Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowmen and the like, then here are two recommended fiction books to read on the subject. Both are filled with action, horror, suspense and shooting.
Snowman by Norman Bogner
This is an old used book find of mine from many years ago. Great cover and an all-out, rip-’em-up Yeti story. A quick read and good at building up the ending.
Yeti: Go Ahead, Scream by Jack Slade
1st Books Library
I happened on this book at Borders Books one night just looking around. It’s full of science, mountaineering and military guys after a real spine-ripping Yeti. I give Jack Slade a lot of credit for going against the grain on a few characters and still keeping that “trapped-on-a-mountain-by-a-monster” attitude. This book has some odd moments, but well worth the read.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: America’s Best TV Comics
One Shot/ Mail Order
I will never forget when this issue arrived at my house in the mail. I was in the sixth grade and thought that finally? my comic book world was expanding, after all, This Fantastic Four cartoon was going to be on ABC-TV, one of the three channels that we got at the Smith house! This comic book was a blast and a true time capsule of how special Saturday Morning Cartoons used to be. This issue is a must for any collector of comics and lover of Saturday Morning Cartoons.
Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Ana Cunha
This Brazilian beauty is all over the magazines, she’s a knockout with a killer smile and body. I’d love to see more of her?Hell, with this eye patch of mine, I’d like to see more of anything.
Speaking of eye patches, I thought I’d give you guys a shot of me in all my Nick Fury glory so you can make your pirate jokes at my expense. Have at it, but remember, I gave Guy Gardner Warrior an eye patch once; see where it got him…
Your popeyed amigo,
The Flying Fist Ranch
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!