The year of the comics

It’s Jerry Grayson’s fault. He knows all these people with opinions about comics and culture, and as the geek social fallacies would advise, said, “Hey, if I get all my friends together, they’ll be friends too!!” Which actually worked this time, for a jam let’s-all-try-it discussion for his own 1972 Project.

It helps to have a project in which we’re individually invested without needing approval from the others. In this case, it’s Jerry’s fancy name for spending money on lots of comics because they happen to have been published during the year he was born. The name sort of expands though because we’re looking at Lindsay Hanlon (1988), Jason Tondro (1968), and me (1964) as well. As a special bonus detail, the day of this posting also happens to be my actual birthday as well, so, um, well, that’s not actually significant, but I like it anyway.

Watch the video! The other people are full of ideas and quite funny, and I am at least tolerable. Along with each of us musing over birth-year comics (e.g. The Killing Joke for Lindsay, Captain America #100 for Jason, the launch of Hero for Hire for Jerry, and Fantastic Four Annual #2 for me), you also get spontaneous multi-mind sessions about fridging, the New Gods, and black heroes.

Hey – try it. The internet is pretty good about the relevant searches. List a few titles for yourself in the comments! You get to be scholarly and self-indulgent at the same time, ‘sfun!

Links: Khepera Publishing (Jerry’s company)






About Ron Edwards

Game author and publisher via Adept Press / Biology author and former professor

Posted on September 4, 2018, in Commerce, Politics dammit, The 70s me, The 80s me and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Happy birthday! Also, apparently you were born on what’s recently become Argentina’s Comics Day

    so happy Día de la Historieta as well!

    I started watching the video last night and will finish shortly. The idea is awesome. Will comment & add examples of my own year, 1987. Later!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My year is 1961. This is the year that the Marvel revolution started — Fantastic Four #1 came out when I was four months old.


  3. It urns out you can go one better and get it down to the MONTH.

    October 1968:

    Avengers #57, first appearance of the Vision!
    Brother Power the Geek #1 (!!!)
    Daredevil #45 with the pop-art cover with the Statue of Liberty background
    Incredibly Hulk Annual #1 (It’s that iconic Steranko cover with the Severin retouch)
    Mysterious Suspense #1 (Return of the Question by DItko)
    Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #115 (one of the internet-famous ‘Superman is a dick’ covers, where he’s only got enough water for Jimmy or Aquaman as they crawl to him in the desert(!?!))
    Uncanny X-Men #49 (First Appearance of Polaris, iconic cover by Steranko)
    Wonder Woman #178 (First appearance of the ‘mod’ Diana, out of costume and wearing ‘the latest fashions’.)

    As a YEAR, 1968 is an embarrassment of riches:
    Carmine Infantino gets the go-ahead at DC to clean house
    Zap Comics #1 in February
    March: Debut of Ditko’s Creeper
    April: Tales of Suspense changes to Captain America and the spin-off Iron Man book gets its own #1
    Tales to Astonish becomes The Incredible Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner gets his own book.
    May: First Neal Adams Batman pencils
    June: Strange Tales changes to Dr Strange. Nick Fury, agent of SHIELD solo book launches, and Steranko is in the mid-point of his nova-like ascension (and equally quick burnout)
    July: Franklin is introduced in Peanuts

    The Avengers are on a white-hot tear with the Roy Thomas/Buscema stuff, and Lee’Kirby (though probably mostly Kirby, right?) FF is an ongoing masterpiece. (They introduce Annihilus in FF Annual #6)

    Marvel also launched Captain Marvel and the short-lived by fondly-remembered Silver Surfer double-sized solo book.

    1968 character debuts: Whitney Frost (!), Mephisto, The Badoon, Franklin Richards(!), and of course Ultron (introduced in the same Avengers issue as the Vision)

    It’s a high-water mark for supehrero stuff at Marvel, just before the Cosmic Zap stuff starts to appear, the last hurrah of the Lee/Kirby era before it turns sour and Jack bolts for DC in 1970. You can see the transition to the younger writers and artists happening before your eyes. It’ll take a few years for DC to catch up, but Infantino is lining it up already, and pretty soon we’ll see Hard-Travelling Heroes and bugfuck Spectre. Good times.


    • In the video, Jason presents for 1968 and mentions some of the same things, especially the title shifts at Marvel, Franklin, and the last really powerful moments of Kirby at 60s Marvel. Coincidentally, he also took it to his own month (April) for more detail. I mention the shift in editor policy and overall direction at DC, as a component of the Warner Bros merger.


  4. I finished watching this video on the same week my students asked me for a class on the history of comics – centered around the comics from Argentina, since one of them is filming a short documentary on the subject. And this video really helped inform that class, procedurally – I had asked them to bring comics from their own personal libraries, that they’d like to see placed in a bigger scheme. When we reached the 90s, I started to ask them for recollections of their own personal lives, since they (we) had lived through the following decades.

    It’s really useful to focus, as you guys ultimately did, on a shared cultural background starting by personal jumping off points. Especially when, as in this case, the difference in ages means some of you were buying the comics as teens while the others were being born. I’m really loving this idea of the year when one was born – not too close, not too far away from one’s perspective, striking exactly at that part of “identity/background” one’s not entirely conscious of.

    I haven’t had the time to properly assess my year yet – but of course I did look at what the cover of the main comics magazine was in the month I was worn, and well:

    It took me a while to realize that… Damn, she’s JUST welded HIM. The 80s were something.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Todd's Blog

Todd Klein on lettering, literature and more

Longbox Graveyard

Marvel and DC comics and community

%d bloggers like this: