Category Archives: The 70s me

“Nova” means “explodes and dies”

Nova closeupIn writing about webcomics and the development of superhero characters through use, I had a weird flashback to 1976.

So we’re cuttin’ alllll the way back to my tween-teen transition and the siren call of a new title at Marvel: The Man Called Nova, by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema. I bought it, and if memory serves, stuck with it for about a year.

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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.

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Kill, kill, kill

Art by John Hotchkiss

I jumped back into role-playing with gusto in late 1985, armed with Champions 3rd edition and a handful of enthusiastic friends. Before too long I was meeting lots of others playing the game, in person and through The Clobberin’ Times, and I got a good look at how plenty of people expected to play their heroes. How was it? Easy. In a word, they were killing all over the place.

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Two villains

In the one-step-removed setting of the original Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the president of the United States is the geriatric Richard Nixon in 1985, evidently president-for-life. In one respect, it’s not as fantastic as it seems: Ronald Reagan (born 1911) was actually older than Nixon (born 1913), thus “this geezer in the White House” as depicted in the comic – set in 1985, published in 1986 – was literally happening.

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Mustache match

It’s the only unequivocally great villain protagonist book. And interestingly, he has no redeeming features at all: Dracula is a flat-out asshole, supremacist, bigot, casual serial murderer, and megalomaniac. Read the rest of this entry

The change of illusion

Six li’l issues of The Avengers. Do they really bear the whole weight of the history of Marvel Comics, and perhaps even of fan culture’s creative intestinal torsion? It can’t be that simple, but even at age thirteen-fourteen, I knew something was happening.

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Elf-(ahem)quest

With pride, I say I was an original adopter of Elfquest in 1978. Yes, it was a purchase of Fantasy Quarterly #1, black-and-white on swiftly-browning newsprint, with clearly visible dots in the cover color separations, thus you did best to pull your head back and blur your focus a little. Read the rest of this entry

Scary war

I completely missed war comics as a kid, and the reason is easy: the covers scared the shit out of me, the few I found in the pile of comics I’d inherited, e.g. Sgt. Rock, no less than those I’d see on the stands when I started buying comics, like Weird War Tales and War is Hell. Read the rest of this entry

Your mama’s apocalypse

… was much worse than yours.

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Still beautiful

Jungle Action #6

#6 (Buckler)

This is how I met the Black Panther, 1973-1974, age nine and ten, with “Panther’s Rage” in Jungle Action #6-19.  Read the rest of this entry

Gone ape indeed

In 1974 the big SF-media push was to “Go Ape!” I was so enamored of doing so at age 10 that I made it a point to imitate Roddy MacDowall’s ape-walk everywhere until brought to sanity by an unkind comment from my mom. Read the rest of this entry

G.I. Who

I did like my G.I. Joe. It was one of the 11-and-a-half inch versions slightly altered from the line launched in 1964, with the fuzzy hair and beard Read the rest of this entry

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