From Comics Buyer’s Guide #1687 [March 2012}:
My old pal Paul Kupperberg has published three ebooks: The Same Old
Story, In My Shorts, and Two Tales of Atlantis. Each of them are
available on Kindle for 99 cents each. I have only the vaguest of
notions on how this works, but Paul sent me PDFs of the books and
I’ve managed to read the first of them without causing any apparent
damage to the Internet tubes. I plan to read the others soon, but
I didn’t want to hold off recommending The Same Old Story to you.
It’s a hoot and a half.
It’s the comics industry’s darkest days. Two freelancers working
for the same publisher are murdered within days of each other and
writer Max Wiser, the son of a NYPD homicide detective, is driven
to find out who done it and why. Cue to the beautiful blonde who is
Comics fans and historians will have a ball trying to identify the
book’s versions of actual comics legends. Detective fiction fans
will enjoy the pulpy goodness of Kupperberg’s writing. Guys like
me will bug Kupperberg for a second Max Wiser book. Getting this
much for a buck is a real bargain.
In My Shorts: Hitler’s Bellhop and Other Stories collects six short
stories. Two Tales of Atlas features two longer tales that might
remind you of Kupperberg’s run on Arion, Lord of Atlantis, a hero
he created for DC Comics back in the day. I might have to buy one
of those Kindle machines to read them. Do they run on batteries or
For information on ordering these books and all things Kupperberg,
you should visit his blog.
It’s worth visiting just for the photos of Paul sitting jauntily in
What happens when that really popular high-school girl gets busted
in a cheating scandal not of her doing? For Becca Norman, it means
spending her summer at a creepy boarding school and going from the
cool girl to the new girl.
Readers young and old will enjoy All-Ghouls School by Marc Sumerak
with artist David Bryant [IDW; $19.99]. Becca quickly learns she’s
the only ordinary human in a student body of vampires, demons, and
werewolves. The devilish headmaster wants to bring diversity into
his school to better prepare students to interact peacefully with
the human world. His daughter is determined to make Becca’s summer
a living, well, you know.
This graphic novel, the first in what I hope will be a long-running
series, checks off all the boxes: great characters, humor, a bit of
dread, challenges, satisfying solutions, and surprises throughout.
Indeed, I think the series has the potential to make the transition
to TV as an alternative to the steamy teen angst fantasies usually
found on the small screen. But, while you’re waiting for Hollywood
to get a clue, check out All-Ghouls School. It’s a terrific book.
Marvel Firsts: The 1960s [Marvel; $29.99] is a joyous ride through
the beginnings of the Marvel Universe established by Stan Lee with
collaborators Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and
so many others. In nearly 500 full-color pages, this chunky wonder
of a book lovingly collects the first appearances of the heroes who
made the comics world their own in that decade.
The line-up includes the “A” listers and the barely-remembered “D”
listers: Rawhide Kid, Dr. Droom, the Fantastic Four, Henry Pym, the
Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, the Human Torch (in Johnny Storm’s initial
solo appearance), Two-Gun Kid, Iron Man, Sgt. Fury and the Howling
Commandoes, Dr. Strange, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Wasp telling
a tale, the Watcher telling another tale, Daredevil, Capt. America
in the start of his 1960s solo feature, Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD,
the Sub-Mariner in the start of his 1960s solo feature, the Ghost
Rider (the western version), Captain Marvel (Kree version); Capt.
Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders (You are allowed to say “Who?”
here.), the origin of the Silver Surfer, and pivotal stories of Ka-
Zar and Doctor Doom. But, wait, there’s more.
Marvel Firsts: The 1960s also includes several pages of covers of
the other books Marvel was publishing during that decade. You get
romance, war comics, giant monsters, westerns, Patsy Walker, Millie
the Model, Monsters to Laugh With, and dozens of other nods to the
past. Makes me wish Marvel would reprint all of those comic books
as well, but, hey, when it comes to the 1960s, I’m a Marvel maniac
through and through.
I was a pre-teen and a teenager in the 1960s. DC and other comics
publishers would not have been able to keep me excited about comic
books. It’s not that they published bad comic books because they
all published some very fine comic books. But they didn’t have the
excitement, the spark, the compelling nature of even minor Marvels.
I’m writing this column today because of Stan, Jack, Steve, Larry,
Don, Dick Ayers, and all of those other Marvel writers and artists.
Years have passed since I last shouted “Make Mine Marvel,” but my
admiration for and appreciation of the terrific comic books Marvel
published before I went to work for the company has not diminished
Enough personal digression. Marvel Firsts: The 1960s is another of
those books that every comic-book fan, certainly every Marvel fan,
needs to have. It’s a treasure!
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella