Friday, June 7, 2013
THE KISS OF DEATH!
As I was entering the world in my birth month of December 1951, a
Marvel super-hero was embarking on a two-decade hiatus. Venus #19
[April 1952] was the last issue of a title which had been published
on a bimonthly schedule since August 1948.
Venus was as mutable a comic book series as you can imagine. Its
issues ranged from fantasy to horror to romance to science fiction
during its 19-issue run. As you might imagine from this wondrous
Bill Everett cover, it was a horror title at its end.
This issue had three Venus stories and one non-series story. Most
of them have been reprinted over the years. Here’s the line-up of
the stories with credits and reprint information, all courtesy of
the amazing Grand Comics Database.
Venus in “The Kiss of Death!” (7 pages). Written and drawn by Bill
Everett. Reprinted in Tomb of Darkness #20 (May 1976). Venus and
Whit set out to expose a fraudulent medium, but learn that he can
indeed summon the dead.
Venus in “Demon From the Deep” (6 pages). Written and drawn by Bill
Everett. No reprint information or synopsis available.
“The Madman's Music” (4 pages). Drawn by Pete Morisi with no writer
credit at this time. Reprinted in Tomb of Darkness #22 (September
1976). After being injured in a fight, a clarinet player believes
that he can play better than before, but when he tries to show his
agent, the other man can't hear him playing at all. He learns that
his music can now only be heard by the dead.
Venus in “The Box of Doom!” (6 pages). Written and drawn by Bill
Everett. Reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales #16 (June 1976) and also
Silver Surfer Vs. Dracula #1 (February 1994. A mysterious package
is delivered to Venus's office, and she and the delivery man are
nearly driven mad by an evil force inside the box.
There’s also a text story called “Death to the Hairy Monsters!” in
the issue. I never read such text stories as a kid and don’t read
them now. But, with a title like that, I might make an exception
for this one if Marvel ever publishes the second and final Marvel
Masterworks collection of Venus.
The next appearance for Venus would be in Sub-Mariner #57 (January
1973) in a tale written and drawn by Bill Everett. Following that,
she would appear in The Champions #1 [October 1975] in a story by
Tony Isabella with art by Don Heck and Mike Esposito. Since I had
already been “blessed” with a crazy and diverse set of characters
for the title I had originally conceived as a buddy book starring
Iceman and the Angel, I figured I might as well throw a whole mess
of mythological characters into the first story arc. I’ve probably
written about or been interviewed about the Champions on numerous
occasions. Seek and ye shall find.
Keep watching this bloggy thing for more vintage comic-book covers
from the month of my birth.
I’m holding one of my roughly-every-two-weeks garage sale today and
tomorrow. Sometimes I think I get too excited about these sales.
I forget they are part of a multi-year plan to empty my Fortress of
Storage and reduce my Vast Accumulation of Stuff down to about 20%
of its current magnitude. As a result, I spend more somewhat more
time than necessary getting ready for the sales. Not the best move
for a guy committed to reducing the stress in his life.
This isn’t some weepy monologue about how tough my life is because
my life is pretty damn good. I have a wonderful wife and family.
I have work I enjoy. I’m exceptionally good. I even get to write
about how wonderful my life is and annoy the piss out of anonymous
cowards who stubbornly try to get my goat.
Sure, there are things that bug me. They bug many of my readers as
well because they frequently ask me to write about them. Which I
may do in the future. Right now, though, I’m having a ball doing
what I do here in the bloggy thing, writing stuff for the various
cartoonists I assist and excavating the Vast Accumulation of Stuff.
One of the reasons I have started adding ongoing bonus features to
this blog is because of the wondrous things I find.
The ongoing bonus features will appear as often as I have time to
write them. On weeks when I’m doing work for clients or preparing
for my garage sales, they will appear less often.
When I attend conventions, unless I buy a travel computer sometime
in the near future, the bloggy thing and its bonus features will go
on hiatus. My next scheduled appearance is at the Derby City Comic
Convention, which will happen on Saturday, June 29 at the Kentucky
International Convention Center in Louisville. I’ll have more to
say about this show next week.
Of course, the big event in my future is Comic-Con International:
San Diego, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center. I think
they call it “international” because the show is so big it crosses
over into other countries. Every couple weeks, my pal Mark Evanier
reminds me how huge the event is. As if I weren’t already mildly
terrified by its enormity. But I am definitely looking forward to
seeing Mark and other old friends...and making new friends.
I have a pretty good idea what panels I’ll be appearing on at the
convention, but I’m going to wait until the schedule gets a little
more firmed up before I write about them. I won’t have a table in
Artists Alley or be scheduled for the autograph area - my choice on
both of those - but I do hope to find a place and a time where I’ll
be able to sign Isabella-written stuff for my readers. If there’s
any interested exhibitors out there who would like to host such a
signing, they should e-mail me.
I have a few other convention appearances scheduled or in the works
for this year. I’ll let you know about them soon.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2013 Tony Isabella