Saturday, September 21, 2013

More Comics

I do collect other comics besides Silver Age Marvels by Kirby and Ditko. Today I landed a super-high grade copy of UNUSUAL TALES #25. Of course the reason I really wanted it is that it has art by Steve Ditko. He did the cover, plus the interior cover story. One exceptional thing about this copy is that it's in immaculate condition. It was sold to me as being in "Fine +" condition. Well, it is better than fine condition. A whole lot better--pretty close to near mint. I'm not into the practice of slabbing comics, but I might have to do that with this particular book.

I don't think Dikto ever really stopped working for Charlton until they went out of business. Even during the times when he was toiling away for Marvel and DC he was still producing creditable work for Charlton, although they paid much lower rates. It's been said he did the work for them because they gave him more editorial latitude. It could be. Hard to say.

I also got an acceptable copy of FANTASTIC FOUR #70. For some reason I had a hard time locating this book.

This is another of the generic villains that Kirby was willing to deliver up to his employers at Marvel. He was going to withhold the best stuff for his own projects from here on in. So instead of something like Doctor Doom or Black Bolt, the readers of the Fantastic Four got the Mad Thinker and one of his androids. In this case, the android was a big, green, faceless galoot. Pretty cool as such constructs go, but not something Goodman and Lee would likely be able to market for tons of money.


Mark Gelbart said...

When I was about 6 I wanted to grow up to be a mad scientist. I remember my parents thought that was kind of funny. I probably got the idea from watching too many cartoons. Maybe the Mad Thinker inspired me.

I read somewhere that as late as the early 1970's "mystery" titles such as Tales of the Unexpected, House of Mystery, and House of Secrets were outselling superhero comics. I think because of the comics code they weren't allowed to use the words "horror" and "terror" in the titles, but kids still loved the scary stuff.

James Robert Smith said...

Superhero comics really faded fast after WWII. Captain Marvel was doing great in the 1950s and was the best selling comic book title and the only superhero title that still sold well. But DC sued them, won the court case, and shut down Fawcett Comics. It was all very sad.

All during the 50s other types of comics far outsold superhero titles which were fading into extinction. The titles you mentioned did relatively well--but the Comics Code really took the wind out of the sails of the industry.

Of course the superhero genre was revitalized by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko and since then they have dominated, relegating the other kinds of kids' comics to the dustbin of history.