Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comic Reader Résumé of Diabolu: February, 1982

ré·su·mé [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey]
1. a summing up; summary.
2. a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.

February, 1982 was my second month of collecting new comics off the newsstand. I claimed to have bought an entirely new selection for this round, but I have vague recollections of having owned The Brave and the Bold #186, in which Batman teamed-up with Hawkman against the Fadeaway Man. I liked all but one of these characters, so it's possible I bought it new, but the memory is so vague that I can't be sure. I doubt the story by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn left much of an impression, although the lame villain couldn't have helped. The only thing that really sticks with me are flashes of Jim Aparo panels, which likely would have been enough to bring me back for more.

While I vividly remember a great many of these books from DC in-house ads and as purchases years later, my actual, factual, confirmed purchases of this month were fairly slight. I still have my copy of The New Teen Titans #19, which was likely never swiped from me by neighborhood kids because it only just barely rates as a comic book anymore. The pages are so brown they qualify as a separate ethnic group in the U.S. census, and scraps of torn pages lie sideways with the intact portions bound by polybag. This may have been my introduction to a team that has stuck with me much of my reading life, and almost certainly my introduction to Marv Wolfman and George Perez (outside spot cover illustrations from the latter.) It's a fantastic looking book, especially Perez's Hawkman, in part due to the artist clearly providing much tighter pencils to resist the wet blanket that is Romeo Tanghal finishes. The story, involving Hindu gods, weirded me out as a kid, especially their rather graphic destruction in the end.

My other new comic of the month, out the same week, was The Saga of Swamp Thing #1 by Martin Pasko and Tom Yeates. I can't honestly state what possessed me to do so. It had a swell cover, and Tom Yeates was a really appealing artist, but the story by Martin Pasko and the heavy atmosphere was way over my head. This would not be the last time Swamp Thing would do this to me, because my only sweet spot with the character was reprints of the early '70s Wein/Wrightson stories. I tried Alan Moore too early at first, then too late as an adult, when his innovations had become tropes. There was also a Phantom Stranger back-up by Bruce Jones and Dan Spiegle. I'd already been introduced to the Stranger through a Jim Aparo Brave and the Bold, but this creepy yarn was a whole other matter. While the story of a black minister fleecing his own people stuck with me, I never really warmed to Spiegel's art elsewhere.

One more maybe before I sign off on this month, Super Goof #69. I know I owned at least one issue of this series, and though I thought it had him battling the Beagle Boys, the character featured here strikes me as reasonable facsimile to facilitate confusion. Funny animals were rarely my bag.


Anj said...

I thought this was a very interesting post because it was right around this time that I think I made that small step from fan to collector. It definitely makes me want to write that post.

Diabolu Frank said...

Have at, sir!