Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Top 10 Issues of The Comics Journal: #38

Introduction: This is the first installment of my in-depth examination of the "Top 10" issues of THE COMICS JOURNAL in chronological order. Following is my experiment with applying the template of a TCJ index over a "link" structure much like the "Love and Rockets Links" feature. Maybe this is a bad idea, it's certainly a lot more labor intensive than I had projected. I am trying to track down the writers in this issue, anybody knowing the whereabouts of Dwight Decker, in particular, please send a comment. Thanks. -Gary Usher 1/12/10

THE COMICS JOURNAL 38 (February 1978)
Fantagraphics Inc., College Park, MD
GARY GROTH Executive Editor/Art Director
KIM THOMPSON Editor/Circulation Director
"Special thanks to JOHN CORNELL and BOB AULL for their invaluable artistic assistance, and to MARK DIEVENDORF for his editorial assistance." (page 5)

"Star Hawks" by Gil Kane, his major project for 1978 was this comic strip written by science-fiction author/comics historian Ron Goulart. Mr. Kane also worked varied jobs at Marvel Comics Group including covers and filler stories for various titles, and pencilling stints on DAREDEVIL and JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS. source

NEWSWATCH (pages 7-11):
*"DC News" pages 7 9 10 (mostly on the fallout of cancelled and new titles introduced after the DC Implosion. I believe this was around when that collapse occurred, anyway. Where's John Wells when you need him??)
*"DC Announces Format Change: 50cent-40 Page Books in June" pages 8 9
-sidebar: "The Story of 40 Page Comics" (a rare look into the mechanics of comic book printing)
-sidebar: "The Ever-Rising Cost of Comics" (history of prices and formats from the 1950s to 70s)
**On the "Superman" movie (page 10): "The world premiere of the SUPERMAN film will be at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, at the Eisenhower Theatre, on June 11 [1978] as a benefit for the Special Olympics.[...]"

*"Marvel News" pages 10 11: (movie adaptations, WHAT IF? creative teams, and various other creator announcements. Humble Beginnings Dept.: "...while, on the newcomers front, Frank Miller will pencil a Doc Samson backup story. "
**On the "Action Art Studios" (page 10): "This is also the reason for the creation of Tony and Mary DeZuniga's ACTION ART STUDIOS, which will help Marvel battle the Dreaded Deadline Doom by pencilling and inking terminally late jobs. The studio is composed mainly of New York-based artists, including some graduates from Buscema's and Kubert's cartooning schools, and is supervised by Alfredo Alcala, with Rudy Nebres giving the artists basic training. Currently the studio is working on the MARVEL CLASSICS line; the first few titles they are doing are ALICE IN WONDERLAND (pencilled by Ken Landgraf) and THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (pencilled by Chuck Nanco and Ed Menji), and a fill-in inking job on NOVA. DeZuniga himself will be inking SPIDER-WOMAN and THOR, presumbably with the help of his new

*Obituary (page 11): JOHN VERPOORTEN (1940-December 18, 1977)

*"Alternative Comics Publishers News" page 11:
-John Workman promoted to Art Director of HEAVY METAL
-ETERNAL CHAMPION 3 story by Michael Moorcock, Mike Friedrich/art by Howard Chaykin a graphic novel to be published by Integrated Pierrot Press
-STAR*REACH adding color and changing format
-GASM new magazine edited by Jeff Goodman. Notable contributors were to be Ben Katchor and Mark Wheatley.
-HOT STUF' 5 published by Sal Quartuccio. Notable contributor Richard Corben.
-WEIRD HEROES 8 and 9 news, announced the series sold for publication in Japan's COOL GUY MAGAZINE
-THE ILLUSTRATED ROGER ZELAZNY by Gray Morrow published, various publicity measures are listed
-EMPIRE story by Samuel Delaney/art by Howard Chaykin graphic novel published by Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc. [Here's a review of this book by modern TCJ critic Jog]
-Announcement of graphic novel written by Doug Moench and Theodore Sturgeon/art by Alex Nino to be released in the Summer of 1978. [MORE THAN HUMAN, serialized in HEAVY METAL]

*Here we go, folks! Kim Thompson renamed the letters column "Blood & Thunder" with this issue, and it leads off with a letter from Larry Charet[this link will take you to a jpg file, top photo/far right figure is Larry Charet, photo posted by Joe Sarno] Chicago Comicon Convention Co-Chairman. He criticizes Stan Timmon's report on the Convention published in the previous issue (#37), and in classic B&T fashion Timmons is given a chance to respond. Tame stuff compared to later issues, but it's the beginning of something special.
*The other letter is a fan lament from Bill Cantey.

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