Thursday, December 14, 2017

Groovy Christmases Past: 1973

Happy Holidays and tons of ho-ho-ho to everyone in Groove City! Today we're turning back the clock to December 1973. As Ol' Groove mentioned yesterday, Kid Groove was getting a buck-a-week allowance. Standard comics were still twenty cents, DC's 100 pagers were fifty cents, and Archie's digests (the best way to get Archie comics, imo) had just jumped up to sixty cents. If you total up what Kid Groove spent on the comics you're about to see, you notice Kid Groove spent $3.20 on comics. Did I spend the rest on Christmas presents? Doubful. Then what got the other 80 cents? Look at the comics, then Ol' Groove'll reveal the answer to that particular mystery...
 Neal Adams' final issue of Batman in the Groovy Age. A superior Len Wein story!

 Got this one on the way back from getting a check-up on my broken arm. A little advice: never play soccer with a basketball on snow/ice-covered blacktop while wearing cowboy boots!

 Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum were making Superboy and the Legion one of the coolest comics on the stands at this time!

 Who'd a thunk that in 2018 this comic would kinda/sorta be made into a movie--without Mar-Vell?

 One of my fave Rich Buckler/Joe Sinnott FF covers ever!

 Kid Groove really dug Cobalt Man's armor!

 The second and last ish featuring SoS Kid Groove ever bought. Just didn't click with me for some reason. I liked Doc Strange a lot better I s'pose.

 My first PLOP! and it was a doozy!

Longest comicbook title...ever?

The only thing that could compete with comics back in 1973...Wacky Packages!

See ya tomorrow in 1974!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Groovy Christmases Past: 1972

Merry Christmas and Happy Everything, Groove-ophiles! We're gonna trip on back to December 1972 today! By now, Kid Groove was getting a buck-a-week allowance and making money on the side recycling old newspapers. Access to the store that sold the three-for-a-quarter coverless comics was gone, so it was the spinner racks of two drugstores and a King Kwik that nabbed all my dough! But it was dough well spent as you're about to see...

 Read this one by the fireplace on Christmas Eve. 

 The greatest CM era of all arrives with Jim Starlin's debut!

 Cap got super-strength--for a while.

 Frank Giacoia's inks pretty much disguise Steranko's pencils, but the story's twist ending with Johnny Storm's heartbreak still resonates. I've never forgiven Crystal and Quicksilver.

That was the "new" stuff, but my burgeoning love for comicbooks of the past (thanks in no small part to DC's back-up reprints during 1971's 52 page era) is really getting well-fed!

 DoD got me this one on New Year's Day 1973. Read all about it right here

 This was like a treasure chest for Kid Groove. The oldest and most important story reprints I'd ever seen at that point. And Nick Cardy's cover was worth ten times the cover price!

 Ant-Man's creative team had fallen behind the Dread Deadline Doom, but the reprint and the Jim Starlin cover were dy-no-mite with Kid Groove!

Another reprint thanks to the DDD, but again, Starlin art (the cover and the framing sequence) made it a-ok. Oh, and it wasn't The Beast's creative team who missed the deadline--his final tale ran the issue before. No, t'was the incoming series what was running late...

And the most anticipated comic of Christmas 1972 for me was the debut of SHAZAM! Dear Ol' Dad had spent many an evening filling me in on his favorite childhood superhero, Captain Marvel, and now Kid Groove was finally going to get to see the magic of the Marvel Family for himself by no less than the original artist/co-creator C.C. Beck, himself! DoD and me had a great time with this'un!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Groovy Christmases Past: 1971

Merry Christmas, and welcome back to our two-week trip to December nine-teen-seventy-something to look at the comics Li'l Groove scarfed up from the spinner racks of various drugstores and the ever-lovin' King Kwik! Christmas 1971 always holds a special place in Ol' Groove's memories. Lots of family who didn't normally get to travel for Christmas holiday got to visit aaaand, my fave memory, I finally, for New Year's Eve got to stay up and play Monopoly with the grown-ups! No one but me probably remembers that, but it was a huge deal for Li'l Groove! Anyway--here come da comics!
 Ol' Groove did a post on this one many years back. Li'l Groove so wanted a cowboy outfit like the one the kid on the cover is wearing!

While I dug the spooky villain, Starbreaker, what Li'l Groove really loved was the Golden Age reprints in this ish! These first tastes of the Golden Age really grabbed me!

 Why in the world did Li'l Groove buy Lois Lane comics? For the Rose & Thorn back-ups!

 After seeing comicbook characters flying, why did a guy WALKING on the air strike Li'l Groove as so cool? 'Cause it was cool!

Bad guys had been trying to figure out Superman's identity for years--but when it happened to Spidey, it took on a whole 'nother level of drama!

Okay, Ol' Groove mentioned in the last post that in 1971 I was supplementing the comics I bought new off the spinner rack with coverless, cellophane-wrapped comics (three for twenty cents or a quarter). Those, ahem, unaurhorized comics really helped me grow my collection--and snagged me some very important comics like Avengers #97 (the end of the Kree/Skrull War), Captain American #147 (Cap vs. Hydra--when those battles really meant something), and the first appearance of Jonah Hex in All-Star Western #10. And to let you experience 'em the same way Li'l Groove did for the first time, here are the splashes to those brain-blasting comics instead of the covers! (See, splashes are important, too!)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Groovy Christmases Past! 1969/70

Merry Christmas, Groove-ophiles, and Happy Whatever-Holiday-You-Celebrate! This week and next, Ol' Groove's gonna get even more nostalgic than usual (is that even possible? Stay tuned!) and look back at comics I actually got off the spinner rack during the Yuletide Season (meaning anything between Thanksgiving and New Years' Day is fair game). Most of them are at least sentimental faves, of course, because besides cool covers, great stories, and awesome art, they're part of the happy memories of Christmas shopping, trips to visit family, Christmas break, and just all-around wintertime fun! My plan is to share Groovy Christmases Past this week and next, a different year each day.

Yeah, I start off kinda cheating because First and Second Grader Li'l Groove didn't get a whole lotta comics off the racks in December (though in second grade I had discovered those coverless, cellophane-wrapped comic packs of which I bought tons--but I'm not counting those). You'll see my buying habits fluctuate a bit and then BOOM! I must've spent every penny I had on 'em during high school. What does that say about Teen Groove? Nothin' but that I was a comicbook fanatic, baby! Anywho, here's hoping you enjoy these trips down memory lane as much as Ol' Groove does!

December 1969:

Li'l Groove thought Vigilante was the coolest thing ever: a cowboy on a motorcycle! This was my introduction to the character, natch.

Marie Severin and Sam Grainger came across with one of the coolest comicbook covers ever, right here. They could have gone the "floating head" route, but this is sooooo much more interesting!

One hero vs. a bunch of baddies! Here's my 15 cents!

The coolest new Saturday morning cartoon got it's own comic and Li'l Groove had to have it! 

December 1970: 

My introduction to Jack Kirby's Fourth World! Is it ironic that I got comics about "new gods" on the way home from Wednesday night Christmas play practice? Two separate practices? 

Li'l Groove's introduction to Marvel crossovers! What a great way to immerse oneself in and learn about the Marvel Universe! Nick Fury could bring the very different worlds of Daredevil and Iron Man together--then the Avengers could battle a trio of mis-understood heroes who'd soon become The Defenders! And then there was those Sal Buscema covers...! 

Be back tomorrow as we truck on back to December 1971!

Many thanks to both Grand Comics Database and Mike's Amazing World of Comics Newsstand for making an undertaking like this so much easier! I don't know what Ol' Groove'd do without those two sites!


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Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!