Friday, June 23, 2017

Making a Splash: Ghost Rider In the Spotlight

What it is, Groove-ophiles! It's recently been brought to Ol' Groove's attention that the motorcycle riding, most supernatural hero of all, Ghost Rider hasn't gotten much attention here on the Diversions. Well, time to rectify that sitch! In 1972, Marvel was expanding like crazy and needed an idea for a new character. Editor Roy Thomas got together with writer Gary Friedrich and artist Mike Ploog to create a brand new character using the name of an old Western character, Ghost Rider. This new, modern Ghost Rider would combine two very separate but very popular fads of the late 60s/early 70s: the occult and Evel Knievel. Marvel had gods, radioactive people, mutants, and androids, but this was the first time they ever gave us a hero whose creation came via a deal with the devil! Of course this mind-blowing, oh-so-Seventies hero would catch on, running in Marvel Spotlight issues 5-11, then in his own mag for for a staggering (for the 70s) eighty-one issues (plus fifteen issues as a member of the Champions)--that's nearly 11 years of Ghost Rider counting the Spotlight issues! That self-same handful of Spotlight issues was penciled by powerhouses Mike Ploog (sometimes inked by Frank Chiarmonte and Jim Mooney) and Tom Sutton (inked by Chic Stone, Mooney, and Syd Shores), giving us the following supernatural splashes! Dig 'em!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ol' Groove's Request Line: "Curse of the Sea Monkey!" by Maiwald and Cruz

Check it out, Groove-ophiles! While Ol' Groove is running this post under the "Request Line" banner, this one was actually a plea spurred by last Friday's "Grooviest Covers" post. One "Concerned and perplexed M.P." "needs closure" after seeing Neal Adams' hauntingly amazing cover for House of Mystery #254 (June 1977)...

...So, M.P., here ya go, baby! You might be surprised at how different this story is from what you might expect from that cover, but in return you are getting a story featuring a creature that might have taken your comicbook moolah at one time or another...

Oddly enough, no Sea Monkey ad in this particular ish, but this crazy little ad was on page 17...

Weird, huh? Or was it all part of some sort of devious marketing plan...?

Was this one-and-only story written by the mysterious Lois Maiwald inspired by those kooky Sea Monkey ads that ran in our comic mags for oh, so many decades? Aw, great! Now Ol' Groove needs closure! Sigh...well, let's try to reign in our feelings and enjoy the cool story and fab-a-mundo E.R. Cruz art!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Black and White Wednesday: "A Coffin for Captain Cutlass" by Fox and Moren

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Didja ever just sit and ponder things like..." Were there any good horror/pirate stories back in the Groovy Age?" Yeah, Ol' Groove does, too. Oh, the answer? The answer is affirmative, baby! Way back in Skywald's Psycho #3 (cover date May 1971), Golden Age Great Gardner Fox teamed with artist Serge Moren to give us just such a story, "A Coffin for Captain Cutlass." Innit outtasite?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Decent Comics: "The Major's Dream" by Kirby and Berry

AttennSHUN, Groove-ophiles! Jack "King" Kirby is back with another Losers mini-epic! "The Major's Dream" from Our Fighting Forces #161 (August 1975) feels almost like an episode of The Twilight Zone, but it's really King Kirby dealing with the sensitive issue of the trauma suffered by so many soldiers of all ranks and nations. D. Bruce Berry inked it, and somebody at World Color Press messed up with the printing plate on page one! Oh, yeah--and Joe Kubert drew the cover!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Marvel-ous Monday: "The Mark of the Metazoid" by Drake, Heck, and Tartaglione

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Okay, the honeymoon's over with Captain Marvel. With ish #5 (June 1968), Roy and Gene have abandoned our Space-Born Super-Hero leaving writer Arnold Drake and penciler Don Heck to take over. Yeah, the mood changes very swiftly, and the direction is already shifting, but Ol' Groove's gotta say that I still dig this ish. The villain is kinda generic, and Drake's story is a bit overwrought--but that's one of those things that makes the Groovy Age so groovy to moi. And a lot of you are gonna disagree, but I dig Heck's energetic, open, dramatic pencils on this particular ish, and inker John Tartaglione stayed pretty true to Heck's style. To Ol' Groove, Dashin' Don was really good at sci-fi slanted comics, and "The Mark of the Metazoid" is a doggoned good sample of what he could do!


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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!