Tuesday, 22 May 2012


In a previous post, I once mentioned a quote I'd heard on the radio
which ran something like this:  "The memories of childhood are without
time and without end".  I've never been able to track its source so if anyone
knows, please let me know.  The point is 'though, as folk of a 'certain age' will
be all too aware, it's often difficult to remember exactly when and in what order
things happened many years after the fact.  Sometimes it seems that I had one
big Christmas when I was a kid because my memories of them all tend to mix
together.  I have to rely on other factors to separate one from another -
such as the date on a comic, what was on TV at the time, etc.

Why do I mention this?  Well, the above cover is one I remember
from sitting on the bench beside the 'burn' which I referred to in part one
of this 'series'.  At this late stage in the game, I can no longer recall if it was
on the same occasion or an earlier or later one.  I was very much a creature
of habit - trot along to the hospital shop, buy an ALAN CLASS comic, stop
at the bench by the burn on the way home to read it.  My first instinct is that
it was the same day, but I can't be sure.  Does it matter?  Well, not to you
it doesn't, but as you'll have noticed by now, these posts are somewhat
self-indulgent exercises, allowing me to revisit my past and wallow
in the nostalgia that it occasions.

The above comic is one I recall seeing in its late '60s incarnation on a
visit to our previous neighbourhood to visit a friend of my mother, whose
son had once hung around with my brother when we lived there some years
before.  I even remembered the cover story - "I'VE GOT TO PROTECT
NETTIE!", although it wasn't drawn by KURT SCHAFFENBERGER, but
by PAUL REINMAN.  Alan Class regurgitated the same comics over
many years, although I think the page count may have been cut over
time, necessitating a reduction in content.

If I remember correctly, at the same time I first read this comic, I
also read a story about a runner who raced DEATH every so many years
in order to continue living.  If he outraced Death, he won an extension until
the next occasion.  (He was far older than he appeared, having lived way past
his normal lifespan.)  However, Death had once almost caught him, leaving
glowing skeletal hand-prints on his back.  I associate that story with the above
issue, so I was disappointed not to see it when I bought the comic in the mid
to late '70s.  Either it was dropped from later editions, or it was in another
Class comic that I read at the same time - one without so memorable
a cover (to me at least) as the one above, obviously.

(UPDATE, 2015:  The tale was entitled The MAN Who OUT-
STORIES #4 (1952), published by FAWCETT.  I've yet to determine
which AC mag it was reprinted in, if it wasn't the one above.)

I have no real memories of the above cover, apart from owning it
thirty-odd years ago.  It could have been one I read as a child in the '60s,
but nothing about it prompts a memory so I may well have been seeing it for
the first time when I bought it back in the '70s.  It contains some nice DITKO
stories, so it's well-worth having.  Anyway, that's enough tedious reminiscing
from me for the moment.  Hopefully, your own happy childhood or teenage
memories have been stirred by reading about mine, so join me in part
three for another look at some classic covers from Alan Class.


Nick Caputo said...

Love seeing these covers. Keep taking this trip down memory lane...

Kid said...

Thanks, Nick. Part three coming soon.

baab said...

hello there,
i love the gorilla man stuff.
I have the original comic it appeared in somewhere,well maybe the cover,Ha!.

I used to get really disappointed if there was no kirby or ditko in the book.

I saw lots of stuff in the Class Books,Nick Fury by Steranko even,heavens to betsy!

Roll on wi part three Kid,keep up the nostalgia fest.

Kid said...

To think I only have a mere 12 Alan Class comics - I need to start acquiring some back issues and increase my collection. The earlier ones had slightly better printing - before the plates wore thin. Thanks for commenting, baab.

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