Friday, 29 November 2013
UNDERGROUND, OVERGROUND - BUT NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WOMBLES...
I have to be honest and say that I'm not really a fan of underground
comics, the only one I ever purchased being COMIX BOOK #1 back in
1974 or '75. I'm unable to give the precise year due to the fact that, as U.S.
comics and mags came over here as ballast on ships, sometimes they could
lie around in warehouses for months - if not years. (Although, on occasion,
they reached newsagents' spinner-racks on or around the actual month on
the cover - don't ask me how.) I don't suppose it much matters to you,
but as I tend to use comics as a calendar to chart my life, I prefer to
be able to pinpoint events with unerring accuracy.
I yet recall the long-gone little newsagent's shop on the far reaches of
my home town's old village quarter where I bought the above periodical -
as well as quite a few other fondly-remembered comicbooks and magazines.
I browsed through it and saw that it had a STAN LEE connection, 'though,
truth to tell, I wasn't too impressed by it. It was a 'compromise' comic - in
that it didn't really feature the same kind of content as 'real' underground
comics (or 'comix' as they're usually called), but it looked like one
even if it didn't quite read like one.
I bought it mainly because it was a first issue, but I soon decided to
ditch it, first extracting the only strip I considered worth keeping - the
four-page ALICE In WATERGATELAND - which you can read below
as I was savvy enough to hang onto it for those 38-plus years. Just as well
I did, because it's not featured in the new tome, The BEST Of COMIX
BOOK, a collection of the 'best' strips from the five issue run of the '70s
mag - the first three of which were published by Marvel. I only ever
saw #1, not knowing that there were others until fairly recently.
If you're into underground comix, then you'll more than likely
enjoy this little piece of history. I bought it because I wanted to see
the cover again, the better to lose myself in memories of yesteryear, and
a much-missed shop that could always be relied upon to provide me with
some four-colour treasures in which I could lose myself in the magical
realms of fantasy for a few fanciful hours. However, I plan on actually
reading the stories contained within this handsome volume, just to
see what I missed all those many years ago.
And below is the cover of the new book, featuring the work of ART
SPIEGELMAN, JUSTIN GREEN, ALEX TOTH, MICHAEL PLOOG,
S. CLAY WILSON, HOWARD CRUSE, HARVEY PEKAR, TRINA
ROBBINS, BASIL WOLVERTON - and many more!
Posted by Kid at Friday, November 29, 2013