Saturday, 3 May 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

He had a 'walk-on' part in a MAN-THING tale in ADVENTURE
Into FEAR #19 in 1973, appeared next in a couple of back-up stories
in GIANT-SIZE MAN-THING #4 & 5, and was then awarded his own
comic mag in 1976.  Created by STEVE GERBER & VAL MAYERIK,
he eventually underwent a slight revision in appearance when DISNEY
(who ironically now own MARVEL) objected to the character on the
grounds that he was too similar-looking to DONALD DUCK.

The rest, as they say, is history - and it's a history we're now about to
re-live by looking at the covers and splash pages of the first dozen issues
(in two parts) of his own magazine.  Incidentally, I'll have to re-read these
mags again as I don't recall too much about them - apart, that is, from #3,
which is an absolute classic in comicbook entertainment.  A word to the
wise - track one down on eBay right away - you'll be glad you did!

See you in Part Two - coming soon!


Gey Blabby said...

It wasn't often that I was disappointed to see John Buscema or Gene Colan working on a book, but at that time I was really upset that Frank Brunner left after a couple of issues. Not that their work was bad, more that it was just so familiar by then, and I was hoping that Brunner (and Gerber) might be capable of producing a run that was as good and original as Brunner and Englehart's on Doctor Strange.
I lost interest pretty quickly after it became obvious he wasn't coming back, and also the character of Howard lost his charm for me after a few issues, so maybe Brunner's presence might not have helped anyway.
I'll always treasure #1 but; that cover and splash page were spot-on, even allowing for the unwelcome intrusion of Spidey on the front.

Kid said...

I suppose that Spidey's appearance was understandable, in that he guest-starred in the book - no point not advertising the fact on the cover, especially on a first issue. I only bought the first five issues at the time (I got 6-12 in the late '80s or early '90s), so I didn't mind Brunner's departure too much. Big John did a great job on #3 - I probably wouldn't have minded if he'd drawn the rest of them. Shame about the movie, eh?

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I was a bit miffed as well when Brunner left the book , but have to admit I thought Gene Colan was great on Howard the Duck, more so when it went to a B&W book - I think Im one of only a handful of folk that thought the film wasn't that bad, certainly it wasn't a classic and it didn't reflect the book but it was fun and novel especially at the time it came out but it got slaughtered in the press. I loved Brunner and Engleharts Dr Strange run (wee hint for a future blog) Have to say the last 2-3 weeks blogs have been really enjoyable Kid.

Kid said...

McScotty, you're right - the movie wasn't as bad as it was made out to be. However, neither was it what Howard The Duck fans were expecting (or wanting), so from that perspective it was a tad disappointing. I wasn't overly familiar with Brunner's art at that time (didn't see his Dr Strange 'til later), so that's probably why him leaving the mag didn't bother me too much. Glad you've been enjoying the blog - I aim to please (but often miss).

Colin Jones said...

If I see a Marvel Essential tpb of Howard I'd definitely buy it as I love all that goofy "breaking the fourth wall" stuff which takes the p*ss out of the MU - in modern comics it's Deadpool which fills that role and I'm reading the latest volume of Deadpool right now. Kid, did you know that Howard came back in 2002 as Howard The Rat(also written by Steve Gerber) but it wasn't a great success - I didn't know either but I read about it recently. The Howard movie wasn't that awful but a CGI Howard would be better next time - not that there'll be a next time !

Kid said...

Yeah, CJ, I read about Howard being a rat - presumably Gerber's pop at Disney for the hassle over Howard's appearance. However, I assumed it was for only an issue or two, not for a long run. I have heard whispers about another Howard movie, but time will tell, eh?

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