Monday, 16 April 2012


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Regular readers may remember me mentioning (in a previous post) MARVEL COLLECTORS' ITEM CLASSICS #6 as one of the comics I re-read while off ill from school on the day of my 11th birthday, along with The MIGHTY THOR #158 and WHIZZER & CHIPS #5, so cometh now the time to talk about it in a little more detail. 

I have many different memories associated with each tale in this particular mag, which, in retrospect, I'd likely owned for longer than previously imagined.  Seems to me I'd bought it only a few weeks before, but it's entirely possible that I'd had it for months.  One benefit of cover-dated weekly comics is that, years later, one can pinpoint one's associated memories with utmost precision.  For example, on September 30th, 1972, I bought The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL #1.  I remember it was a Saturday and I recall the circumstances, but - if not for the date on the cover (October 7th), which was the week after it went on sale as per British tradition - I may later have been able to recollect the year, but probably not the month and the day.

With American comics it's different, as they usually arrived on U.K. shores months (or even years) after they were published, so it's often more difficult to accurately ascertain their precise time of purchase.  As already noted, if we associate a particular moment in our past with a British comic, there's a date on the cover to mark the spot, as it were.  With a U.S. mag, the opposite is true - some other means of being able to recall exactly when it was acquired is needed.  For example, the only reason I remember that my brother bought SUPERBOY #146 and X-MEN #45 for me on December 15th, 1968 is because it was his birthday, not because of the dates on the covers.  In short, we use U.K. comics to date memories from around the time of purchase, whereas with U.S. ones, we usually have to rely on associated events (if we remember them) to determine when they came into our possession.

Now, if I was a far smarter man than I am, I would've been able to convey the above info in about three sentences instead of three paragraphs - but I'm not, so you'll have to live with it.  Anyway, when I look at MCIC #6, I associate a certain pic of SUSAN STORM with me sitting at a particular desk in one corner of my primary school classroom, and a picture of The HULK with me sitting at another desk in the opposite corner.  How can such a paradox be?  I either had the comics (or selected cut-out piccies) for far longer than I remember, or because of the following reason.

I often bought the same comic twice, weeks or months (perhaps even a year or so) apart.  Having cut out pictures from one particular ish, I'd later regret it and buy another copy if I saw it.  (I should explain to foreign readers that, as U.S. comics came to this country as ballast in ships and were stored in warehouses, batches of the same issues often turned up years apart.  That's why, for example, I was still able to buy a pristine copy of WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #158 from a newsagent's in Blackpool in 1973 that I'd first purchased in my home town back in 1968 or '69.)

However, I don't suppose any of that is relevant to anyone but myself, but I'm trying to place these stories in the context of the time so hopefully you'll forgive my self-indulgence.  One page in particular that I associate with my birthday is the one where The THING drags PRINCE NAMOR The SUB-MARINER from the ocean.  In fact, a page or two which followed it are also ensconced in my memory banks, but the one below is probably the most dynamic so I'll share it with you here.  JACK KIRBY at the very top of his game, no doubt about it.

Well, I could go on and on, but it wouldn't be fair to subject you to any more of what some may regard as my tedious reminiscences about my uneventful past.  I only hope that, in relating my memories of this particular comic, it may kick-start your own.  If so, feel free to relive and share them in the comments section - that's what it's there for.


Nick Caputo said...


These reminisces are not boring in the least. It's not as easy for me to pinpoint exact dates with the comics I purchased (actually oldere brother John purchased), but I do have good memories of where the books were bought and specific memories of where I was at the time.

Two of my earliest memories concern my favorite character at the time, Spider-Man. The first issue I recall seeing on the newsstand was Amazing Spider-Man # 39 which totally enthralled me with the image of Spidey unmasked and captured by the Green Goblin. It was a very dramatic cover, and the background coloring, with the gradations of light blue to purple are still vivid in my mind, the work of Stan Goldberg.

Another early memory is buying Marvel Tales # 4 with the bright yellow background at a lunchonette around the corner from my grandmothers house. I was particularly enthralled by the Spider-Man story, a reprint of ASM # 7, the return of the Vulture. Ditko's work fascinated me from a very young age, and it hasn't stopped yet.

Kid said...

Thanks for commenting, Nick. I have that issue of Marvel Tales #4 - I'll post it sometime if you don't still have it.

baab said...

I agree,your reminiscing leads to others reminiscing and on and on...
My first comic book memory was ,much like others ,a day under the blanket when i was around five or six and i hold in my hand a copy of kid colt ,Im not in bed i am in a smaller room with a couch and a tv.
On the tv is a programme in black and white,its a big character like a bear and a mouse also ,the bear is beating a large drum and the programme is ,(you might be able to help me with this,Kid) cartoon cavalcade,without glen michael.
I have searched for reference of this but no luck.
I cant tell you what kid colt comic it is,but maybe this had an influence on my love of Jack Kirby and Gil Kane.
The comic came from a bag of comics I was given by my older cousins,which formed the basis of my collection in my early years.
It is probably 1969 or 1970,at a stretch 71.

Kid said...

I well remember Glen Michael's Cartoon Cavalcade - watched it for years, but I can't think what the specific cartoon you mention might be. The annoying thing is, I'd probably know it if I saw it - isn't that always the way?

Could it have been a clip from the 1964 Yogi Bear movie? I seem to remember one of the circus bears playing a drum, but without checking I can't say for sure. I suppose it would be easy for a child to mistake Boo Boo for a mouse.

Anonymous said...

I say thee NAY, continueth verily or Thou shalt suffer the seven hells of Sloggoth

Seriously keep going, the choice of comics is so in tune that it's great to share the experiences together in our online community

Kid said...

As thou sayest Norman, so shall it be.

baab said...

Sorry Kid,I wasnt clear enough.
The programmes opening titles were a big bear and a drum and maybe a mouse with a flute,and I have always associated the title cartoon cavalcade with it.
I believe there was a cartoon cavalcade before it became Glen Michaels,but I cant find any evidence of this matter.

Kid said...

Apologies for picking you up wrong. I think the show was originally called Glen Michael's Cavalcade before being called Glen Michael's Cartoon Cavalcade, but I just referred to it as Cartoon Cavalcade.

As for the opening titles, what you describe seems vaguely familiar. However, whether that's because I'm remembering them or imagining them is hard to say.

baab said...

I had a look on wiki

Originally broadcast as Cartoon Cavalcade between 1966–73, series went out on during the week around 5pm until 1970 when it moved to Saturdays. From 5 January 1974 [3] the programme moved to its Sunday afternoon slot and renamed Glen Michael's Cartoon Cavalcade.

So my dates are sound and the original title,but there is no way i will be able to find the opening titles ..
but hey,I have a recurring dream where i visit my manor (uncannilly the front entrance and gardens is identical to the peoples palace ???),next to a scottish loch which licks the surrounding walls.
Inside there is a small team of librarians who are organising a library for me.
Thats where I will retire to once I slip off..

I may have access to some tv memories and will see it there.

Kid said...

I had a little look at that same page before your comment came in. I see that the programme was known as just Glen Michael's Cavalcade at one point, but it's a bit vague as to exactly when. I remember one classic '60s Christmas episode which seemed to go on forever - it had a complete episode of Stingray as well as loads of cartoons - magic.

Regarding the titles - that's the funny thing about memory - sometimes you don't remember some things 'til you see them again - then you recognise them immediately. I'm sure that's the way it would be with those opening titles - for me anyway.

Great to reminisce, ain't it?

John Pitt said...

Yep, MCIC & MT were great for catching up on early Marvel issues that we missed, but then how about those Fantasy Masterpieces albums reprinting Timely/Atlas tales from before we were born? (I didn't care for the joined-up lettering though!)

Kid said...

I've got some early issues of Fantasy Masterpieces, which later changed its name to Marvel Superheroes (issue #12 maybe). However, there was also a 1966 one-shot called Marvel Superheroes, which wasn't connected to the later series.

Anonymous said...

Fantasy Masterpieces did become Marvel Super Heroes with #12. The format changed from all reprints to a new story as the lead feature, with reprints as back-up strips. The lead feature seemed to be a try-out, similar to DC's Showcase. Sometimes they introduced new characters (Captain Mar-Vell, Guardians of the Galaxy), sometimes they featured team members or other secondary characters in solo stories (Medusa, Black Knight). IIRC, MSH later reverted to all-reprint. BTW, a second Fantasy Masterpieces series premiered in 1979. It reprinted the Silver Surfer from the late 1960s. And, in the department of "who cares" or "big fat hairy deal," that Marvel Super Heroes 1966 one-shot was the first Marvel comic I ever read.

Kid said...

I've actually got the first issue of that 2nd series of FM and featured it on a post somewhere. Unfortunately, they abridged the Silver Surfer stories, but if I didn't also have SS #1 (and the rest of them), I probably wouldn't have noticed.

Anonymous said...

I associate MCIC #6 with my aunt and uncle's house, so I must have read it during a visit there. Its cover date of December means it would have been on sale in September. I can't really narrow it down more than that. I do remember that scene with Ben dragging Namor away from the water. Also Reed's fight with Cyclops. At the time, I didn't think it was repetitive that the Iron Man and Hulk stories both had to do with underground kingdoms. Years later, it did occur to me that, by 1966, Marvel had so many subterranean villains that they could reprint stories about two in one issue (and without including the Mole Man or Ka-Zar). -TC

Kid said...

TC, these MCIC comics were a great way of catching up on early adventures at a reasonable price. Nowadays, expensive hardback volumes or trade paperbacks are the only way to acquire such early tales. (Short of parting with a fortune for the original issues.)

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