Wednesday, 29 July 2015

KID'S KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS - E-MAN #1...



E-MAN #1 - I remember my father buying me this comic
one dark and drizzly evening in a dingy newsagents just 'round
the corner from the famous BARROWLAND market.  That
was in the early '70s, and I never read (or even saw) another
ish 'til FIRST COMICS reprinted them in the early '80s.

20 comments:

TC said...

E-Man had a cult following, but evidently not enough to sustain it. I never heard of it until First Comics began publishing it in the 1980's, first in a new series that lasted for about two dozen issues, then in a seven-issue mini-series that reprinted the original Charlton run.

Maybe it was (like DC's Shazam and Plastic Man) just too whimsical for comic book fans, most of whom seemed to want grim-and-gritty.

DeadSpiderEye said...

First E-man I got was No. 2 featuring the Entropy Twins, I think. I picked it up from a spinner rack just out of town, didn't get the first issue till a quite a while later, while on a trip to the seaside. I loved Stanton's artwork, I spent a lot of time emulating his style, he had a fantastic line and his creations, the paraphernalia and machines were drawn with a teetering, slightly quirky look that I really liked. I managed to pick up the entire run over the years and I anticipated the First version with some relish. It was OK, by that time, Stanton's style had become more tutored, lost a little of it's appeal for me, still a pretty good artist though.

The First run, was more overtly humour orientated, not quite in the Megaton Man mould but played very much for laughs. I do recall, the letters page was quite lively and they came in for some stick over their Einstein caricature, a kind of mascot they used to break the fourth wall. I thought the reaction to the Einstein character was a bit precious myself but they did drop him after the first few issues. I think I do have all the First E-Mans, not absolutely sure, there was some kind of interruption in publication and he came back sporadically from a different publisher, Dark Horse or Eclipse maybe?

The Charlton run has a Ditko second feature, can't quite recall the character but he was a bit of a Creeper knock off, really entertaining though.

Harmonious Dischord said...

I bought the Modern reprint when it came out and loved it. It was one of those odd not Marvel or DC US comics that very rarely came my way. I recenty bought a NM 1st print, that's how much I love it.

Colin Jones said...

I've never heard of him - what does the E stand for ? Barry Cryer would say an E Man comes from Yorkshire, eh Kid ? :)

John Pitt said...

Never read or even saw a single E-Man. Any good?

cerebus660 said...

Because Charlton's comics had even worse distribution in this country than Marvel or DC ( certainly in my corner of the UK )I rarely saw many of them. I can remember a local newsagent having a copy of E-Man no. 10 that sat on the shelf for months. I always looked at it but never bought it - the painted cover featuring E-Man, some farmers and a black panther(?)always disturbed my younger self for some reason. I finally caught up with some E-Man back-issues many years later and enjoyed the strip's light-hearted, surreal style.

Kid said...

I believe they were deliberately going for that whimsical Plastic Man approach, TC.

******

DSE, wasn't the back up feature called The Knight, followed by Michael Mauser? I don't think either of them were by Ditko.

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HD, I have the original Charlton first issue, and also all 7 of the First Comics reprints.

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CJ, the E represents the E = mc2 equation by Einstein.

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JP, light, entertaining reading. Nothing too memorable perhaps, but certainly not crap.

******

Cer, ah, so you caught up with them in the end, eh? Yeah, I've certainly read far worse comics. E-Man wasn't bad at all.

TC said...

I believe the Ditko back-up was called Killjoy, and appeared in two issues. It was replaced by Rog 2000, which may have been John Byrne's first professionally published work.

I don't know if Mike Mauser ever had a solo strip in the original E-Man comic. He first appeared in E-Man #3 (IIRC), and became a regular supporting character and sidekick for E-Man. He did have a solo strip in Charlton's "Vengeance Squad," and those stories were included in First's "Original E-Man" reprint mini-series in the 1980's.

Comico published a one-shot special, then a three issue mini series, ca. 1990. I don't know offhand if there have been any subsequent attempts at revivals.

Kid said...

That'll be it, TC. I was assuming that MM was the back up feature because they were reprinted in the 7 issue reprint run. I would've known at one time that they were from a different source, but it's been years since I looked at those FC issues and read the introductory spiel, so had obviously simply forgotten. I read once that there was a softcover reprint of the Charlton issues that I wouldn't mind having, but I think it's a limited edition.

DeadSpiderEye said...

The Mauser feature is just the first (not First cap 'F') and second issues I think, I could be wrong. Mauser is more a caricature in the the First (cap 'F') editions and I think he had a feature in that too.

Kid said...

Going by memory, DSE (because my E-Man #1 is still up in my loft somewhere), I think the back-up in #1 was a strip called The Knight. Not having seen subsequent issues (except for reprints of the main strips), I'm not quite sure what the back-ups were in them. I could Google it I suppose, but I can't be @rsed.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I don't remember The Knight at all, so I'll havta arrange a trip up to the loft myself. The Rog 2000 TC mentions rings a bell, kinda lame looking robot with really basic artwork. Incidentally, I think it's a mistake to view E-man as completely frivolous character, there was certainly some depth and drama to the original run, I remember The Entropy Twins as being quite tragic. The Nova character was particularly well drafted, I suppose because she's E-man's way in to the world and there was a certain conflict in the way she regarded E-man because of her maternal role.

Kid said...

Well, I wouldn't claim that E-Man was a COMPLETELY frivolous character, DSE, but there WAS an obvious element of it compared to other superhero comics at the time. I must confess to fancying Nova Kane (novacaine - a dentist's joke - see, even the names have a frivolous aspect to them) upon sight. Wotta bod!

cerebus660 said...

OK, so I dug out my copy of E-Man no.1 - someone had to! The back-up strip is indeed The Knight ( "Operation: Rotten Apple" ) by Nicola Cuti ( a bloke, despite his name! ) and the great Tom Sutton. A fairly unremarkable attempt to cash in on the already-fading spy-fi genre, it at least has an interesting concept where the agents of CHESS ( Command for the Hindrance of Espionage, Sabotage and Subversion )are all named for chess pieces.

Rip Jagger said...

Perhaps my favorite single superhero series of all time. Cuti and Staton hit the notes perfectly. I have the original E-Man poster sitting over my desk as I type this, a gem of an image (see the corner box of the first issue). I've done close readings and reviews of the series, but I'm just about to read it again in a few days since it's been a few years.

Rip Off

Kid said...

Thanks, Cer - at least my memory functions properly sometimes.

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I think it was on your blog, Rip, that I saw the softcover book mentioned. Send it to me at once.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

E-Man is also very much in my top 10 favourite comics and characters of all time as well (the initial series that is) wonderful fun stuff with great art, although I think it was very much of its time. This is one of those books that I still recall with some clarity (in my dotage)the day I picked it up (well issue 2,I never got issue 1) after school in R S McColls in Rutherglen. Charlton Comics were pretty well distributed in my area as a kid (as were Atlas comics) and there were always issues of Doomsday+1, Haunted, E-man, Vengeance Squad (that was pretty good also) etc etc on sale somewhere ( more so it seems that in some places in the USA). I always wanted Charlton to have a super team with E-Man, Dr Graves, Killjoy, Blue Beetle, Rog 2000, Liberty Belle etc in it (sad fanboy that I was in those days)

First, Comico and most recently Digital Webbing Press have all released new (at the time) E Man comics and are all well worth looking out if you see them (probably in the 50p bins) - the character also appeared in Charlton Bullseye and I think will also be in a new fanzine about Charlton comics ( I think the links on Kids list of blogs)

TC is right one of Ditko’s 2 back up characters was "Killjoy" (who appeared in issues 2 and 4) which I liked a lot - he also did a one off issue (5 I think) with a female character called "Liberty Belle". Doesn't the "E" in E-Man stand for Energy (i.e. Energy Man) I know I’m being pedantic as the "E" in E-MC2 represents "energy".

Kid said...

I bought the first 5 issues of the new E-Man series by First back in the '80s, but I didn't continue with it, sadly. (Must've missed issue #6 and given up.) I'm not sure I'd be interested in reading any of the more recent 'new' adventures, because I really associate the character with the '70s and my interest is more of a nostalgic one. As long as I've got my Charlton first issue and First Comics reprints of the original series, that'll do me I think - 'though I might change my mind one day. (Right, who said "Change it for a better one!"?)

Yes, the E stands for energy - which, as the E in E=mc2 also stands for energy, is what I said, is it not? (I never knew your secret identity was Pedantic Man, McScotty. Your cover's blown.)

DeadSpiderEye said...

Pedantic Man says: it's E = mc^2

Kid said...

Not when you Google it - so there.

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