Sunday, 2 August 2020



I'm afraid it's another repost, Crivvies.  I'm beginning to wonder whether it's worth the effort of producing new posts when hardly anyone responds to them.  That could be my fault of course, but when I see the kind of dreary, clueless pish that commenters respond to in droves on other sites, I'm not convinced that my writing style or subject matter is the chief reason as to why my posts are seemingly sometimes ignored.  Why not tell me where you think I'm going wrong, and what I should do that would encourage a better response?  I had over 5,000 hits one night last week, so maybe I should be satisfied with that, but comments give a bit of life to a blog and make it more entertaining to the readers as well.

Yes, I know - I've shown these covers before, but it was over several posts and I thought it would be handy to have them all in one place for all you pantin' panelologists to slobber over. The first seven issues were double-sized, 25 cents publications, and #8 was prepared that way as well.  However, it was split over two issues when it was decided to make the mag a regular-sized, 15 cents monthly.  The series lasted for only 18 issues, so assuming the change was made because it was thought the pricier format was scaring off readers, it wasn't soon enough to make a difference in sales, alas.

JACK KIRBY drew what became the last issue, but the mag's cancellation proved that not even the 'King' could save it.  Sure, it was cancelled before the sales figures came in, but they must've been pretty underwhelming, as the mag would've been revived PDQ had it seemed to MARVEL that they suddenly had a surefire runaway hit on their hands.  In fact, it has to be said that Jack's issue is the weakest of the run and proves that STAN LEE was right in having big JOHN BUSCEMA illustrate the previous 17 tales.  I doubt the magazine would've lasted as long as it did had Jack drawn it from the very start , as his art had taken a decidedly cartoonish turn.

Got a favourite?  What memories are stirred in the cavernous confines of your mind as you peruse these powerful images from yesteryear?  Take a moment to savour those recollections, and then share them with the rest of us in the comments section.

Believe it or not, I bought pristine copies of #s 10-14 from a spinner-rack
 in a shop in Blackpool in 1973 or '74 - for the cover price of 5 pence each 

I hadn't noticed before that #18 came out a whole 3 months after #17

Bashful BARRY PEARL has reminded me that he had a letter published in #14 - it's on the page below.  Barry's a mere youngster, so obviously he must've been only around 6 months old when he wrote it.


Lionel Hancock said...

You have to give these guys credit for their work. The artistry is excellent. I used to collect a lot of the Marvel horror comics like Chamber of Chills,Vault Of Evil , Tomb of Darkness. The covers sold the comic even if the stories they were enticing were substandard. Good stuff.

Kid said...

Those were the days when a cover made you want to pick up a comic to read what was inside, LH. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be their purpose nowadays.

Christopher Nevell said...

Some of these covers I only got to know as covers for The Super-Heroes comic in 1975. Actually some of the “fill in” covers on that run are equally good, if not better, starting with issue 1.

Kid said...

That's where I first saw them as well, CN. The first issue cover of The Super-Heroes (as you'll know) was originally an FF cover featuring The Silver Surfer (with a bit of revision). SH was a nice little mag - sadly, only managed 50 issues before being merged into Spider-Man's weekly.

Dave S said...

Gorgeous covers- 3 and 8 are particular favourites of mine.

I've often pondered on how Kirby's intended revamp of the Surfer as a bad guy would have worked out- I think the character would have been more like the Hulk, wanting to be left alone rather than being an out and out villain, but think it might have been difficult to maintain monthly stories about. Then again, it was Kirby, so it'd have been worth reading!

Norman said...

Hey Kid. I found despite my loathing of Facebook I get more feedback there so I've always suspected the blog comment mechanism is too difficult. But we ARE here. P.s. Buscema's SS is gorgeous.

Kid said...

I like the covers to #4, 7, 10, 11, 13 & 14 in particular, DS. The Silver Surfer under Kirby? I don't think it would've worked somehow, if #18 is anything to go by. His artwork was just too 'clunky' by this time, without Colletta to soften the squiggles and square kneecaps. Jack drew the Surfer just right in his first few appearances (inked by Sinnott), but veered 'off-course' in later issues. 'Twould have been interesting to see though.


That's good to know, Norman, but I really hate Facebook and Twitter and can't ever see me using them as a substitute for the blog. Once you publish on Facebook, they own the copyright (if its yours) on your images. Everybody should visit Norman's great blog on Frank Hampson's artwork - it's in my bloglist.

Unknown said...

Hi Kid,
Nice set of covers and no doubt #4 is an all time classic - Big John Buscema was firing on all cylinders when he produced that cover and the contents inside were also inspired. Alas, I only have the Fantasy Masterpieces reprint of this comic, as the original is outwith my available spending budget.

Kid said...

I was lucky enough to acquire my issues more than 30 years ago, D, when they weren't quite so expensive. The Fantasy Masterpieces were a handy way of catching up on stories, but unfortunately they were abridged versions, with several pages being edited out. I've got #1 and, going from memory, around four pages have been omitted, with some clever editing to hide the fact.

Kid said...

Oops, my mistake. Norman's blog is about Frank Bellamy, not Hampson. I keep getting the two Franks mixed up.

Fantastic Four follower said...

Hope everyone in your family remains well Kid.Just a quick recollection from 1970 regarding Silver Surfer.We had a local shop that would get 200-300 American Marvel/Dc comics in every 3 weeks or so and put them in a classic revolving rack,the classic 4 sided one which held about 6 or 7 comics in each of the individual spaces so 200+ comics were on display on the day the comics arrived but may only have 10 or 20 left by the end of the month.Comics were a major source of entertainment with no X-box's etc so delivery day was a BIG event! For some reason we also got leftovers from unsold comics in warehouses(in perfect condition) or whatever.Anyway this month featured Fantastic Four #96(Mad thinker,a personal favourite),Spiderman #82(Electro, another favourite),Daredvil #60 etc.Anyway the comics arrived on a Friday but our scout troop was away for the weekend and i did not get to the shop until late on Sunday evening.Disaster,90% of the comics had been sold(told you comics were popular round our way!).Had to make do with Daredevil #60(great, but not FF, Spidy, Avengers,Thor etc).I was tempted to buy a double-sized copy of Silver Surfer #1 as it had a couple of panels featuring Fantastic Four but in the end I left it behind with at least...... 4 other double sized copies!I think the price also put me off and I guess the other comic readers that month were of a similar ilk.All these years later I still regret not buying SS#1 but it was expensive and I think I was able to buy 2 and a half ordinary comics to the same value.If I had the foresight to purchase those 5 copies I could have bought Belgium in the current market but it was a simpler time and no-one knew that these comics could be worth silly money in the future.In my opinion the format,the price and the stories killed the Silver Surfer,a perfect storm if you will.The comics remain absolutely beautiful but the stories suffer with the passing of time(as with Neal Adams GL/GA)My personal favourite was #13 featuring the Doomsday Man and Possibly #7 with Frankenstien.Did anyone elsa have a favourite?Great post,stay well.

Kid said...

Everything's fine at this end, Triple F, hope it's the same with you. It was always a treat to find pristine condition older comics in the spinner-racks, wasn't it? I guess they'd been sitting in the corner of a warehouse for years before being rediscovered and then distributed. A few local shops in my area got in several copies of the 1965 Journey Into Mystery Annual #1 - in 1973 or '74. I'd already read the main tale in the Fantastic Summer Special in 1968, so it was great to see its original printing in colour. The same thing happened a few years back with a Wally Wood mag that he created for US servicemen. Several copies turned up in at least one Glasgow comics shop and sold at the then-regular price of other comics at the time. It had probably been previously available on ebay for a much higher price.

As for the Surfer, I liked the Abomination tale, the Doomsday Man story, and the two-parter in #s 10 & 11.

Norman said...

I forgive you Flora ;-)

Kid said...

You great big ol' forgiver, Norman.

Anonymous said...

Some fine covers agreed by Buscema, Romita and Trimpe.
My favourite of all these is SS#3, with Mephisto in centre stage.
Re the end of the series: Trimpe was set to take over as artist, and given his cover to SS#18, was probably the official artist when the title was cancelled. As to other versions of the SS, I enjoyed the Rogers/Englehart run in the 80s, although I don't think that Rogers was suited to the character, and the 3 part series by Thomas, Wein and Buckler that ran in FF#155-157.I was disappointed in the Lee/ Buscema strip in Epic#1 and the Lee/Byrne tale from the early 80s. The Lee/Kirby graphic novel and the Lee/Moebius limited series were good, although of course retold the origin story, sans the FF.
Spirit of 64

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