Archive for the 'Kids Reading Comics' Category
Pic courtesy of Matthew Mann (the kid on the far right holding Micronauts #1) at Comics and Other Imaginary Tales.
The poignancy of the photo multiplies when you consider that the young lady may have been in an American internment camp when it was taken. Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from the Pacific coast to inland locations directly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Robinson Crusoe, you’ll recall, is a story about a British castaway who tries to survive and civilize (i.e. Anglicize) an “Island of Despair.”
The original Classics Illustrated series was published continuously—by three different publishers—from 1941 to 1971.
The Decent Literature Council, established in 1956, was active well into the 1960s. Its mission was “to protect youth from obscenity and pornography.” Here’s one of the directors, from a 1961 Miami News story:
We have found from resource reading… that pornographic literature becomes like a drug. As a child reads, he requires stronger doses, and it finally becomes destructive.
And here’s Charles Keating, Chairman of Citizens for Decent Literature (est. 1958), speaking to the Decent Literature Council in 1964:
The material constitutes a detailed course of instruction in perversion…
These sex-mad magazines are creating criminals faster than we can build jails to house them.
The publications provide youngsters with an entry to the world of lesbians, homosexuals, sadists, and other deviates whose names and actions are unknown to most decent people of this country.
If Keating’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was at the center of the Savings and Loan Crisis of the late 1980s. He was convicted of fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy, and went to jail. (Luckily, we still had one to house him.)
My daughter and her friends will know the exhilaration of spending summer days sifting through stacks of books and comics. If I have to open my own store and lose money steadily over several years to make it happen, so be it.
Easton Avenue in Wellston, Missouri, once a thriving business district, is now an “urban ghost town.”
(All images via Comic Pix Jones)
The ad, showing Vancouver’s The Comic Shop, is from The First Vancouver Catalogue. The pic on top shows rows and rows of fantasy paperbacks in the glorious heyday of fantasy paperbacks. Several editions of Conan appeared between 1966 (Lancer Books) and the early ’80s. They included Howard’s original stories and new works by contemporary authors, notably L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter.
The Marvel titles in the bigger photo are mostly obscured, but what a great look at all the magazines. Will Eisner’s Spirit, 1984, The Hulk! (formerly The Rampaging Hulk) #10 (Val Mayerik cover art), and The Savage Sword of Conan #33 (killer Earl Norem cover). On the second row, you’ll see a `Jaws vs Ape’ headline. That’s Famous Monsters of Filmland #146.
Not cover specialist Bob Larkin’s best work, and why the hell is the ape beating on Jaws, anyway? Here’s my best guess.
1976’s A*P*E (no shit, it stands for Attacking Primate MonstEr) is compellingly awful, and introduces a young Joanna Kerns (the mom in Growing Pains). RKO sued the production company for its blatant attempt to rip off Dino De Laurentiis’s 1976 King Kong remake, hence the hilarious disclaimer at the end of the trailer.
Also, listen for the very poorly edited “See giant ape defy jaw-shark!” I’m sure the narrator originally used ‘jaws’, but was forced to change it due to legal pressure from Universal Pictures. So, in true exploitation fashion, they replaced the ‘s’ by dubbing ‘shark’ over it.
I’m happy to report that The Comic Shop is still there. On the website’s history page, I found a bonus photo of co-founder and owner Ron Norton in 1975. You can spot several more comic magazines behind him, including Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #1, and more fantasy and sci-fi paperbacks (Zelazny, Silverberg) in the foreground.
(First image via Sequential: Canadian Comics News and Culture)
(Video via TrashTrailers/YouTube)
It took me a while to pinpoint the year on this one, but I got it.