I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk. . .the blog packed FULL of comic reviews nobody asked me for!
Even though the witching hour draws close, we're still having a bit of Halloween fun here at Longbox Junk by taking a look at some of the spooky stuff hiding in the dark corners of my (and my daughter's) comic collection.
It's been a pretty nice Halloween season here at Longbox Junk if I DO say so myself. So far we've seen Vampires (Vegetarian and otherwise), Killer Easter Bunnies, A sci-fi take on Jekyll & Hyde, Werewolves, Frankenstein's Monster, Spirits of Vengeance, Prairie Witches, and some generally nasty people doing nasty things (like burying each other alive). So what's missing here?
Zombies. We need some zombies!
And so here's some zombies.
What we have here is a fresh chunk of Longbox Junk that's on the stands even as I write this. I only have the first issue because I basically bought it for the extremely Halloween-y zombie Batman variant cover and somehow have kept missing the following issues. I'm sure I'll spot the whole set eventually in a bargain bin, but for now I just have this first issue, so let's take a look at it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for that you could ever ask for! Wait. . .did that make sense? You know what, I don't care! Welcome!
We're in the last week of October and it's the Halloween Home Stretch for Longbox Junk before we get back to our random business as usual. So sit back and enjoy a few more posts where we spotlight some of the spooky stuff lurking in my (and my daughter's) comic collection.
I was sort of on the fence about labeling this one as a Longbox Junk "Retro Review". It sits solidly at the end of the Bronze Age in 1980. . .and at 40 years old, it's not exactly a new comic. But on the other hand, the art and the stories inside definitely have a more Modern Age feel to them. . .despite paying lip service to the CCA by sporting the (then increasingly toothless) seal of approval on the cover.
In any case, no matter where this comic may fall in terms of defining "Age", at a top value of twelve lousy bucks for a mint copy (according to Comic Book Realm) it's definitely what I would call Longbox Junk. . .so let's take a look!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for!
We're still having a bit of Halloween fun here at Longbox Junk, spotlighting some of the spooky stuff haunting my (and my daughter's) comic collection. This time out, we're going into the lighter side of horror with Count Duckula!
FAIR WARNING: I'm going to digress a bit here before getting into the comic at hand.
As far as I'm concerned one of the best parts of comic collecting is the ability of a simple floppy stack of stapled paper to transport me back to various periods of time. . .I like to call it "The Paper Time Machine". This Count Duckula comic book took me back in a big way.
I don't have a personal connection to this particular issue. It came from my daughter's collection. But as I was looking through it, I was brought straight back to the very beginning of my days as a bargain bin hunter. See, before my daughter was old enough to start enjoying comics, I mostly collected what was new on the rack or what I had on subscription. I pretty much ignored the back issue boxes.
But when my daughter got to be about 4 or 5 years old, that changed when I decided to find some cheap comics for her that I wouldn't mind if she banged them up a bit. My thinking was to get her interested first and teach her how to take care of them later. So I began my long career as a "Longbox Junker" digging through bargain bins for Richie Rich, Archie, Casper, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and any other bright comic aimed at kids I could find for a quarter. . .and here we are now.
My daughter is 25 now and she's the Marvel fan of the two of us (I'm more of a DC guy). Getting deep into the convoluted continuity of Marvel's connected superhero soap opera is definitely her thing. . .but it all started with comics like this one. Just looking at this comic brings me back to the days of us sitting together on the floor of her bedroom. . .me with my new comics and her with a handful of cheap Richie Rich comics after dinner on Wednesday nights.
It's amazing to me remembering how something so inexpensive and simple as a Casper The Friendly Ghost comic from the quarter bin could bring my young daughter such happiness. What's even more amazing to me now that she's older is discovering (while digging through her collection looking for good Longbox Junk) that she still has so many of those comics I bought as throwaways!
They're worthless for all intents and purposes. Heavily read. . .some of them with covers detached, some with Kool-Aid stains, corners bent, just all sorts of damage. But she has them just as carefully bagged and boarded as the most valuable comics in her collection! When I pulled this Count Duckula comic from the box to do this review, she told me to be careful with it, even though it's probably not even "worth" a dollar.
And so even though the pages are barely hanging onto the staples, I treated this comic like a Silver Age collector item. . .because to my daughter, it's valuable. Her telling me to be careful with this "worthless" comic reminded me in a BIG way that sometimes the value of a comic has nothing to do with how much money it's worth.
Well. . .enough of that.
The comic at hand is one that I bought at some unknown point in the past for my daughter. I assumed on first look (based on the cover) that it was from the Warner Bros. stable of characters because the main character looks sort of like Daffy Duck or someone related to him. But as I said above, in those early days of Longbox Junkin' I just pulled anything that looked good for kids from the quarter box. I never actually READ any of them beyond a quick flip in the store and maybe a little reading together with my daughter if she needed help with a word or wanted to show me something funny.
BUT. . .
A quick bit of research shows me that Count Duckula is actually a character based on a British cartoon series I've never heard of called "Danger Mouse", and has nothing to do with Disney or WB. So this comic and the main character is as new for me now as it was for my daughter all those years ago. Let's do it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, where you can find more comic reviews you never asked for than you could ever ask for!
We're still having a bit of Halloween fun here in Longbox Junk by spotlighting some of the spooky stuff lurking in the shadows of my (and my daughter's) comic collection.
This time out, join me in taking a look at a Halloween Special one shot featuring Red Sonja. . .a character I wouldn't normally associate with Halloween. But then again, I just reviewed a Jonah Hex Halloween issue a few posts back, so I guess in the world of comics just about anything goes.
SO. . .Red Sonja Halloween. Let's do it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find comic book reviews nobody asked for!
We're still having a bit of Halloween fun here at Longbox Junk as I take a look at some of the spooky stuff lurking in my (and my daughter's) comic collection.
What we have here today for your "I never asked for this, and where the heck did you even find it?" reading pleasure is a strange little comic book crossover of two "cult" horror television programs. . . and by "cult" I mean that generally people who were alive in the 70's might remember these shows, along with a good handful of rabid fans.
I'd be willing to take a bet that any random person born after 1990 that I might stop and ask has never seen an episode of either one, and probably won't even know either of them ever existed (In their original forms. One of the shows DID have an ill-advised reboot movie released in 2012 that came and went pretty quickly in the theaters).
The shows I'm talking about are Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Dark Shadows.
Of the two, Dark Shadows will probably ring more of a bell than Night Stalker, due to the aforementioned movie (A strange Johnny Depp/Tim Burton project which wasn't really THAT bad) and that Dark Shadows was originally on T.V. for 6 years and in pretty constant syndication throughout the 70's compared to Night Stalker's one single year of production and a few "Movie of The Week" specials.
Dark Shadows was basically a supernatural soap opera following the continuing spooky trials and tribulations of the Collins family and their Patriarch, Vampire Barnabas Collins, in and around the town of Collinsport, Maine.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker followed intrepid Chicago reporter Carl Kolchak as he investigates stories that lead him into paranormal adventures. Unfortunately, by the end of each episode, the evidence of any paranormal connection has usually been destroyed. . .so he's a bit of a hard luck guy that just can't catch a break.
SO. . .
A comic crossover of two supernatural 70's "Cult" T.V. shows. This seems like one of those sort of things that's either going to be a great little hidden gem or it's going to fail and fail hard. Let's find out which one it is!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, home of comic reviews nobody ever asked for!
It's October, so we're having a bit of Halloween fun by spotlighting some of the spooky stuff in my (and my daughter's) collection. This time out we're stepping into the Longbox Junk paper time machine and travelling back to 1963 for a Retro Review!
As you can see from the number of "unknown" credits below, information on this issue is a bit sketchy. To my knowledge, the review below is the only one that has ever been (and probably ever will be) written. Once again, it makes me happy to know that writing this blog sometimes gives me the opportunity to fill in some missing comic knowledge out there for people who might be looking.
The information on this series in general is pretty sketchy. It had a pretty hefty run of 97 issues, because in those days publishers didn't care much about that sweet, sweet reboot #1 with multiple variant covers money. They wanted a reliable seller to chug along as long as it possibly could. Heck, 97 issues could probably be called a SHORT run back then! This comic series actually outlasted Boris Karloff himself , who passed away in 1969 (the final issue came out in 1980). But I digress. . .
This is actually a licensed property. A tie-in to a short-lived anthology show similar to The Twilight Zone called "Thriller" that was hosted by Boris Karloff. It only lasted 2 seasons. . .but once again, in those days a "season" was about FORTY episodes! The show actually boasted a pretty stout roster of acting talent (including Karloff himself in several episodes).
I watched a couple episodes of the show last night while looking up information on this comic series, and I have to say I found it was actually pretty good (at least the ones I saw. . .one of which starred a young William "I. Will. Enunciate!" Shatner). If you like Twilight Zone, you'll like Thriller. It's a bit obscure, but definitely worth a look. Full episodes can be found on Youtube.
The comics actually started coming out AFTER the final episode of the T.V. show and, like the show, had Boris Karloff as the host, setting up each story at the beginning and then showing up at the end to deliver a punch line, moral, or similar pithy epilogue.
But enough background. Let's take a look at this comic. . .
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, home of comic reviews nobody ever asked me for!
It's October! That means trick or treatin', candy eatin', and horror comics in Longbox Junk!
What we have here today is part of Marvel's short-lived effort at a bit of a monster comic revival a few years back. This particular one shot is one of a set of three (the other two are Satana and Man-Thing) meant to re-introduce some Marvel Monster characters back into continuity in order to form a supernatural "Legion of Monsters" team.
Well. . .as you can probably guess by this comic landing here at Longbox Junk, it didn't really work out. Legion of Monsters made just a few appearances as a team (most notably in the notorious Punisher "Franken-Castle" storyline and their own 4 issue mini) before they faded back into obscurity.
BUT. . .
Just because something didn't take hold and ended up in the bargain bin, does that make it bad? That's the sort of question I started Longbox Junk to answer! Let's take a look a closer look at this little relic of a failed Marvel experiment. . .
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, home of comic reviews nobody ever asked me for!
It's October! Leaves are on the ground and there's a chill in the air. Halloween is just around the corner, so I like to have a little Longbox Junk Halloween fun this time of year by spotlighting some horror comics in my (and my daughter's) collection.
This time out, I'm stepping outside of the bargain bin just a bit and taking a look at the first issue of a Marvel book that sort of took the comic fandom by surprise. I'm talking about Al Ewing and Joe Bennett' series, "Immortal Hulk" (now on issue 24, as of this writing).- read more
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