Friday, October 13, 2017

The Human Torch #5: The Yaffa edition

Some time ago I mentioned that I had a Yaffa The Human Torch #5 listed in my database, but could not confirm whether it was a legitimate entry or an erroneous reference to an unnumbered reprint of the first issue in the series.

Well, here it is:


I found this the old fashioned way - browsing through a secondhand collectibles shop, which I didn't even know existed, just a few kilometres from home. Talk about lucky!

As I mused in my previous entry on this series, there is not a lot of material left to cover more issues in a title like this. This issue contains three Human Torch stories from the last couple of issues of the U.S series from 1975, and is padded with an Omega the Unknown story from 1977. So, I'm guessing there aren't any more issues in this series, but if there are, no doubt they will be recycled reprints of previous issues. 

And I'm once again deeming this series in my collection complete!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Giant-Man Doctor Strange 100 Page Mammoth Marvel Masterpiece: Anatomy of a Newton cover

Newton published a number of comics with covers produced in-house, especially in their second phase of one-off titles. Typically these covers were collages of images cobbled from interior images, although there were exceptions whereby the images were culled from other sources

Giant-Man Doctor Strange 100 Page Mammoth Marvel Masterpiece reprints a number of Giant-Man and Doctor Strange features, but oddly enough does not feature Doctor Strange on the cover:


The various images are sourced from interior contents as per below:





The other thing that stands out on these in-house collages is the colouring. You'd swear they were done with textas! Utterly charming, of course - nowhere near as stomach churning as their bone fide printing errors.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Invaders: The complete Yaffa cover gallery

Here's a cover gallery of my collection of Yaffa/Page Publications' The Invaders:

 #1, c. November 1977

 #2, c. January 1978

 #3, 1979 

 #4, c. August 1980

 #5, c. March 1981

 #6, mid/late 1981

#NN, c. May 1982

The first four issues are regular/magazine-sized editions, and the last three are digest-sized editions.

I believe this is the complete run of this series. However, I am mindful that the digest-sized issues #'s 5 and 6 are 'short' editions, and a series such as this, with many more issues ostensibly in the can to be published, generally had one or two 'long' digest editions published before the recycling began. So, like my Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man cover gallery, I'll call it complete until another issue turns up.

The dates noted above are approximations based on my information to hand. I have a mental asterisk next to a couple of them pending future evidence that will hopefully be forthcoming.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #10: The Yaffa edition

Sometimes I love it when I'm wrong...

A few months ago I presented a cover gallery of my complete collection of Yaffa's Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man. I didn't know at the time that my collection was incomplete - there is in fact a 10th issue in the series:


This issue is quite scarce. I certainly had not come across a copy until I secured this copy for myself. I checked with a few other collectors, none of whom could recall having seen a copy before, and there is no reference to it on AusReprints either.

Scarcity aside, I should have guessed it might exist, as according to my own profile of Yaffa Marvel editions, long-running series tended to include a couple of 'tall digest' issues with new content before the reissues started.

Hmmm... I wonder whether there was an unnumbered $1.10 cover price magazine-size reprint of the the first issue following #10...?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Origins of Great Marvel Comic Heroes: The pukey Newton edition

Longtime readers of this fair blog may recall my perverse appreciation for printing errors on Murray Comics and Newton Comics - samples for the cause include Bumper Western Comic #1, Superman Supacomic #87 and Captain America Giant 100 Page Annual.

Well, feast your eyes on this ripper variant of Newton Comics' Origins of Great Marvel Comic Heroes:


Perfectly pukey, right? Well, if you feel the bile rising maybe the proper edition can serve as mouthwash:


This cover image is taken from an interior page in Fantastic Four Annual #6:


As you can see both linework/inking and colour modifications are evident on the repurposed image. No doubt the purists amongst you will choke on your secondary bile at the heresy of such modifications.

But not me. I reckon the existence of the blue stinker kinda compensates for the initial crime against Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott. 

Interestingly both versions of this Newton comic were widely distributed at the time and can still be found, unlike the Captain America Annual which, as far as I am aware, was only ever issued in its pukey glory.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chatto's revenge: Spy Stories Picture Library #4 and the duplicated Mystery Suspense Library covers



When Keith Chatto was charged with the duty of providing the cover for Spy Adventure Picture Library #28 he did what he was presumably often asked to do - copy and adapt the cover of the source material, in this instance, S.A.T.A.N. #10:


However, when Rule of Force was reprinted a short time later in Spy Stories Picture Library #4, he did his own thing:


There are many instances in which Chatto adapted a panel from the story for cover duties on Yaffa digest comics, but this is not one of them - the T&A is all his own.

Indeed, the cover appears to be related to an earlier cover illustration by Chatto for Mystery Suspense Library #2:


Obviously not identical, however the various elements - the gunman on the left, the girl on the right looking over her left shoulder, papers in hand - are clearly very similar in the two images. And again, the image does not appear to be related to any panel in the story Shoot Me an Epitaph! It is quite possible that this image is related to the source material, but I have not identified the source.

Curiously, this image was recycled shortly afterwards in the next issue of the same series:


According to AusReprints this issue contains the story Black, the Blood Of Evil, which is odd for Yaffa as they would typically recycle stories with a new cover rather than recycle covers with a new story. Which suggests to me that Chatto may have been, shall we say, rather frustrated at missing an opportunity exercise his creativity and imagination on this issue, and duly rather mischievously took his frustrations out on the poor girl at the next opportune moment.

Friday, August 25, 2017

All Star Adventure Comic: The collection completed!

In 2008 I owned 86 issues of All Star Adventure Comic. It has taken 10 years to source the 10 issues I needed to complete the series, and the issue which has finally completed my run is All Star Adventure Comic #46:


There are certain issues I would like to upgrade, but by and large it's a collection which is in very reasonable condition. There is one issue which is incomplete - it is missing the four pages in the middle of the comic - but I also have a coverless copy of it rebound in an issue of Mammoth Annual, so I'm deeming it complete for my immediate purposes.

All Star Adventure Comic morphed into Superman Presents Superboy Comic with the 97th issue - in tandem with the second Planet Comics logo - and I have the complete run of that series too.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Marvel's Greatest Comics #1: The Yaffa edition

Further to my previous posts on this series, I now have my own copy of Marvel's Greatest Comics #1:


The splash pages for the stories are scanned below:








Note the references at the bottom of each splash page to the original source of the reprint. Presumably these notes were included in the U.S sources.

Heart to Heart Annual and Twin Hearts Annual

Longtime readers of this blog know of my love of compilations of coverless rebound comics - long-running K.G. Murray series such as Mammoth Annual and Gigantic Annual, but also short-run series such as Young Love Romances, and one-off issues such as Scary Stories Annual and All Love Romantic Stories.

So it was with pleasure and fascination that I recently came across two other such series from K.G. Murray which I had not been aware of: Heart to Heart Annual and Twin Hearts Annual. I don't know how they managed to escape my attention until now, given they were documented on AusReprints.net - in the case of Heart to Heart Annual almost 10 years ago! - but they did.

The interesting thing about these issues is they are compilations of digest-sized issues. It's the only such series of digest-sized issues that I'm aware of. 

My copies are as follows:

 Heart to Heart Annual #2, $0.30 cover price
Contents:
Heart to Heart Romance Library #155
Unidentified [cover story Clinging Vine]
Twin Hearts #156, April 1971


Twin Hearts Annual #1, $0.30 cover price
Contents:
Heart to Heart Romance Library #165
Heart to Heart Romance Library #164
Twin Hearts #167

As per AusReprints.net, these issues appear to have been published end of 1972.

I would love to find that there is a companion edition related to another K.G. Murray digest-sized series, Superman Super Library - but there ain't.

There are a few other such series of coverless rebound comics published in Australia. I've even taken to picking up editions of the U.K Double Double series of silver age comics. I'll review some of my editions in a future post.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Magic Moment Romances #76: Reach for Happiness Episode 26

Magic Moment Romances #76 was published circa January 1970:


The cover is sourced from Secret Hearts #135.

The cover story is Reach for Happiness Episode 26. This is a long-running serial with an interesting history.

The first episode was reprinted in Australia in Magic Moment Romances #55. I'm not sure if all instalments were reprinted in Australian editions.