April 5, 1999 |
They called it the Bullpen, the House of Ideas. High atop the Empire State Building, it was home to an Olympian court of comic-book writers and artists, a hall of legends. Here two of the most gifted of all comic creators enjoyed one of the most intensely productive partnerships in the history of comic books. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee helped create the contemporary comic-book industry, culminating in their creative captainship of Marvel Comics. In Fantastic Four, X-Men and other heroes, Kirby and Lee enjoyed the rare privilege of creating a universe of their own. They were born Jacob Kurtzberg and Stanley Martin Lieber, two Depression-era kids from New York City.
June 7, 1999 |
The violence was breathtakingly real, particularly if you were a youngster - heads and arms and legs being blown off willy-nilly, blood spattering from bullet-riddled bodies, monsters devouring other monsters and unwitting civilians. There seemed to be no end to the gore and it was all in living color. Protest groups were formed, as ministers and politicians and psychologists and an army of mothers shuddered over what all this uncontrolled mayhem was doing to the nation's young, speculating that an increase in teen delinquency was a direct result.
October 25, 1994 |
So many books. So little time. If you're into comic books - or know somebody who is - it's a familiar lament. No longer the province of 8-year-olds, the industry has grown up - and blown up - into a $1 billion money-maker that shows no signs of easing up. A lot has changed since the average kid trekked to the corner drugstore and plunked down a quarter for his monthly Superman fix. The Dynamic Duo (Marvel and DC) have become the Big Three (with the addition of Image), and there are now about 85 publishers with noticeable blips on the monthly sales radar.
April 27, 1995 |
Robert Overstreet is a prominent name in the comic-book industry, but he's not an artist, a writer or even an editor. Overstreet is a collector who in 1970 put his hobby on the path to mainstream popularity by creating the Overstreet Price Guide. The book wasn't much more than a listing of titles and the prices they fetch according to the comic's condition, but it quickly became the authoritative voice of comic collecting. In the intervening years, Overstreet's publishing interests have grown with the field, which has become organized to the extent that Sotheby's has regular comic-book auctions.
October 8, 1993 |
So, Superman is alive . . . again. We knew they couldn't really kill him off. He's too deeply ingrained in our pop culture to die; killing Superman would be like changing the formula of Coca-Cola. That's why Superman's recent demise at the hands of his publisher, DC Comics, was calculatedly short-lived - for what would the world of comic books be without the granddaddy of all superheroes? We'll probably never know, because Superman, still robust at 54, seems likely to survive us all. But for a look at the industry of artistic mayhem and superhero splendor that the Man of Steel has spawned, there is this weekend's Comicfest '93 at the Civic Center.
May 12, 2002 |
Darryl Lynch is in the perfect position to profit from the latest superhero craze. Across the street from his comic-book store in Burlington Township is a 14-screen cineplex, one of the 3,615 theaters where last weekend movie patrons helped give Spider-Man the most successful opening weekend ever, bringing in a record $114 million. Still spinning from the thrill of seeing the web-slinger in action, fans of Spider-Man came into Corner Collectibles on Mount Holly Road to catch more of the wall-crawler, either through the film's many marketable accessories - T-shirts, action figures, posters - or by purchasing the comic books that made Spidey a classic.
July 14, 2002 |
That dastardly arch-villain Stifler and his henchwoman, Miss Chief, are wreaking havoc on the children of the world again. Impressionable youngsters are turning into egg-throwing, fire-setting juvenile delinquents. What's the world to do?! Wait! Up in the sky! It's not a bird . . . it's not a plane . . . it's . . . it's . . . Kidz of the King? Yes, it's Kidz of the King - comic book superheroes on a mission from God! This multicultural group of flying angels is at the heart of Kidz of the King, a Christian comic book series created by Reggie and Dionne Byers.
September 16, 1987 |
Sen. Jesse Helms (R., N.C.) has distributed sexually explicit comics to some of his colleagues in the Senate in an attempt to discredit a homosexual member of President Reagan's national commission on AIDS. But the target of Helms' criticism said he favored using the comics as a way of warning homosexuals about the dangers of AIDS. Helms, in a one-page letter accompanying the comics, linked the graphic material to Frank Lilly, a member of the AIDS commission, and suggested that federal funds were used to finance the publication, a contention that those involved with the comics deny.
February 10, 2012
* THE WALKING DEAD. 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC. * COMIC BOOK MEN. 10 p.m. Sunday, AMC. IN THE AGE of the DVR, caring about audience flow is supposed to be, well, so 2007. We record what we want, we watch when we can. AMC must not have gotten the memo, because starting Sunday it's following the return of "The Walking Dead" with the premiere of Kevin Smith's "Comic Book Men. " It might look like a match made in geek heaven, but it's more than the pairing of a show based on a comic book series with one about the people who buy, sell and obsess about comics.