This isn't actually a post about comics it’s a post about the posts about comics which are to follow. See, I had an idea…oh dear. Click “More” to enter…The Planet of the Nostalgics! (Art by George Tuska)
For a while now I've wanted to write about the experience of comics reading during the ‘70s. I thought this might be of interest as it is now 2012 and some of your parents weren't even born then. I thought it might be of even more interest as, and the keener minds among you will have already noted this, I live in Great Britain. Which isn't that Great but it is certainly called Britain. Alack, alas, I had a great deal of difficulty figuring out where to start, I’ll spare you all the hemming and hawing and just say that I think I've found a solution…
What I’m intending (intentions!) to do is look at the entire run of PLANET OF THE APES WEEKLY published by Marvel Comics International Limited. Well, issues #1 (Oct 1974) to #123 (Feb 1977). (Following this it was folded into THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL.) By having a focal point I am hoping that I will be able to touch on a multitude of areas of historical comical periodical interest. Not only will I be moaning about George Tuska’s inert art but I’ll hopefully go wider and give some idea of the ‘70s via many words on the content, availability, price and format of comics. Most of the words will concern content, I imagine. Largely though I will be hammering home the important sociological point that using comics as surrogate parents ends up with your kid turning out like me. This is certainly what I would call a warning from History.
A really quite significant moment for Tiny me was when Taylor (AKA "Tay-LAH!") just said, "Aw f*** it and f*** you all too!" in the most final of manners. (Art by Alfredo Alcala)
I suppose I could claim some measure of relevance as POTA is back on the radar in the form of the current licensed comic from Boom!, so there’s that and also the UK comic had, aside from the early issues, back ups that maybe(?) represent some of the more varied and perhaps under loved strips Marvel published. I was going to say overlooked but since the advent of the Internet I guess there’s no such thing as an overlooked strip anymore. (Personally I think Atlas’ POLICE ACTION FEATURING LOMAX should get more attention. Get right on that, Internet!). Should worse comes to worse (i.e. I remain true to form) and I never actually say anything of interest or relevance about the ‘70s I can promise you that we will at least have covered a great many creators and bizarre series. Some of which you may never have heard of! (Gullivar Jones, anyone?) I think you’ll like it! And if you don’t I imagine you’ll tell me about it! Possibly using inventive invective. The kind that back in the ‘70s you would have had to deliver in person and probably got a pop on the nose for your troubles. Because things were different back then. They were better. (Of course they weren’t, they were Godawful but for a second you thought I was serious and I, personally, found that second hilarious. Oh, your face!).
Taylor (AKA "Bright-Eyes") was my first hero what with his smoking in a pressurised oxygen environment, heroin addiction and misanthropic attitude. The ideal role model for four year olds everywhere! (Art by George Tuska)
(Oh, who am I kidding, my actual reasons for this are selfish as a bloke at work lent me these comics about two years ago and I imagine he’ll be wanting them back soon. So if I have to tell you lot about them I guess I’ll have to read ‘em!)
I’ll still be posting about other stuff but this should be a nice regular thing I can try and build some consistency around. It's a little bit ambitious but I'll see how I go with it. Trust me, no one will lose out because If all else fails I can just post stuff like this:
So why not join us next time on Planet of the Nostalgics (aside from the fact it will be sh**) when we hear: "APES! Apes On Horseback!" or PLANET OF THE APES WEEKLY #1 (w/e Oct. 26th 1974) In which I say, “Look, I’m sure George Tuska was a boon to the lives of all who knew him BUT…”