Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian listeners. Chris and I are always thankful whenever we get together to pal around and have fun with all things comics. We’re also very thankful for your continued support. I had a few extra invites creep into my weekend itinerary so I’ll keep this week’s post crisp, clean and lean.

Look at this little gem I found in the pile of books heading to our weekly eBay auction. Action Comics #456, from February 1976 features a plain as day swipe of the Jaws movie that was all the rage in the summer of 1975. The Jaws movie may have been the first true summer blockbuster; look at its influence and reach and look at DC’s shameless title “Jaws of the Killer Shark”. I was 11 when Jaws came out and was enthralled with the movie: over many viewings I’ve had the best scene in the film is the scene where they show off old scars to each other, the fun banter then segues into Quint telling the tale of the USS Indianapolis. Great stuff.

How about owning this piece of original art? From the mighty John Buscema comes this classic splash page from Avengers #97. I love John Buscema especially in the late 60s into the early 70s, he personified the Marvel Way and for me his templates for these heroes overrides Kirby’s.

I found this ad in the pages of Strange Tales #104 from January 1963. I don’t remember ever seeing the Kissing Dolls ad before, I’m sure I must have but it’s not triggering any recollection. So, I’m assuming it’s a magnet in each dolls mouth that draws them together. I’m telling you if I was a kid with these two dolls, I would have messed with the magnet placement and then showed off my creativity to all my friends!

This week’s icecollectibles eBay auction produced some strong results, case in point this stunning raw copy of Avengers #53 that sold for $280 USD. High grade raw copies don’t often surface for auctions and when they do the market devours them, this is a great looking book.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

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Chris Meli
Chris Meli
7 months ago

Superman’s face makes that cover a non-starter for me. Around that time Grell was the methadone for my missing DC Adams heroin. To this day it leaves a bad taste and I avoid all things Grell.

That splash is extraordinary. Avengers #97 is a very interesting book. More methadone, but Buscema is much higher quality methadone. I have one of the three 9.6s signed by Stan. I am not a big fan of most books signed by Stan (he even signed DC books that he had absolutely nothing to do with), but this one is good because it isn’t like defacing a truly rare book, and this splash (and the associated cover) hearken back to his very first work.

The kissing dolls were indeed magnetic. Similar to the two magnetic Yorkie dogs if you know what I talking about. This blog would be read far more widely if it wasn’t for your constant gutter mentality. I only write these comments to try to distract you from your depravity and raise the level of discourse.

That is a crazy high price for that Avengers #53 as a raw book. It looks beautiful, but who knows what the denizens of Sarasota will think of it. That city is in the state of Florida, you know. (‘Nuff said.) That book in CGC 9.4 was one of my first purchases when I got back into comics in 2014 – long gone now. Love love love those face-off covers, but clearly “The House of Ideas” wasn’t shy about acquiring ideas however possible, so I will always point people to JLA #56 which came out a year earlier (I still have that one).

Gerald Eddy
Gerald Eddy
7 months ago

I am not fond of that Superman either…and he has a skinny butt too!
Had both the Avengers and the X-Men… sold last year and for not enough love I see in recollection. I thought Walt had imagined the magnets on the TOPs of their heads! Whatever could you be referring to Mr. Meli?

David Mackay
David Mackay
7 months ago

TJKC: How did you first meet Jack?
BUSCEMA: Back in 1965 or 1966, I got a call from Marvel. They wanted me to go back. I’ll be honest with you, I was afraid, but it was appealing to me because I wouldn’t have to commute. I could work at home. It was a tremendous effort for me to make that decision. But I started working for them in 1966, and I met Jack one day in Stan’s office. Stan and I were working on a plot and Jack walked in. As far as meeting Jack, I think I can count the times on one hand; just for short periods. I saw him at the convention out in San Diego; we exchanged a few words, pleasantries, whatever. We drove home together once; he lived on Long Island, and Don Heck drove us home. That’s about the extent of it; I didn’t have that much contact with Jack. Although I would not have been able to survive in comics if not for Jack Kirby. When Stan called me back in 1966, I had one hell of a time trying to get back in the groove. You can do illustration, you can do layouts, but that doesn’t mean you can do comics. It’s a whole different ball game. Stan gave me a book to do; I think it was the Hulk. I did a pretty bad job – Stan thought I should study Jack’s art and books so he gave me a pile of Kirby’s comics. Well, everybody was given Jack Kirby books! (laughter) It was the first time I’d seen his work. I started working from them, and that’s what saved me.
TJKC: What did you learn from them?
BUSCEMA: The layouts, for cryin’ out loud! I copied! Every time I needed a panel, I’d look up at one of his panels and just rearrange it. If you look at some of the early stuff I did – y’know, where Kirby had the explosions with a bunch of guys flying all over the place? I’d swipe them cold! (laughter) Stan was happy. The editors were happy, so I was happy.