Road Trip

Canadiana Auction update. Back in 1980 three young Canadians drove down to the Marvel offices in New York to pitch an idea they had for Marvel’s popular What If… title. Our boys Jim Waley, Gene Day and Vince Marchesano came up with this great concept of having all the Fantastic Four characters possess different powers: Sue was the Thing, Ben was the Torch, Reed was invisible and Johnny was Kid Fantastic. They pitched the idea to the Marvel offices; I asked Jim and Vince if they got to meet Stan Lee and they said he was not in the offices so they met with someone else. Below you see the concept art that was pencilled by Vince and inked by Gene. Unfortunately, the idea was rejected but the guys had a good story to tell. The story got even better when a short time late Marvel pulled something similar with the FF, sneaky buggers. Still, I think that had Stan Lee been there they would have at least walked away with three No Prize envelopes each with Excelsior! written on them.

This beautiful piece is going up on the Canadiana auction scheduled to start later this week.

The cover of the week comes from our “destined for the eBay auction” pile. Jack Davis works his chaos magic on Mad #2. When you think of it, here we have a hybrid of sports, humor and pre code horror all on one cover. EC fans were spoiled with that great stable of artists they had, it was all certainly of a time, a very brief but artistically fruitful time.

Our Splash Page of the week comes from an artist I don’t remember commenting on before, though I may have and simply don’t remember. Don Perlin’s Werewolf meeting Tigra with the Hydra symbol behind them has that little extra kick I like. The splash comes from Giant Size Creatures #1 which is the first Tigra appearance. I’m a sucker for art from this early Bronze Age era; these would have been some of the earliest comics I would have had access to and I guess that impression never leaves you.

Our ad of the week comes from the inside back page of Blackhawk #65, back when it was still with Quality Comics. First off, I play guitar but so poorly I doubt neither Lonnie Glosson nor Wayne Raney could have helped. Wayne Raney looks like he came right out of a studio session with Bill Monroe and his boys. This ad got me to thinking that back in those days there were so many publishers that not all advertisers could have afforded to run ads with Marvel, Atlas, Quality, ACG, EC and all the others. I’m sure ads like the Charles Atlas beach ad ran with all publishers but more obscure ads like this one had to pick their publishers and run within their stable of titles. I’m sure advertisers knew the age/gender demographics to a point where they could make a more informed decision on how to use their ad dollars to read their target market, obviously aspiring musicians loved reading Quality Comics.

Another weekly icecollectibles auction on eBay finished up last night. I was watching to see what those Marvel Clippings would go for: they ended up fetching $36 USD. I think this is a fun lot to win, I’m not sure what the winner will do with these but I’m sure he or she will love having them. Maybe the winner will try to amass a collection of these clippings, I hope they catalog all the clippings they collect. I wonder what that pile of a few hundred actual Marvel comics would be worth, let’s say, in an average grade of 5.0 to 7.0 condition.

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
9 months ago

Turning the hot chick into a monster is both Bizarro and bizarro marketing. If she had instead been made Hot Chick Stan would have picked it up in a minute.

The Mad cover is fun but somehow doesn’t hit for me – as is the case for the old Mad comics in general.

Similar comment for Perlin. Nice layout but get someone to properly finish it.

More bizarro marketing in that ad. If you need the “picture way” to show you how to play, odds are you can’t read that four-point type. I can’t figure out what people were thinking with these ads.

Ron Kasman
Ron Kasman
9 months ago

Beautiful drawing and a great story.

Spider
Spider
9 months ago

Love that Proof Of Concept art…after listening to Vince on the CBD site I have hunted down Fantastic Four #161 and #162…still looking for Bat Man #265. How many of the Buckler Fantastic Four’s did Vince work on?

I slid right into Vince’s DMs on Instagram but he obviously has a fairly good sense of character and avoided me and my query!

I like that Tigra splash page…mainly due to the Hydra imagery…one of my favorite Daredevils is #121 – a nice little Bob Brown cover with a flaming floor and a prominent Hydra emblem. DD #207’s Hydra cover by Bill Jaaska (with some really good interior work by William Johnson for Oneil scripts) is also in contention for great Hydra covers

Spider
Spider
9 months ago

Thanks Walt! I’ll add #160 to my want list!!! … and try and keep out of Vince’s DMs…but I make no promises!!!

brian Campbell
9 months ago

I really dig this Fantastic Four concept. It’s too bad it wasn’t used for an issue of What If…

I just took a glimpse at the items up for auction this time around and there are some fantastic pieces across all of the major eras of Canadian comic history. I think this is the most interesting auction so far.

Hope the auctions go well. I certainly have my eye on a few pieces.

Gerald Eddy
Gerald Eddy
9 months ago

If Sue had always looked that way I am wondering how it would have effected Franklin Richards appearance!
That Mad cover is my personal favorite but I have only been able to score a copy with a small piece missing from the lower right hand corner… sigh.

Spider
Spider
9 months ago

Gerard, what do you mean ‘Franklin’s appearance’…think about poor Reed – if your wife looked Sue as the Thing then you’d want the ability to turn invisible too!!!! That woman finds you, you are in BIG trouble