January 17th, 2007

Ariel Union

Cheap Back Issues

So I went to the comic store today, and they didn't have any new comics because of the ice storms to the east.  The comics truck was still in Kansas...

But I did pick up some cheap back issues ($1 each, because they are both in pretty bad condition).

Gold Key Spotlight #2 (July 1976) -- I bought this because of the mermaid on the cover!  Gold Key is best known for all the licensed comics they did, but Cracky was an original character.  I believe Cracky started out as the mascot of a joke magazine that Gold Key published, and then he had his own comic book Wacky Adventures of Cracky earlier in the decade.  Cracky is a parrot (in a world of anthropomorphic birds) who has all sorts of adventures because he is a professional adventurer -- in fact most stories start out with Cracky at the Adventurers' Club, looking for his next adventure.  The stories are very jokey, and don't really hold together plot-wise the way a Carl Barks story does -- the main story in this issue, about Cracky discovering Atlantis, doesn't make a lick of sense when you look back on it.  But it does have mermaids, which excuses a lot of storytelling sins in my eyes.  I'm not sure why they are mermaids instead of merbirds, but like I said it doesn't make any sense.

Wally #3 (June 1963) -- I bought this because of my interest in Archie imitations.  This is another original character from Gold Key, but maybe saying 'original' is stretching things, because Wally Brewster is just another Archie clone.  The art, however, is very different from the Bob Montana-based house style over at Archie Comics, and it's very good too.  Does anyone know who the artist is?  The Grand Comics Database doesn't seem to know...  The GCDb does claim the stories were written by John Stanley, which is possible -- the plots are quite tight, and the supporting characters have some interesting dialog.  But Wally, that dull faux-Archie at the center of the stories, sucks the life out of the scripts.  I'm surprised John Stanley couldn't come up with some twist to make Wally something besides a pale copy of Archie.