Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Legend of the Messy Closet

So, Todd is in North Carolina for the next week or so, and asked me to fill in a blog or two in his absence. So, let's all feel sorry for him enjoying the beauty of the Outer Banks, while the rest of us sweat while we stare at a fan.

This past weekend I went back home with my girlfriend to Norfolk, Virginia (not far from the Outer Banks) to visit my parents... and my old comic book collection. New York apartments aren't very conducive to lots of extra boxes, so they get to live in my old bedroom closet. In high school, I kept my collection nice and organized. Everything was bagged and boarded, filed under the correct title, and in proper order. That was high school. Then, came college. And less money and less time for bags and boards, and organization. Every summer, I returned home, and dumped that semesters comics into the closet with no regard for where they should be filed. Six years of college later and there are just stacks and stack in my closet.

I imagine many of you are cringing at the thought of those slippery, disheveled piles. But, you are forgetting what fun that randomness can bring. Because, now when I come home, I have the joy of reaching into a pile and pulling out God-knows-what. So, here's a few of the treasures I stumbled upon this last time:

- DC annuals from 1994 that were all Elseworlds stories. I could only find a cover for the Jungle Book Superman Elseworlds, where Superman is raised by wolves. The first half of the comic is filled with clever attempts to show Superman flying completely naked without actually showing his super-Johnson. Although the one I liked best was the Man of Steel annual where Kryptonians conquered Earth, and Kal-El grew up on Earth raised by his natural parents and humans were enslaved. In this world, Batman leads the resistance, and as usual kicks lots of ass.

- Spider-Man : The Lost Years, which chronicled Ben Reilly's time after he left New York and before he returned for the Clone Saga. It was a great mini-series written by JM DeMatteis and drawn by John Romita, Jr.

- Speaking of John Romita, Jr., I also found Daredevil : The Man Without Fear. This was Frank Miller's Year One treatment of the character, with Romita doing art. Alright, maybe this one isn't that obscure. But, it was still a nice find.

- Maybe my favorite uncovering was Untold Tales of Spider-Man. This series, written by Kurt Busiek and penciled by Pat Olliffe, chronicled Peter Parker's adventures between issues during his early Stan Lee/Steve Ditko years. The creators did a fantastic job of capturing the feel of those original stories, but updating them enough to be relevant to the modern (i.e. 1996) audience. Olliffe's pencil's are stunning. If you find any of these at a convention, pick one up.

That's all for now. Check in next time for:
Death Cat... (whooo whooo!!!)




Jason Copland said...

A bit of a Romita Jr fan, eh? Nice!

Bill Nolan said...

I love that Spidey series. Best thing Busiek's ever done, at least on the work-for-hire side. Genius.

Brian said...

The Spidey series was done when I was out of comics so I'll have to check it out as I like Kurt and I'm hoping it has Gwen in it.

Bill Nolan said...

Brian, I just reread it recently (I had the series custom bound), and I think Gwen may have made a cameo in one issue. But this series all takes place earlier, during Peter's high school years. Would have been nice if it had continued, but the bean counters supposedly axed it because no one (Marvel or the store owners) was making enough money selling those 99-cent comics. Feh!