Weird Comics History Ep 1: Before the Comics Code


Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) talk about comic books during World War II, long before the Comics Code Authority came into existence, and detail the early life of Dr. Frederic Wertham, whose name would someday become synonymous with anti-comics crusading.

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This week, it’s the Lee/Kirby Retrospective, as I give my thoughts on the entirety of the Stan Lee / Jack Kirby run, 1962 to 1970.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Arlen Schumer

Or, Gil Kane Punches Revisited

ArlenSchumerOn this interview episode, Andy and Derek are pleased to have as their guest Arlen Schumer. His book, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, has recently been released in a beautiful, new revised edition from Archway Publishing. It originally came out in 2003 as a softcover, with a hardbound companion that included an extra section, but in this revised edition Schumer includes all the material from the longer hardbound release, but with brighter images and cleaner type. The result is a unique visual experience, a text on comics art history in the form of a coffee table book. As the guys point out in their discussion, this is the kind of book that every comics aficionado will want to get, and the perfect gift for anyone unfamiliar with the medium but interested in the many forms of American art. The Two Guys kick off the conversation by asking Arlen how he defines the Silver Age, and he argues that while everyone can agree that it began in 1956 with the publication of Showcase #4, the era ended in 1970, a watershed year that inaugurated the way we read comics today. Then they get into the particulars of the book, Arlen’s chapter-by-chapter visual study of legends Carmine Infantino, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, Gene Colan, Jim Steranko, and Neal Adams. They SilverAgeSchumerspend quite a bit of time discussing the work of Infantino, Colan, and Adams (one of Arlen’s favorites), but the artist they spend the most time exploring is Gil Kane. In fact, on the topic of Kane’s art — specifically, the way he rendered punches — Andy is able to flex his superhero acumen in ways he normally doesn’t on the podcast. The guys also talk with Arlen about the creators he didn’t have the room to explore in the book, many of whom receive some attention in the final “More Masters” chapter of the book: Murphy Anderson, Wally Wood, John Buscema, Nick Cardy, and Curt Swan. In many ways, this is a departure for The Comics Alternative, a podcast devoted to non-mainstream, non-superhero comics, but given the significance of this book as both a work of art and a necessary critical/historical text, the guys just had to have Schumer on their show.

Be sure to visit Arlen’s website, where you can find out more about his art, writing, and lectures, and where you can order your copy of his book!


Interview Image-Schumer

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This week we cover the penultimate Silver Age Thor issue, where Thor faces off against The Abomination! (is that the villain, what I think of this story… or both?) – Thor makes some bad choices, Big John Buscema makes an ignominious entrance onto the Thor stage, and Vince Colletta inks.

New Powers? – Yes! Thor has a Cher moment and turns back time!

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This week we cover The Mighty Thor #170! The evil Loki has taken over, leaving only a few valiant heroes to oppose him! Plus Odin is trapped in a giant vibrator, and a certain DOOMerific fire giant is on the loose! By the rubbery, wobbly horns of Surtur, you don’t want to miss this one!

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This week, we look at Thor #174, where Thor fights a generic giant Kirby-bot and a mama’s boy who’s a bit of a suicidal loser! Also Don Blake lies to an old lady, and talks to a psychic police captain! Excelsior!!

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This week, it’s time to go back to the circus…the EVIL circus, that is! It’s the return of the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime! Plus Ulik! We talk about how easy it was to disguise your self in the Silver Age, and pick apart a story that doesn’t make much sense… Nuff said!

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This week we say “ta-ta Taa” as we learn the AWESOME ANSWER in Thor #169, featuring the origin of Galactus! Belt yourself in, folks, it’s an issue long conversation! Plus Balder & the Warriors Three take on.. the Thermal Man!

 (by the way, we’re gonna be at C2E2 this year! Check em out, HERE!)

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It’s the 60’s, maaan, so this week we have The Mighty Thor #168, where Thor trips out on Visi-Haze, the Warriors Three break furniture, a bunch of commies unleash the Thermal Man upon us all, and there’s tree murder!! Nuff said!

 (by the way, we’re gonna be at C2E2 this year! Check em out, HERE!)

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This week we find out what Thor’s gonna do about HIM as we cover The Mighty Thor #166!! Thor gets madder and madder! Balder gets squintier and squintier!! Haag gets a tongue-lashing!! Sif just chills out in a soap bubble!! It’s 1969 all over again!

 Hey! We’re gonna be at C2E2! You can find out who else will be there –> HERE

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Coming at you from the annoyingly-nicknamed “Chiberia”, we offer a review of Thor #163 this week! This issue features a long pink hammer that is not in the least bit suggestive, the return of a certain Greek god of the Underworld, and Attract-o-spheres!!! How could you possibly pass this up? My Eterno-rays compel you!

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Happy 2014, everyone!!!

This time around, we cover Thor #162, featuring (an) origin of Galactus! Thrill to Thor and the Warriors Three watching TV!!! See an obsessively neurotic Balder! Check out Odin’s awesome beard armor! Nuff said!!
— Hey! We’re going to be appearing at C2E2 in April! We’d love to see you there! For details, check out !

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To help you with your post-Christmas hangover, this week we present Thor #161, in which Mjolnir has some shrinkage, Galactus has some size issues, Ego gets some parasites, and Sam Rosen letters! Time to prepare for the New Years’ hangover!

Plus, we’re going to C2E2!

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Happy Winter Holidays, everyone! This time around, we have Thor! Galactus! The Recorder! The Ego the size of a planet! People with big heads! and a few orange-colored surprises! This week we’re celebrating Christmas with Galactus as we cover Thor #160! (buuurp)

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This week we go baaaack to the passsst!! 1968, to be precise, where we cover The Mighty Thor #158 & 159! Sure, half of it’s a reprint, but this is an important chapter in the life of our favorite thunder god as we discover… the secret of Don Blake! Yes, folks, there is tree murder, so this is not for the squeamish!!