Thursday, February 23, 2012


Perhaps the koolest (and least-preachy) anti-drug comic ever...
Produced in 1971 by Byron Preiss and Jim Steranko as an anti-drug mini-comic and distributed to public schools, this tale was reprinted in Steranko's magazine ComixScene in 1973.
It's a great example of effective cinematic storytelling that's remained unreprinted for almost 40 years.
As Steranko himself explained HERE, in this article about the passing of Byron Preiss...
One of our earliest projects involved an anti-drug comicbook that he conceived for near-illiterate grade school students (he was teaching at a Philadelphia elementary facility at the time).
On a zero budget, we produced THE BLOCK, the tale of two inner-city brothers who choose to walk different paths, which was distributed citywide and met with exceptional success with both educators and students (some classes colored the panels, others read it aloud, and one even transformed the story into a rock opera).
Preiss promoted it from New York City to Atlanta, achieving solid student acceptance and continual praise from all who saw and used it, right up to the majors at Sesame Street.
The comic premiered in the summer of 1970, a year before the much-heralded Spider-Man and Green Lantern-Green Arrow drug mags.
Sadly, on 4/29/18, Steranko's agent, J David Spurlock, instead of working out a way for us to present the story and link our faithful readers to buying a printed copy of it, chose to threaten us with a lawsuit unless we removed the tale, thereby depriving aficionados of reading this seminal work by one of the undisputed masters of the field!
(Though no version of The Block is currently in print, copies of ComixScene #4 are usually available via vendors like eBay and Amazon).
So, if you've come here looking for that lost classic, I suggest you continue Googling.
Further update. On 5/1/18, J. David Spurlock posted a link in the comments section listing a sale on the publisher's site for ComixScene #4, validating my point that the last time the story was actually published was in 1973, 45 years ago.
Today, 5/2/18, Spurlock complained the link wasn't posted.
Spurlock offered no compensation plan for linking to the site (the way Amazon, for example, does).
But we would consider giving him the freebie link if he didn't whine about our low-rez scans presenting the story, which would serve as free advertising for the publication!
As it stands...
Though no version of The Block is currently in print (as Spurlock has proven), copies of ComixScene #4 (1973) are usually available via reputable vendors like eBay, Heritage Auctions, Hakes, and Amazon.
I suggest those who want a copy of ComixScene #4 check them, or their local comic shop, out!
It'll be well worth your time and effort!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

BEYOND "It Happened on Valentine's Eve"

Valentine's Day was a couple of days ago, so let's tell a terror-tale about... shown in The Beyond #4, originally published in 1951!
We don't know who wrote this story, but the penciler is believed to be Sheldon Moldoff with inking probably by Jay Disbrow.

Join us next week as we present another tale your grandparents didn't want your parents to see!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

3-D: ADVENTURES IN 3-D "Hidden Depths"

Get out the red/blue 3-D glasses (red on the left, blue on the right)...
...cause it's 3-D Week at all the RetroBlogs™!
This tale, written and illustrated by Howard Nostrand (doing an uncanny Jack Davis) for Adventures in 3-D #1 (1953), was especially-designed for use as a 3-D story (unlike some comic tales that were adapted from 2-D to 3-D during the 1950s 3-D craze).

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

"What Parents Don't Know About Comic Books" by Fredric Wertham

Read the 1953 Ladies Home Journal article that began the witch hunt against comics...
...penned by Seduction of the Innocent author Fredric Wertham, himself!
Almost all the article is excerpted from the (then) upcoming book, Seduction of the Innocent.
Within a year, there would be hysteria, Senate hearings, and comic book companies would begin to drop like flies.