Craig hasn't posted the link to his Ask Mr. Silver Age article about the 1960s Harvey Heroes in Comics Buyers Guide #1680 (Aug. 2011) yet, so I'll try to be helpful and get some discussion going here.

 

The theme of this issue is comics we'd like to see reprinted, a topic the AMSA forumites have discussed frequently over the years. Mr. Age reviews Harvey's attempts to do super-heroes during the height of the Silver Age, 1965 or so. I've never seen any of these, and frankly, after his descriptions, I probably don't want to. Outside of some historical significance (Jim Steranko's early pre-Marvel work), I don't know that any of it is worth reprinting, even in a cheap format (although, as I frequently say I'd buy it!).

 

Once again I'm thankful that Mr. Silver Age is here to read this stuff so I don't have to.

 

Hoy

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I hope you notice that my Avatar is Jigsaw! I picked it as part of our obscure characters month!

 

...I have read the article , and was going to post now --- But , considering that MSA's home Toddlin' Town is under attack from Decepticons and defending Transformers ( Plus , Megan Fox being REALLY , REALLY , PISSED OFF . )...perhaps we should cut him some slack , and give him some time to link , wishing the best for MSA and Mrs. MSA .

  SO SAY WE ALL !!!!!!!!!!!

  Now , if Oprah hadn't retired.........................................:-) 

...I will say that Craig not only left out one title published by Harvey in that line entire...He also left out a crossover by those comic books staright into , or at least close to , the regular Harvey World !!!!!!!!!!!...And I've posted about the issue this crossover appeared in in one of my preceding posts here !!!!!!!!!!!

  Oh , and I did glance at an amusing Richard Roeper bit at the Sun-Times' site that gave me inspiration for this...........

Thanks for posting the link, Hoy! I've been beset by the Dreaded Deadline Doom, so I haven't been getting to the Forum as much as I want, but the fact that you found this before I did indicates lots of things aren't working right.

Usually, Brent e-mails me when he posts my column, and I also get an e-mail from the site telling me something has been posted. So I can create the link. Plus, I should be getting e-mails from CapCom whenever a new thread is posted here. But I didn't get any of that! And I notice I haven't gotten any notices from MSA for some time on new threads especially. So my spidey-sense has not been tingling.

I have to admit, my column was probably not exactly in keeping with a theme of Material That Should Be Reprinted, but I figured it was as close of a theme as I was going to get for this stuff. Besides, there's not much from the SA that fits that bill that we haven't discussed to death, including NBE, Sgt. Fury, The Prince, etc.

Some of Harvey's stuff would definitely deserve to be reprinted, but so much is pretty bland that it would be a tough sell as an Archive series, I think. But a 4/c TPB of a Best Of or an SP-type volume would have some good stuff, at least art-wise. It would be better than some other reprints out there, IMO. The fact that nobody wants to reprint Steranko's first comics work is even a little surprising. And, I have to say, seeing those images in color on the site rather than in b&w on flimsy paper in the magazine makes them look pretty cool.

So, come on, ED, instead of posting teasers about what I missed here and there, tell us! I knew that was a possibility, but I just couldn't think of anything else,  and it wasn't in my collection (although I almost left out the Spirit, since I didn't have the Harvey ones filed in the same place as the other ones). So spill it! I can't admit to missing what I don't know I missed.

In the meantime, given our usual time frame here, what SHOULD my column have been about? That is, what from the SA still needs to be reprinted? Even more impressive would be suggestions for titles that need to be reprinted that you would actually buy.

-- MSA

...You should live so long ( sigh ) before I have time for a longer post but let me say that something PRODUCED during the SA ( and the Bronze ) - the 2nd attempt at a Batman full-fleged newspaper strip , starting in 1966 and running into the mid-70s , has long , long , been on my " Funnybooks Bucket List " :-( . The dailies and Sunday pertty much if not absolutely always had seperate stories , so at lest the " How to handle b&w dailes vs. color Sabbaths " problem is less up-front .
I'd be glad to see a full reprinting of all the non-hero-based comics from ACG, dating back to the Golden Age and going right up through 1967. I stumbled on a stash of some of the Silver Age ACGs recently, and even at a relatively cheapo price of 3 bucks a pop, that adds up fast if you grab a handful or more. A nice SHOWCASE PRESENTS type of reprint package of, say, UNKNOWN WORLDS, which launched in the Silver Age, would be a good experiment, since the heroes never took over that title. But I'd be even happier to see AITU and FW get the full reprint treatment, too.

Mr. Age wrote:

So, come on, ED, instead of posting teasers about what I missed here and there, tell us! I knew that was a possibility, but I just couldn't think of anything else,  and it wasn't in my collection (although I almost left out the Spirit, since I didn't have the Harvey ones filed in the same place as the other ones). So spill it! I can't admit to missing what I don't know I missed.

 

Trying to get a straight answer from Walter, aka ED, is kind of like a Kryptonian trying to squeeze blood from a hunk of Gold Kryptonite, but I *think* the ol' boy is referring to Harvey's one-shot revival/reprinting of the S&K FIGHTING AMERICAN. Either that or he's referring to FRUITMAN.

 

Meanwhile, it had to be more than 30 years ago when the late, great THE COMICS READER ran a series called something like "Back-Seat Superheroes" where they reminisced about the Silver Age superheroes from all the companies that weren't called DC or Marvel, and that was where I first learned about the Harvey heroes. None of them sounded particularly fascinating, though I think I did track down one of the lesser lights (probably JIGSAW). Had I seen the Gil Kane or Al Williamson issues, I might've been more inclined to keep looking for more of the same. Anyways, thanks to the tireless archival efforts by Mr. Age, we can all once again get a feel for what a corner of the Harvey world that most of us have never seen, or only seen mere glances of.

Well now that you mention it, ie reprint/revamps like The Spirit and Fighting American, Mr. Age forgot yet another Harvey SA superhero comic - The Black Cat.  I was able to read a couple of the original 1940s issues and it makes me wonder if the The Black Cat wasn't somehow the inspiration for The Black Canary - as in "the Cat and the Canary".

Andy

I've seen the suggestion that the Black Canary was modelled after the Black Cat before, and it sounds plausible to me. I've not seen the "Cat and the Canary" link suggested before, but I could buy that too.

To what extent, then, was the Black Cat modeled after the Catwoman?

Thanks for those additions, guys. I'm well aware of Fruitman, and I own that issue, but I didn't consider him in the same vein as all the others, so I didn't bring him up, especially as a backup and a one-shot reprint issue. I didn't remember the FA reprint, but again as a one-shot reprint, it would've rated a line or two, if only because its contents have been reprinted, which was ostensibly the point of the column (and it did have one).

The irritating part about the Black Cat omission is that I have one of those issues, albeit without a cover, but I have it filed away with a couple of original BC issues in one of my GA boxes, and I completely forgot about it. It's again an all- reprint series, I think, but that many issues would've rated a mention if I'd remembered it.

And that's a series I'd definitely like to see reprinted, even if it isn't actually SA. I've seen only a smattering of issues, and it was really good. It seems likely that BC influenced BC, considering the similarities in name and costume, although female costumes at the time didn't have that many style variations. I'm not sure how likely a "Black Canary" name would be if there wasn't a "Black Cat" already, but maybe the "canary" part had more of a cultural prominence then.

BC had a pretty unlikely premise--Jennifer Aniston as a costumed brawler by night, albeit in a time of way less media-but after that, the stories were a lot of fun that I've seen.

Those mid-60s heroes definitely were good enough for a Best Of volume from Harvey, because there's enough wheat mixed in with the chaff, especially since so many issues were Giant Sized. But if Harvey were looking for a good reprint option, I'd definitely start with BC.

This discussion has been a revelation. I think that, for my next column, I'm going to try doing some of that research I hear so much about. It'll take time away from my helping the kids at the orphanage, but my readers are worth it!

-- MSA

Dave Blanchard said:
To what extent, then, was the Black Cat modeled after the Catwoman?

Little to none, I would think. I haven't seen all Catwoman's earliest stories, but I don't think she was depicted as a capable fighter early on. In her debut appearance she was a thief known as the Cat and didn't have a costume. Her first costume featured a giant cat head mask and skirt. She'd only appeared a handful of times when the Black Cat debuted.

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