On another thread, my pal Dave Blanchard wrote:
>Although I've been around here for a good long while, I'm one of those who were "imported" into this Forum following the implosion of Mr. Age's old CBGxtra Forum.
Personally, the threads I read more often and participate in the most are the relatively short ones that play off somebody's observation about a single character or story or some kind of recurring theme, especially the kind of thread that anybody can just pop in and do a drive-by quick comment or add another image playing off previously posted images. Kind of in the spirit of Mr. Age's own fondly remembered CBG column, where he'd focus on some quirky thing he stumbled upon in an old Silver Age comic book, and we'd all chime in with our own take on said quirkiness.
So short and quirky would be the types of posts I'd be most likely to read/comment on, if that's any help./p>
I echo what Dave says. Long, highly descriptive threads don't fit my time schedule, and I, too, miss the old CBGXtra forum.
So, in that spirit, here's an image to invite short and quirky responses.
Your pal, Hoy (I haven't used that signature in a while!)
It may be there were de facto caps on how many titles DC could put out. For example, the publisher may have only been willing to bankroll so many titles a month. If DC was publishing at its limit starting a new title will have meant cancelling something else.
Also, presumably the parties placing orders placed them for Showcase or The Brave and the Bold, so a successful try-out was one that sold through well. If so, DC had to guess how a feature's title would be ordered if it were given one.
According to Comichron in 1960 the reporting title with the lowest sales was All-Star Western (154,000). The title ended the next year.
In 1961 it was The Fox and the Crow (165,000). In 1962 this reported much lower sales (145,000), but when it next reported, in 1965, they were back up again (160,515), so it seems to me possible the 1962 figure is a mistake, either from the period or by Comichron.
Unfortunately, the bulk of DC's titles didn't report in 1963, and only a few in 1964.
Showcase and The Brave and the Bold were bimonthlies that came out alternate months. The "Strange Sports Stories" try-out began the month after "Tommy Tomorrow"'s in Showcase. It also lasted five issues, although the run was interrupted by the James Bond issue and a book length Sgt. Rock story in #45.
Luke Blanchard said:
It may be there were de facto caps on how many titles DC could put out. For example, the publisher may have only been willing to bankroll so many. If DC was publishing at its limit starting a new title will have meant cancelling something else.
We know that they were obligated to provide comics for the printing presses or lose money due to idle presses. Depending on how many comics were being returned unsold they would also be losing some money. I imagine that they could not expect the printers to produce more than a finite quantity of pages a month.
Since the publishers didn't have to report average sales before 1960 I don't have a way of knowing how low DC's lower-selling titles sold before then. The really slow antelopes (so to speak) may have all gone by the time "Hawkman" and "Strange Sports Stories" were tried. Whether Julie Schwartz had time to do another title may have been an issue too.
"Space Ranger" and "Adam Strange" didn't get eponymous titles: they were put into Tales of the Unexpected and Mystery in Space, and started in them the same month. So it may be their sell throughs were in the grey area, and DC waited to see how "Adam Strange" did before deciding what to do about "Space Ranger".
Carmine Infantino drew all the stories in the "Strange Sports Stories" The Brave and the Bold issues, and was in charge at DC when the DC Special issues and 1973-74 series came out. The series came out ten years after the The Brave and the Bold issues. From the 1973 standpoint the sales of the earlier issues may have looked good (if anyone still knew what they were), and Infantino seems to have preferred trying things other than superheroes.
Come to think of it, the issue may have been less which was the weakest antelope in DC’s herd, and more which was the weakest antelope in the editor’s own herd.
According to the DC Timeline when DC started crediting the editors in 1959 Julie Schwartz was editing The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog (bimonthly), All Star Western (bimonthly), The Flash (bimonthly at that point), Hopalong Cassidy (bimonthly at that point), Mystery in Space (8 times), Strange Adventures (monthly) and Western Comics (bimonthly).
This understates his full workload, as he was also irregularly editing Showcase. He did 4 issues in 1958 and again in 1959. At the end of 1959 he started irregularly editing The Brave and the Bold too.
By the end of 1961 four of those titles were gone, removing 24 issues per year. But Green Lantern and Justice League of America had started. The Flash went 8 times in 1960, and those last two titles had just gone 8 times. So between them they were replacing 18 of those issues.
In 1962 The Atom (bimonthly) started, replacing the remaining 6. Schwartz simultaneously commenced a run of over a year on The Brave and the Bold (=the second Hawkman try-out and the “Strange Sports Stories” issues). During it he didn’t do any issues of Showcase. So I think at that point he was editing about the same number of issues per year as he had in 1959.
After “Strange Sports Stories” ended his load was one bimonthly lighter for half a year. That’s when Flash Annual #1 appeared, but I assume reprint giants were quick to prepare. Then Hawkman (bimonthly) started. Schwartz took over Detective Comics and Batman shortly after, and gave up Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space to do them. Note that the titles he gave up and the ones he took over had corresponding frequencies (monthly and 8 times respectively).
Luke Blanchard mention that "Oksner was one of Curt Swan's best inkers. He and Murphy Anderson are my two favourites."
I always liked the work of George Klein who unfortunately passed away in 1969. He also did some excellent inking over John Buscema's pencils in The Avengers.
There is some thought that he may have inked issues #1 and/or #2 of The Fantastic Four. Does anyone know if this has been resolved?
There's a post on the subject here by Norris Burroughs. He refers to an article by Mark Evanier from The Jack Kirby Collector #47 that asserts #1 was inked by Klein. I've not read the article, but Evanier wrote a post here on the subject sometime before that which has an addendum saying he's now sure it was Klein.
Oh, thanks, Luke. I remember reading reading that article in TJKC, but the last time I tried to find it I couldn't. (The link you provided to "The Jack F.A.Q." is the same as printed in TJKC.) I'm inclined to trust Evanier's opinion, but now that the link confirms his pick is Klein (which is what I remembered, anyhow) I'd like to make some comparisons of my own.
>> Oksner was one of Curt Swan's best inkers. He and Murphy Anderson are my two favourites.
Obviously I love Oksner's work, but I never thought he was a good match for Curt Swan's pencils. Swan really only had two great inkers: George Klein and Murphy Anderson (apologies to all Stan Kaye fans out there). Dan Adkins showed some potential, but he didn't really stick around long enough to make an impact.