Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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Actually, I thought it was YOU, Jeff of Earth-J, that introduced me to Chasm. Maybe it was somebody else who was reading the "Beyond" storyline in Amazing Spider-Man, in which Ben Reilly becomes the villainous Chasm. That's really all I know about it, since, I didn't read "Beyond."

I've already started on a couple of other PS Artbooks, including whichever one has The Black Tarantula. I mean to reduce the PS Artbooks stack as much as I can this summer; it grows exponentially if I don't. A few days ago I got EIGHT more books. I'll keep plugging away until I'm caught up, and so is the publisher.

I like the idea of sorting PS Artbooks by publisher, except that it can't be done. A great many of the books have "back-up" comics, one-shots or two-shots, usually from a different publisher than the front of the book. Just glancing at the posts above, Classic Adventure Stories Vol. 3 had comics from Dell and Avon, Brain Boy Vol. 1 had comics from Dell and Ziff-Davis, and Brain Boy Vol. 2 had comics from Dell and Ziff-Davis. Currently I'm sorting them as you do, by horror, PS Artbooks Presents, Silver Age Classics, and so forth. But since I've run out of bookshelf space, a great many are just in stacks on the floor!

I have been plowing through Forbidden Worlds and Adventures into the Unknown, but haven't been commenting on them, because I don't have a lot to say. Most of the stories are mildly entertaining, but nothing to write home about. The stable of artists remain remarkably stable from book to book, most of them fairly generic. I see familiar names like John Forte and Pete Costanza in nearly every issue. Familiar, yes, but not the best; that would be John Rosenberger (whose style I really like) and Ogden Whitney (who mostly does covers). And, really, that's all I got to say.

"Actually, I thought it was YOU, Jeff of Earth-J, that introduced me to Chasm."

It's true that I did read the "Beyond" stuff, but I don't remember any "Chasm." Here is a rather long online overview of Chasm, and I skimmed the whole thing until my head hurt but I didn't even spot the word "Chasm." Could it be that the stuff I read was after the Chasm stuff? Or could the "Beyond" storyline have been so lame that I've forgotten it already? I do remember that, at the end of the story, Ben and Janine go home to live "happily ever after" (the summary confirms that).

"I like the idea of sorting PS Artbooks by publisher, except that it can't be done."

Yeah, like I said, "I have recently started to rearrange my PS Artbooks on the shelf." Certain collections would have to be grouped in a "miscellaneous" section, but quite a few of the others could be grouped in such a way. My shelf (shelves) is always a "work in progress."

I made sure to read all of the comics I bought last Wednesday before deciding on my "Pick of the Week"... and I still can't make up my mind.

PERRY WHITE #1 (Full title: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen's Boss Perry White): This comic has one new story plus reprints from 1974, 1976, 2011 and two from 2019. To my delight, it reprinted "The Super-Cigars of Perry White" from Action Comics #436, one of the comics I had as a kid but culled from my collection for Marvels. This was the first one of last week's batch I read and a definite contender for "Pick of the Week."

NEW FANTASTIC FOUR #1: A throwback to the '80s written by Peter David. I'm unfamiliar with artist Alan Robinson, but his style is quite similar to that of Arthur Adams. I'll be keeping my eye on him. Another contender for "PotW." 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4: Mary Jane has a daughter named Romy, about seven or eight years old, I'd say. I don't know who the father is, but in any case, she and Peter have not spoken to each other for some time. Robbie Robertson's son and Tombstone's daughter are a couple. Tombstone manipulates Spider-Man into taking out the Rose for him. 

SILVER SURFER #5: The Silver surfer (briefly) gains control of the Reality Gem, but he ultimately returns it to Thanos. The original version of Genis-Vell has returned, but I'm not sure how.

CLASSIC PULP: SCI-FI (Full title: J. Werner Presents Classic Pulp): This one-shot is fifth (I think) in a series of themed, pre-code reprints. The others are Horror, Detectives, Ghosts and Ellery Queen. Now that Craig Yoe is no longer publishing his line, this is my favorite periodical source of pre-code reprints. Werner doesn't do as good a job as Yoe identifying sources (ironic because his company is "Source Point Press"), but this one has a strong Charlton vibe to me.

SHAM COMICS V2 #3: Another "Source Point Press" offering. This is SPP's parody title, perhaps the most funny but least tasteful of such comics I have read. This one's theme is "funny animals" and is one of only a few of that genre I have in my collection. (I never was a fan of comics aimed at children, even when I was one.) Three of the stories in this issues are drawn by Frank Frazetta, and the original versions of two of those can be found in Yoe Books' Frazetta - Funny Stuff Collection. ("Hucky Duck" becomes "Forest Duck," and "Barney Rooster" becomes "Billy Ray Cornsmutt.") My favorite story of the issue is "It Happens Every Wednesday" (originally published in Happy Comics #19, May 1947) about new comic book day. EIC Josh Werner (or perhaps editor Kasey Pierce) does a better job identifying sources in Sham than in Classic Pulp.

I have always had a problem with labels, particularly "All-Ages." In fact, I cannot think of a single instance in which a comic book described as "All-Ages" has meant anything other than "For Children." But this one comes close. If there are any children in your life, well... you still might not want to give them this one. 

SHAOLIN COWBOY: CRUEL TO BE KIN #2: I've decided to hold off reading the rest of this series until I reread all the series leading up to it. 

CLEMENTINE: Here is a comic I did not buy, but I almost did. Speaking of labels, Clementine, set in the universe of the Walking Dead, is "YA." I could have overcome that one (for reasons I would have explained had a bought it), but I could not overcome my preconceived notion when I discovered that its source was a video game. I'm still interested in hearing about it from anyone who's read it, though.

THE WRONG EARTH: CONFIDENCE MEN: This issue (the latest in a series of one-shots) is written by Mark Waid and concerns the lengths to which Dragonflyman (of Earth-Alpha) and Dragonfly (of Earth-Omega) go to boost the confidence of their respective sidekick, Stinger. I never noticed the name of editor Deron Bennett before, but his editorial this issue is absolutely hilarious. The other text feature is "The Sidekick's Guide to Cocktails" which is also funny and provides actual drink recipes. From the ads, I also realized I missed the first issue of the new AHOY! Comics series Justice Warriors. Hope I can still find it! 

G.I.L.T. #3: This is a very funny time-travel series, also from AHOY! Comics. A time time-transfer portal opens a rift to 1973, and the one in 1973 opens in 1929. As the characters begin to interact (some of them "the long way"), reality begins to change and hilarity ensues. This is another contender for my "Pick of the Week." 

Pick of the Week: Because I previously gave the nod to G.I.L.T. #1 and because the Perry White one-shot is mostly reprint, I'm going to pick New Fantastic Four #1 as my choice. What's yours


My favorite story of the issue is "It Happens Every Wednesday" (originally published in Happy Comics #19, May 1947) about new comic book day. 

I think that in 1960, when I got into the Julie Schwartz books and the Atlas books just before the FF, the new comics delivery days out here were both Tuesday and Thursday. I had the impression that Wednesday became the day after the direct market started, during my gap in buying.

New Comic Book Day for me as a lad was Monday. That’s when the distributor dropped off the new comics and magazines at Cloverleaf Pharmacy.

I never associated the arrival of new comics with a particular day before I got a driver's license because my trips to Ahmann's newsstand or Droste drugstore were so sporadic. The direct market was in place by the time I got my license, but I still didn't make the connection. It wasn't until I was in college and went to my new shop on a Monday or Tuesday and was told, "We get our new comics on Wednesdays." 

CAPTAIN AMERICA: SYMBOLOF TRUTH #2: I've done so well over the years avoiding any comic book with Deadpool in it... until now. This is my second, maybe third, one.

SHE-HULK #4: I've been contemplating a comprehensive "She-Hulk" discussion thread for three years now. One of these days I may even start one.

THE X-CELLENT #4: I've pinpointed my ambivalence toward this title: I love the art but I'm indifferent to any of the characters. 

JUSTICE WARRIORS #1: This is the one I discover last week I missed. It's a cop comic that mentions seven previous cop comics (some of them pretty obscure, such as Lady Cop, Radio Squad and Police Action) as inspirartion on the letters page. The one it reminds me of the most (ABC's Top Ten) isn't mentioned. 

I've been reading the "Worlds Collide" crossover between the Superman family and the Milestone comics. It's a fun, semi-coherent jumble. Its impetus is there's a guy who lives in both dimensions -- when he goes to sleep in Metropolis, he shifts over to Dakota and begins his day there, and vice versa. This causes Edwin Alva to treat him like a guinea pig, hoping to control his power for himself. But he's also being chased by monsters of his imagination, which the heroes have to fight.

One structural (literally!) thing I liked was that both cities have a bridge that's half destroyed going in to the crossover. So when the cities merge, there's a complete bridge connecting the two. 

It's also a lot of fun to see the Milestone characters swearing around Superman. Milestone always had the best way of conveying curse words they weren't printing -- instead of the traditional grawlix characters, they just use a scrawl, as if the word had been scribbled out. It works pretty well. 

One thing I didn't like -- Superboy straight-up sexually harasses Rocket when he first meets her. I mean, he's shameless. Rocket doesn't take any of it, and later really deftly puts him in his place, but boy, is that first meeting rough.

I'm about halfway through. The comics are all on DCU Infinite aside from the Worlds Collide crossover itself, a single issue that's chapter 7 of the story. (A really weird way to handle the event, and one I don't think was ever tried again.) I've got that one in my basement somewhere, but I was also able to find it online, which saved me some effort.

I hadn't realized Alan Robinson was drawing the New FF comic; I don't have a lot of nostalgia for that team, so I put that one back on the shelf without looking at it closely. I like his art a lot. I can definitely see Arthur Adams there, but he's also got a really deft & comic sense of facial expressions, like Kevin Maguire. He previously drew Planet of the Nerds for AHOY.

Also, the Classic Pulp line also did Robots, which is the only one I've picked up so far. But I liked it a lot!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

NEW FANTASTIC FOUR #1: A throwback to the '80s written by Peter David. I'm unfamiliar with artist Alan Robinson, but his style is quite similar to that of Arthur Adams. I'll be keeping my eye on him. Another contender for "PotW." 

"World's Collide" - There's a blast from the past. One of the covers was "do-it-yourself" with paste-on figures. And you have a basement? I'm envious. 

Alan Robinson did Planet of the Nerds? I read that but it sometimes takes me a while to learn names. 

Classic Pulp: Robots sounds familiar. I'm sure I read it; must be misfiled.

Planet of the Nerds was the first time I'd seen Robinson's art, I think -- his name popped out for me because I remember taking a picture of a couple panels and complimenting him on them on Twitter.

I'm pretty sure Robots was your Pick of the Week!

I haven't come close to reading all my comics this week, but I'll use my Pick of the Week to draw attention to the debut of a new book: The Lonesome Hunters, a five-issue mini written and drawn by Tyler Crook from Dark Horse. The first issue is terrific -- a nice, creepy supernatural vibe that feels like Hellboy in approach and attitude but Vertigo in scale, if that makes any sense. A strong start to what looks to be a fun monster-hunting story.

A close runner up is the first issue of The Variants, a 5-issue mini from Gail Simone and Phil Noto starring Jessica Jones (and apparently Jessicas from the multiverse). I'm not a big Marvel reader these days, but Simone and Noto ensure I don't have to be to enjoy this story.  

"I'm pretty sure Robots was your Pick of the Week!"

Found it. (It was just waiting to be filed.)

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