Friday, 17 April 2009
Giant Superman Album
I bet nobody else has this book. One of the places we used to buy comics in our home town of Haverhill ( Or HaverHole. Or HaverHell. ) was a newsagents called Martins. I vividly remember my Dad taking me to work with him one day when I was about 7 or 8, to fit the carpets in a law firm directly opposite said shop. Natch, within 3.75 minutes, I was bored out of my mind, so The Old Man gave me some money to go over the road, to get something to read to keep me still.
Imagine seeing this for 25p!!
It's exactly what it says on the tin, a big bumper book of Silver Age Superman, Batman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen & Superboy stories, along with a few surprises. It was published by somebody called Top Seller, unfortunately with no publication dates on it, so I can't say for sure exactly how long I've had it.
As much as I love this book though, I have to admit that the guys at Top Seller didn't exactly put a lot of faith in quality control.
Just look at that cover: Check out Fatman & Badly Drawn BoyWonder! And as if that wasn't cheap enough, the back & front cover are actually printed upside down to the rest of the book.
The cheesiness continues inside, as, in order to cram as much material as possible into it's '250 Super Pages', the carefully formulated layouts of Carmine Infantino, Curt Swan, Kurt Schaffenberger et al. are, well, altered. Like in this classic Mort Weisinger Supes tale.
I'd say there's at least two & a half pages of artwork squashed together in there. Or what about this Lois page:
It's all over the damn place! Still a great story tho', full of Silver Age nuttiness. Here's a few more sample pages. Like this very cool Carmine Bats tale.
Or this Superboy story, where the big-hearted teen helps out a kid who desperately wants to be a superhero. I'm sure we all created our own superheroes when we were kids, drawing them on our schoolbooks and whatnot. The first one I ever did, I stole the name Supremo from this guy.
This really quite odd book seems to have sprung from something called Super DC, as you can see from the ad at the end of the Jimmy Olsen story below. If such a comic ever existed though, It certainly never made it to Haverhell.
And then there's the fact that, scattered throughout the Giant Superman Album, are loads of letters pages like this one, presumably reprinted from Super DC Monthly. Why? And if you're doing a Silver Age reprint comic, WHY HAVE THE SKIPPER PRESENT YOUR LETTERS PAGE? Talk about random...
There's even the odd clumsily inserted ( and clearly british ) strip like this one.
As well as Henry Boltinoff's Little Pete. ( They musta known my Dad had sent me over. )
As well as horrendously illustrated text stories like this one, which I've never read, and never will. British annuals were always full of rubbish like this, and I never read them either.
So how about it? Am I the only person who owns a copy of this thing? Or does anyone know anything about it? I know one thing: As badly laid out and random as it is, it's got some classic strips in it.
I'd never get rid of my copy.