I love it when writers or artists shoehorn themselves into one of their own stories, something that these days would be called an easter egg, but back then, it was just fun spotting such obvious in-jokes aimed at the reader.
Always liked Man-Wolf / Defenders scribe and FOOM editor Dave Kraft too. DAK was a long-haired rocker, like wot I was, and never missed an opportunity to title amost any story or character after a Blue Oyster Cult or Rush track, probably making devil hand signs while typing his scripts to boot.
That's Dave with Roger Slifer in FOOM #16, hitch-hiking cross country on a conventioneering vacation.
The story below always put me in mind of that photo, so here, from the Psycho 1972 annual is what I'm saying is Dave ( in spirit, if not actually in 100% likeness ), alongside artist Villanova hitch-hiking cross country on a killing spree. But where's Roger?
Well, what's left of him's in DAK's backpack.
Just as Marvel have a law that there must be at least one giant-sized superhero in place at all times, DC during the Bronze Age seemed to have a similar edict regarding teenage cavemen, and Anthro was probably the first of these characters to stroll across the prehistoric tundra.
Unlike his labelmates Tor and Kong The Untamedhowever, Anthro is much more a light-hearted kind of strip, almost a sitcom in fact.
As well-meaning teen Anthro struggles to drag his nightmare family into civilization, he really could be you. Or Scott Biao at the very least.
Originally prepped as a newspaper strip, creator Howie Post subsequently brought the strip to DC where sadly, and like a lot of great series at the time, it didn't last long. But what there is is wonderful.
Post's artwork has that scratchy, almost-there quality that Kurtzman's did, and as a comedy writer he's aces. Anthro's dad in particular being a standout, as alternately contrary and wise as real dad's everywhere. He gets many great lines in this issue, but my favourite has to be: Your lack of religious sentiment disgusts me!
Check Anthro out. He could be you.
Jack Of Hearts is another one of those characters that never really caught on, despite Marvel pushing him at us at every available opportunity.
Ok, he wasn't as annoying as The Torpedo, but he was strangely bland, being a square jawed nice guy without much of an edge to him. He was also the character no artist wanted as an assignment, his costume being infinitely more time-consuming than, say, Daredevil or The Punisher.
He also stole The White Tiger's series out from under him in the pages of Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu, something I never forgave him for.
And yet, we demanded him blasting into solo action, apparently.
Actually, this try-out in Marvel Premiere is pretty good. Sure, you have to wade through the obligatory flashback to the origin, and the shoehorned 'Hi, I'm the supporting cast' you get in every intro story, but Keith Giffen & Rudy Nebres make a lush art team, and the excruciatingly camp villain is a hoot. Give him his own book.
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