Saturday, 9 November 2019

The Comic Reader Cover Gallery



Just want to show off some great covers from longtime fanzine The Comic Reader. Some of this is rejigs of work already seen, some of it's wholly original. And some of it's not by who it might at first appear. Have a close look at some of those signatures.














































11 comments:

  1. I never owned any of these, but saw them around. What is the page count? Any stories, or is each issue mostly comprised of articles, reviews, and pin ups? Who was the driving force behind it?

    Probably the most surprising cover credits were Frank Robbins (pencils) and P. Craig Russell (inks).

    Gene Poole

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    1. I don't really know, Gene, this is the kind of thing that never really came into the Uk. Maybe Kiyote has more info?

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  2. This brings back some memories. Comic Reader was pretty much essential in the mid to late 70s for any serious collector, long before The Comics Journal, Amazing Heroes & other pro-fanzines appeared. And they did score some awesome covers. Thanks for digging these out.

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    1. The Journal became so poisonous & elitist that by the late '80s I lost all interest in it.

      Never saw the Comics Reader.

      Regards,
      Chris A.

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  3. Everything you wanted to know about TCR, but were afraid to ask:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Comic_Reader

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  4. Well, I was going to post that link about The Comic Reader, but someone else beat me to it. That should answer most of the questions you may have about it, especially if you've never seen one.

    And yes, The Comics Journal was... amazing, insofar as morphing into a snooty, elitist, faux-highbrow publication that clearly hated comics, but still couldn't shut up about them. I'd pick one from time to time, always getting a good laugh out of their never-changing formula: Groth 'interviewing' a creator by constantly asking "What horrid things did your bosses do to you?" and "Aren't today's books total shit?" Thompson & his ilk 'reviewing' a bunch of titles, saving their praise for obscure comics from South America you'd never see where the artist used his own poo in innovative swaths of darkness across the page. And, of course, 'tributes' to greats like Barks or Eisner, chock-full of nit-picking their primitive styles and yet focusing on how they were screwed out of their rightful godhood.

    The Journal was the spiteful NPR (or Radio 4, depending on where you live) of comics - a really weird footnote to the overall history.

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    1. Gary Groth always aspired to be a 'gonzo journalist' like Hunter S. Thompson, but failed miserably.

      - Neil

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  5. Yeah, I've got that book of Bronze Age writer interviews, and there's the one where he basically tricks Harlan Ellison into saying Don Heck is the worst artist in comics. Never read an issue, but don't really want to.

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  6. Chris A is definitely correct that by the late eighties-early nineties the JOURNAL had morphed into its fully elitist form.

    For anyone curious to see a breakdown of the transition from the POV of one who was (kind of) there at the time, here's an essay I wrote back in 2011:

    https://arche-arc.blogspot.com/2011/08/son-of-quickie-groth-post.html

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  7. I remember in the '80s that the "nemesis" of The Comics Journal was the folded tabloid newspaper The Comics Buyers Guide, operated by Don and Maggie Thompson. Lots of ads, but it did have news and reviews of mainstream comics. Not highbrow, but not pretentious either.

    Gene Poole

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  8. Some excellent covers, I particularly liked Frank Robbins Ghost Rider and Alex Toths Fox. I remember TCR being on sale in Virgin mega store and a few comic shops in Glasgow in the late 70s early 80s but I was never really a big fan of it though as it always seemed a bit "dry" to keep

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