‘Back Issue’ has reached its centenary issue and, with a few extra pages, the focus is on the American fanzines, both amateur and pro. There is a look at ‘The Comic Reader’ and ‘Squa Tront’ which focuses on EC Comics to start with. The one I was most interested to read was an interview with Bob Overstreet, him of ‘The Buyer’s Guide For Comic Fandom’. Although this is pretty much Overstreet’s history and does he have a collecting habit away from comics, I wish we had some of his views on how prices were assessed and whether they are getting too expensive. Even in the UK, people tend to use the pristine mint price to gauge a comic’s cost than the condition which is missing the whole point of the grading outside of the people who have them professionally graded.
Probably the biggest in-house fan mag from the 1980s was ‘FOOM’ and reading about its tiny budget and the musical chairs with editors passing through stirred up a lot of memories. I still have my copies up in the attic. One of the strongest memories is a Mike Ploog backcover of the Ghost Rider on a real hog. It’s a shame it was never used in the comicbooks but I doubt if it would have been able to do any stunt flips.
The look at ‘The Amazing World Of DC Comics’ stirred similar memories, although I only managed to get fewer of their issues, the highlight being # 9 as it brought me back to speed with the Legion Of Super-Heroes as I started buying comics again in the mid-1970s. Oddly, the one back cover they fail to mention is the one of the Metal Men, which is always a favourite. The follow-up piece about the 1976 DC Comics Convention shows problems could happen back then as well. Reading about the DC Comicmobile and the regulations that had to be passed to sell comics on the street in different New York suburbs was interesting. Bob Rozakis learnt a lot about fan tastes and it’s a shame that the management didn’t use the info.
I was less familiar with the ‘Fawcett Collectors Of America’ (FCA) and only vaguely aware of ‘Charlton Bullseye’. Before it became a pro-zine, it started off as an ad-zine, slowly changing with time. When Charlton offered finance and material, things changed drastically. It was also where John Byrne started off designing logos and a certain Rog-2000 before it hit the Charlton comics. I also became more aware of Bob Layton’s fandom roots as he was its editor.
Finally, Bob Greenberger interviews ‘Back Issue’s own editor, Mike Eury about his work as a DC editor and writer before prevailing deafness forced him to move on. I tend to be a little wary when interviews of the people who are editing the content about themselves but this one was honest and gave a lot of info about this magazine. I always puzzled on the long lead–in for each issue and now discovering all TwoMorrows publications are printed in China does make sense of it. Oh, Mike, please consider doing a physical reprint of Back Issue # 61 as I can put it in with my Treasuries.
Oh, this was a good choice of material for ‘Back Issue’s 100th issue and if you want a real taste of 70s-80s nostalgia then you really need this edition.
(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 95 page illustrated softcover. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 8.46 (US))
check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1341