Back Issue # 101 December 2017 (magazine review)

November 27, 2017 | By | Reply More

As the top header of Back Issue # 101 proclaims, this is their ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Issue’, although I suspect calling it ‘Back Issue Goes Pop’ would be closer to the mark. Essentially, this edition looks at all the pop connections to the world of comics that haven’t been covered in earlier issues. Those are logged at the start of letters pages in case you missed out on any of them and want to read them.

The 1980 ‘Flash’ film is a little more tenuous as lead actor Sam J. Jones never actually met Queen but does give an insightful interview about the start of his career.

Paul McCartney’s contribution from his ‘Venus & Mars’ album with his song, ‘Magneto And Titanium Man’, I tend to think less so. Mostly, because if you listen to the lyrics as these people were not common robbers, it’s clear that McCartney didn’t read the comics but just collected some character names together. Incidentally, as he wasn’t knighted until 2004, you aren’t obliged to call him by that title prior to then.

When it comes to the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, someone wasn’t paying attention to the captions on two art panels as they insisted on calling him ‘Allan Harvey’. A great band and if you can look at some of their material on YouTube, then it’s worth a watch. It’s so rare to spot errors in ‘Back Issue’ that this seems unusual.

There’s an article by Mark Arnold looking at how America’s Saturday cartoons and pop bands turned into comics. Something that is ever likely to come back, let alone be part of any promotional scheme again.

Undoubtedly, the biggest section is devoted to Kiss. Do I need to tell any of you which rock’n’roll band that is? Its presence is hardly surprising when you count up the number of comicbook companies that have licensed or published their material. This in itself looks like some sort of record. If you’re a completest on their material then this becomes essential reading, especially on their comcbook availability and which hasn’t been reprinted, which isn’t much. Rather oddly, the only company Kiss haven’t appeared with is DC Comics with Paul Levitz commenting that he saw Gene Simmons concerned only with money which is an odd contradiction considering how much he looked over the material with the other companies. Licensed material always comes down to the money. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly this ‘Back Issue’ sells out once the Kiss Army gets wind of it. Considering how Simmons is the backbone to all of this, I’m surprised an interview wasn’t lined up to get his side of things.

The only other major rock star to have his own comic, albeit in ‘Marvel Premiere’ is Alice Cooper. Getting a reminder of the inside story that it was Terry Austin who was asked to go over Tom Sutton’s work to do something in the humour department isn’t so surprising after his graffiti in Uncanny X-Men # 122.

I have to confess by this time of reading, I was beginning to flag a little and wondering if the real problem with rock’n’roll and comics is that the latter is a silent medium.

Going in reverse and comicbook rock stars who just had it as a profession, we also have the last real icon of rock that Marvel generated for itself in mutant long distance teleporter Lila Cheney, loosely based on Joan Jett and a superb painting of her by Stephanie Hans. A little subdued but effective.

Do I need to mention Marvel’s ‘Steeltown Rockers’ mini-series? I think I am getting a little old, especially as I think I bought it at the time.

This issue of ‘Back Issue’ is definitely going to look like acquired taste or simply you need to read over a longer time than I allotted myself. Cue the lights, drums and guitar rifts.

GF Willmetts

November 2017

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated softcover. Price: $ 8.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 7.61 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1342

Category: Comics, Magazines, Superheroes

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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