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Back Issue #130 September 2021 (magazine review).

September 17, 2021 | By | Reply More

This issue of ‘Back Issue’ is rather unique as it focuses on when comicbook characters promote everything from food to…well…especially sugary food, even if they rarely indulged in it themselves and behind the scenes things. But first, Alan Kupperberg tells of his time being the editor of DC Comics promotional material. It would be interesting seeing a comparison to Marvel’s version and see how they differed.

Mike Eury focuses on Hostess’ Twinky bars and how they were promoted across 5 different comicbook companies using their primary characters from the mid-1970s-mid-1980s. Oddly, the X-Men weren’t used because they weren’t considered high-profile enough. Then again, although the promoters, Bates & Co., were comicbook fans, much of that came from the 1960s. What came onto the pages was their writing with the publishers correcting errors when need to and consistency to characters they actually had or were too close to characters that weren’t villains, ie Ice Master instead of Iceman. There are also plenty of pages of this material which should stir memories of their 15 year tenure.

In case you think Popeye didn’t get in on the act, Mark Arnold points out he was busy doing ‘vocational guidance’ with careers advice and eating good food.

Then we are back to DC Comics as John Wells goes over their attempts to get their own clubs going although at around 2000 members, little success. Objectively, dividing them into separate chapters for different characters might have seemed a good idea but I think it would have divided their fans a bit too much and certainly cost too much if they wanted each of the 12 chapters on limited pocket money.

If you ever wondered what was on DC Comics’ ‘Hot-Line’ back in the mid-1970s, then Steven Thompson will fill you in. At 100,000 calls a week, it didn’t last long, mostly because the lines were frequently jammed.

Probably the biggest section of this issue is Ed Lute’s look at DC Comics promotional prevues or previews of 16 page samplers in their on-going comics. They did some 14 of them in all and if you’re wondering which one is now the rarest, look to DC Comics # 26 with its ‘Titans’ insert. I do suspect those of you reading this article will be in search of issues you missed for any particular favourite.

Nearly finally, something I doubt if many of you have heard of, let alone seen, is Marvel Quarterly And Annual Reports’ where they look at their accounts with a super-hero feel before the company went bankrupt. Eric Breaker gives the run-down and it must have give some smiles from some of their investors. Well, at least for a while. An odd fact was the Marvel bankruptcy was down to their purchase of Fleer trading cards and the Major League Basketball strike in 1994 and no sale of their sports cards during that period.

There is also a pictorial memorial for Steve Lightle (1959-2021), a cardiac arrest after a covid-diagnosis.

For a heavy duty ‘Back Issue’, this was actually a fairly easy read, mostly because of so much behind-the-scenes information and it fills in a lot of blanks as to what else went on.

GF Willmetts

September 2021

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1620

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Category: 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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