Thursday, February 01, 2007

The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!

Here's another one from my past. Probably one of the most important comic books I ever bought, or rather my parents bought as I was only nine or ten at the time and didn't exactly get a weekly allowance. The Old Man didn't believe in allowances of a financial nature. We had a roof over our head, clothes on our back and food in our belly, what more did we need? As I've gotten older and have kids of my own, I see the logic in the Old Man's philosophy. I've also adopted His "If you don't work you don't eat" mantra, but I'm getting off track.
Fantastic Four #185 pitted the Fantastic Four against the evil warlock Nicholas Scratch (one of my favorite badguy names of all time), a mess of hooded witches and a sky full of gargoyles as they desperately attempted to rescue li'l Franklin Richards. As usual, the cover was misleading. In the Mighty Marvel tradition, the issue ended on a cliffhanger. Comics veteran Len Wein really knew how to write a suspenful tale, but what impressed me most and left a lasting impression on me to this day, was the artwork. This was the first of many issues of the "world's greatest comic magazine" that I bought. I was familiar with them, of course, through the cartoons being aired around that time, but they fell short of their four-color counterparts. Relative newcomer George Perez, teamed with another veteran Joe Sinnott, longtime inker for Jack Kirby, provided some of the most indellible images of my youth. I think I even aped this cover as a kid with my own version of the Fantastic Four. I used to draw these crude mini comics where me and three friends had become the Fantastic Four and...well, that's a post for a different day.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting George Perez. I shook his hand, a hand that has penciled some of the greatest work in comic book history, and said, "Mr. Perez, I just wanted to remind you that you're awesome." He laughed, caught off guard a bit, I think and said, "Thanks."

Getting back to my youth, due to my infrequent trips to town, I never managed to pick up #186 to see how they rescued Franklin or defeated Nicholas Scratch and his band of witches.
So, along with completing my Invaders series this year, I also intend to find out. Keep it here, boppers and I'll let you know how it turns out.

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