Looking Forward to Looking Back, Vol. 4
After a week off from posting, I thought I'd compose a rather timely "Looking Forward to Looking Back Baltimore Comic-Con Edition"! I make this post for two reasons. First of all I am definitely looking forward to going to Baltimore this coming weekend and I hope you are too! Second, despite all of my vast duties as a Comix Connection Convention Monkey, I do hope to find a moment or two for myself to seek out some of the items on my own want list while I'm there. After all, what's a comic-con if you can't do a bit of shopping?
So what's on my wish list for the show? Well, a lot of classic stuff, of course. Items I'll probably have very little luck finding, but I'll still share a few with you. But not too many, as you should be busy making up a convention list of your own!
First up in my notes are some classic back issues from DC Comics! On average, I don't buy a lot of back issues these days, but due to DC's significant scale back on Archives and their odd habit of delaying and canceling reprint books, my back issue attention is focused on some of the rarer DC Comics. I love DC Comics, so that critique while negative is simply because I enjoy their books so much!
So what overlooked gems of DC Comics past are on my wish list? Well, at the top of my list is Brave and the Bold #38 featuring Task Force X! I have wanted to collect all of this team's appearances ever since I read Darwyn Cooke's DC: New Frontier! Also the kid in me still enjoys seeing soldiers versus dinosaurs! That's just fun stuff! Task Force X first debuted in Showcase #25 through #27, before a certain cast of characters decided to go and form a Justice League of America. Task Force X got the book back though with issue #37-39, before TB&tB was then turned over to feature the return of Cave Carson to the series. If anyone at DC Comics is listening these 6 issues would make a fine collected edition, hard cover or otherwise! They would also fit nicely in the canceled Showcase Presents Suicide Squad collection. Wink, wink... nudge, nudge...
Another DC: New Frontier inspired comic I would love to find is Danger Trail #1(1950), which introduced King Faraday to the DC Universe! Of course, a comic like this doesn't come cheap. Fortunately, DC did reprint the King Faraday stories from Danger Trail #1 in 1964 in Showcase #50 and #51, and those two issues tend to be way more affordable. Either way, I may just have to keep dreaming here! But what a great comic to dream about! Danger Trail #1 packed 4 stories of espionage written by Robert Kanigher with art by Carmen Infantino and inks by Alex Toth! Kanigher's stories here read like a great movie thriller just loaded with snappy, wit-sharp dialogue and driven by that classic first person narrative while Infantino's art drops the remarkably dressed cast of characters into a dangerous world of high contrast, deep shadows, and Expressionist camera angles that would make Fritz Lang proud! If any comic book ever should have made the boast of being "Noir" this was it! I'd love to see the four issues of Danger Trail reprinted plus the King Faraday "Spy Train" story from World's Finest Comics #64(1953). DC did reprint this one tale in 1990 in their Greatest 1950s Stories Ever Told hardcover collection. It's probably one of the best DC anthology collections I have in my library, and if you ever find a copy I highly recommend it for yours! The book's full of so many great characters and talented creators, and there's especially a lot of great examples of Alex Toth's work at DC. I have read mine so much I've kind of wrecked the book's spine a bit!
Speaking of Toth, another little gem I have been hunting high and low for is the Dragon Lady Press 1987 reprint of Alex Toth's Bravo For Adventure. This magazine reprinted Toth's "Bravo..." stories that originally ran in issues #3 & #4 of the Warren magazine, Rook, published in 1979. I remember buying the book Toth: Black and White years ago, and this bit always stuck out to me. In my mind I see the Jesse Bravo character as an amalgamation of two old Hollywood personalities I admire, as Bravo's got the dashing looks of actor, Errol Flynn, which Toth always freely admitted, and the fearless aviator spirit of director William "Wild Bill" Wellman. How could a guy like that not encounter plenty of women and plenty of adventure?
Other than these fine books, I'd love to find some various collections that would complete some of the series on my bookshelves, like a few volumes of the Tarzan in Color HCs that NBM published, AC Comics Golden Age Men of Mystery Treasury Volume 2, the first book of Radio Patrol comic strips of 7/31/39 - 1/13/40, Charlie Chan comic strips volume 3, and the list goes on and on! One never knows what you're going to find at a convention, so it pays to list even those nuggets of comic gold you never hope to find!
I hope everyone that ventures to Baltimore this weekend has a safe and enjoyable experience and may you find those items your heart desires! Don't forget to stop by our booth at the show to say "hello", and pick up a special coupon from us for use at the store! Sport a Comix Connection t-shirt and Bill will reward your fashion choice with a prize of one dollar! See you there!