Category Archives: Books

Classic Monster Comics – Godzilla vs. Megalon Theater Giveaway

This Free Promotional Comic is VERY Rare!

Godzilla vs Megalon Free Comic

For U.S. Godzilla fans in the 1970s, comic books about the King of the Monsters were one of the few collectibles available to us outside of monster magazine covers.  While most of us fondly recall Marvel Comics Godzilla series, it was not the first American comic book to feature the King of the Monsters.

In 1976, Godzilla vs Megalon made it’s way to U.S. theaters by way of a distribution company called Cinema Shares International.  Movie goers received a free promotional comic book adaptation of the film courtesy of Cinema Shares that is now considered the first U.S. comic book of Godzilla.  This four-page, cover-less, newspaper print comic is quite rare and, thus, quite sought after by collectors.

While an adaptation of the film, the comic is pretty crazy and one can only assume the uncredited creative team didn’t have access to an English dub of the film.  In the comic, Jet Jaguar is called “Robotman” and Gigan is “Borodan” along with a pretty kooky narration that is pure 70s camp:

The colossal, Hell-spawned misanthropoid fearfully known as Megalon,

Godzilla realizes he stands little chance of subduing the boorish might of Megalon unassisted.

As I said, the creative team is uncredited and I can’t find any information on who might have been involved in writing, drawing and inking this little gem of a collectible.

Here is the comic book in all 4 pages of it’s full color glory for your to enjoy – click for a larger image of each scan:

Collector Value:

This comic is very rare and demands a hefty price tag.  Current price guides list NM as

A CGC 9.0 copy is currently available on Amazon.com  for $5,499!

Some lower grade copies are currently available on eBay at far more reasonable prices.

Did you get this comic at the theater?  Do you recall your experience reading it?  Share your memories with us in the comments section.

Classic Monster Comics – Marvel’s Godzilla

The King of the Monsters Rampaged Through The 1970s Marvel Universe

Godzilla King of the Monsters 1977

Godzilla King of the Monsters #1 (Marvel Comics Group,  February 1977)

Look Out America! The Mightiest Menace of Them All is Coming Your Way!

  • Written by Doug Moench
  • Drawn by Herbe Trimpe & Jim Mooney
  • Lettered by Joe Rosen
  • Colored by Janice Cohen

About GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS

The Marvel Universe is home to many a strange creature. With names like Grogg, Goom, Grattu and, yes, Fing Fang Foom, giant creatures have long found a home in the same comic book world that Spider-Man, the X-Men and The Avengers call home. It’s only natural, then, that Godzilla, Toho’s King of Monsters, would come to call the Marvel Universe home too.

1977 saw Godzilla in the height of his popularity. The giant radioactive dinosaur that had been born into this world as a terrifying piece of post-World War II, anti-American propaganda in 1954’s Gojira was now a full-fledged superhero. He wrestled across yearly movies – fighting all manner of evil aliens, undersea civilizations and fellow mutant menaces. He befriended the young (appearing in an anti-bullying PSA) and even had time to father a son! There were toys (many, many toys), Christmas-themed singles and, thanks to Marvel Comics, a monthly series that saw the monster journey through space and time in search of adventure.

Godzilla was no stranger to comic books – he had long found a home in black-and-white manga released in Japan and frequently tied to his regular output of films. Godzilla’s first American comic book appearance was four-page promotional comic giveaway for audiences at screenings of Godzilla Vs. Megalon in 1976.

The following year, Marvel Comics licensed the character for what would be a 24-issue series written by Doug Moench (the co-creator of characters such as Moon Knight and DC Comics’ Bane) and illustrated by Herb Trimpe (longtime Hulk illustrator and the first artist to draw Wolverine in a comic book). Marvel licensed Godzilla but did not pony up for the lizard’s film friends or foes – leaving Moench with the freedom (or burden, as the case may be) to create new adventures and enemies for Godzilla to combat over the course of the series.

click on these images for a closer look:

Marvel Comics Godzilla #1

The first issue of Godzilla, King Of The Monsters, a story called “The Coming,” the King of the Monster’s primary pursuer is none other than S.H.E.I.L.D, Marvel’s go-to organization when it comes to keeping world peace and/or capturing rampaging radioactive lizards.

Godzilla Marvel Comics 1977

Marvel Comics S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Godzilla

Dum Dum Dugan, Nick Fury’s right-hand man, is personally charged with ridding America of the creature and teams with a group of Japanese scientists to capture the behemoth after he begins his North American tour following an appearance in Alaska. From Alaska to Seattle to San Francisco,

Marvel Comics Godzilla vs S.H.I.E.L.D

Godzilla hits San Francisco

Godzilla Marvel Comics Origin

Marvel Godzilla 1977 ComicDugan and his team track Godzilla. Along the way, Godzilla takes in the sights and even has a chance to interact with local heroes – including a rumble with San Fran superhero team The Champions, a ‘70s alliance that included Iceman, Angel, Ghost Rider, Black Widow and more.

In order to give the monster opponents that offered a fair fight, Moench invented a fleet of new monsters (including Yetrigar – the biggest bigfoot of them all!) for Godzilla to rumble with. He and Trimpe also invented the mechanized-monster fighter Red Ronin. The character, a by-product of Stark Technology and enemy to monsters everywhere, is a giant samurai-inspired robot that has, even after Marvel’s Godzilla license expired, continued to pop up in the Marvel Universe – even recently given the alter-ego of a teenage girl.

Halfway through the series, Moench began to find his groove and decided to send Godzilla on even stranger adventures – ejecting the lizard from Earth and sending him to the moon to settle a longstanding feud between two warring alien races and to the west to rumble with cattle-rustlers and cowboys. Godzilla was even shrunk down to the size of a rat thanks to the use of Pym Particles, a material invented by Hank Pym (aka Ant-Man) that can change the size of anything it comes in contact with.

Once shrunk, Godzilla began a multi-issue arc that saw the monster slowly begin to grow back to full-size. Captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Fantastic Four before he had retained his full size, Godzilla was sent back in time to the age of dinosaurs – Marvel’s top scientists surely not considering what possible ramifications could come from the exposure of a radioactive monster to the prehistoric timeline. Obviously Reed Richards wasn’t a Ray Bradbury fan.

As it turns out, Godzilla’s radiation does futz with the time travel technology and instead of being sent to the past, he is sent to the Jack Kirby-created alternate dimension Dinosaur World, home of cross-species BFFs Devil Dinosaur, a giant red T-Rex, and Moon-Boy, a monkey boy with a heart of gold.

Once the Fantastic Four realized their mistake, they plucked Godzilla from Dinosaur World and plopped him back in the middle of New York City. Now at his full-grown size, it was finally time for the King of Monsters to battle Marvel’s premier superhero team – The Avengers. The last two issues of Marvel’s series featured Godzilla in an all-out-rumble with The Avengers and the Fantastic Four and featured appearances from S.H.I.E.L.D., The Daily Bugle (including a showdown between J. Jonah Jameson and Godzilla) and even one final last-minute cameo from Spider-Man. In the end, all it took was a stern talking to by a young boy to send Godzilla on his way – disappearing into the ocean and out of the Marvel Universe forever.

Or was it forever? Despite the fact that Marvel’s license with Toho for Godzilla had ended, Marvel was not willing to let go of the King of Monsters that easily. In 1985, Doctor Demonicus, a monster-loving mad scientist that had first appeared in an early issue of Godzilla, King Of Monsters, made his return in an issue of Iron Man. He even brought along an old friend. In order to skate international copyright laws, Godzilla was never referred to as Godzilla and was given a makeover courtesy of Demonicus. Now with a few horns on his head, a fin along his back and webbed hands, the new and improved “Godzilla” was free to rampage across the Marvel Universe again – without Marvel needing to cut a check to Toho.

This new version of Godzilla only appeared a few times – including once in an issue of The Thing’s solo series in which the monster was, presumably by accident, referred to directly by name. A few years ago, in the first issue of Mighty Avengers, a spin-off series featuring a team of government-sanctioned Avengers, New York City was attacked by a horde of monsters controlled by the Mole Man, an underground-dwelling, monster-loving villain. Among the monsters was Godzilla – without the amphibious adjustments Demonicus had made to his body. This cameo was most likely not an official appearance by the monster – instead just a clever gag from artist Frank Cho.

Marvel found a lot of success in the ‘70s with licensing characters – including series set in the Marvel Universe that featured toy properties Rom the Space Knight and the Micronauts. Unfortunately, the use of these characters in the Marvel Universe means that many stories from Marvel Comics are no longer able to be reprinted – with collections of comics from the ‘70s often skipping over issues that feature characters to which Marvel no longer has a license. Even Shang-Chi, a Marvel mainstay and recent Avenger, has almost no reprint collections available due to the fact that Shang-Chi’s father was established to be Fu Manchu and Marvel no longer has the rights to use the character.

Marvel Comics Letter Page Godzilla 1977

Thankfully, Marvel worked out a deal with Toho last decade and released a black-and-white collection under their Essentials series that collects the full 24-issue run. Essential Godzilla is easily available and highly recommended for both fans of Kaiju and Marvel superheroes. If anything, the collection is worth a purchase alone for the multi-issue arc in which a shrunken Godzilla fights rats, sharks and New York muggers. You just can’t put a price on that kind of entertainment.

H/T BirthsMoviesDeath

Collector Value:

NM grade copies of issue #1 of Godzilla King of the Monsters are currently valued around $25.  The full 24-issue series is often available as a complete set on eBay.

 

CLASSIC MONSTER MAGAZINE: Dick Smith’s Monster Make-Up Handbook

Classic Monster Magazines

Famous-Monsters-Dick_Smith-Monster-Make-UP-HandbookDo-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook by Dick Smith (Warren Publishing, 1965)

It doesn’t get anymore classic than this!

Monster Kids were way ahead of trend and were into DIY before Pinterest was even a glimmer in the internet’s eye.  Inspired by their favorite monster movies and made aware of the master artists and creators behind these movies thanks to Famous Monsters of Filmland, Monster Kids of the 1960s were making their own Super-8 monster movies complete with homegrown monsters.

Always aware of their audience, Jim Warren engaged future -Oscar-winning make-up artist Dick Smith’s to publish this one-shot “how-to” magazine.  To use a rather obvious metaphor, it was like pouring gasoline on a campfire.  One of the definitive magazines of Monster Kid-dom, this Handbook included 100 pages of photo illustrated guides providing Monster Kids step-by-step instructions for making monsters.

In classic Famous Monsters’ style, the cover by Vic Preslo wasn’t shy in selling the awesomeness inside.  In this case, it wasn’t an over promise!

How to have fun creating your own monster make-up

Over 250 Exciting Pictures

With Simple Easy-to-Follow Instructions

by Famous Make-Up Artist Dick Smith

The mag was reissued as a paperback by Imagine Inc. in 1985 and can be found on Amazon:

Dick Smith’s Do-it-Yourself Monster Make-up Handbook

As you’ll see in the following pictorial tour, the book progresses from the relatively simple Vampire and Ghoul #1 to the movie-worthy Quasimodo, Mr. Hyde and ‘New” Frankenstein Monster.  Enjoy the tour:

Dick-Smith-Monster-make-Up-Inside-Cover-Front

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Dick-Smith-Monster-Make-Up-Ghoul-1

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I found a copy of this magazine at a newsstand in the mid-70s that was used but in good condition.  I scoured the magazine repeatedly, drawing the images and practicing the make-up on my younger siblings.  Here’s a shot of my younger brother with the Split Face make-up I did for Halloween – not too bad, if I say so myself! (The teeth have been wiped away because he’s been eating candy!)

Dick-Smith-Make-up-Split-Face-Halloween-1977Dick-Smith_monster-make-up-split-face-2

Collectors Value:

This magazine is fairly easy to find – though finding a really high grade copy requires a bit of patience.  Reader copies are frequently available in the $15 range and recent and copies in VG condition have recently sold on eBay for $45.  While prices range rather dramatically on this magazine in high grades, VF/NM copies can be found in the $55-$75 range.  Pretty nice appreciation for a with a cover price $.60 back in 1965. With patience, you can get a collectible copy – and you SHOULD own this book if you’re a collector or a 60s Monster Kid.  At minimum,  I’d recommend a reader copy of this magazine as well – its  just so much fun to read!

Follow this link to see current copies available on eBay

Related Articles:

 

Ormsby’s Movie Monsters: A Ghoulery of Monster Greats

Classic Monster Books

Movie Monsters by Alan Ormsby

Movie Monsters ; Alan Ormsby (Scholastic Books, 1975)

As a 1970s Monster Kid, I was fortunate enough to have access to a wide variety of monster magazines and books.  Movie Monsters by Alan Ormsby was one of my favorites.

Pictured above is my original copy, well-loved and well-used.  In other words, it is far from collectible condition.  I remember getting my Scholastic book order at the end of the school day late during the Fall of 1975 with this book in it.  As soon as I got home from school that day, I recall  heading straight to my room to read this cover-to-cover.  I loved the illustrations and the easy step-by-step guide to monster make-up.

I loved this book so much, I even gathered the neighborhood kids and staged a production of The Monster of Frankenstein – which is the play included in this book (see story below).

Today, I thought we could stroll down memory lane together and review this book.

From the author:

Movie Monsters has three parts: The Greatest Movie Monsters – for your delight, information, and reference, page 3; How to make a Monster, including make-up and recipes for monsters, page 29; and How to Put On Monster Shows, page 63. Happy Ghouling!

Today’s focus is on part one, the Ghoulery of Monster Greats:

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Ormsby begins, fittingly, with a tribute to the Man of a Thousand Faces, Lon Chaney.

He invented monster make-up!

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Ormsby continues his focus on Chaney, with The Phantom of the Opera (note my little sister’s custom art work on the page):

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From Sr. to Jr., Ormsby leaps right to my favorite Universal Monster, Lon Chaney Jr as the Wolfman:

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Appropriately, Ormsby spends four pages on the Frankenstein Monster – discussing all the Universal movies up through Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein but, unlike his action on Dracula below, he focuses exclusively on Boris Karloff‘s portrayal of the Monster.

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He continues with Karloff, in this feature on The Mummy:

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The Frankenstein Monster may be the most popular monster. But King Kong is probably the greatest monster movie ever made.

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Unlike the feature on Frankenstein’s Monster, Ormsby focuses on both Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee as Dracula, even titling the section “Two Draculas.’

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Ormsby’s focus throughout the book is on monster make-up and this iconic transformation of Dr Jekyll into Mr. Hyde was a favorite page of mine:

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The first important female monster, the Bride of Frankenstein:

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I’ve always loved this iconic image of the Gillman, and the superimposing of behind-the-scenes costuming enthralled this young monster kid– “so that’s how they did it!”

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It was the 1970s after all, and Ormsby’s efforts at inclusiveness led to this focus on….Blacula!

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Again, a tribute to the period in which this book was published, what reader of this book hadn’t seen Young Frankenstein?

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Read more about Ormsby’s Movie Monsters:

Scholastic’s Movie Monsters Changed My Life

Next week, I’ll cover part two of Movie Monsters, the fun and informative section titled How to Make a Monster – till then, hope you’ve enjoyed this stroll down ‘Monster Kid Memory lane’ as much as I have.

Read more Monster Kid memories:

The Library and the Giant Gorilla

Lesson #2: Monster Movies Are Scary!


Classic Monster Magazine: Marvel Movie Premiere #1

Classic Monster Magazines

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Marvel Movie Premiere #1: The Land that Time Forgot (Curtis Magazines, 1975)

Last week, we inducted the British quad poster for this movie into our Classic Movie Poster Gallery so it only makes sense to feature this classic movie magazine for the same Amicus film, The Land That Time Forgot.

This was a one-shot magazine published in 1975 that featured a very tight adaptation of the Amicus film, The Land That Time Forgot, released around the same time that same year.  The film released in August and this magazine had September date.  I wish I could recall what came first for me – the magazine or the movie.  My guess is the magazine was my gateway since I spent as much time as possible at the comic rack whenever I went shopping with my parents/  By 1975, I was also regularly buying Famous Monsters off the magazine rack, and the fantastic cover for this book would have kept out at me.

Curtis Magazines

Marvel attempted to enter the comics-magazine field dominated by Warren Publishing through a sister company, Curtis Magazines.  the new line of mostly black-and-white anthology magazines predominantly featured horror, sword and sorcery, and science fiction.  Most Curtis magazines did not carry the Marvel name, making this title a bit of an exception.  ‘Marvel’ is included in the title of the magazine, but Curtis is still the imprint.  This was probably a case of wanting their cake and eat it too — trying to capture the older black-and-white magazine audience, but at least with this one title, also wanting to attract the younger audience of their mainstream Marvel Comics titles.

While most of the Curtis magazines took full advantage of the fact that the format did not fall under the purview of the Comics Code, by incorporating more graphic content  — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — Marvel Movie Premiere #1 avoided that trend, probably for the simple reason that the movie they were adapting didn’t include any of that content.

Title Page & Contents

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The Land That Time Forgot  

Our sense-shattering adaptation of the fantastic film released by American International Pictures and based on the nerve-numbing novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Adaptation by Marv Wolfman & Art by Sonny Trinidad

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Special Feature! Lost Lands; Forbidden Cities!  

A look at the lost worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs and other fantasy masters of our time! By Lin Carter

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Classic Movie Poster Gallery: The Land That Time Forgot

Collecting Vintage Dinosaur Toys

More Classic Monster Magazines

Movie Photo Feature: The Land That Time Forgot

 

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Back Cover

(I simply love the aquatic T-Rex!)

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Collectors Value:

Current price guide listings for this title value Near Mint copies at $14.  This book has had higher value in the past but is currently not highly sought after by collectors.  Hold on to your copy, as I expect it will continue to increase in value over time.

One of the factors impacting prices may be the wide availability of this book. There are numerous current eBay listings for this issue under or around $10 for high-grade copies.  As always, there are a few listings from uninformed sellers who haven’t bothered to research other listings and are asking for silly prices, but that’s always the case, isn’t it?

I have 2 copies of this book.  The scans in this article are from my Near Mint copy.  I also have a nice reader copy, probably Fine to Fine+ that I love to look at.

Summary

I never get tired of this book, just as I still have strong affection for the movie poster and the film itself. I’m always transported back to 1975 when my innocent, excited eyes first saw this magazine at he news stand.  It’s a strong and meaningful memory of an important time in my life when I was discovering life-long passions and starting to chart my own course.  Magical stuff for this Monster Kid…

Scholastic Books ‘Movie Monsters’ Changed My Life

Monster Kid Memories: Hosting Our Own Monster Show

1975 Monster Play on my Garage

There are seminal events in the life of all Monster Kids.  Seeing King Kong for the first time was one such event for me.  Another was receiving Scholastic Books Movie Monsters in my school book order.

Like many monster kids of the 60s and 70s, I was enamored by the magic of movie monsters.  And thanks largely to Famous Monsters of Filmland, I learned about the magicians behind-the-scenes that made the movie magic happen– the special effect and make-up artists.  I enjoyed the actors who played the monsters, but I loved the artists who created them.

Fortunately for me, the mid-70s was a great time to be into monster makeup with kits and how-to books increasingly available.  My first official guidebook on making monsters came to me through the Scholastic book club in the fall of 1975 when I was 9 years old.

Movie Monsters by Alan Ormsby

Movie Monsters ; Alan Ormsby (Scholastic Books, 1975)

Pictured above is my original copy of Scholastic Books Movie Monsters; well-used and well-loved.  I remember getting my book order at the end of the school day and, as soon as I got home from school, heading straight to my room to read this cover-to-cover.  I loved the illustrations and the easy step-by-step guide to monster make-up.

With my parents’ blessing, I began to assemble a make-shift make-up kit using an old fishing tackle box and some of my mom’s old make-up.  We lived in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and would often head to the nearby big city of Tulsa, where they had a store featuring costumes and professional make-up for the stage.  I continued to build my make-up kit and to practice on my younger siblings and myself.

Included in this book was a section called “How to Put On Monster Shows” complete with script called “The Monster of Frankenstein!” and I quickly assembled a cast of neighborhood kids to stage our very own production in my garage that October.

Movie Monsters pg 64 "The Monster of Frankenstein!" Play Movie Monsters Ormsby page 65 Movie Monsters Ormsby page 66 Movie Monsters Ormsby page 67 Movie Monsters Ormsby page 68 Movie Monsters Ormsby page 69 Movie Monsters Ormsby page 70 Movie Monsters Ormsby page 71

As the Executive Producer, Director, Make-up Artist and Chief Monster Kid, I played Dr. Frankenstein and my classmates and neighbors played one or more characters in the play.  We hung bed sheets in my garage and decorated with Halloween decorations.  I was such a nerd that I had my own science lab complete with chemistry test tubes, beakers and microscope, so making the laboratory was a snap.  I made a cassette recording of my Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House Disney record for our soundtrack and then we invited every neighborhood kid who wasn’t in the play to come and watch.

The only pictures I have of that eventful day:

1975 Monster Play on my Garage

That’s me in the white lab coat — as you can see the makeup was on the light side — more of a Werewolf of London style than the Wolf Man.  Can’t say I remember why, exactly, because minimalism was hardly my style when I was 9.  Perhaps we simply ran out of time.  The Show Must Go On, as they say!

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My younger brother was Mr. Skull, wearing a skull mask and almost in the picture to the left (these were polaroids, of course.  It was 1975 after all)

I’ll share more pages from Scholastic Books Movie Monsters in future posts — hope you enjoyed this walk down Monster Kid Memory lane as much as I did.

I know I’m not the only Monster Kid that put this show on — please share your Monster Kid memories in the comments section below.

Classic Monster Comics – Marvel Premiere #28

Classic Monster Comics

Marvel Premiere #28

MARVEL PREMIERE Legion of Monsters Comic 1975

The Legion of Monsters (Marvel Comics Group,  February 1975)

Action in the Mysterious Marvel Manner!

  • Written by Bill Mantlo
  • Drawn by Frank Robbins
  • Inked by Steve Gan
  • Lettered by Karen Mantlo
  • Colored by Janice Cohen

The Most Spine-Tingling Team-up of All!

  • Once Ted Sallis, now The Man-Thing
  • Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider
  • Morbius the Living Vampire
  • Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night

Marvel Premiere #28 interior splash page

Marvel Premiere #28 Interior Title Page

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About Marvel Premiere #28

In its nearly decade-long run (1972- 1981), Marvel Premiere served as a proving ground for a host of new characters. Iron FistWoodgodCaleb Hammer, and many others made first appearances in Marvel Premiere. Other characters, like the Falcon and Jack of Hearts were featured here in their first solo stories. And yes, Marvel Premiere was also the venue at which Alice Cooper made his first comic book appearance.

Marvel Premiere #28 is a delight for classic monster comics lovers delight as it combined many of the Marvel Monsters into a super-team of sorts – Ghost RiderMorbiusThe Man-Thing and Werewolf by Night all had solo comic titles at the time and since team-ups were all the rage in super hero titles, it only made sense to capitalize on that with a monster team-up and Marvel Premiere was designed to test new concepts.  The Legion of Monsters only made one appearance in Marvel Premiere and didn’t spin off into their own title.

in the early 1970s, Marvel had been publishing multiple black-and-white horror anthology monster comics in the magazine format under its Curtis Magazine imprint as a means of bypassing the Comic Code Authority but they had canceled most of those titles by 1975 to focus more on super hero, action and science fiction genres.  Following the Marvel Premiere issue, Curtis launched a stand-alond magazine titled Legion of Monsters  in an effort to consolidate all their classic monsters comics titles into one magazine.  The new line up was more horror-based (Ghost Rider was out; Manphibian and the Living Mummy were in) but unfortunately only one issue was ever published.

Read more about the Legion of Monsters on Marvel Comics Wikia.

Collector Value:

NM grade copies of this book are valued at $30.  My personal copy, which you see in the scans in this post, is in Fine condition and worth around $7.

Click here for current eBay listings for this comic

Classic Monster Comics – Marvel Premiere 28

Classic Monster Comics

Marvel Premiere #28

MARVEL PREMIERE Legion of Monsters Comic 1975

The Legion of Monsters (Marvel Comics Group,  February 1975)

Action in the Mysterious Marvel Manner!

  • Written by Bill Mantlo
  • Drawn by Frank Robbins
  • Inked by Steve Gan
  • Lettered by Karen Mantlo
  • Colored by Janice Cohen

The Most Spine-Tingling Team-up of All!

  • Once Ted Sallis, now The Man-Thing
  • Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider
  • Morbius the Living Vampire
  • Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night

Marvel Premiere #28 interior splash page

 

Marvel Premiere #28 Interior Title Page

 

Marvel Premiere #28 interior page 7

 

Marvel Premiere #28 interior page 11

 

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Marvel Premiere 28 interior page 17

 

Marvel Premiere 28 interior page 30

 

Marvel Premiere 28 interior page 31

About Marvel Premiere #28

In its nearly decade-long run (1972- 1981), Marvel Premiere served as a proving ground for a host of new characters. Iron Fist, Woodgod, Caleb Hammer, and many others made first appearances in Marvel Premiere. Other characters, like the Falcon and Jack of Hearts were featured here in their first solo stories. And yes, Marvel Premiere was also the venue at which Alice Cooper made his first comic book appearance.

Marvel Premiere #28 is a classic monster comics lovers delight as it combined many of the Marvel Monsters into a super-team of sorts – Ghost Rider, Morbius, The Man-Thing and Werewolf by Night all had solo comic titles at the time and since team-ups were all the rage in super hero titles, it only made sense to capitalize on that with a monster team-up and Marvel Premiere was designed to test new concepts.  The Legion of Monsters only made one appearance in Marvel Premiere and didn’t spin off into their own title.

in the early 1970s, Marvel had been publishing multiple black-and-white horror anthology monster comics in the magazine format under its Curtis Magazine imprint as a means of bypassing the Comic Code Authority but they had canceled most of those titles by 1975 to focus more on super hero, action and science fiction genres.  Following the Marvel Premiere issue, Curtis launched a stand-alond magazine titled Legion of Monsters  in an effort to consolidate all their classic monsters comics titles into one magazine.  The new line up was more horror-based (Ghost Rider was out; Manphibian and the Living Mummy were in) but unfortunately only one issue was ever published.

Read more about the Legion of Monsters on Marvel Comics Wikia.

Collector Value:

NM grade copies of this book are valued at $30.  My personal copy, which you see in the scans in this post, is in Fine condition and worth around $7.

Click here for current eBay listings for this comic

Classic Monster Magazine – Famous Monsters of Filmland #84

Classic Monster Magazines

In honor of the great Christopher Lee, this edition of the Classic Monster Magazine archives features issue 84 of Famous Monsters.

This was the second appearance of Lee as Count Dracula on the cover of FM (the first was issue #45 with great art by Ron Cobb), and  a rare photo cover at this point in the magazine’s history.   But what a photo it is, capturing the raw, animalistic spirit of Christopher Lee’s Dracula.  I dare to say that even the pantheon of  great FM cover artists could do nothing to increase the impact of this cover. The extreme close-up of those red eyes, bloody fangs and snarling expression of Christopher Lee says it all.

So, sit back and imagine the wonderful scent of the aging newsprint as I remove my copy from its  protective bag and journey story by story through this classic monster magazine.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 1971 Christopher Lee Cover

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84

Warren Publishing , June 1971

A blood-shot eye-full of Christopher Lee, our Favorite Living (?) Vampire.

Magazine Contents

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Contents

The Monster That Conquered The World

It came from beneath the sea.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 The Monster That Challenged the World

The Scream Test

Carradine…Rathbone…Buster Crabbe…in real brain-busters!

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Scream Test

The Hunchbacks of Notre Dame

See Them All! From LON CHANEY SR. to Charles Laughton to Anthony Quinn to James Cagney. And beyond! An Outstanding Visual Horror Feature! Part II (Conclusion).

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Hunchbacks of Notre Dame Article

House of Dracula

Great Cast- Chaney, Carradine, Atwill, Strange – in Great Filmbook bulging with Great Pix! 19 Pages!

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 House of Dracula

The Devil Commands (Does Boris Obey?)

Pictures & Plot of a Hot One of Yesteryear.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 The Devil Commands

You Axed For It!

A Choice Selection for Your Delection of Monsterrific Pix that Approach Perfection!

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 You Axed For It pg 48

The Raven

Conclusion of the Great 1935 Universal Flick.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 The Raven

Mystery Photo #51

A Fright Pic to Puzzle Your Brains. (Aren’t You Lucky You have Two of Them?)

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Mystery Photo page 55

Girls & Ghouls Gallery

Portrait #11: She Stayed After School to meet The Mad Ghoul. What Made the Ghoul Mad?

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 page 55 Girls And Ghouls

Graveyard Examiner

The Newspaper of the Monsters, by the Monsters, for the Monsters, shall not Perish from the Earth.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Page 58 Graveyard Examiner

Monsters of the Month

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Page 59 Monsters of the Month

Professor Gruebeard

The Creature Question He can’t Answer Hasn’t Been Asked Yet! (Oops…)

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Page 66 Professor Gruebeard

Back Cover  – Weird World of Aurora

Ad for Aurora’s Monster Scenes model kits

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Back Cover Weird World of Aurora Ad

Collectors Value:

Mid-grade or reader quality copies of this issue are quite reasonable with several current eBay listings for this issue priced at under $10.  My personal copy, which you see in the scans on this post, is in Very Fine condition and valued somewhere around $30.  A Near Mint copy is listed at Nostomania for $42.

Summary

All of the FMoF covers featuring Christopher Lee are iconic but this photo cover just says it all.  Lee’s Dracula was scary and Warren did right by letting the close-up of his face tell the story.  I was too young to get my copy at the newsstand and was fortunate to buy an a large uncirculated lot off eBay several years ago.  It is interesting that there is no feature story about Christopher Lee or Dracula in the issue but that’s not too unusual since the cover needs to sell the magazine and most of the articles in this issue were reprints from previous issues.

Ironically, the only reference to Lee in the issue is in the Professor Gruebeard Questions & Answers page wherein the captions beneath the pictures of Peter Cushing and Lee are switched.  The question referring to Lee is from Grant Creeper of Torrance, CA, and reads:

Q: Does a fan club for Christopher Lee exist? If so, please give me the address, for I would very much like to become a member.

A: Not only does a Chris Lee fan club exist, it’s been thriving and growing strong for many years.  For complete details, write to the club’s president.  Mrs Gloria Lillebridge  281 Centerville Road, Warwick, R.I. 02886.

Ms Lillebridge was active in several genre fan clubs and a quick google search shows that she remains an active member of Monster Kid-dom.

I think I’m going to drop Ms. Lillebridge a modern postcard via email and see if she’s still running that fan club, because the man did more than earn it.  The ranks of Christopher Lee fans have surely swelled since this letter appeared back in 1971 given Sir Christopher’s prolific career and roles in major film franchises including Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Thank you, Christopher Lee, for filling my life with frights and fun! Rest well.

 

Famous Monsters of Filmland #10 Digital for Kindle

 

Breaking News!  Famous Monsters of Filmland for Kindle

Famous Monsters of Filmland #10

Famous Monsters of Filmland #10               October, 1962

There’s really nothing quite like the old Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines from the 1960s.  I’ve been collecting this title for most of my life, but some issues I have never been able to get my hands on.  Issue #10, for example.

Well, Warren just solved that problem for me by releasing a digital version of this magazine for Kindle over at Amazon.  I’m hoping it’s the first of many issues to come.

I’ll keep looking for a high-grade copy of this issue for my collection — but now I can read it while continuing my search!

Thanks, Warren!