I remember seeing these Hembeck comic mags advertised in the Rather Ripped catalog along with all of those other underground comix that seemed so enticing to a not-so-wayward teenbo such as I, but never in a millions years did I ever think that I would actually own one (if only one) of these once-mysterioso titles! I never thought about it because frankly I didn't really desire to own any of 'em inna first place, but since I now have one I figure why not settle back and read, digest, and conjure up some funny-ish things to say about the thing given that hardly anybody out there really could give a hoot what with all of the wondrous things passing for entertainment these rather snoozeville days.
Fred Hembeck's comic vision almost mirrors my own which is one reason I take to his critiques and compliments regarding a whole load of Golden, Silver and Bronze-Age characters he meets up with in these rather high-quality pages. Really, it's always funzy to be reminded of some of those mid-sixties turdbombs which were plunked down on the world of comic books like the ones that came outta the Myron Fass stable (the best known being the version of Captain Marvel who used to split apart in order to fight crime) not to mention other flash-by-you occurrences in the shady world of comic book publishing like Larry Leiber's mid-seventies Atlas Comics line of not-so-clever imitations. (And yeah, I still pride myself on avoiding those Marvel ripoffs like the proverbial AIDS, even though when I first espired 'em you could say that I was mighty tempted.)
Well, I gotta admit that it's all a better distillation of comic book history into a fortysome page oversized comic than some of the boring dribble I've read online and elsewhere over the past fifteen years! And not only that but its sure good to (re)discover all of those mid/late-sixties comics that I and undoubtedly you missed out on such as SUPER GREEN BERET and be glad as all heck that we did because if otherwise it mighta just ruined our taste for comic books and for good. And you wouldn't have wanted me to end up reading LITTLE WOMEN now, would you?
It's great to have those kiddoid comic book memories come back to you faster'n the Flash and Quicksilver racing to get a peek at Wonder Woman taking a bath, and Hembeck's hilarious depictions of then-current comic biz chicanery (such as DC's frustration that bats and lightning bolts were not copyrightable material as well as the long-forgotten fact that DENNIS THE MENACE was once part of the Marvel Comics stable---and where does that leave PETER THE LITTLE PEST????) does put a humorous light on a biz that seems about one step up from organized crime. And humorous it is...after all, where else are you gonna see a rendition of none other'n "Brando" from the notorious PEANUTS swipe SHRIMPY that was mentioned in last Saturday's post other'n in these pages???