Tuesday, June 3, 2008

DC Paperbacks Ad - 1977

The last of our new updates comes from DigestFan and all around good egg Craig Wichman--this ad for the line of paperbacks from Tempo Books featuring classic DC stories that were all published around 1977.

I remember seeing this ad in almost every DC book for what seemed like a year, but it was probably only a month or two.

I eventually got the JLA one and a few others, though that Super Friends puzzle has yet to be added to the collection. I need to correct that sometime.

Thanks Craig!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Amazing Spider-Man Pocket Book #3 - 1979

sgThe third titanic volume of classic Spider-Man adventures, featuring an often-re-used--but still awesome--cover by Jazzy John Romita!

Stories include:
"The Grotesque Adventure of Green Goblin", "Kraven, the Hunter", "Duel with Daredevil", "The Return of the Green Goblin", "The End of Spider-Man", "Spidey Strikes Back", and "The Coming of the Scorpion", all by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

These books were printed on high-quality paper, so they hold up extremely well, considering paperbacks are never really meant to be permanent editions.

160 pages.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Amazing Spider-Man Pocket Book #2 - 1978

sgThe second edition, reprinting--in sequence--the next six issues of The Amazing Spider-Man. The comics industry's first trade paperbacks!

Stories include:
"The Return of the Vulture", "The Living Brain", "Spider-Man Tackles The Human Torch", "The Man Called Electro", "The Enforcers", "Turning Point", "Unmasked by Dr. Octopus!", and "The Menace of Mysterio!", all by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

160 pages, with a front cover by Jazzy John Romita!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Amazing Spider-Man Pocket Book #1 - 1977

sgThe first of Marvel's cool paperback line, printed by the fine folks at Pocket Books.

As I said many months ago when talking about a Hulk Pocket Book, these editions were the only comics that ever showed up at the book fairs they had at my elementary school every so often. I assume the page count and the Pocket Books logo gave these an air of respectability that a 40 cent floppy didn't have.

This book reprints the first six, groundbreaking issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, by (of course) Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, plus Amazing Fantasy #15.

160 whopping pages!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tarzan of the Apes Story Digest Magazine - June 1970

sgLike I said yesterday, these Gold Key digests always had such beautifully painted covers, and this edition is no exception.

Most of the other Gold Key stars got lumped in to the Golden Comics Digest umbrella title, but of course Tarzan was a big enough star to earn his own digest title!

But this was not a series of reprints--no, this is a prose story book, featuring spot illustrations by the legendary Dan Spiegle.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Golden Comics Digest #31 - Aug. 1973

sgThese Gold Key digests always had such beautifully painted covers, and this edition is no exception.

Stories include:
Turok in "The World Below", "The Terrible Ones", "The Mystery of the Mountain", "The Missing Hunters", and "The Deadly Jungle."

There are other features reprinted, like Young Earth in "The Armored Ones" and "The Ice Age", and Indian Chief in "The Exile" and "Invaders from the North."

132 pages!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Flintstones - 1972

sgThis book is the one I most excited about finding, and the main reason I put together a week of new posts.

This humble, no-frills edition of Flintstones comics came from Charlton Comics, part of a line of digests published in 1972.

But these editions were not sold on newsstands; no, they were done as educational books, and list "Xerox Education Publications" as a co-conspirator.

Even though these books are nothing special, they are nearly impossible to find, and expensive when you do (unless the particular eBay seller doesn't really know what it is they're selling).

This copy is the only one I've ever seen, so when I saw it for sale I made damn sure I got my hands on it.

It's hard even finding a list of what digests there are. Luckily, DigestFan Craig Wichman put me in touch with Michael Ambrose, Charlton Comics expert and publisher of the Charlton fanzine
Charlton Spotlight, who was able to give me the lowdown on these odd little books:

"I don't have the definitive picture on the digest books Charlton put out, just a list of what I've acquired and what I've seen.

They seem like really odd birds. All are 5.25 inches by 8 inches, softbound, color covers, black and white interiors. Most of them collect Hanna-Barbera material, though there are some exceptions. I've no idea what the "Xerox Education Publishers Book Club" was, though I suspect it was another in the long line of promotional deals that Charlton made in its long history.

Nor do I have any dope on Pendulum Press, though I suspect another promo connection there. Charlton had a paperback book division in the late 50s and early 60s (Monarch Books, lots of soft porno sleaze and militaria) and there may have been a later connection with various paperback publishers, including Pendulum.

I don't know how any of these were distributed, either. Lots of territory to be discovered here!

Here's the list:

Charlton Digest Books

Format: 5.25" x 8", 64 pp unless noted
Publisher: Xerox Education Pubs, Book Club Ed. unless noted

Barney & Betty - 1974
CB Jokes - 1977
- 1974
Doctor Graves' Magic Book
- 1977
Doctor Graves’ Haunted Puzzlers
- 1978
- 1972
The Jetsons
- 1973
Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm
- 1973
Road Runner
- 1971, Pendulum Press
Space: 1999
- [nd; late '70s] Charlton Press, Inc. on spine, 46 pp, Gray Morrow spots w/ text, 5 stories
Yogi Bear
- 1972

You'll note the few exceptions to the Xerox Book Club H-B material, the Road Runner book and the Space: 1999 book. As I say, there may be others. Maybe your blog readers can contribute to the hunt."

I hope so, Mike! Part of the reason I think these are so hard to find (besides being fairly dull, presentation-wise) is their maddeningly generic titles.

Right this second, someone on eBay might be selling the Charlton Yogi Bear digest, but do you want to wade through a couple hundred auction listings to see? No, I thought not.

But I intend to keep looking, because I'm that obsessive. And who knows? Maybe I'll discover something that will add to the diverse and peculiar history of Charlton Comics...