Aaron & Cassaday's "Star Wars," One Year Later....



Have you ever started to organize your comics, only to find yourself spending more time flipping through them and re-reading things than actually organizing anything?

I have that problem, too.

Thankfully, I can use it to my advantage and do a bit in Pipeline with it. Here are ten images I came across while doing some spring cleaning that I felt the need to share:

1. Original Art: Still a Better Investment than Stocks or Bonds

In the back of "Gen13 Bootleg" #7 (cover date of May 1997), WildStorm Fine Arts had a page selling original art from "Preacher" #22 - #24. The costs of each page ranged from $55 to $110. You might have made a huge profit buying those 20 years ago and selling them today.

2. Read This Very Very Carefully. (They Left You No Choice.)

The lettering in "Secret War" (the one by Brian Bendis and Gabrielle Del'Otto) was really tiny, wasn't it?

3. Not Even As a Deleted Scene on the Blu-Ray

Here's a scene I doubt will make it into the first "Black Panther" movie. I hold out hope that Kevin Feige will get more experimental in the sequels and hire Quentin Tarantino to direct a more non-liner "Black Panther 2" that closely follows Christopher Priest's early run on the series.

For those of you who haven't read those amazing comics, this is a page from the first issue of the Marvel Knights series, where Everest Ross opens the door and sees Mephisto. He, of course, closed the door immediately and referred the visitor to someone else.

4. If Peter David Wrote "Chew," This Would Be the Big Bad

"Young Justice" was a great comic series with a rock-steady creative team of Peter David and Todd Nauck. Sadly, it fell prey to the kind of crap that kills other lesser series: crossovers! You may have forgotten this already if you read those issues originally, but the series only made it to issue #2 before having a crossover issue, "Young Justice" #1,000,000, as part of the DC "One Million" event.

The issue was split across a number of artists . Wayne Faucher did the pencils on this page.

The series recovered nicely with a strong third issue featuring Mr. Mxyzptlk, and ultimately went on to run another five years or so.

5. Li'l Fourth World

For a time, DC produced gallery comics. They were collections of pin-ups by various artists around a specific character. I know there was a Batman book and a Superman book, but I had forgotten about the "Fourth World Gallery" comic. At the time, John Byrne was doing the "New Gods" series, so much of the gallery featured his stuff. The pages were filled out by others like Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, Gene Ha, Walter Simonson, and lots more.

In particular, I liked this Norman Rockwell-esque page at the very end of the comic by Sal Velluto and Mark McKenna. Velluto also did work on Marvel's "Black Panther" comic that we discussed earlier.

Sadly, Velluto recently underwent surgery for cancer. There's a GoFundMe page to help him out.

6. X-Force Was Always Cool

The first "X-Force Annual" in 1992 featured a main story drawn by Greg Capullo, with a back-up story by Dan Panosian. Both gentlemen have undergone a major renovation in their art styles since then and are doing career-best work.

But this pin-up in the back from Adam Kubert is pretty cool. The weird thing about this whole Annual is that blank white stripe at the top of the page. It carried through for the entire comic, like the art got shrunk just slightly before being printed on every page. It's weird, and I'm guessing a production issue that nobody caught until it was too late.

7. Before He Was Huge

This is a pin-up from Greg Capullo, who's come a long way in the last twenty years, thank goodness

8. CrossGen: The Taste of a New Generation

Monetizing comics is hard.

Here, in the back of the first issue of "Route 666" at CrossGen, we have a Pepsi ad, drawn by Scot Eaton, maybe?

As a Diet Pepsi man, myself, I see this as another reason I was drawn to CrossGen. Any two bit hack could take Coca-Cola's money, but getting it from Pepsi is a real coup.

9. Oh, How the Demographics Have Changed

When you think of advertisements on comics from the last 20 years or so, what do you think of? Probably movies, video games, toys, candy. Every once in a while, a car company shows up. Maybe a sugary drink.

Back in the late-70s, comics had different demographics, appealing to a wider range of people, but mostly young and impressionable children. And so your occasional back cover would be an ad for a doll that says a good night prayer:

The best feature of this doll -- available as either a white or black child -- after the hands that clasp together is the fact that if you turn the record over, it plays "Brother John." There's a record in her back? With a record player?!?

If you Google for "Patty Prayer," you'll find the ad ran in a lot of places back in the day, including "TV Guide" and "Ebony," where the black doll was front and center.

The punchline to this ad is that it appeared on the back of "Howard the Duck" #20. I can't think of a stranger place for the ad to appear. I'm guessing it ran on all Marvel issues that month, though. Can't imagine someone singling out "Howard the Duck" for this one.

And, finally:

10. Then There Was the Time Man-Thing Beat Up a Pickle

This is from "Howard the Duck" #22, by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik:

I think that headline says it all, but do yourself a favor and read the sound effects out loud for maximum effect.

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