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© Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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A Newsletter for the Comic Collector

A New Direction
Welcome to the new comic newsletter! Actually it deals with older comics, but the newsletter is new. I decided to shelf "Tomorrow's News" and go with a different format. Something simpler and easier to do on a monthly basis. With Carl and Keith gone, it just wasn't the same doing "Tomorrow's News". Chris does a good job, don't get me wrong, but there was a certain something between the three of us. I cannot really put a finger on it, but with them gone, so was the magic. So, I decided to borrow from the other newsletter on this web page, Retro Times and try to capture the magic of that.

So here is the first offering of "Just Newsprint", a newsletter that will celebrate the joy of comic collecting and comic reading. I will try to add some of my own experiences along with classic and not so classic books. There will be a mix of humor and seriousness. It will just start off with prose and I will slowly start to incorporate pictures. Please email and let me know what you think.

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?
In a collection I recently picked up, there was a stack of those great old, Marvel Westerns. You know Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid and Two Gun Kid. Such a fascination with kids! Anyway, I sat down and read the stack of them and forgot how much fun they were. Each book had at least two stories and all the stories were self contained. They were great fun and for a moment I felt transported back in time. Back to the fifties when Westerns were king and double features were always playing. It got me to thinking about how this genre has all but disappeared from modern comics. So I ask, "Where have all the Cowboys gone?" Is there truly no interest in westerns anymore? I find it hard to believe a genre as popular as this once was is just gone. While there isn't anything out there now (I don't consider Wyonna Earp a western), here's hoping it comes thundering back. In the meantime, I have alot of old westerns to pick up and read, because they are really fun!

Classic Ad of the Month
While reading through an old comic, I couldn't help but look at those great old ads. You know the mix of animals for sale (like the great Sea Monkeys) and muscle building secrets. As I was looking, I saw one of the most ridiculous ones there ever was, land for sale! You may not think buying land is funny, but this ad put a whole new spin on worthless. They were selling a square inch of Florida for the low price of one dollar! A whole inch! Just think of the possibilities you have with one square inch of land. A roach motel? Maybe you can grow a carrot! For a mere $12.00, you can have a whole square foot, so you can stand on your land without trespassing. For a whopping $36.00, you can have an entire square yard and enough room to put a chair and sit down. Double that and you can have company over.

I think you can see how ridiculous this is. I wonder if the people who bought these square inches, were consulted when it came time for someone to build on the land. Imagine if Disney had to negotiate with thousands of people when it came time to buy land for expansion. Talk about a nightmare. Well, that is enough for this month, check in next month as we poke fun at another great ad.

Comic Spotlight-Unknown Soldier
This month, I will spotlight the great war stories of the Unknown Soldier. The Unknown Soldier, a masked hero who took on different disguises as he battled the Nazi threat, was a blend of a spy thriller and a war comic. Plus there was the constant mystery of what he looked like under the bandages, as they always kept that a mystery.

Unknown Soldier first debuted in Star Spangled War Stories #151, which came out in 1970. He continued through the series until its demise, when it switched names to Unknown Soldier and kept the numbering. So the first issue of his own series is Unknown Soldier #205. He then went to issue #268, the death of the Unknown Soldier.

As said earlier, the stories had a bit of a spy feel to them as he donned different disguises. He also was sent to sabotage bases and other behind the lines kind of action. There was even a German equivalent who was supposed to destroy him and take his place. If you can find these very affordable books, most a few dollars or less, I suggest picking them up. If you shop around, you may find them in the bargain bins, and they are easily worth the money.

Cliché of the Month
One of the great things about comics is their clichés. The kind of stuff that is a big part of comics. Well, each month we will examine different clichés and poke fun at some of them. This month it is the granddaddy of all clichés, the villain giving his origin!

Why is it that every time a villain has a hero captured and can kill him, he instead tells him how he became so evil. While this supposed genius is doing this, the hero is working a way to break free and put an end to his criminal ways and long, boring stories.

Just once I would like to see the villain take advantage of the situation and kill the do-gooder. Instead of whining about how he was screwed over and how it forced him to become a villain, I would like to see him just pull the trigger or lever and win. Much like the maligned Coyote, I do root for the bad guy on occasions. I don't always want to see the good guys win out.

Check in next month as we examine more of the clichés that make comics great! Send in your and we will give you credit for them.

Superman/Flash Racessuperman.jpg (3422 bytes)
flashba.jpg (3194 bytes)Will there ever be a winner in this race? The two of them have raced on numerous occasions and there is usually something or someone that keeps it from having a real winner. It all started back in Superman #199 back in 1967 and they raced again in Flash #175 and in World's Finest #198 & 199. There has even been a more recent race, but I never read that one. I personally think the Flash would win the race, because that is what he does and no one does it better. Superman may be almost as fast, but I don't think he is as experienced a runner, because he doesn't have to rely on super speed like the Flash does. And when two people are as evenly matched as those two, I will always give the edge to experience. What is your opinion?

Well, that is all for this month. It is a little short, but it will grow with each passing month. So check back in 30 days and see how much bigger it is. Feedback is always appreciated!

Tom Zjaba

Copyright 1998 Tomorrow's Heroes