Just Newsprint
Issue #8

The cold winds are blowing outside and nothing helps to keep a body warm like a good blanket, a cup of hot cocoa and a nice stack of comic books. So instead of heading out and risking frostbite, curl up and read some good comics.

Catch Phrases
Something that isn't as popular as in the past is the use of catch phrases. Every popular hero was known for their popular slogan that they would say before heading into battle. Other phrases were uttered by people around them, either friends of onlookers. Still others were used to describe them, usually in the heading on the first page of the comic book.

Who can forget such memorable lines like "Up, up and away" or "It's Clobbering Time". These are two of the most memorable ones. Other ones that will forever be etched in our minds are "Avengers Assemble" and "Flame On". But just like these heroes, catch phrases are a thing of the past. When is the last time you remember a hero with a clever catch phrase? It has been eons since they were the rage. So for fun, I put up a list of catch phrases and it is up to you to see if you can name the hero they go with. Most are very easy. Answers will be at the end of the newsletter.

1. "Up, up and away"-
2. "It's Clobbering Time"-
3. "Cowabunga"-
4. "Hulk Smash"-
5. "Avengers Assemble"-
6. "Flame On"-
7. "Go Joes"-
8. "By Crom"-
9. "What's Up Doc?"

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The Overlooked Omega Men

One of the most overlooked comics was the Omega Men. About the only thing anyone remembers or cares about them is that Lobo began his career in the series. Besides that, they are pretty much forgotten. Their books are often seen sitting around in bargain bins, passed over as people look for something else. But little do they know that there is a wealth of good stories and characters right under their nose.
Since no one else seems to want to give this very good book its due, I will do an article for the Omega Men. So sit back and take a look at possibly one of the most forgotten groups ever.

Primus-The leader and a human. He has mind control powers.
Kalista-His partner and lover. The only other human.
Broot-He is the super strong, rockman. He comes from a world of pacifists, but he fought against the Citidel when they killed his child.
Harpis-Very violent and unpredictable harpy. Her talons make very formidable weapons.
Tigorr-The loner and troublemaker of the group. He can change forms from his humanoid form to a very large and dangerous cat creature.
Nimbus-The mysterious one who can pull people into his black hole.
Demonia-The snake woman who can create peoples fears. She is the traitor of the group.

The Citidel. Much like the Empire in Star Wars and Baron Karza's group in the Micronauts, this is the main enemy. They are out to enslave the galaxy and they use cruel and sadistic means. There are more than one race that makes up the Citidel. It is a collection of planets, sorta an anti-federation.

One of the problems with the Omega Men book is the same that plagued the aforementioned Star Wars and Micronauts. Once they accomplished their goal and overthrew the Citidel, the book slipped. While it is still enjoyable, it is missing that direction that was the driving factor for the book. Peacetime space dramas just aren't as exciting. But don't let this deter you from an enjoyable series that is very affordable (we sell our copies at $0.50 each).

What's New on the Web Page
One of my goals is to make the web page as rich with information as possible. I want comic fans everywhere to be able to find plenty of stuff to see and read. So here are some of my latest additions to the web page.

1. Company Addresses-Another big project I have begun is to index all the major comic book companies and how to contact them. They are in alphabetical order and I have put up their addresses for regular mail, email and web sites. This way you can contact your favorite company and tell them what you think.

2. Related Comic -Have a favorite superhero? Like a certain genre of comics? Then this list is a good reference for other similar books. I have broken it down to the following sections:
*Superheroes and all the books they are regularly featured in
*Sci-Fi Comics
*Manga Comics
*Horror Comics
*Television and Movie related comics
*All Ages Comics
I will continue to add more to this as they come to me.

3. I have also added a few more Comic Ads to the already sizable group. Look for more and better ones in the future.
As you can see, I am committed to providing more than just affordable comics. I want this site to be a place you can come and enjoy, even when you are not looking to buy comics. If you have any suggestions for additions to the site you would like to see, please let me know.

Question of the Month
After a break from doing a question of the month, I decided to return to it. This month's question is "What was the last series that you really enjoyed? One that you recommended to everyone who would listen to you?"

For me that series was Kingdom Come. Not only was it a great book, but it was just as much fun to go back and look for all the hidden people and stuff that was scattered throughout the book. Also the great mix of incredible story and unbelievable artwork was great! Very rarely to you get both. It is usually one or the other, or neither.

Top Ten List
Once again, we do another top ten list. This is still the one area of the newsletter that garners the most response. So I will try to keep it up. Lettermen was have some talented writers as it is getting tougher and tougher to do.

Everyone has their favorite series. Whether it be a miniseries or just a story arc in a comic book, we all can make our top ten list. But most lists are the same. You always see Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns and other series. But how about the more overlooked series. Ones that are very good, but don't always make this list. Here is my picks for the....

Top Ten Most Overlooked Mini or Limited Series
(These are just my opinion, yours may vary)
10. Spiderman:Signature Series-You always see the Fearful Symmetry series listed, but rarely is this enjoyable series listed. Marvel did something good by sending the Sineater out to eradicate all the lame villains of the Marvel Universe.
09. Invasion-This very enjoyable all-out war in the DC Universe was quite enjoyable. Plus, it featured Todd McFarlane art as he drew some of the biggest alien teeth ever done!
08. Crossroads-First Comics attempt to cross their series. Here you saw Badger, Nexus, Grimjack and others come together.
07. Secret Wars-This series has become mostly known as the start of Venom, but it is a very good read. Think of it as Wrestlemania for superheroes!
06. Acts of Vengeance-A great concept that unfortunately ran out of steam. The premise was that a bunch of Marvel supervillians got together and decided that they kept getting whupped by their main nemesis, so instead they would send different villains against different heroes to try and defeat them. It started off good and there was even some intrigue as some of the members were plotting against the group. It did run out of steam before it finished, but for a bit, it was quite fun!
05. Thanos Quest-Once a sought after series that started the whole Infinity War, Saga, etc... As the series kept dragging on and getting worse and worse, people soon gave up on them and the very good Thanos Quest became a mere footnote. If you can find them, they are a great two issue story with Thanos securing the Infinity Gems in different and clever ways.
04. Nick Fury vs Shield-A very good series that I see in the bargain bins quite often. Nick Fury finds out about corruption in shield and has to battle the very organization he helped form.
03. Hawkworld-Tim Truman's wonderful book about Hawkman's planet is not only visually a treat, but is a great read. It was popular for a little bit after it came out and then just faded away.
02. Conan the King-I cannot remember the name of the series, but it went from issue #19-25?. It featured a wonderful war between Conan's army against another army and the Picts. Also, his son was missing, leading to more intrigue. A great story that I will have to dig out and read again.
01. Magnus the Robot Fighter "Steel Nation". Another great story that has become overlooked now that Valiant is a memory. It was the first six issues of the Valiant series and it was one of Jim Shooter's masterpieces. Too bad he and Valiant parted ways as they were never the same again.

Two Mini or Limited Series that Should be Overlooked
Here are two series that really stunk. We are talking about two of the worst series ever. If you see them in the bargain bins, keep on going.

1. Deathwatch 2000-The death knell for an otherwise wonderful career for Neal Adams. Delays in shipping, books shipped out of order and some of the worst writing ever made this a disaster.
2. Secret Wars II-As with Hollywood, some sequels really stink. This was one of them. The Beyonder comes to earth and wants to learn to be a human. He learns how to love, to eat and even go to the bathroom. The series that marked the beginning of the end for Jim Shooter's career at Marvel.

Curing Death
One of my biggest gripes in comics is that they never let a character stay dead. Almost every time someone is killed, they miraculously come back. From the return of Jean Grey to the return of Spiderman's clone, people just never seem to stay dead for long.

This wouldn't be so bad if some really good stories weren't cheapened by these acts. The death of Jean Grey in X-Men #137 was among the best written and moving stories in comic history. It was then cheapened when she returned in the Fantastic Four. Same can be said for Superman's death, Iron Man's demise and the numerous others.

The main problem is that death sells (Superman really showed that) and the comic companies will keep giving us deaths. But now that Superman has died, what other character could have that kind of impact on the industry? When you kill off the top dog, everything else seems trivial. Sure Batman is huge, but he is no Superman. No one else is in the industry. Actually on second thought, there is only one other comic character that would garner as much attention as the death of Superman. But unlike Superman, this character didn't get his start in comics and has transcended the paper medium like no other character. This character is Mickey Mouse. Killing Mickey Mouse in a comic book would equal and almost definitely surpass the hype and hysteria that surrounded Superman's death. But as any intelligent person knows, that would never happen in a million years. Disney does not need to resort to cheap tactics and knows how much more valuable Mickey is alive than deceased.

Popeye Finally Ties the Knot
After 70 years, Popeye is finally going to marry Olive Oyl. This is what I heard on the news and like the majority of the country, said "so what". Maybe it is me, but this is one character that is so much a part of the past, that I didn't even realize that they were still doing anything with the character. Don't get me wrong, I like Popeye and some of his earlier cartoons are quite enjoyable. I particularly like how he mumbles and if you listen real close to his mumbling, he says some pretty funny stuff. But his cartoons and the whole concept for that matter, is just a little too redundant. How many times does he have to save Olive from Brutus/Bluto (what's up with that?), before he figures she just isn't worth it. I would have dumped her ages ago. No woman, especially that ungrateful boor, is worth the frustration that poor sailor had to deal with.
Guess my love isn't as strong as Popeye's. Maybe he saw something in Olive that no one else (except Brutus/Bluto) did. Guess we will never know. I personally think there was some illegal substances stashed in those spinach cans and Popeye was so zonked that even Alice the Goon would look good.
Little trivia: the term goon was first coined in Popeye. Enough rambling, I wish the sailor man good luck and maybe a good honeymoon will reduce those violent urges he has and maybe he will quit fighting all the time. Now if could just get a woman for Brutus.

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Bargain Bin Bonanza

Here is another trip to the bargain bin to find an affordable comic that is worth the lowly price and usually alot more. As I did past all the Image and Valiant titles, I come across Super-Villain Team-up, a fun little book from the 70's. The book only ran for 17 issues, but this was the villains chance to shine. Most of the issues feature Dr Doom. The Sub-Mariner and Red Skull also appeared quite often. It is an opportunity to see Dr Doom battle Red Skull, Captain America versus Dr Doom and the first appearance of the Shroud (I know that had to put a shiver up your spine). It is pretty amazing that even though these issues are over 20 years old, I still find them very cheap. While many other series from the same era have finally gained some value, these stay affordable. Don't let the price fool you, these are a fun read, nothing serious, but still enjoyable. So if you like your villains, and who doesn't, then this series is for you. Check it out!

Classic Commercial
One of my favorite classic toys was the good old Smash-Up Derby. These great cars were a riot. Sure you only were able to make them hit head on about once in every ten tries (unless you cheated), but when you did it was memorable. I can still remember how much fun it was to go looking all over the basement for the jettisoned car doors as they flew off. Plus, when you were done playing with them, the long, bendable, plastic stick you used to rev them up, made a good whip. I can still remember the welts my brother and I gave each other with these weapons. Maybe that is the reason you don't see stuff like that anymore. Oh well, we sure loved our Smash-Up Derby and seeing this ad again, brought back all kinds of fond memories. Click here to see it.

Warlord Doll
After years of just seeing the figure in comic ads, I finally found a Warlord action figure! Woo Hoo! Not only did I find one, but it is still in the original package. So he has all those great accessories. Now my kids can one day look at me and ask, "Dad, who is Warlord?" Guess I will have to pull out the old comics and we can sit down and read them. Now if I can only find the Arak figure, I can really have some fun. Any leads would be appreciated!

Speaking of action figures, I also scored a Moon Knight and Powerman! Two of my favorite cheesy superheroes are now part of the collection for my kid's battles down the road. It is great how many of these heroes and villains they are making today! Maybe I will head up to Toys R Us and grab one of the liquidated Cloak and Daggers for $5.00. My kids will either thank me one day for this or have me committed, I still don't know which.

Time to end another issue of Just Newsprint. Once again I thank everyone who bothers to write in and give their opinion of the newsletter. While it isn't much bigger than the past issue, I am slowly getting it back up there. A little help from the readers would be appreciated, but we still have yet to get a submission. I had a few people tell me they were going to write, but nothing has surfaced yet. So I must trudge on, all by my lonesome to give the world a fun newsletter about comics. Remember that an unread comic is an unhappy comic.

1. Superman
2. Thing
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
4. Hulk (if you missed this one, smack yourself)
5. Avengers (if you missed both of these, you are obviously at the wrong web site)
6. Human Torch
7. GI Joe
8. Conan
9. Bugs Bunny

-Tom Zjaba