Thursday, May 27, 2010

BACK ISSUE #40: An Indirect Celebration of Atlas Comics' Anniversary!

Well, maybe that's going a bit far, but June marks the 35th anniversary of the short-lived Atlas/Seaboard company. And in the current cat-themed issue of BACK ISSUE #40 has, as my contributions, a feature article on TIGER-MAN, the short-lived series about a fashion-challenged superhero who looks like a bitter reject of Broadway's CATS drawn by STEVE DITKO, with a sidebar on THE COUGAR, a cat-in-name-only character with Frank Springer art.

This TIGER-MAN piece is an expansion of a shortie version I did for DITKOMANIA #75.

In short, Atlas is largely perceived as former Marvel Comics publisher Martin Goodman's attempt to bury his former company (for firing his son, an ineffectual publisher/editor) by flooding the comics racks with comics aping the Marvel formula. The experiment, of course, was a disaster and the entire company folded within a year in 1975, despite boasting such talents as Ditko, Rich Buckler, Neal Adams, Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin, Al Milgrom, Ernie Colon, Russ Heath and Larry Hama.

And speaking of Larry, I'll have a good-sized interview with Mr. Hama, largely considered the creator of and most important cog in the revamping of the GI JOE brand in its contemporary supergroup form, in BACK ISSUE #43. (Did I mention a few posts back that I actually somewhat LIKED the GI JOE movie, which, as shlocky as it was, had a B-level charm to it missing from similar stuff like TRANSFORMERS 2). So look for that, it's a terrific overview of a career that's spanned from comic comics and superheroes to historical stuff and something called "Barack the Barbarian."

In the meantime, make a beeline for the feline and order BACK ISSUE #40 today through or at your local comics shop.

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