Thursday, January 23, 2020

Fred Hembeck and his Re-Creations

Where else but in a Fred Hembeck drawing could you enjoy the treat of seeing Sugar and Spike and Scribbly Jibbett and The (original) Red Tornado and The Three Mouseketeers all together in one scene?! I'm very glad that some comics fan commissioned Fred to construct the above homage to the great Sheldon Mayer featuring so many of that gentleman's wonderful characters!

As I mentioned before back at the dawn of The Hayfamzone Blog, once upon a time I myself commissioned the irrepressible and indefatigable Mr. Hembeck to draw in his inimitable style versions of two excellent Jack Kirby covers, 1970's The Forever People #1 (my single favorite comic book of all time) and 1974's The Sandman #1.

And you can see plenty more of Fred's fun artwork over at!

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

New York Tom's

The New York Times published no ongoing comic strip features but from time to time the newspaper does dabble with one-off narratives in comics form. I do appreciate their effort and I like to share with you the dabbles because you might not otherwise see this fun artwork by Jessica Olien.

Many of the projects seem to focus on food and that is true about this page that salutes Tom's Diner in Brooklyn, New York. Please enjoy!

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Jack Kirby's First DC Cover

Up until 1971 I had never heard of The Newsboy Legion or The Guardian. But that year all the DC Comics jumped from 36 pages for fifteen cents to 52 pages for twenty-five cents, and the editors filled up those extra pages with prime Golden Age reprints that opened up the World of Comics to me and countless other fans. The first Newsboy Legion story from 1941's Star Spangled Comics #7 was reprinted in September 1971's Jimmy Olsen #141, and even the above cover was reprinted on an interior page of that Jimmy issue.

The original artwork to this cover (annotated at the bottom with "from the collection of [Batman artist and Joker co-creator] Jerry Robinson") has shown up on the internet and it is definitely worth a look! This was Jack Kirby's first cover for DC Comics, and the gentleman would draw so many more covers for that company over the subsequent forty years! Hooray for Jack Kirby!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Jack Kirby Is Coming to Free Comic Book Day!

May 2 will be Free Comic Book Day in 2020!

Some years I have no particular interest in any of the free comics but 2020 will not be one of those years. The life story of Jack Kirby in comic book form? I will be first in line for that doozy!

Here is the Free Comic Book Day website if you'd like more details.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Nice Little Batman Adventure

Jacob Edgar
has written and drawn
a one-page  
Batman Adventure
that I enjoyed and
I thought
you might like it also.
How polished it is!
Very nice!

Friday, December 06, 2019

Jack Kirby and the newest New God

Deathflash was to be a bounty hunter whose skill was to track down gods, but he never wound up making it into the New Gods series. This information comes courtesy of Jack Kirby's grandson Jeremy Kirby! Here is a photo of Mr. Jack Kirby unveiling his design for Deathflash.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Watchmen? THE Watchmen?

Watchmen again.

When I read some months ago that HBO would present a Watchmen series I (naturally?) assumed that the new series would be a retelling of the 1980s comic book classic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, just like the 2009 Watchmen film was. Watchmen is Watchmen, right?

But not this time.

It turns out that this new Watchmen series is a sequel to the original series. But I have a problem with the naming then. After all, Watchmen is Watchmen. Couldn't the title of the new series have been New Watchmen or Watchmen II or even The Watchmen? (In my youth I was confused for years before I realized that Invisible Man and The Invisible Man were entirely different literary works. That The makes a world of difference!)

Anyway, I haven't see any episodes of the new series yet because I don't have access to HBO. I hear good things though and I will definitely catch it when there is a DVD release and I'll let you know my impression then. To be continued!

More about AFTA

AFTA was a comics fanzine with a lot of heart. And that heart was editor/publisher Bill-Dale Marcinko. Bill-Dale's wry sense of humor was infused in every page and reading his work was always a bit of an adventure.

Really though, AFTA was more than a comics fanzine. It was a pop-culture zine. Comics were well represented by reviews (like the one that I wrote and which was published in AFTA #2) and the lengthy George Perez interview that was the cover feature of AFTA #1. But also there were television reviews (Bill-Dale liked Fernwood Tonight as much as I did) and record reviews and long articles about The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

1978's AFTA #1 was 96 digest-sized pages most of which had two columns of small type, and it had a print run of 200 and a paid circulation (99 cents per copy) of 65 (and "Embarrassing, isn't it?" was Bill-Dale's self-commentary on those numbers). It was predicted in #1 that AFTA #2 would be 52 pages but in fact that issue turned out to be a double-digest totaling 208 pages! Bill-Dale put so much effort into this project of his!

I do need to mention that AFTA was an acronym for Ascension from the Ashes. Sadly, Bill-Dale Marcinko is no longer on this planet but I (and many others) think of him often, so is he really gone?

Hooray for Bill-Dale Marcinko!