The German Spider-Man!

German_Spidey

Got these in the mail yesterday: The first two issues of a comic zine, The German Spider-Man, produced by my friend Peter Stangenberg, whom I first met at the Pittsburgh Comic Book Show in, I think, 2013. I LOVED finding these zines in my mailbox, as I so seldom receive stuff like this through the mail these days. Now it’s all online or down at the comics shop. But these take me back to my early fanzine-collecting days of Star-Studded Comics, Trumpet Magazine, Dallascon Bulletin, The Buyer’s Guide For Comics Fandom, The Comics Reader,  Stan’s Weekly Express — all that stuff that had the smell of ‘homemade,’ the days before it all became too slick and institutionalized and the line between fan and pro became so blurred.

Anyway, Peter sent me these because I contributed some art for the April issue,  and he was nice enough to feature me in an extensive interview for the August issue. My knowledge of the German language is nil, so reading the pages is a bit of a trick, but I love browsing and looking at the illustrations, and Peter’s love and enthusiasm for the subject matter comes through loud and clear. I have owned many of the comics, books and magazines pictured and discussed in the pages, so these issues of The German Spider-Man were a fun time capsule for me.

I’ll add additional links when I get them from Peter.

Finished With Plumbers

A year and seven months after my water disaster, the plumbers are at the house doing the last of their work, knock on wood. They tell me that my home is legendary in their circles, and a topic of frequent discussion at the restoration company. This morning, they snapped the head of a monkey wrench off attempting to open a stubborn galvanized clean-out pipe, so there are still surprises, but hopefully not too many more.

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The ‘Barrel Of Tears’ above was created by, and a gift from, comic creator Justin Green. It’s shown here sitting on my ice-covered kitchen windowsill, last February.

Jughead and Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #15

Jughead and Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #15 is in the stores currently, and for those who follow my work, this issue contains around eight of my Jughead stories — most of them illustrated by my trusty collaborator, Rex Lindsey, who always manages to get the most out of whatever humor is in the scripts with his linework.

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Please note, there are a couple of incorrect credits on the stories in this issue, as is often the case in these digests. One of my Archie stories, “Unbalanced,” is incorrectly credited to my friend George Gladir. Sorry to saddle you with that, George! This story was drawn by Stan Goldberg, whom I only got the chance to partner with on rare occasions, and that’s probably a factor in how the credit got mixed up. This story has to do with a large piece of artwork, a metal mobile of the type designed by Alexander Calder. In this story, the artist’s name is Wilder.

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And then I am credited with writing a story called “Showdown At the Mall,” which I did not write. The art on this one is by Doug Crane. To my knowledge, Doug and I have never been paired up on a story. I’m Guessing that George Gladir wrote this one. The title sounds like one of his.

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Also of note is a story of mine called “Pop Goes Jughead!” I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of stories I’ve written where the plot was dictated to me by my editor, Victor Gorelick. But this is one of those. Victor had somehow ended up with a gadget that was designed to eat popcorn with — It was like a modified set of chopsticks — and he decided that a Jughead story could be written around the invention. He actually sent me one of these things to try out, and here is the story that resulted. In the story, I called them ‘Popcorn Pincers.’ I forget what they were known as in real life. Anyway, the Archie characters are such that you can give them any object and they can get into trouble with it for at least five pages, so no problem there.

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