Howard the Duck. When did I first become aware of this odd character in the Marvel Universe? If memory serves me, it was in the late 1970s. At the time I was nine or 10, living on an island with no local stores to buy comic books in. On occasion my grandmother would bring me a stack of comics to have and once in awhile we would go to the mainland and visit drugstores, all of which had those spinner racks of every comic book you could imagine. I was fortunate to find an issue now and then of the original run of the four-color comic book of HOWARD THE DUCK but never with any consistency to be able to follow the story. In 1979, a weekly outing began with my mother where she would go grocery shopping and I would visit the drugstore that was next door and that is where I discovered the black and white magazine of HOWARD THE DUCK.Continue reading “OFF THE RACK COMICS: Howard the Duck Magazine (1979-1981)”
In this entry of Off The Rack Comics I am covering yet another Charlton title. This one is Monster Hunters and it ran for eighteen issues from August of 1975 until February of 1979. This title I do remember reading regularly thanks to my grandmother, who would buy issues for her husband to read that would then be passed along to me.
Welcome to yet another edition of Off The Rack Comics, a travel back in time to revisit comic book titles of yesteryear. Once again I am covering comic book publisher Charlton Comics with one of their less popular horror comics, Creepy Things. In fact, it only ran for six issues.
The 1970’s were such a huge part of my development, shaping me to be the person that I am today. All of my interests that I have as an adult started in the 1970’s and thankfully, so many of these interests have created such fond memories of a time long past.
I have always been a fan of horror comics with my true love being those by EC Comics, who created such classic titles as Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear. Though many companies over the years tried to bring back the feel of the EC titles, few were able to do it in large part to the creation of the Comics Code Authority. The CCA was formed in 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America as an alternative to government regulation as a result of widespread public concern over gory and horrific comic-book content. The CCA allowed the comic publishers to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States, thus taming them down.
I did the majority of my comic book reading in the 70’s and 80’s, at a time when there were really only a handful of companies producing comics. Back then, as is the case now, Marvel and DC were the two forces to be reckoned with, but there were also companies like Gold Key Comics and Charlton Comics that produced a regular stream of titles. Though their quality may not have measured up to the super-powers, they both offered many fun titles. For me Gold Key (sometimes sold in 3 issue collections in plastic bags under the Whitman Comics label) were fun for their UFO and flying saucer titles, oftentimes featuring beautifully painted covers that were some of the best covers seen at the time. Charlton (sometimes sold in 3 issue collections in plastic bags under the Modern Comics label) were popular for the horror and ghost comics, though they did produce a variety of war, superhero and romance comics (for the girls) as well.