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    • The Mystery of the First Marvel Comic

    • Posted by Mark Seifert on 29 Jan 08
    • This is about as obscure a subject as imaginable, but that's what blogs are for, right?

      Anyway... just now perusing pics of Golden Age comics I can't afford, I came across this Marvel Comics #1 October edition.

      October edition, right. Most known copies of this 1939 book, the very first Marvel comic, are cover-dated November. The November copies simply have a black circle blocking out the October with a "Nov" above the circle.

      The most obvious explanation for this is that the November copies are second printings. October copies with known provenance have all come out of the East coast, and there's some anecdotal info out there that may indicate that the October run was ordered to test the waters of the then-developing comic market.

      BUT! A few of us on a Golden Age forum spent far too much time one night examining scans of a number of copies and determining that the Circle/Nov shifts in relation to the black plate of the rest of the cover, which indicates it was added after the initial printing pass.

      Surely, if they'd restarted the presses for a 2nd print at a later date, they'd simply have modified the original printing plates. Adding it after the fact (and after the covers had been trimmed, apparently) to ~900,000 copies would seem to represent a non-trivial amount of additional effort at the printing plant.

      There's also the matter that the infamous "pay copy", a copy of the book used by the studio/packager of the contents to record his payments to the creators, is a November copy. It seems reasonable to assume he'd have gotten his hands on a copy as soon as possible, though obviously there's not TOO much to be concluded from that.

      So, the circumstances behind the existence of both Oct and Nov copies of the first Marvel comic remains something of a mystery.

      Bringing this around to something vaguely more Whitechapel related, the cover was done by noted pulp cover artist Frank Paul, who has come up here from time to time. Incidentally, the pay copy indicates Paul received $25 for his cover art here.
    • Random Geek: Legacy Hero (2): Not Colbert

    • Posted by TechnocratJT on 29 Jan 08
    • Well, he gets to keep the shield.

      However, Colbert is saddened that he does not get the call to be Cap. He even bid the show farewell so he could go take the streets shield in hand, but his red, white and blue balls were not enough. Thankfully, Joe Q has reassured him he is running strong in the Marvel Universe for president.

      President Colbert: Man of Action

      I would buy that comic, ideally written by the members of Man of Action, and as it seems the major candidates are Skrulls. Colbert is the only choice. Yet, what amuses me the most is the direct statement Bucky Barnes is Cap. Good publicity for ye old comic stores again, and a plot "twist" which anyone, and everyone, able to understand foreshadowing or follow a narrative has known for months.

      Which, is to say, its still a point of major contention on comic boards. I can hear the screams now....
    • Random Geek: John McCain Risen

    • Posted by TechnocratJT on 29 Jan 08
    • It looks like McCain has Florida.

      I do not like McCain, but this has made me very happy. He is going to be the candidate on the right. Like some revenant he has come back to run at the presidency, un-killable as his ancient bones creak and shudder with the anger of financial reform. And like a proper creature of the night his arch-enemies are the faithful. The Evangelicals, who are massing against him, will stay home come November. Current rumors say they have made their peace with dark magician Mitt - a desperate act to try and slay Zombie McCain. Yet, they are a voting block who has been won through constant appeasement, and not prone to accepting a monstrous night creature.

      The religious right and the corporate right might finally shatter over McCain, and in doing so the left can win, and win big, all we need is a legitimate candidate.

      And look at that, we have two to choose from.

      And the worst - worst case - Zombie president. I do not like McCain, but he is a damn site better then the real monster we have now.

    • First Wish For 2008

    • Posted by Chris M Ferguson on 29 Jan 08
    • Everyone knows the Apple Store, everyone knows about Amazon’s Kindle, most people have already downloaded their first mp3 straight to their computer along with a movie.

      Well, I love music and movies and all that. But I want something else: I want to be able to download new comic books straight to my computer.

      I fucking hate my comic store — HATE IT. The service is the worst I’ve ever experienced. They lose my stuff all the time, books sellout so you have to wait, they subscribe me to books I don’t even want, the list goes on.

      Well it’s time books come straight to me every Wednesday for a fee of ninety-nine cents.

      And hey, throw in some video interviews with the team behind the book for free along with the purchase.

      If the comic industry wants to survive and then some, they need to step up.

      And not this kind of Step Up:

      No, they need to step up like Sonny Fuckin’ Chiba in The Street Fighter.

      Have a day, My Spicy Chicken Peeps!

      I live at
    • WITCH DOCTOR Workblog 3: Lukas Ketner rocks your flip-flops, all winter long.

    • Posted by Brandon Seifert on 29 Jan 08
    • Witch Doctor is a forthcoming medical horror comic from writer Brandon Seifert and artist Lukas Ketner. Witch Doctor combines horror archetypes and really sick shit from the real world. This is the book's workblog. For more information, read the first entry.

      Lukas is working on a pin-up of our protagonist Dr. Vincent Morrow, the eponymous Witch Doctor. He's been spending a lot of time on it, and wanted to show my how the figure looks before he finishes the background... and the drawing stunned me so much I just had to share it.

      Lukas Ketner's third take on Dr. Vincent Morrow

      A few words about Lukas. Like me, he's an Alaskan expatriate currently based in Portland, Oregon (although I'm from Fairbanks and he's from Anchorage). He's a professional illustrator whose work graces the covers and interior pages of Portland's two alt-weekly newspapers almost every week. Because he's AWESOME. Go look at his portfolio. Or just the album art he did for Portland funeral folk band The Builders and the Butchers:

      I am incredibly lucky to have Lukas illustrating my first comic.

      Next Entry: 4: The Red Queen War | Previous Entry: 2: I eat you
    • WITCH DOCTOR Workblog 2: I eat you.

    • Posted by Brandon Seifert on 29 Jan 08
    • Witch Doctor is a forthcoming medical horror comic from writer Brandon Seifert and artist Lukas Ketner. Witch Doctor combines horror archetypes and really sick shit from the real world. This is the book's workblog. For more information, read the first entry.

      Last night I turned off the lights and lay down for a little before-bed reading about cannibalism.

      New Guinea is really rather fascinating. It's the second-largest island on earth (after Greenland), and it's home to more than 800 distinct languages -- around half the total languages in existence. And of course, there used to be cannibals there.

      When people think of cannibal societies, they're thinking of what's called exocannibalism -- eating people who aren't part of your social group, often as part of warfare. But the Fore people of Papua New Guinea were endocannibals -- them ate their own dead as part of the funerary rite.

      The North Fore would just cook the entire body whole in a steam pit with vegetables. The South Fore liked to cut the body up instead, and cook the pieces inside bamboo tubes along with vegetables, ginger and salt. They ate the entire body, everything but the gall bladder. Even the bones, which they'd char to soften them up and then crumble them up in the cooking tubes. Even the feces. They'd cook that with vegetables.

      It was something you'd do for your loved ones. A sign of respect. (Fore women would also carry the severed heads of their dead husbands in a bag on their backs for months, showing how much they mourned by putting up with the worsening stink.) One of the Fore's greetings translates as, "I eat you."

      It was actually a pretty new custom when white folks showed up on the island. The Fore told an anthropologist their first reaction after eating person:

      "This is sweet! What is the matter with us, are we mad? Here is good food and we have neglected to eat it. In the future we shall always eat the dead, men, women, and children. Why should we throw away good meat? It is not right!"

      Mortuary cannibalism was something women and children did; the men got to eat pork instead. And that's why the women and children were the ones who got kuru -- a condition that started with tremors and weird emotional responses, laughing and frowning at random, and ended with paralysis and death. The Fore thought kuru was a curse put on the women and children by male sorcerers.

      But no. Kuru was a prion disease, like Mad Cow. And the women and children got it from eating the brains of dead kuru victims. They didn't eat people who died of other diseases -- but since they thought kuru was caused by a curse, and because kuru gave body fat the nummy texture of pork, kuru dead were fair game.

      Did you know raw human brains have the consistency of soft scrambled eggs?

      (The book was Richard Rhodes' Deadly Feasts.)

      Next Entry: 3 - Lukas Ketner rocks your flip-flops, all winter long | Previous entry: 1 - Introductions and Inseminations