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Cover Me – 48

posted on January 12, 2019

There’s a stunning Flash cover depicting the moment where  Heat Wave burned down his parents home that I’ve been trying to track down to no avail. ‘Til then…

Flash Fridays – The Flash #213 March 1972

posted on January 11, 2019


If you were a subscriber to The Flash back in the day, this issue would have really cheesed you off because it’s entirely composed of reprints. Granted, the reprint of The Vengeance of the Immortal Villain is a darn good reprint featuring the Golden Age Flash and the Justice Society, but it’s a reprint nonetheless and, as such, has already been covered here.

There must have been a fairly serious scheduling glitch with the Flash at that time, and they heroically they try to cover their tracks with an in-house banner that read as follows: “Barry Allen… a bachelor? The Justice Society just out of retirement? Yes you’ve guessed it… this has been a special Flash-Back story (from Flash #137, June 1963)! Why did we present this surprise treat? For one thing, this tale presented the historic first appearance of the legendary Justice Society of America! But more importantly, this story is necessary for the enjoyment of next issue’s monumental return of Vandal Savage in the two Flash novel… Death of an Immortal!” 

Problem is… that story doesn’t appear in the next issue, and, in fact won’t appear until issue #215. I have a theory as to why that happened, but it will have to wait until the next Flash Friday post.

Match to Flame 90

posted on January 8, 2019

I was also wondering what the world was coming to back in the fall of 1986 when it was announced that News America Syndicate was to be sold to King Features. Once again, I and my creations were on the block, and once again I was made aware of the tenuousness of my situation. My body of work and my brand were for the second time being sold for a bundle, and all I received from it was a notice that in January of the coming year I should begin sending my finished strips to a new address. I was starting to become a little desperate and in that desperation, an idea occurred. In my craziness, I decided to do the only reasonable thing a person could do under the circumstances and began work on a new strip. The tremendous response I was getting to Crankshaft had started me thinking about having my school bus driver drive out on his own, and I had even begun pulling some sample strips together. I got a very positive response to the strips as I showed them around to friends and decided to see if News America Syndicate would want to syndicate Crankshaft—which I knew they couldn’t do. Why would I do that, you ask (you know, you ask the most prescient questions, which is why writing for you is so much fun). I recalled my previous attempts at syndicating a second strip back in the good old lazy days when I was working on only one, and I remembered that when the syndicate turned them down, I had asked for and received a release allowing me try to syndicate them elsewhere. I knew that with its pending sale, News America Syndicate was in no position to launch a new comic strip, and, when they turned me down, I’d ask for the usual release I’d gotten several times in the past. So I did and they did, and then I did and they did. I now had a release to take Crankshaft somewhere else. There were no guarantees that it would ever lead to anything, but, with the leverage of being able to walk away from any contract offer that wouldn’t let me own my own character, I at least had a ray of hope that such a possibility existed. It was a desperate long shot, but that’s why they’re called desperate long shots. I received news of the release while attending one of the world premieres of Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming in Dallas, Texas, and that night even the fact that the “élan” line once again failed to elicit even a snicker didn’t bother me nearly as much. Oh, and along with the new strip, I also sent the syndicate a letter from my attorney saying that I wanted to renegotiate my contract.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Five