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Cover Me 149

posted on July 31, 2021


Flash Fridays – The Flash # 284 April 1980

posted on July 30, 2021

Ch, ch, ch, changes, turn and face the strange! Turn and face the strange indeed as that seems to be the theme of this issue of The Flash. First, we find out that Len Wein has moved over from Marvel to take over the editorship reins from the departing Ross Andru. Wein grew up a DC Comics fan so, at the very least he’ll be bringing some institutional memory to the post. And, Wein is a writer as well, so it will be interesting watching him work with Flash scribe Cary Bates.

Second, we face the strange as the Flash, who was adrift in the time stream, falls into a vortex and into the realm of the Lord of Limbo. He finds that he’s not the only prisoner of the LOL (ha!) but that other time travelers have been stranded there as well. They work together to help the Flash escape back into the time stream. As he returns to his present, writer Bates uses the opportunity to have the Flash pass by various stages of his life such as his birth, the accident with the chemicals that turned him into the Flash, and his marriage to Iris. Once back to his present in 1980, Barry visits Iris’s grave. All of this smacks of the unfortunate speed force and its endless permutations to come in the Dark Age of comics. But for now, the slate has been wiped clean and the Flash/Barry looks forward to a new beginning.

Behind the Books – Book 6

posted on July 29, 2021

In 1984, a Funky book came out entitled You Know You’ve Got Trouble When Your School Mascot is a Scapegoat. In was in a new form that the comic strip Garfield had made popular, and, again, the book publishers were optioning a lot of comic strip properties to try to duplicate that success. The book unfortunately disappeared like a hammer in a lake. Lack of publicity and push both by my syndicate and the publisher were part of the problem. The other reason was that, even at the twelve-year-mark, Funky had already started to evolve and grow beyond being described in a one or two word sales pitch. With Garfield all you had to say was cat. If Funky was ever that simple, that was no longer the case.  The cast was exploding, the set pieces were multiplying, and tying a neat little bow on it was no longer possible. You can see the problem right on the cover where you have a study hall of students and a title that, while funny, is a bit too much to take in in a glance as you flash by the book stand. I was well into the process of making my work difficult to market. That was certainly not my intent, but the result speaks for itself. Even Irma Bombeck’s gracious introduction couldn’t help.

That being said, the book is a nice snapshot of the first ten or so years of Funky and was certainly the best presentation of the strip to date.


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