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Flash Fridays – The Flash #280 December 1979

posted on July 2, 2021

Staying on task for an entire issue without any side trips to other places or chasing off after shiny things, writer Cary Bates delivers a taut and linear resolution to the Clive Yorkin saga. We see the monster battling police and even bringing down a police helicopter in King Kong fashion. All leading up to the final battle with Yorkin. It comes about through Barry doing some diligent police work as he checks though police records looking for the previous hideouts that Yorkin used when he was just a bad guy and not a big bad monster bad guy, and then checking them out as the Flash. When he finally locates Yorkin he finds that Melanie has gotten there first and gotten herself into trouble. Together they combine their minds to focus on Barry’s love for Iris and they drive Yorkin to distraction and to falling into a sink-hole where his desperate attempts to claw his way back out cause the sink-hole to collapse and bury him. There’s one little epilogue of a surprise that drops when Frank Curtis calls Barry to say that he has positive proof that Yorkin didn’t kill Iris… and new clues as to who did.

But there was another surprise awaiting us in this issue. In a fabulous Flash fill-in, Don Heck has stepped in to limn the text with his lush, evocative and slightly impressionistic style. I’ve always been a fan of Heck’s work from his early days at Marvel. He brings to The Flash a very solidly drawn, but also romantic look. The Flash hasn’t  looked quite this good in a while.

Behind the Books – Book 4

posted on July 1, 2021

Okay, so the big #3 up in the corner tells us that this is the third Funky collection from Tempo Books. One immediately noticeable thing is that the cover is no longer hand colored with markers. Taking a step up the ol’ professionalism ladder, I came into possession of a Pantone color guide and made my first use of it with this cover. With the Pantone color guide, you would hand color the art on either a copy or an overlay. Then you would find the color you wanted on the color guide and then write the corresponding number on your overlay. This allowed for color consistency to be established between you and the printer who would simply match the same numbers from his Pantone chart. I’ve probably described something akin to blacksmithing here, but it’s pretty much like color picking off of the color swatches in Photoshop.

Tempo was licensing a lot of cartoon properties at this point and kind of just throwing them out there with no real marketing or promotion. So whenever I was in a place where these books were sold, usually on racks in a drugstore, I would go through the rack, find my books, and move them all to the front of the rack. This was based on the God helps those who help themselves theory of marketing.

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