The Unofficial Underground Comix thread...
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comixbible   
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I agree with Brother J about first appearances. My feeling is that they're not as important to someone who collects underground comix as, let's say, someone who collects Marvel comics.

Another thing to consider, perhaps, is that Help! isn't a comic book, per se, so it falls into the periphery.

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wpbooks   
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I disagree with that statement, as I feel Help is the real bridge between EC comics and Underground Comix.

 

I was always interested in picking up issues of Help that had early material from UG artists and consider Help an essential part of my UG collection as much as Arcade, Comix Book or Rip Off Review Of Western Culture. Never bothered me that it was a magazine anymore than Swift Premium Comics was a regular paperback book.

 

I just figure that the appeal of Help is quite limited these days due to it's obscurity more than anything else......but there is that Beatles thing I mentioned before. Those collectors are ravenous. I once sold an even more obscure wrestling magazine because the Beatles were mentioned on the cover and there was a small picture on the inside. Wasn't sold to a wrestling enthusiast!

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OtherEric   
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5 hours ago, wpbooks said:

I disagree with that statement, as I feel Help is the real bridge between EC comics and Underground Comix.

 

I was always interested in picking up issues of Help that had early material from UG artists and consider Help an essential part of my UG collection as much as Arcade, Comix Book or Rip Off Review Of Western Culture. Never bothered me that it was a magazine anymore than Swift Premium Comics was a regular paperback book.

 

I just figure that the appeal of Help is quite limited these days due to it's obscurity more than anything else......but there is that Beatles thing I mentioned before. Those collectors are ravenous. I once sold an even more obscure wrestling magazine because the Beatles were mentioned on the cover and there was a small picture on the inside. Wasn't sold to a wrestling enthusiast!

I'm actually not that big into undergrounds in general... but I find it hard to see how anybody doesn't consider the title, or at least the last dozen or so issues, as a key part of the history of underground comix.  Never mind other details, such as being the secret origin of Monty Python.  And finding the issue with Woody Allen in the fumetti is already proving to be an epic pain...

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wpbooks   
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I found most issues in my run back in the 1970's when Overstreet used to list Help in the price guide. I haven't looked through a copy of The Guide in many years but I do recall it was removed at some point for whatever reason, and maybe that has contributed to it's obscurity.

 

I remember that there was going to be a sort of Best Of...collection done by Greg Theakston around 15 or so years ago that was solicited but never came to fruition. No idea what the reason was, but it's the last big Kurtzman production that has yet to be collected, aside from the 2 pocket size paperbacks and The Executive's Comic Book pb that came out in the 60's and the Goodman Beaver collection from the 80's or 90's.

 

I think it's a very important publication that unfortunately relied on a lot of cheap production gimmicks like fumetti and photos with funny captions.  Good luck in your search. I think it's an important publication for all kinds of reasons.

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OtherEric   
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1 hour ago, wpbooks said:

I think it's a very important publication that unfortunately relied on a lot of cheap production gimmicks like fumetti and photos with funny captions.  Good luck in your search. I think it's an important publication for all kinds of reasons.

I actually think some of the fumetti are quite good; and it's utterly amazing when you see some of the names who were posing for them.  I actually just got a copy of #4 in this week, I had no clue Van Dyke was in one of the fumetti. 

I do think it's one of those series that sometimes come along that are amazingly important for tons of reasons... but never quite produce their own classic.  Even Goodman Beaver is largely overshadowed by Little Annie Fanny.  But the more I see, the more it seems like almost every issue has some "wow" moment where you realize just how much talent worked on that book at one point or another.  The list of contributors over the relatively short run is just unreal.

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comixbible   
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On 6/29/2017 at 8:28 PM, wpbooks said:

I found most issues in my run back in the 1970's when Overstreet used to list Help in the price guide. I haven't looked through a copy of The Guide in many years but I do recall it was removed at some point for whatever reason, and maybe that has contributed to it's obscurity.

Maybe. Maybe not. They used to list Powermowerman, too, but it was still seemingly obscure, to those not in the underground know, during that time. It seems, to me, that poring over that guide, with it's small type, can be a laborious process unless you're absolutely determined to do so, and without a representative thumbnail for each and every entry, which is completely impractical, it's easy to pass something by.

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wpbooks   
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19 hours ago, comixbible said:

Maybe. Maybe not. They used to list Powermowerman, too, but it was still seemingly obscure, to those not in the underground know, during that time. It seems, to me, that poring over that guide, with it's small type, can be a laborious process unless you're absolutely determined to do so, and without a representative thumbnail for each and every entry, which is completely impractical, it's easy to pass something by.

I'm going to guess that the type is much smaller now that there are more entries than it was in the early editions of Overstreet when more was needed to fill the pages.

 

Can't guess why Powermowerman would have been removed as I'm willing to bet there are titles even more obscure that are still listed.....but that's a much more subjective observation.

 

I like your non-committal maybes and I'm eager to read your own theory as to why Help could use a little help these days, as far as general recognition goes.

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comixbible   
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On 7/7/2017 at 11:10 AM, wpbooks said:

I'm going to guess that the type is much smaller now that there are more entries than it was in the early editions of Overstreet when more was needed to fill the pages.

 

Can't guess why Powermowerman would have been removed as I'm willing to bet there are titles even more obscure that are still listed.....but that's a much more subjective observation.

 

I like your non-committal maybes and I'm eager to read your own theory as to why Help could use a little help these days, as far as general recognition goes.

Powermowerman was listed up until 1989, give or take, though I'm curious to know why it was removed.

Help! as a whole, or the issue with Fritz? I feel like I'd almost have to psychoanalyze underground comix collectors as a whole to get to the bottom of it. I would think that the more advanced collectors would either already have it or seek it out if they didn't, but as for those collectors just starting out, unless they read or were told about its significance, I just don't see them grabbing that issue based on the cover alone, which may be a big factor in why a lot of collectors go for various books, at least when they're bidding on stuff on eBay--myself included, if it's something I'm unfamiliar with.

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OtherEric   
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14 hours ago, comixbible said:

Powermowerman was listed up until 1989, give or take, though I'm curious to know why it was removed.

Help! as a whole, or the issue with Fritz? I feel like I'd almost have to psychoanalyze underground comix collectors as a whole to get to the bottom of it. I would think that the more advanced collectors would either already have it or seek it out if they didn't, but as for those collectors just starting out, unless they read or were told about its significance, I just don't see them grabbing that issue based on the cover alone, which may be a big factor in why a lot of collectors go for various books, at least when they're bidding on stuff on eBay--myself included, if it's something I'm unfamiliar with.

You're probably right, in that it's a combo of people either already having the book or not realizing the significance, given that there's really no clue on the cover; or more generally any reason to think a magazine that predates most undergrounds matters in their history.

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50 Cent #II (1st)   
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Impressive Crumb piece for auction in the upcoming Heritage NY auction.  Anyone know if this is the cover that Crumb sent Brian Zahn for Zap Comix that was "lost" and later returned to Crumb?

 

https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/covers/robert-crumb-zap-comix-1-unused-cover-original-art-1967-/a/7166-92261.s

Edited by 50 Cent #II (1st)

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Corben Fan   
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Back in the days when I dealt in Golden age, as well as ugs, I was friends with Overstreet.  At that time  there was a giveaway craze. Trapped, the Devil Will Talk, and etc. Twas me, who got Bob to put the Powermowerman in the guide. However, when  Bob found out that someone  raided the Harvey warehouse and about  a thousand copies of Harvey giveaways were around, he took of dim view of almost all giveaways. By the way, I know  a famous collector, and his brother,  who scored a case of the Powers by  writing to thecompany.

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