KC Carlson back when he edited the Legion

KC Carlson back when he edited the Legion

A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson

As many of you know, I’ve been writing about comics (for Westfield and others) for a long time now (decades, not years). Over that period of time (especially years ago, when comics were booming), it was a privilege to be on many publishers’ comp lists. These days, when folks are predicting the end of comics (as we know it) every 15 minutes or so (don’t believe a word!), it’s reassuring to me that every few weeks a mysterious book-sized package arrives in our home mailbox from the mysterious land of Raleigh, North Carolina — one of the more unlikely places to be a Comic Book Capitol. Raleigh is the home of TwoMorrows Publishing, who put out what seems like hundreds of amazing paperbacks about the history of and people who make comic books. (I also read the pop culture stuff they put out, such as the recent Groovy by Mark Voger.)

Modern Masters Vol. 19: Mike Ploog. Yes, Roger chose this picture.

I have a six-foot-high bookcase about ten feet from my desk filled with books about comic book history and creators. Counting the Modern Masters series, and the more detailed books about historically important creators, I’m easily approaching 200 books published by TwoMorrows on that bookcase. That doesn’t even include the many magazines they produce, including Jack Kirby Collector, Alter Ego, Back Issue, Comic Book Collector, and their Lego-oriented BrickJournal (which I probably should be getting now that I’m addicted to Legos in my old age). I also pick up the occasional issue of Draw!, depending on which artists are being spotlighted.

It Crept From the Tomb

It Crept From the Tomb

This week, they sent me It Crept From the Tomb, a 192-page paperback spotlighting the UK’s near-legendary magazine about horror comics written and edited by the magazine’s original editor, Peter Normanton. Horror comics are about my least favorite comic book genre, yet before I knew it, I had spent about 45 minutes just paging through the book, fascinated by the detail. (I also had to laugh at the five-page article about the “horror” of many of the Mort Weisinger-edited Superman titles from the 1960s. Considering the weirdo transformations of Supes, Lois, and Jimmy (and even Krypto the dog!) from that era, the article is certainly justified!)


Back Issue #103

Back Issue #103

Hitting the stands last Wednesday was Back Issue #103 (!), a special “All-Star Editors” issue. Since I used to be one of those elusive creatures in another life, I though I’d check in to see who was saying what about who (whom?). Sadly, there was nothing about me in there. (Not too surprising… I never stayed in one place long enough to really make an impact… unless you’re a Legion of Super-Heroes fan — and then you either love me or hate me.)

Here’s what there is in this very readable issue:

    • Fantastic multi-page retrospectives on the lives and careers of Legendary Editors Archie Goodwin (Warren, Marvel, Epic, and DC —just to name a few!) and former Wisconsinite Mark Gruenwald (long and heralded career at Marvel, but I loved his self-produced Omniverse zine, which discussed comic book continuity in a serious way).
    • A vintage interview with DC Comics editor Nelson Bridwell (who assisted both Mort Weisinger and Julie Schwartz).
    • A new interview with Diana Schutz (Comico and 25 years at Dark Horse Comics!).
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #86, part of Assistant Editors' Month

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #86, part of Assistant Editors’ Month

  • An issue-by-issue retrospective on the crazier-than-you-thought Marvel Assistant Editors’ Month stunt!
  • A guest column by Allan Asherman, discussing DC comics in the ‘
  • A roundtable discussion about The Dreaded Deadline Doom — and how to avoid it!
  • Cheap Laffs, the NYC cable-access TV show created by Mark Gruenwald, Mike Carlin, and Eliot R. Brown that made me quit comics. (Just kiddin’, Mike!)
  • And a retrospective on comic books’ most important editor — Perry White!

The issue also reproduces the now-famous Archie Goodwin written and drawn comic strip where he discusses how he gets his ideas. I used to have this cartoon tacked up on my DC Comics office bulletin board, and it always made everybody laugh… until he passed away and then it made everybody sad.

But they still laughed. That was Archie…


KC CARLSON and good friend Michael Eury (currently the long-time editor of Back Issue) once spent a big part of the late ‘80s and ‘90s following each other from job to job. That ended when I finally ran away screaming from the East Coast to resettle in Madison, WI. I really need to get back to going to shows once in a while. Hey, that C2E2 thing is happening in Chicago in about a month… That’s just two hours away (assuming we drive)…

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. Please don’t sue me for that silly column title…


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