Like I wrote when I started this thing I’m trying to work my way through sixty years of comic books before I die, but I suppose I should confess I don’t have anything like a systematic plan of attack. Oh, at first I tired to work my way through them one publisher at at time, one genre at a time, title by title, but I’m afraid my childhood ADHD wouldn’t let me stay that organized for long.
This week alone I’ve downloaded issues of Flippity and Flop, Leave It To Binky, All-American Comics, Marvel Mystery Comics, Here’s Howie, White Princess of the Jungle, Johnny Law, Popular Comics, Speed, Feature, Crack, Kitty, Sparky Watts…
As you can see I try not to play favorites but must admit I have a sneaking fondness for Marvel’s predecessor Atlas Comics to the point I’ll download a copy of Cartoon Kids (a anthology of Stan Lee’s theoretically ‘funny’ little kid characters) just as readily as a run of Joe Maneely’s The Ringo Kid. I’m perplexed by how Kathy (The Teenage Tornado) started out as a lush Archie variant but by the end of it’s relatively lengthly run it was being drawn in a increasingly realistic (and dull) style and had became a whole lot less funny (the only one who probably knows why is Stan Lee, and I’m guessing even he doesn’t remember any more). I may be the only man alive hoping against hope someone will finally get around to posting issues of John Severin’s Sailor Sweeney.
So as you might imagine I was well pleased when I found a copy of Love Romances #99 from 1962 which cover features the story “The Teenager and the Truck Driver” (which could be the title of a Troy McClure movie) signed by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby! Well, it sure looks like Jack Kirby work, but I’ll happily admit I’m no expert when it comes to artist identification; heck, I didn’t know Kirby was even doing romance comics at this point in his career). So, somebody out there, you tell me.
— Steve Bennett