The Comic Spot
"Those Tiny, Paperback Reprints"
by Chris Lambert
So way back when, I was this young little boy who collected comic books. I mean I REALLY collected comic books. I read every thing there was until there was no more to read. Needless to say my life and collecting habit (really more of a need to read) was helped greatly by the old DC 80 page Giants or the Marvel Tales 25 centers that contained back issue stories that I was either, too young to remember, did not have the chance to collect or did not have the funds to collect. I mean, there were no conventions back then and my 15 cent allowance really did not lend itself to picking up back issues if there was indeed a place to get them if I could.
So when Marvel began putting out these black and white paperback books about the same time that DC started putting out their Batman reprints…well, that's all I needed to know. I didn't even mind that they were in black and white on the insides. I just knew that there were stories that I did not have and had not read yet.
Years later, yes, I did get irked that as I was shelling out big money for an original comic from the past, that I remembered that I already had that story…from my reprint books! This actually caused me to hold off from collecting some of the certain comics I was pursuing for my collection and go after others that I had not read yet, justifying in my mind that if I WAS going to plunk over big bucks, it was going to be for a book that I had never seen or read yet!
But boy were these books fun when I was little. There was a Spiderman paperback, a Thor and a Fantastic Four. My dad bought one featuring the Hulk (he liked that character) and helped me to pick up the Batman paperbacks as well as one featuring a new comic I had just taken to…Dynamo, with his companion book, Thunder Agents. I do not know why though, that the publishers had to title the paperback- "Dynamo, man of High Camp!"
Dad explained to me what "camp" was, to which I replied.
"Oh, you mean the thing that makes the Batman television show seem so corny?
But really, those tiny paperback reprints were a life saver to a young six-eight year old in the mid-60s. You should pick one up at a comic convention and see the charm that they might have represented to a collecting youngster back then.
The problem now is…those old paperbacks are now collectables themselves and cost the same price (in some, but not all cases) as those old issues inside that they were reprinting.
My Favorite Panel
by Chris Lambert
Since we are talking about those old 60s reprint comic book reprints in black and white. I wanted to show you my favorite panel which was one of the early ones that Marvel printed. The very, very early ones were colored panels that were painted (at least that's what I called them, they were probably just colored differently than most of their covers) from one of the inner pages. They looked cool. Here's a sample.
image © Marvel Comics