Topic: Comic Book Artists
As most of this Blog's regular readers know...
I've been around comics for most of my life. Starting back in the mid to late 1950's when I first started reading them, and then with issue #72 of Journey Into Mystery, (cover dated September 1961), which started me truly 'collecting' them instead of just reading them!
I've also been very lucky to have attended several comic conventions, shows, or store signings during the years, where I have met comics creators.
However, there are many creators that I've never met or seen. Which is why fanzines or prozines that are devoted to comics creators or comics history make good reading for me. Additionally those fanzines that are devoted to writing on just one comics creator always attract my attention.
The above pictured fanzine edited by Michael Vance is one that after reading it proved to be blog worthy. Michael worked with Grass Green on the three stories that are published in this first issue.
For those that are not familar with Richard 'Grass' Green, here is a brief bio from Wikipedia:
"Richard 'Grass' Green (May 7, 1939 – August 5, 2002) was an African American cartoonist notable for being the first black participant in both the 1960s fan art movement and the 1970s underground comics movement. Popular creations included Xal-Kor the Human Cat and Wildman and Rubberroy. In the 1960s, Green's Harvey Kurtzman-like zany, action-packed, humorous comics parodies appeared in numerous fanzines. His "outrageous" 1970s and 1980s underground work used searing humor to expose America's racism and bigotry.
Hailing from South Bend, Indiana, Green was given the nickname "Grass" by his childhood friend Ronn Foss (with whom he later collaborated in Alter Ego). Beginning in 1964, Green's fan art quickly became sought out, and his work appeared in zines like Alter Ego, Star-Studded Comics, Fantasy Illustrated, The Buyer's Guide to Comics Fandom, Rocket's Blast Comicollector, Komix Illustrated, Super-Hero, and Masquerader.
In 1967, Green broke into the professional comics world, collaborating with Roy Thomas on "The Shape" in Charlton Premiere #1. In the late 1960s, Green drew several more humorous strips for Charlton Comics, mostly in Go-Go Comics. (He also had work published in witzend.) He then became involved in the underground comix movement, where his work was published in Super Soul Comix and a Wildman and Rubberroy series. In the 1990s, Green produced work for among other places Eros Comics."
I had seen several stories during the years in other fanzines that were illustrated by Grass Green, but had never seen the three stories reprinted in this first issue. (There are a lot of regional comic strips or cartoons that have not been published even yet for mainstream reading.)
Here is Jim's advertising blurb for this first issue:
Features the work of comic fandom legend, the late Richard "Grass" Green, in a publication lovingly compiled by his equally talented co-worker, Michael Vance. The book is comprised of material the two did together from the "Holiday Out" comic series, which is wildly outrageous.
OK, I'll take it from there...
First off, even though I may enjoy fanzines like this one, I do realize that they are not for everyone. This is a 28 page fanzine, and thus cannot go into 'depth' in just one issue on Grass Green's vast amount of comics work. And this issue was not meant to. It is however a good representation of the work that Grass did with Michael Vance. Plus the stories are from publications that did not have mass publishing, so most people would not have seen these stories before. Which adds to the 'reading value' in my opinion.
Also, the inside cover text, where Michael Vance writes about his collaborations with Grass is informative and does present a good introduction for the three stories presented within.
I believe that this is a good beginning for a series of issues devoted to Grass Green. The price is right for a first issue, and the shipping charge is reasonable. If you are already a fan of Grass Green, then this would be a good fanzine to see more of his work. If you are new to his work, then it would be an interesting start to see just a little of what Grass illustrated, in this case on stories with Michael Vance.
I thank Michael Vance for putting together this first issue. And to Jim Main that published this fanzine. This is just 1 of the 48 publications that Jim has published that are currently listed for sale in his online store!
Details on this issue as follows:
Cost of this issue is: $2.95 plus 1.35 shipping.
Unfortunately we don't have many back issues of Jim's comics or magazines in our own online store at this time... However, Please check out our other new listings of comics, graphic novels, Comic Con exclusives and more pop culture items for sale in our online eBay Featured Store that our blogs are based on!
Thanks again to all of YOU reading our current and archived blog posts! We do blog daily on comic book creators, comic book reviews, and other pop culture news and events including some TV shows and theatrical films!
~ Michael @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com