So I thought it was about time (no pun intended) to get feedback from the other contributors on the Super Swingin' Hero 1968 Special from Mechanoid Press, a homage to that way out publishing period in the late 1960s where companies were trying anything and everything to attract readers.
Everyone was asked the same three questions.
01. If you ever read or still do read comic books, what was your very first one?
02. What are your thoughts on the late Silver Age of comics?
03. How did you become involved with the anthology and come up with the story for your specific feature?
Author of so many great comics of the past.
My very first comic was probably around 1956, either one of DC's second tier heroes (Green Lantern, Hawkman, The Flash, etc) a Disney duck book, or Classics Illustrated.
I became hooked on comics in the latter part of the 1950s and they informed my character development very strongly. It was an era when heroes were good and villains were bad, which was not exactly a true representation of the real world. But it showed the world as it could be, as it should be, and that was enough to light a spark of hope in my malleable and somewhat naive little kid mind. It's probably why I seem to add at least some sort of positive element in even the darkest stories I write.
Lee contacted me through Facebook and asked if I'd be interested in participating. I said, "Sure". As for the story, there were only two slots left when I joined: Ghostman (homage to Deadman) and The Crawler (homage to The Creeper). To be honest, I'd never read either of those characters when they were published, so I went through a few back issues and decided that Deadman would be the easiest--er, I mean, most interesting to use as a template. I took key elements from the original and came up with a storyline that would fit and pitched it. Unfortunately, I was told that I'd stuck too close to the copyrighted material and the editors would prefer, quite reasonably, to avoid a massive lawsuit. So I sat back and re-thought things, coming up with alternatives that, I have to admit, actually made the story better. I re-pitched, got approval, and wrote what I hope became an entertaining story with a bit of heart, a couple of laughs, and a recognizable background of the 1960s.
LISA M. COLLINS
Author of things both fiction and culinary.
My dad introduced me to comic books when I was around six, with my first being an Archie.
I think I fell right into one of the new demographics comic publishers were trying to break into. I was young and female. I was also deeply interested in science and the Silver Age comics was loaded with it, and whet my appetite for more.
As a member of the Pulp Factory yahoo group, I saw a post by Jim calling for proposals about the project. I batted some ideas his way about adapting a story loosely based off of Dial H for HERO, a DC Comics about a mysterious dial that turns a kid into a superhero by selecting the letters H-E-R-O in order. I personally have an affinity for all things Egyptian, and reworked the idea by selecting a pantheon of ancient Egyptian gods who would imbue my character, Jane Roberts, with mystical powers by wearing a necklace of rotating beads spelling out god's name.
ERWIN K. ROBERTS
Creator of The Voice, and other exciting adventures.
At age three or four I started trying to figure out the newspaper Sunday comics. The key word being tried. The first comic book I remember is when my grandmother read to me “Only a Poor Old Man” from my sister’s copy of Uncle Scrooge #1. I collected U.S. comics from the mid-1950’s thru the early 1990’s. I still buy an occasional independent comic.
The late 1960’s were my college years. Just remember that no comics shops existed then. Things went crazy on the newsstands. TH.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and Tower Comics came and went. So did Gil Kane’s graphic (in more ways than one) novel His Name is -Savage! Anybody remember Fatman - the Human Flying Saucer? Marvel had an explosion. Meanwhile DC just went nuts. And I loved most of it. For me the Silver Age of comics began when I bought The (Barry Allen) Flash #105. It began to end in 1985 with Crisis on Infinite Earths and DC releasing Frank Miller’s Legends of the Dark Knight. Since that time all the contrived EVENTS and the steady stream of creators and editors aping Miller with ever darker characters took all the fun out of comics for me. I see DC and Marvel comics these days and cringe. The art and the blurbs just scream, "You don’t want to read this."
I saw Jim Beard’s call on the Pulp Factory mailing list, but hesitated a bit before replying. The list of characters was a bit picked over by then. I tend to write lone wolf heroes, in preference to groups. Only one solo character remained: Changeor - the Mutable Man. In 1968 able bodied Americans males, eighteen and older, had to be seriously concerned with getting Drafted. Changeor took his Draft physical almost exactly one year before I did. We both had the same sort of high-handed Draft Board. There is more than a little of my own experiences in this story. It is just that I can’t change my shape and composition like he can.
Okay folks, considering that there was 10 fantastic features within the Super Swingin' Hero 1968 Special and we've only heard from 3 authors in this post, obviously this article is TO BE CONTINUED, but the anthology can be found at Amazon.com!