Jet Powers and the Three Million Year Old Men!
In 1959 Mom and I used to go grocery shopping on Saturdays. Correction. Mom used to grocery shop, I hung out at the grocery store's magazine rack looking at issues of Cracked, Amazing Stories, or sneaking looks at Sexology or even Playboy. There was a comic book rack, also, and I did my share of looking at comics, usually picking up my weekly allotment at that store. There was also a cardboard dump (display case) with piles of comics in bags. These were the IW reprints, also called "A Top Quality Comic" on the covers.
"IW" was Israel Waldman, a publishing entrepreneur who bought printing plates and publishing rights for old comics and published them with different covers under his own imprint. The comics were sold three to a bag for 25¢ a bag.
What I liked was that most of them were pre-Comics Code issues. Since they didn't go through normal distribution channels they had no need for the Comics Code seal. And so it was with Jet #2 from 1951, reprinted in 1959 as Jet Power #2. Since my obsessive-compulsive disorder was probably at its highest in the late 1950s, due to family stress, I read and re-read this issue practically to death. I'm showing a scan of the cover here, which has been taped because the cover was torn while I was re-reading it for the umpteenth time.For some reason my imagination was captured by this comic, and it led to a lifelong love of the artwork of Bob Powell, and also for the four issues of Jet, published by Magazine Enterprises. It wasn't really for the stories, which are good, not great. I guess nostalgia is my prime mover with this comic book, folks.
Almost 20 years after buying the IW reprint I bought the original series of Jet comics, which came from the Cosmic Aeroplane-pedigreed comic book collection. Someday I'll have to tell you about that collection, but for now, suffice it to say that of all the comics I've wanted and then bought over the years, the Jet comics were ones I coveted the most. To find them in the near-mint shape I found them (and have hopefully kept them) was a real bonus.
Since I've already used up my allotment of space for talking about a story, I'll just let you read the lead story from Jet #2. I only have one thing to say about it, and it's that I wish Powell would have done some research on dinosaurs. He faked his drawings of the giant saurians, and it shows.I prefer the cover of the reprint, which is unsigned but I believe to by the fabulous team of ex-EC Comics artists Reed Crandall and George Evans, who were teaming up in those post-EC days on things like issues of Classics Illustrated .
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