Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Number 133

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 used printing plates 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. And so it was with Jet #2 from 1951, reprinted in 1959 as Jet Power #2.  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.

The cover of the reprint 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 .

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.

Almost 20 years after buying the IW reprint I bought the original series of Jet comics. Of all the comics I've wanted and then bought over the years the Jet comics were ones I really wanted. To find them in the near-mint shape I found them was a 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.


teddyrocker said...

Each link goes to:
Could you fix that?
Thank you in advance.

Pappy said...

Sorry about that! I fixed it on May 29.

Daniel Kian said...

Hard luck for the two little yellow dudes that the Kroog kidnapped and took with them!

hcb said...

I remember buying, separately, Jet Powers # 2 at a newstand in Hammond, Indiana, along with a couple of other IW reprints, including an issue of Planet Comics. Partly because they were so far removed from the routine books, i.e., Marvel, DC, Archie, Charlton, AC, in form and style, they really gripped my imagination. Around the same time, I think, were the Harvey reprints like The Three Rocketeers (what great art!) and The Spirit--my introduction, for which I will be eternally grateful.