Sunday, March 29, 2009

Remember When Comics Sucked?

Kind of a loaded question really. For as long as there have been comics there have been crappy ones. The 1980s, however, saw the introduction of the direct sale market which made it financially viable for smaller publishers to get their comics out there. Spurred on by the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which was a major success story for the small press, scads of comics which a few years earlier would have been lucky to make it into a xeroxed fanzine were popping up in comics stores.

The Stupid Comics section over at has several interesting sections for lovers of dreadful sequential art, but the 80s section is particularly horrific.

  • New Beginning is a particularly incompetent look at nuclear war with a disturbing wish fulfillment angle.
  • Sometimes I think I'm the only one who remembers Geriatric Gangrene Ju-Jitsu Gerbils and perhaps that's for the best, but here's a page devoted to the Gerbils and other Ninja Turtle knock-offs.
  • The Guardians of Justice and O-Force prove that even if you can afford color printing it isn't an acceptable substitute for a knowledge of perspective and anatomy.
  • For several examples of godawful self-published 80s comics, give this a spin.
WARNING: After viewing the above links crack open your copy of Watchmen to give the 80s a sense of balance and to hopefully keep you from sandpapering out your eyes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

BLOGS THAT ROCK - Temple of Schlock

I can't believe it took me this long to realize Temple of Schlock has a blog. The Temple was the first film fanzine I remember ever seeing back in the late 80s and I discussed my fond memories of it and zines in general a few years ago. Temple of Schlock was born in Syracuse, NY in July of 1987 and was a cut and paste xeroxed affair, examining the best grindhouse swill of the period.

The blog version carries on that fine tradition with features like "Lost and Not Found" which covers exploitation flicks that have fallen off the map and "This Week on 42nd Street" gives a glimpse at what movies were playing on The Deuce thirty or so years ago. I particularly liked the piece on Twisted Nightmare, a slasher movie from 1988. Chris Pogialli reprints his original review and follows it with several paragraphs on the actual experience of going to see the film at The Harris in New York City. Great stuff.

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