Thursday, August 18, 2005

Comic Book Feature: Superboy's Workshop

Silver Age comics were a lot more fun than the ones published today. In each issue a kid not only got about 3 full stories, but also was exposed to science fun-facts, dioramas they could put together, mini-gag comics and my favorite, the Public Service Announcements. Some of the entries would lead to at least the partial destruction of the comic, something that makes me cringe. As a collector, anyone who does not check a back issue for damage is a fool. It is especially critical to check to make sure the Fun Stamps that were produced in the Marvel titles during the 1970's are intact.

Here is a craft project entry for a feature known as Superboy's Workshop from Superboy #64, 1958.



















Since this issue was published back in pre-history before good copy machines, putting this toy together caused some destruction of the book. As a kid I always copied the coupons when sending away for stuff but I doubt many others did likewise for this craft project. If you feel nostalgia for things like this and want to do this project with your own kids the image is big enough to print if you click on it.

For those curious, in making Tumbling Clown from the original book the first page for the cover story The Rebel Super-Dog would be ruined. No great loss. The best thing about that story is what Lana Lang says to Krypto on the splash page...



The cover to Superboy #64 also has the worst rendering of Krypto's face I have ever seen. He looks like a 1930's cartoon character that should be hanging out with Betty Boop.



In that story is also this...



I really hope no one tried this with a couch cushion and dad's pistol. In reality, successfully following the comic book instructions for the Tumbling Clown is a bit less complex than making an effective bullet-proof jacket for your dog.

While market forces like public or government oversight, cost and consumer demand has made most of the non-story features vanish, it still does exist in spirit in product-driven titles like Disney Adventures and others. Except that a similar feature would be a Tumbling Herbie the Love-Bug or something related to whatever film or TV show they were most recently pushing. Nothing wrong with that, but the high ad to low content ratio is why I cancelled my son's subscription to that mag when he was a youngster.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, waah! "Lana stole my super-dog! Lex doesn't like me any more! Voldemort killed my parents!" Suck it up, emo boy, you can deflect bullets and see through locker room walls. Nothing that ever happens to you should ever make anyone feel the slightest degree of pity. You hit the freaking cosmic Powerball ten times over. So what if you got erased from existence for a couple decades and then brought back as a raving loony virgin?

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