Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Ghost And The Grail!

I'm not much collecting particular back issues anymore. I've gotten most of the comics that I've really hankered for over the decades. That doesn't mean there aren't others I'd get if I found them, especially nice-priced Charlton books from time to time. But I'm not really casting about for special books.

Save for one.

1967's Space Ghost #1 from Gold Key has been my grail comic for a few years now, the one I always look for. And yesterday I got hold of one.

It's not an ideal issue, but then I rarely get those, preferring a solid reading sample of a classic bit of history.

As luck had it, I'm visiting my girls and took the opportunity to check out a local comic shop, The Great Escape which just happened to be having a 30% off sale. I was looking for a particular trade, which they didn't have, when I spotted the Space Ghost comic on the wall. I don't see them very often, if at all, and always at a price that brings tears to my eyes. This one was priced nicely and after confirming 30% was coming off I knew I had to act.

I snapped it up and I'm eager to get it home where in a controlled environment I can break out the book and give it a good reading. The artwork by Dan Spiegle is lush as usual for the overlooked veteran. He did the artwork in the Big Little Book adaptation of Alex Toth's Space Ghost, a book I've cherished since my boyhood. And it's nice to have his other great Space Ghost contribution at long last.

Now what do I look for?

UPDATE: I just finished reading the issue of Space Ghost, and it was pretty entertaining. Clearly this comic was done at an early stage of production in the cartoon as Zorak looks somewhat different. Also there is mention made in both Space Ghost stories of a mysterious "Teacher" who trained Space Ghost. This Teacher is shown in the second story as a disembodied voice within a bright light.

A further difference seems to be that Space Ghost can not only become invisible but teleport himself. This is not a talent he had in the cartoon that I remember and he does it in both stories in the comic, and it's even remarked upon in the second by his opponents as something they need to anticipate.

All in a very satisfying read, which offered up even a good Dino Boy story which actually worked for me.

Rip Off


  1. Congratulations! I can well understand your pursuit of this item.

    Also: what a great cover! I like a comic book cover that isn't embarrassed to say "Look, potential reader, exciting things happen inside these pages and you will be entertained when you read it!" Honestly, these days it's like they actually don't want anyone to buy comics, and design covers to be as boring and unenticing as possible. (Signed, a bitter old man.)

  2. They're ashamed they've produced a comic book. They wanted to appear to be some sort of "art" project or something.

    Modern covers by and large are pitiful, lacking dynamics and blurring into one another month after month.

    Oh and thanks!

    Rip Off

  3. I got this issue back in 1996 as a Wedding present from a friend who ran a comic shop. Though he is uncredited, Dan Spiegle provided the artwork in that particular issue. I also enjoyed seeing the cape look transparent in the panels! That's not something that you got a sense of on the animated show. Zorak's look in the comic threw me at first, which makes me wonder if Spiegle wasn't privy to his model sheets. Regardless, this is a great comic!

    Another fantastic comic that's a great companion comic to own is the 1964 Gold Key issue of JONNY QUEST. It's possible that some of the art could be by Spiegle and some might be by Doug Wildey, the show's creator.

    Thanks for sharing, Rip!

    Loston Wallace


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