Flight Plan

THE COMIC READER, VOL. 1, #104 (March 1974)

Edited and published by Jerome Sinkovec; Edited by Michael Tiefenbacher; New York Reporter, David Finger; Fanzine reviews written by Liam O'Connor; and founded by Jerry Bails
"THE COMIC READER is published monthly by Street Enterprises, P.O. Box 255, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, 5301. Phone: (414) 251-6933. Printed by Falls Publishing Co. Entire contents (C) Copyright 1974 by Street Enterprises. All rights reserved."

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Click on the images to get a bigger version

Imagine my joy when I saw Hans on the cover of this zine--I had never heard of the Comic Reader before, and I was gobsmacked that here was a zine that had a nifty Thorne cover!

Then I got the fanzine in my hands and well, I was disappointed a bit, haha. I thought maybe there would be more about the comic inside or a short Thorne interview, but no, turns out that this was more of a news type of zine.

Usually I like to do a little bit of background context research and writeup before I show any artifact--but TCR has so much of it written up by other fans, that I shall link them to you instead. Feel free to read before reading my thoughts (or not, I'm not your mother).

WOWEE ZOWIE. That's a lot, ain't it? Tends to happen when you're dealing with fandom history and all that.

As I said up above, I was a teensy disappointed when I received the fanzine from eBay (for very cheap, thankfully)--I was expecting something where there would be more analysis of Hans and/or war comics. Perhaps even a themed issue of, well, war comics. Instead, it's like a mix between Wizard magazine and The Comic Buyer's Guide. The only mention made of Hans is on the first page, where the editors indicate that the cover was created to promote Thorne's story with Hans and Steve (Balloon Buster). I'll take it, though, since it's a very good cover.

It's pretty funny (to me) that I did the Leo pointing meme at the header font used in this zine--it's Marcellus, you can get it for free here--but overall, it does have interesting bits of news from publishing lines that I've never heard of, like Red Circle. It also has something that I wish was still a thing (and would be nice if it came back!): fanzine reviews!

The fanzines in question are AMORA and Realm. Can't find a lot of info on them, and the Comic Art Fans gallery for AMORA is, uh, only available to see if you have an account due to 18+ work. Yeesh!

Newtype (Japan) used to have doujinshi reviews in their fanart section back in the day. (I'm not sure if they still do, I stopped importing them back in the mid 2000s.) It's something I really liked reading! Now to be fair to modern fandom spaces...uh, yeah, I have no idea, y'all. Seems that the idea of maintaining a community and giving back to it is considered cringe and lame nowadays, because we just have to keep up with the latest instead. It will surprise you or not, depending on how old or young you are, that in my experience, if you have enough old fans (in age) in your Discord servers or general community, OR are a community dedicated to media that's older than 2007, this actually isn't that hard to do this kind of fandom activity. Heck, the Serial Experiments Lain community have decided to make their own little weird space that's working out just fine! And I'm pretty sure most of 'em are zoomers!

But I digress ^_^;; (Also, the last two links are seizure-friendly, so avoid if you're epileptic.)

I still wish this zine was something else, but at the same time, this is really cool to have and to hold in my hands. Plus, again, nice Frank Thorne art and nifty stuff inside. I uploaded the entire issue up on the Internet Archive, both at 600 dpi and 1200 dpi, in JPG and PNG formats. You can download it over there or read it below! Please work, please work, please work--


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