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Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Old 07-22-15, 02:08 PM
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Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

I'm looking to pick up war-themed comic books from the 1950s-to-mid '60s. I don't want to pay much for them. I have some of the EC reprints like "Two-Fisted Tales" and "Frontline Combat." And I've got a Charlton war comic from the '60s, but I forget what the title is. Plus, I've got a ton of Sgt. Fury comics in storage. I'm not sure if I have any Sgt. Rock in storage. My memories of the era tell me that Sgt. Rock and Sgt. Fury were the best war comics. I remember liking "Star Spangled War Stories" because they had dinosaurs in every issue. But I'm looking for the more generic war comics, WWII or Korean War--no fantasy elements--in the hopes of finding some really spectacular artwork and design hidden in them.

What's the best store in New York to go and actually browse old comics? Jim Hanley's in Midtown used to have a big section like this, but ever since they moved to a much smaller space on East 32nd Street, I'm hesitant to go there. I can walk to Midtown Comics on 7th Ave. and 40th St., so I'll try that place, but I've never browsed through old comics there.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

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Old 07-23-15, 11:05 AM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

DC has released several "war" Showcase B&W reprints: "The War that Time Forgot" (reprints the dinosaur stories you mentioned above), "Our Army at War", "Sgt. Rock," "The Unknown Soldier," and "Men of War." They've also published several Sgt. Rock Archive Editions (higher priced color reprints) if you want to spend a lot more. Marvel has printed at least one "war" Essential: "Sgt Fury and His Howling Commandos," along with a few Sgt. Fury Masterworks (higher priced color reprints).

I'd suggest looking for DC's books from the '60s-'70s, especially Our Army at War/Sgt. Rock, but that's just my personal preference for the stories and art (Russ Heath, John Severin, Joe Kubert).

If you're looking for accuracy in depictions of planes, tanks, etc., look for DC stories drawn by Russ Heath.
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Old 07-23-15, 11:13 AM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Kanigher-Kubert is my go-to war team, but they're a little later than what you mentioned. In addition to the ones Dimension X mentioned, I like The Haunted Tank (a bit of fantasy, I guess, but not affecting the action) and Enemy Ace (WWI). When I was reading in Showcase format, Haunted Tank got really repetitive, less so Unknown Soldier (I guess because his different identities offer variety). Rock can be repetitive too ("Nothin's easy in Easy Co.!").
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Old 07-23-15, 11:42 AM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
Kanigher-Kubert is my go-to war team, but they're a little later than what you mentioned.
They started doing Sgt. Rock in the late '50s, so it does fit his time frame (he'd just miss out on a lot of quality stuff from the late '60s and early to mid-'70s if he sticks to that time frame).
Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
In addition to the ones Dimension X mentioned, I like The Haunted Tank (a bit of fantasy, I guess, but not affecting the action) and Enemy Ace (WWI). When I was reading in Showcase format, Haunted Tank got really repetitive, less so Unknown Soldier (I guess because his different identities offer variety). Rock can be repetitive too ("Nothin's easy in Easy Co.!").
Enemy Ace!
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Old 07-23-15, 12:23 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by Dimension X View Post
They started doing Sgt. Rock in the late '50s, so it does fit his time frame (he'd just miss out on a lot of quality stuff from the late '60s and early to mid-'70s if he sticks to that time frame).
Nice! I didn't start to read war comics till the '80s so I don't really have a sense of when they were written (other than Sgt. Fury), and of course it's not like there's a clear chronological progression when they're period pieces.

Originally Posted by Dimension X View Post
Enemy Ace!
I need to read my Showcase!
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Old 07-23-15, 12:23 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

I went to Midtown Comics last night. They had some b&w reprints, but I'm not interested in those. They did have the color reprint bound volume of "Enemy Ace" for $49.95, but I hadn't heard of that series before, so I decided to hold off until I did further research. But in their back issues department, they didn't seem to have any war comics. In their display case of vintage back issues at high prices, they had a "Sgt. Fury" for $120. (I probably have that issue.) And they had "Star Spangled War Stories" issues for about $60 each, more than I wanted to pay even if it had been exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I'm gonna wait till the next comics show in Manhattan and just visit dealers' tables to see what they've got in individual issues.
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Old 07-23-15, 12:28 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

I hope you can find some cheap floppies. It's true that the reprint market tends to be the B&W Showcase variety, presumably because the demand is low.
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Old 07-23-15, 01:26 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
Nice! I didn't start to read war comics till the '80s so I don't really have a sense of when they were written (other than Sgt. Fury), and of course it's not like there's a clear chronological progression when they're period pieces.
I got back into comics, after a few years away, in the '80s. I don't think I'd really read war comics before then, but that was a great time for grabbing back issues out of 5-for-a-dollar boxes. War comics weren't much in demand, and I ended up with every Sgt. Rock appearance from Our Army at War #81 up, with only a few costing me more than a buck.
Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
I need to read my Showcase!
I was about to say Enemy Ace appeared in Our Army at War and Star Spangled War Stories too, but then I realized you were talking about the B&W Showcase, not the old comic book.
Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I went to Midtown Comics last night. They had some b&w reprints, but I'm not interested in those. They did have the color reprint bound volume of "Enemy Ace" for $49.95, but I hadn't heard of that series before, so I decided to hold off until I did further research. But in their back issues department, they didn't seem to have any war comics. In their display case of vintage back issues at high prices, they had a "Sgt. Fury" for $120. (I probably have that issue.) And they had "Star Spangled War Stories" issues for about $60 each, more than I wanted to pay even if it had been exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I'm gonna wait till the next comics show in Manhattan and just visit dealers' tables to see what they've got in individual issues.
I get why you don't want the B&W reprints, but that's never bothered me much, or at least I got over it when I first started getting the Russ Cochran EC reprints back in the '80s. If you have to have color, you can check ebay and used book stores for used copies of Archives or Masterworks (like the $49.95 hardbound book you saw). I've also seen comic book dealers selling some of them for "used prices" (not "collector's" prices), but that was several years ago.

Edit: "Sgt. Rock Archives" on ebay. There are a couple of $19.99 "Buy It Now" copies there.

Another Edit: If you don't mind reading comics on your computer (or tablet, or e-reader, or phone, etc.), you can find a bunch of public domain comics from the '40s and '50s online. Here's Charlton's Fightin' Army and Fightin' Marines at two different sites.

Last edited by Dimension X; 07-23-15 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 07-23-15, 04:04 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by Dimension X View Post
I got back into comics, after a few years away, in the '80s. I don't think I'd really read war comics before then, but that was a great time for grabbing back issues out of 5-for-a-dollar boxes. War comics weren't much in demand, and I ended up with every Sgt. Rock appearance from Our Army at War #81 up, with only a few costing me more than a buck.

I was about to say Enemy Ace appeared in Our Army at War and Star Spangled War Stories too, but then I realized you were talking about the B&W Showcase, not the old comic book.

I get why you don't want the B&W reprints, but that's never bothered me much, or at least I got over it when I first started getting the Russ Cochran EC reprints back in the '80s. If you have to have color, you can check ebay and used book stores for used copies of Archives or Masterworks (like the $49.95 hardbound book you saw). I've also seen comic book dealers selling some of them for "used prices" (not "collector's" prices), but that was several years ago.

Edit: "Sgt. Rock Archives" on ebay. There are a couple of $19.99 "Buy It Now" copies there.

Another Edit: If you don't mind reading comics on your computer (or tablet, or e-reader, or phone, etc.), you can find a bunch of public domain comics from the '40s and '50s online. Here's Charlton's Fightin' Army and Fightin' Marines at two different sites.
Those last two links are great and just what I'm looking for. Thanks!
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Old 07-23-15, 04:20 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
Those last two links are great and just what I'm looking for. Thanks!
I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. I was thinking about linking those sites in the "Can anyone recommend some good crime and western comics?" thread, but I decided that poster was looking for new stuff, then I promptly forgot about it minutes later when I read this thread.

After you finish reading all those, look around those sites, because Charlton published a couple dozen (I'm guessing) different war titles, and of course there are war titles from other companies too (not to mention sci-fi, horror, crime...). It's a great time-waster.

Edit: Here, this comic seems right up your alley.

Last edited by Dimension X; 07-23-15 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 07-23-15, 04:57 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

This forum rocks. It's great to have so many helpful people here.
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Old 07-24-15, 03:48 AM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

I was just looking over my shelves and ran across another series that might be of interest, though again it's from the '70s--The Losers, again written by Kanigher. (It was rebooted about 10 years ago, and that was the basis of the movie.)

The volume I have covers Kirby's limited run, but it ran 150 issues before that. Kubert did covers but not the interior art.

Disclaimer that I haven't read my Kirby volume, and I've probably read only enough of the original Losers to be familiar with the basic characters.

Cover image spoilered for awesomeness (and size too):

Spoiler:


And yes, these two covers have similar themes/moods. When I googled, there were probably six more of the same type. Hey, I already said war comics of this era were sometimes repetitive.




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Old 07-24-15, 08:37 AM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
I was just looking over my shelves and ran across another series that might be of interest, though again it's from the '70s--The Losers, again written by Kanigher. (It was rebooted about 10 years ago, and that was the basis of the movie.)

The volume I have covers Kirby's limited run, but it ran 150 issues before that. Kubert did covers but not the interior art.

Disclaimer that I haven't read my Kirby volume, and I've probably read only enough of the original Losers to be familiar with the basic characters.
The comic had run 150 issues, but The Losers weren't in all of those. The Losers didn't start as a feature in Our Fighting Forces until issue #123 (according to Wikipedia). Gunner & Sarge were OFF characters earlier than that though.

Edit: Here are a few covers showing the members of The Losers in their individual features, and one Loser cover (with Pooch) to even things out.

Spoiler:


I'm pretty sure Storm was the only one to have his own comic. I found a DC wiki site that says The Losers first appeared as a group in a Haunted Tank story in G.I. Combat #138. If I'd found that sooner, I would've used that cover as the fourth one.

Last edited by Dimension X; 07-24-15 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 07-25-15, 10:55 AM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by Dimension X View Post
The comic had run 150 issues, but The Losers weren't in all of those. The Losers didn't start as a feature in Our Fighting Forces until issue #123 (according to Wikipedia). Gunner & Sarge were OFF characters earlier than that though.

Edit: Here are a few covers showing the members of The Losers in their individual features, and one Loser cover (with Pooch) to even things out.

Spoiler:


I'm pretty sure Storm was the only one to have his own comic. I found a DC wiki site that says The Losers first appeared as a group in a Haunted Tank story in G.I. Combat #138. If I'd found that sooner, I would've used that cover as the fourth one.


I've been properly busted for skimming Wikipedia.
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Old 07-25-15, 12:53 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post


I've been properly busted for skimming Wikipedia.
Oh, I wasn't calling you out for checking Wikipedia. I checked it too (as I noted), because it was the first thing Google turned up. I just knew that the characters had there own features in other comics, before they were in The Losers, because I'd read some of the stories (I'm pretty sure I own copies of three of those four comics in my last post - those two Our Fighting Forces and Capt. Storm #1 - I couldn't find a Johnny Cloud cover that looked familiar, so I used that one - of course, I might be mistaken, as you noted earlier in the thread, a lot of those covers tend to look similar). I knew that Our Fighting Forces wasn't always The Losers, but I couldn't've told you when the series started, or anything concrete.

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Old 07-25-15, 01:31 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

The fault was not in checking Wikipedia, but in not checking it carefully before I started tossing numbers around.

I've read smatterings of war comics here and there, but I think the only title I read regularly in floppy was Haunted Tank.
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Old 07-25-15, 02:59 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

I think that the heyday of war comics were in their final days when I was starting comics in the early 70s. I remember owning a few, and particularly liking the Haunted Tank stories. (Am I allowed to admit that in this PC day?)

I've always been OCD about starting series from the beginning, so I think I avoided actually collecting war comics except for the short-lived All-Out War dollar comic series.
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Old 07-25-15, 04:17 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
The fault was not in checking Wikipedia, but in not checking it carefully before I started tossing numbers around.

I've read smatterings of war comics here and there, but I think the only title I read regularly in floppy was Haunted Tank.
Did the Haunted Tank ever have it's own comic, or was it always G.I. Combat (Featuring The Haunted Tank)?

As I mentioned earlier, I was a big Sgt. Rock fan. I only occasionally read the other DC war comics, so most of the Gunner & Sarge and Johnny Cloud stories I read were probably reprints in 80 Page Giants, 100 Page Super-Spectaculars, and/or Dollar Comics.

Oh wait, I also read Weird War pretty regularly, for some reason.

I never really cared for Sgt. Fury (and his Howling Commandos), so I only have a few issues of Sgt. Fury, War is Hell, and whatever other war comics Marvel put out. I much preferred their western comics.

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
I think that the heyday of war comics were in their final days when I was starting comics in the early 70s. I remember owning a few, and particularly liking the Haunted Tank stories. (Am I allowed to admit that in this PC day?)
I don't know about that. I remember buying Sgt. Rock comics into the '80s. Maybe that was the last war comic DC was publishing though. That might explain why I concentrated on collecting just Sgt. Rock.

EDIT: Wikipedia says Sgt. Rock lasted through '88 and G.I. Combat (The Haunted Tank) lasted through '87, so Rock wasn't the only DC war comic for long.

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Sgt. Rock steadily gained popularity, until, in 1977, the name of the comic was changed to Sgt. Rock. The comic ran until Sgt. Rock #422 (July 1988).
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
"The Haunted Tank" was often the cover feature of G.I. Combat and was second only to Sgt. Rock as DC Comics' longest-running war series.
I do think war comics probably became less popular during the '70s because of the Viet Nam war. The ironic thing is that many of the DC war comics at that time were very much anti-war.

Last edited by Dimension X; 07-25-15 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-01-15, 10:41 PM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

I've never read any of the original/classic "Haunted Tank" but I recently read what was including in the New 52 G.I. Combat trade... and that was one of the dumbest comic concepts I've ever read. Was the original that hokey? Or did they just miss the bus completely with the New 52 version?
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Old 08-03-15, 11:08 AM
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Re: Vintage War Comics: best New York source?

Originally Posted by Dimension X View Post
Here are a few covers showing the members of The Losers in their individual features, and one Loser cover (with Pooch) to even things out.

Spoiler:


The cover art on those are awesome.
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