Monday, April 26, 2010

Rbcc #29! The one that started it all!

Mere words cannot express the impact the merging of Rocket's Blast and Comicollector would have on fandom. A resource for comic history, buying and selling comics (pre-ebay) and a place where future pros could have their art published and critiqued.
Rockets Blast Comic Collector # 29 (RBCC), 1964, was the premier issue combining Rocket's Blast and Comiccollector together, however it was in name only at first. Inside, the two fanzines are basically separate entities stapled together. This format was originally conceived (in part) to please Jerry Bails who feared his Comicollector fanzine would become lost and no longer have it's own identity. It did, eventually become too cumbersome to print in this fashion and so merged as a full unit. It retained the full name Rocket's Blast Comicollector as a nod to it's origins, however unwieldy it sounded. Gordon Belljohn Love (a.k.a. G.B. Love), who had cerebral palsy did not let the severity of his affliction stop him from publishing Rbcc on a regular basis(a rare occurrence for a fanzine and unheard of for such a run as Rbcc had). I never knew the man personally but have to admire his tenacity in the face of such a hardship. He stayed with it up to issue 112 and gave the reigns over to James Van Hise with 113. Van Hise was 24 at the time and an 'old man' by fanzine standards. He published about 40 issues with the same regularity that Rbcc readers had come to enjoy.
G. B. Love died on January 17, 2001 at the age of 61. Jim Van Hise is alive and well and sells lots of comics and memorabilia on ebay.

Back to this pivotal issue: Sporting a Daredevil cover by Don Fowler (aka Buddy Saunders). Contains an article about Pocket Size Comics by Raymond Miller; a review of Fredrick Pohl's Drunkard's Walk by Bob Harner 3rd; ads for Hero #4 (see image) and The Comic Hero #2; a piece on the waning popularity of Batman by Rick Weingroff; a piece on The DC Group by Bernie Bubnis; "A Word from the New Editor of Comicollector" by G.B. Love; a feature on Blue Streak and Doctor Medusa by Ronn Foss; Black Fury art by Biljo White; "Professional Ponderings" by Bernie Bubnis; LOC by Texas Trio member Larry Herndon). Tons of Gold and Silver Age comic book greatness listed for mere pennies!
I own a copy of this and you couldn't pry it from my cold, dead fingers without a little help from a crowbar!

NEW: Jon Ellis has corrected me on J.B. Love's spelling of his full name and I much appreciate it!  See the comments below.


  1. This was fascinating history and I appreciate your writinng it and for posting so many covers, most of which I had never seen before. I wish Van Hise would put every page of every extant issue of the zine onto a DVD like THE COMPLETE NEW YORKER or ROLLING STONE: COVER TO COVER. It really is a historical documentation of the subculture of fandom. --Gary Peterson (Omaha, NE).

  2. Thanks for the comment! That is a great idea and I would also love to see it happen. The reason I started this blog was because there was NO central spot for early superhero fanzine covers. Nothing!
    Surprised me quite a bit, but the good news is I am back to the blog and will be posting the finish of this set and sooooo much more!
    Hope you are still around!

  3. Hey Cap'n, still enjoying your site here, especially the RBCC related stuff. Just wanted to mention that G.B. Love's name was actually spelled Gordon Belljohn Love (in spite of what keeps getting repeated incorrectly on other sites). I worked for G.B. and was friends with him back in the late 60's and through the mid 70's. I actually asked him what his middle name was while working in the SFCA offices one day...and never forgot that conversation.

    Thanks again for presenting all of these you have larger scans of the early issues available?

  4. Thanks for the info, John! I want this site to jog memories and help clarify facts so anything you (or anyone else) would like to share at anytime is welcome and appreciated.
    I have been accumulating scans for some time and the early RBCCs have been the most elusive for me. The scans I have are slightly larger than the ones posted but not by much. I am always looking so if any better ones show up, I'll post them here as large as possible.
    Feel free to come back and share a story or ten!