Monday, April 26, 2010
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.