Thursday, October 9, 2014

A New York Comic Con 2014 Moment # 1: Crowd… er, Crown “Jules” – or “What the Huck?”

It was very crowded on Day One of New York Comic Con 2014.  More so than my recollections of previous New York Comic Cons would have me believe. 

Thursday is usual the day to explore and, despite the apparently multiplying multitudes, I was still able to do just that. 

Spent a whole SIXTEEN DOLLARS on EIGHT old comics – including (Heaven help me!) a repurchasing of Charlton’s first issue of HUCKLEBERRY HOUND, for the TWO DOLLARS it is not even worth today. 

I just haven’t had this comic in so many years (Yes, I intentionally expelled it from my collection ages ago!) that, for some unfathomable reason, I wanted to see it again!  

…And now, having seen it again, the reason for purchasing it (both THEN and NOW) becomes all the more unfathomable!

But, on the triple-plus side, I did secure a used copy of the legendary book “The Great Comic Book Heroes” by Jules Feiffer!  

Originally published in 1965, it was one of the (if not “THE”) earliest books about comic books, and was a book I’d heard about all my fannish-life!  My copy was the “First Paperback edition, 1977”, but is a treasure nonetheless… and, being somewhat of a rough copy, went for FOUR DOLLARS, making my TWENTY-DOLLAR DAY, one of the least expensive I have ever spent at a major con! 

This “Great Comic Book Hero” of mine would be proud! 



Chris Barat said...


Heaven certainly didn't help you with that HUCK purchase. I'm guessing "the other side" did. Somewhere, a Marty Ingels-voiced Beelzebub is no doubt cackling gleefully.


Joe Torcivia said...

It's just as horrifying in 2014 as it was in. 1970, Chris.

joecab said...

Dang, I didn't remember seeing bargains like that last time I went. And you sure wouldn't see them at San Diego!

So how "comic book"-y is NYCC still? I'm so afraid the show will descend into the same Hollywood madness as SDCC someday...

Joe Torcivia said...

It's on its way down that road, but still lots of fun.

Dan said...


That photo speaks volumes as to how equal things are getting between Manhattan and San Diego: today and yesterday I've been reading about the increased presence of film and television this year. Still, it's good for NYC that the NYCC is bringing in more income (even better if the participants conduct themselves properly.)

As for the art inside that Charlton issue of Huckleberry Hound... yikes. Looks like Huck produced by the way of Total Television Productions. My educated guess is that figure is actually Shoeshine Boy/Underdog in blue make-up.

Well, Daws Butler was so versatile, I'm sure he could have done a convincing Wally Cox impression ;) - Dan

Joe Torcivia said...


The photo is a stock image from the Internet, but it is fully representative of the situation.

Darned if Charlton's Huck doesn't look a bit like Underdog. Doesn't make me like it more, though.

joecab said...

And check out some of the other incredible bargains you missed:

Joe Torcivia said...

HERE’S JoeCab’s link for easier reading.

Um, I think I’ll stick with my Two-dollar Charlton HUCKLEBERRY HOUND, no matter how wretched it might be.

…Today, I did even better. Bought nothing! But I had a really nice time with friends, though.

Days like this make me wonder if I’ll ever be completely satisfied with the Comic Con experience as a whole. At one time, it was too much about falsely-inflated comic book values. This was especially so for then-modern books that did not “stand the test of time”, like the older ones did – and have little or no such value today.

Now, it’s too much about Hollywood and cosplay. Now, each is a vital and vibrant aspect of the Comic Con experience. I both understand and appreciate that. But, I wish there was a gathering where folks could just show their appreciation for that wonderful art form we call the comic book, sans the outside influences. And comic books would be for sale at fair and reasonable prices, and the sun would shine, and the brooks would babble, and the birds (not of the “Angry” variety) would sing.

Alas, if there’s one lesson to be learned from the likes of THE WALKING DEAD (a huge favorite show of mine, I might add), it is that comic books are now just R&D for Hollywood productions – and, beyond occasionally serving as ancillary merchandise as I hope Disney comics will soon do again, that’s probably all they ever will be.

Still, there’s nothing like the Comic Con experience, even in its current incarnation. And, that should be enjoyed as the great, and completely unique, experience that it is… even if the birds are cosplayers, and the brooks might “babble” with a little more of a Hollywood spin these days.

scarecrow33 said...

I still have my original copy. I guess I keep hoping that some day it will "improve" or at least look better by comparison to something else. It never does.

It's kind of like the movie "Xanadu". As a huge fan of Gene Kelly, I re-watch the movie once every ten or twenty years, hoping I'll see something in it that I didn't see before--that somehow it will evolve into something good. Every time, the experience falls flat. Something bad just can't ever look good, no matter how much one may re-visit it. I appreciate the talent that went into the making of the film, just as I appreciate the character of Huckleberry Hound as originally presented by Hanna-Barbera. But "Xanadu" is always "Xanadu," and those H-B Charltons don't improve with age, either.

At least my hopeful optimism remains.

Glad you're enjoying the comic-con. Looking forward to more anecdotes and surprises. Have a truly great time this weekend!

Joe Torcivia said...

In a way, Scarecrow, Charlton’s HUCKLEBERRY HOUND # 1 (and, by extension, ALL Charlton Hanna-Barbera comic books in general) HAS “improved” in the almost-forty-four-and-a-half years since I first saw it in mid-1970…

…In that I can no longer clearly see all of its horrors without wearing glasses!

Given this rate of “progress”, in another forty-four-and-a-half years, it will have “improved” TWICE as much! Perhaps, to the point of even looking as good as the Harvey Eisenberg-drawn Dell and Gold Key Hucks – at least to my future-feebled perceptions!

Possibly, there might be similar hope for “Xanadu”!

Oh, we’re still having fun… Though, Day Two wasn’t dissimilar enough to Day One to merit a specific post of its own. As I mentioned above, no new purchases (…gotta save SOME money, just in case I’m still around in 2059 to re-read Charlton’s HUCKLEBERRY HOUND # 1 – and Blog / Mentally Cerebro-Cast about the masterwork of comic-dom it has evolved into), and fun with my usual group of friends.

That last thing is what makes it all worthwhile!

Dana Gabbard said...

Well per a press release from IDW they are doing "... multiple monthly series featuring some of the most iconic characters of all time: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and many more! Re-presenting acclaimed comics from the past and today, these series will highlight the best and brightest of Disney’s impressive comic catalogue." Disney comics are back!

Joe Torcivia said...


Yes, that news was released earlier in the week. And, I was going to post on it once more detail might have been released at the Con – and time allowed me to do another post. But, since this is the final day and no additional information has come to light, you may have the honor of breaking the scoop at TIAH Blog.

Also, Saturday was the “FUNNEST” (if that is a word) day yet… and I bought stuff! It was like “days of old”! So, all is right with the world! A post on that to come.

Dana Gabbard said...

I'd like a post with your thoughts on these new Disney monthlies from IDW. What approach do you think they should take?

Joe Torcivia said...

A proper post will be forthcoming, Dana. Once I recover from the fun-overload (…Surely you recall what THOSE DAYS were like! We spent enough of ‘em together in San Diego, after all!) and get back in the daily-job groove.

But, I think you, and most of the folks who gather ‘round here, can guess the approach *I* think they should take. And, because IDW is such a great publisher, I’m optimistic that the outcome will be a good one.

We should also discuss how much pure fun Saturday – and, to a lesser extent, Sunday – was!

Bottom line is I’m thrilled at the IDW Disney news, and had more fun than even *I* expected over the remaining days! More on both to come!

Elaine said...

I can't wait for your post on the IDW Disney news! I just posted on DCF some of my own wish list.

Re: your fantasy ideal ComiCon....Aren't there still smaller, regional comic cons that are close to your vision? It seems to me that the Delaware Comic Con where I last saw Don Rosa (2006, perhaps) came close. Though I think the goal of "affordable comics for sale" is pretty thoroughly undermined by internet sales. Not that I mind that: I've been able to get almost all the comics I want at reasonable prices, either from online stores such as My Comic Shop or from eBays (American and European).

Joe Torcivia said...


My IDW Disney comics post will be up later today! It will directly follow this one. Needless to say, I couldn’t be happier at the prospect of IDW becoming the next publisher, given their track record with other “great licensed characters” as Popeye, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and even Superman and Batman.

Send a link for your own “wish list” to this comment thread. I’m sure lots of us who do not frequent DCF (including me) would like to see it

As for my “fantasy ideal ComiCon”, there seems to be nothing like it anymore in New York. In direct contrast with the ‘90s (at the height of my back-issue buying), when there seemed to be smaller ones in some local place or another, just about every week. …You could throw a stick, dizzy and blindfolded, and hit a back issue show somewhere around NYC every time!

Baltimore was such an “ideal” Con (when last I attended in 2009 or 10), as I’d imagine Delaware to also be, but I have less time for, and less inclination toward, travel of any kind beyond the NYC area, these days.

I will likely discuss this in the “NYCC Moment # 3” post, that will follow the IDW Disney comics post but, remarkably, for a con with the presumed high cost to dealers as I’d expect NYCC to have, over the four days I purchased 57 comics – all but one of which were in the 1 to 3 dollar range! …And with far more “ONES” than “THREES”!

Despite the “eight comics for sixteen dollars first day”, and “no comics second day”, that was the last thing I expected to happen!

Elaine said...

Oops, I meant the Baltimore Comic Con! Maryland, Delaware, it's all down there somewhere on the train to DC....

Here's the post from DCF:

As a survivor of many delays and disappointments on the Disney-comics-in-the-USA front, I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high...but this is exciting news.

I'd agree on the general rule that we need no more Barks or Gottfredson reprints [said by a couple of people earlier on this thread], with the one exception of the Barks stories redrawn by Jippes which we have not seen in English (e.g. the rest of the Barks-written JW stories). In fact, it would be fine to forgo reprints in general. There is PLENTY of great material that has never been printed in the USA; I could easily come up with a list of dozens of stories I would love to see in English. Let's start with a Halloween special: Rota's terrific Nightmare Ship, Laura & Mark Shaw's Pass the Parchment, David Gerstein's The Bard's Tale, Janet Gilbert's All Tricks and No Treats, Rodolphe Jacquette's Fantôme a tous les étages.... Or a Christmas/New Year's issue: Katriens Kerstdiner, The Cake House, Billyum (but give that poor cat a better name, please!), Frank Jonker's Kerstavond, Missing the Mistletoe, and Charlie Martin's A New Year, A New a TPB of Byron Erickson's four-part story on Donald and the traditions of Christmas, which includes a Rosa-compatible depiction of a Christmas celebration in Scrooge's childhood in Scotland.

Best Gladstone: Party of None! Best AMJ: Per Hedman's The Substitutes. Best Bolivar: Viva Bolivar! Best Clarabelle: Le soda se boit sec. Best Goofy: Pippo e la Banda Tris. Best Grandma Duck: Bananas; On the Run; The Case of the Hungry Thief. Best Helper: Little Helper Lost. Best Daisy (and best Scarpa, for an American sensibility): Paperin Hood (already ably translated by GeoX!). This is all just off the top of my head. None ever published in the USA. Let's hire some good localizer-dialoguists and get moving!

end quote

I don't know how much this will mean to y'all who haven't seen any of the stories I'm recommending.... I mostly just included creators' names when the title alone would not be enough to find the story on INDUCKS, but creators' names are available on request. But note my call for hiring good localizer-dialoguists!

Of course, I'd also love it if they would commission *new* stories by Americans, or Canadians or others, for Americans! I'm envisioning, say, a TPB of great lake monster stories through the years (I could give you a list!), featuring a new story where Disney characters encounter Champ, the monster of Lake Champlain. Maybe by Dave Rawson? He wrote one fine New England-based story (Vacation Brake). I do think TPB collections would be fine places for a mixture of new-to-the-USA stories and reprints, a la the Disney Treasures books.

Joe Torcivia said...


I will certainly second your endorsement of the Baltimore Comic Con, assuming it’s not gone “All-Mega-Hollywood” like San Diego, in the last few years! …And, what the heck – even if it HAS, it’s a great show!

Needless to say, I also second your call for “hiring good localizer-dialoguists” for all the obvious reasons! :-)

Alas, somehow I feel we’ll never see much (if anything at all) from new American creators. But, I can live with that, if all the other criteria are met.