Saturday, December 24, 2011

Comics and Christmas Memories

To mark the festive season, I thought it would be interesting to post some comic images from the various toy franchises I've asked Santa Claus for over the years.  

Optimus Prime from Marvel's Transformers Universe #2, January 1987
We start with Transformers, the toyline that kept me the most interested in the 1980s. One of my best Christmases was when Optimus Prime showed up under the tree in 1984, and I still think he's one of the best toys ever designed. Unfortunately, I don't own a lot of TF comics, but if you're looking for an interesting account of the Autobots, Decepticons and Marvel's role in their development, check out the link to Jim Shooter's blog here.  
From Marvel's Transformers #39, April 1988
Star Wars toys were also a staple of Christmases in the 1980s in my house. Here are some images from the Marvel's run which started with A New Hope and ended in the mid-to-late 1980s. I've also included an image from Dark Horse's reprint of the Archie Goodwin/Al Williamson newsprint run which was collected into 20 issues in the early 1990s and titled Classic Star Wars. Dark Horse bought the licence between 1989 and 1990 (I couldn't uncover an exact date) and has been publishing Star Wars comics ever since.
Splash from Marvel's Star Wars #28,  October 1979
'Jabba the Hut' appears in Star Wars #28, October 1979
From Dark Horse's Classic Star Wars #10,  July 1993
Robotech -- one of the first successful forays of Japanese Manga into the North American market -- is the third group of toys I've included. I was never a big collector of the toys, but remember a great Christmas morning when a Zentradi Battlepod appeared under the tree. The action figure line wasn't of the same quality as Hasbro's GI Joe (which was banned in my house anyway), but I liked the sci-fi and will still watch the show every now and then. 
Splash from Comico's Robotech #19, May 1987
The fold bothers me too. Page from Comico's Robotech #19, May 1987
Robotech comics were published Comico, a small publisher based in Norristown, Pennsylvania. They printed the Macross Saga between 1985 and 1989 but went out of business in 1990. Other comics from other companies have been printed involving the Robotech franchise, but I only followed Macross, so that's all I've included. 

From Comico's Robotech #18, March 1987
From Comico's Robotech #18, March 1987
Finally we have Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. This live-action show had a line of toys which were unique because they involved some of the earliest toy-television interactive play. The show only lasted one season (1987-88) however; probably because it couldn't figure out whether it was an adult program like Star Trek or a kids show like Transformers. 

From Continuity Comics' Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future #1, August 1988
From Continuity Comics' Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future #1, August 1988
Only three issues of the comics were ever published and what's particularly interesting about them is that they were done by Continuity Comics, a company founded by comics great Neil Adams in 1984. This particular issue was drawn by Adams himself and was adapted from a television script by long-time television and comics writer J. Michael Straczynski. One Christmas I got a Lord Dredd's throne and a 'Soaron' figure which was very cool.
From Continuity Comics' Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future #1, August 1988
'Soaron' from Continuity Comics' Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future #1, August 1988
So there you go: a little walk down memory lane before you stuff yourselves with Christmas turkey and chocolate. Thanks again for visiting WGTB and have a very Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. aside from Capt. Power i had just about everything you have in this posting at one time. i saw in your previous posting about the ROM stuff your working on not too mention the other ROM related stuff (i left comments there) you have on your blog. i was just recently contacted by Michael Mantlo (Bill's brother. perhaps we can collaborate a bit? check out my ROM Spaceknight blog and think it over: