One of the magazines I read as a youngster was Epic Illustrated. That was Marvel Comics’ answer to Heavy Metal. While the latter was more graphic in terms of sex or even gore, the former told better stories.
The previously unexpurgated Cholly and Flytrap (that seemed so lame when collected later on for Radical Comics) was subversive. That was my introduction to the artwork of Arthur Suydam.
They had the Sacred and the Profane by Dean Motter and Ken Steacy that was about extraterrestrial colonization with the Church playing a big role as they did during the voyages of discovery during the colonization era. Only now, Earth people were colonizing alien cultures. Amazing and highly imaginative story that was ahead of its time.
It had Young Cerebus by David Sim.
There was Rick Veitch’s Abraxas and the Earthman about a man abducted by space-borne whalers and hunts for the monstrous space whale Abraxas.
And there was Alan Zelentz and Charles Vess’ The Raven Banner; a story of Marvel’s Asgard but dealt with a young Asgardian who carried the Raven Banner to war. This story was my introduction to Vess’ artwork that I have loved and tried to collect since. I was able to get the graphic novel but have since lost it to calamity.
And there was another favorite, Marada The She-Wolf by Chris Claremont and John Bolton. This was Claremont’s answer to Red Sonja with gorgeous painted art by John Bolton. My only grip is that Claremont never did learn to give different voices to different characters he wrote. Marada The She-Wolf for all its sword and sorcery, it’s dialogue read like a conversation between Charles Xavier, Kitty Pryde, Storm, and Wolverine. That in my opinion prevent me from totally enjoying the series. Nevertheless, I also got the graphic novel. I just purchased a better copy from My Comic Shop replacing the one I have lost to a typhoon.
I have since gotten the collected Cholly and Flytrap from Radical. A new copy of Marada. The Raven Banner is proving tough to get. And hopefully, I can get The Sacred and the Profane soon.
In recent months, I have been buying back comics that I used to have and loved as a kid. I got the Captain America Omnibus, Madbomb that saw the return of Jack Kirby to Marvel where he not only drew but also wrote Cap stories during the American Bicentennial.
I also got the first trade paperback of Bill Willingham’s The Elementals. This, along with Mike Baron’s and Steve Rude’s Nexus from First Comics where titles that always drew my attention because they seemed so different from anything that Marvel and DC were doing. There were only two stories in Manila then that sold The Elementals – Filbar’s, but they only ordered like less than five copies, and this shop whose name escapes me but it was in Greenhills and the books were pricier than your average Marvel/DC title. I never did get them until much later.
But I am happy getting back parts and pieces of my younger days.