Chris and Reggie’s Cosmic Treadmill
Weird Comics History, Episode 13: Underground Comix, Part Two

Weird Comics History, Episode 13: Underground Comix, Part Two

May 31, 2017

This week Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) fire up their lava lamps and visit the 1960s and 70s in part two of a history of Underground Comix! This biography-heavy episode details the careers and impact of such Comix luminaries as Robert Crumb, art spiegelman, and Trina Robbins--and many more! We also trace the rise and fall of the scene and talk about a particular Underground Comic that was published by Marvel! Join us as we journey to a work of plasticine porters and looking-glass ties--and really weird comic books!




A History of Underground Comix by James Estren, Ronin Publishing, 1974

Comic Book Creator #5,
Spring 2014, "The Comix Book Life of Denis Kitchen" pg. 34-79



The Best of Comix Book by James Vance and Denis Kitchen, Kitchen Sink Books, 2013

Amazing Underground Comix Resource


Excerpt from Arena: The Confessions of Robert Crumb, British Broadcasting Corporation, 1987

TAGS: comics history, underground comix, Robert Crumb, art spiegelman, Trina Robbins, Bill Griffith, Vaughn Bode, Gilbert Shelton, 1960s, San Francisco, Denis Kitchen, Topps Trading Cards, head shops, far out

Weird Comics History, Episode 12: Underground Comix, Part One

Weird Comics History, Episode 12: Underground Comix, Part One

May 30, 2017

Grab your pickaxes and mining helmets, this week Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) uncover the seedy underbelly of comics history! First, a detailed look at Tijuana Bibles and a sadistic sex comic drawn by Superman co-creator, Joe Shuster. Then we take a long look at the careers of satirist and publisher Harvey Kurtzman and talented yet tragic Wally Wood, including their independently-produced works that would be so influential to a generation of comics creators. Will the reason behind the "X" in "comix" be revealed? You'll have to listen to find out!


Will Eisner speaks well of Harvey Kurtzman at the Dallas Fantasy Fair on July 5, 1990

Tijuana Bibles: Art & Wit in America's Forbidden Funnies, 1930s to 1950s by Bob Adelman (Simon & Schuster, 1994)

Vintage Tijuana Bible Library (WARNING: VERY NSFW)

The Incredible True Story of Joe Shuster's Nights of Horror

Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America by Bill Schelly (Fantagraphics, 2015)

Humbug (2 volume set) by Harvey Kurtzman, et al. (Fantagraphics, 2008)

Trump: The Complete Collection by Harvey Kurtzman et al. (Dark Horse Books, 2016)

witzend (2 volume set) by Wallace Wood et al. (Fantagraphics, 2014)

TAGS: comics history, comic book history, underground comix, harvey kurtzman, wally wood, tijuana bibles, bazooka joe, joe shuster, humbug, trump, witzend, help!, american history, pop culture history
Cosmic Treadmill, Episode  41 - Manifest Destiny #1 (2013)

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 41 - Manifest Destiny #1 (2013)

May 28, 2017

Circle the wagons and prepare for American history when Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) read a more recent comic about a much older time: Skybound Comics' Manifest Destiny #1 by Chris Dingess and Matthew Roberts! There's scant biographical information about the creators, but plenty of information about the expedition of Lewis and Clark, of which they go into great detail. Then, our fellas read through the entire first issue of Manifest Destiny and do their best not to offend too many folks from the United Kingdom, or Australia, or both. After revealing some secrets of the Oregon Trail, Chris and Reggie talk about the comics history of comics, and then list some other works of comic book historical fiction that we happen to like. Listening to this episode constitutes thirty percent of your final grade, so you don't want to miss it!


Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 23 - Batman #681 (R.I.P.)

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 23 - Batman #681 (R.I.P.)

May 25, 2017

 As requested by esteemed comics enthusiast Matches Balone, Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) read Batman #681 from 2008! They give some details on writer Grant Morrison and penciller Tony S. Daniel, and provide a synopsis of the entire Morrison run on Batman that led to this issue--and beyond! They also speculate on the true identity of Batman's nemesis Doctor Simon Hurt, a character we may never see again. Join us for the monumental death of Batman...then his resurrection, then his death again, and another resurrection!



TAGS: comic books, comics history, Batman, Grant Morrison, Tony S. Daniel, DC Comics, biography, Black Glove, Doctor Simon Hurt, Bruce Wayne

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 40 - Captain America #405 (1992) “CAPWOLF!”

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 40 - Captain America #405 (1992) “CAPWOLF!”

May 21, 2017

This week, Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) become werewolf hunters when they read issue #405 of Captain America from 1992 by Mark Gruenwald and Rik Levins--"Dances With Werewolves!" Including the usual creator biographies and history of the character, our duo go through every issue of the six-part "Man and Wolf" story arc, paying special attention to issue #405 which contains the emergence of Capwolf! Then they wrap it all up with a cultural and comic book history of werewolves, and list a few other times in comics that heroes were subject to bizarre transformations. You'll want your silver bullets loaded for this one, it's a howler!


BREAK: A snippet from an episode of Mark Gruenwald's public access cable television show from 1984, "Cheap Laffs"

Weird Comics History, Episode 17: The Lives and Times of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

Weird Comics History, Episode 17: The Lives and Times of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

May 18, 2017

Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) talk about the lives and careers of two of comics' greatest luminaries: Joe Simon and Jack "the King" Kirby! They discuss Jack and Joe's respective childhoods right up to the moment they meet, and continue along their whirlwind and somewhat unorthodox paths through comics' Golden Age. Then you'll learn about Kirby's ascendancy to rewrite the way comics were told while Simon quit comics...sort of. They also detail the late lives of the legendary Captain America creators, including the legal battle with Marvel fought by Jack Kirby's estate that was settled very recently! You'll definitely want to learn about these creative powerhouses that changed the comics industry--several times over!


BREAK CLIP: WBAI August 28, 1987 celebration of Jack Kirby's 70th birthday (snippet)


Kirby’s vs. Marvel (2011-2014)

Simon vs. Marvel (2003)

Stan v Jack - Who did what

My Life in Comics by Joe Simon, Titan Books, 2011


TAGS: comics, history, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Marvel Comics, Captain America, Young Romance, romance comics, Fantastic Four, Archie Comics, Harvey Comics, DC Comics, Challengers of the Unknown, New Gods, Kamandi, Thor, the Hulk

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 39 - Green Lantern #51 (1994)

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 39 - Green Lantern #51 (1994)

May 14, 2017

This week, Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) stay chill while recounting the origin story of Kyle Rayner in Green Lantern vol. 3 #51 by Ron Marz and Daryll Banks! After some creator biographies and some catch up with the character and the story leading up to this momentous issue, they detail the entire comic book, including Kyle's ultra-hip lingo. After a break, C & R get to the real juicy stuff: how Peter Gabriel influenced the creation of Kyle Rayner, and a little salacious murder...most refrigerated! Not to be missed!


Thanks to V. Ken Marion for the suggestion!

BREAK: SciFi4Me Interview: Ron Marz at Texas Comic Fest June 13 2015

Weird Comics History, Episode 18: The Strange Story of the Sentry

Weird Comics History, Episode 18: The Strange Story of the Sentry

May 11, 2017

This week, Chris (@AceComics) takes Reggie (@reggiereggie) back to Marvel Comics' 21st Century renaissance to look at a "lost" character: the Sentry! A Superman-esque caped hero designed by Golden Age stalwart Artie Rosen in 1961, but unpublished and quietly shelved. After Rosen's passing, character designs were discovered, and it was up to Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee to bring the Sentry--Marvel's first superhero--into the light of day! They examine the Marvel Knights miniseries and discuss future adaptations of the character. Then, Chris and Reggie discuss some sales figures and whether or not the series was successful. Plus: a special secret surprise! Enjoy!

Golden Age artist Allen Bellman interviewed at Florida SuperCon 2012

In his benevolence, Chris has photographed some important articles and other writing about the Sentry, which can be downloaded here!

TAGS: comics, comic books, history, Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, Artie Rosen, Paul Jenkins, Jae Lee, Rick Veitch, Joe Quesada, the Sentry, Watchdog, Fantastic Four, Reed Richards, the Hulk, X-Men, Archangel, Angel, Warren Worthington

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 38 - ElfQuest #1 (1978)

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 38 - ElfQuest #1 (1978)

May 7, 2017

Hail and fare well! This week Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) dig into the self-published classic comic ElfQuest #1 by Richard and Wendy Pini from 1978! First, we learn a little about the weird comics historian himself, Chris, and his connection to the ElfQuest series. Then, after a little bio of the married creative team, they describe the entire first issue--and continue detailing the entire story of the First Quest! Then our stalwart adventurers unravel the publishing history of ElfQuest and where you can find evidence of the series outside of their own book. It all wraps up with a look at other married creative couples in comic books, and how you can go read ElfQuest online--for FREE!


Chris reviews ElfQuest 25th Anniversary:


From 1993, at Los Angeles' Golden Apple comic shop, an excerpt from "Sci-Fi Buzz" tv show which aired on the Sci-Fi Channel from 1993-98. There's a brief interview with Wendy and Richard Pini, and bits and pieces from the Golden Apple appearance from the "Fantasy with Teeth Tour".

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 26 - Boris the Bear #1 (1986)

Cosmic Treadmill, Episode 26 - Boris the Bear #1 (1986)

May 4, 2017

Chris (@AceComics) and Reggie (@reggiereggie) take a trip through comicdom's murky, finger-stained past to read Boris the Bear #1 from 1986! They'll describe every gory detail of the book, then attempt to put the comic in context by detailing the post-TMNT black & white comic book explosion! All that and a few creator bios. Turn off your Care Bear stare while listening to this episode!

Requested by Joe Crawford -

BREAK AUDIO: The Bootleg Universe Pitch Show: Nimrod Antal's Boris the Bear (excerpt)

TAGS: comics, history, Boris the Bear, Dark Horse Comics, Mike Richardson, James Dean Smith, Randy Stradley, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rambo, Ewoks, Usagi Yojimbo, black & white comics, comic book speculation, 1980s

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