Issue #94, and I don't know why that I can still remember, of “The Comics Buyer's Guide” or the “CBG” as it was referred to became a weekly appearance in my mail box. I'm sure this is where I heard about the “RBCC” 'zine tho and sent off to get some back issues, and discovered the work of Mike Zeck.
The “CBG” was a tabloid sized newspaper, had a cover by usually a fan artist, or other artist who might just be about ready to break into the biz, and covered comic news and had ads for everything else dealing with comic books. I really enjoyed the day it appeared each week, as I could go thru it and read what was happening in the industry, see art, read ads for old comics, and stuff for sale. The classifieds were always filled with things of interest. Here is where I found the first 'small' publisher I picked up a book from. His name was Tim Corrigan.
“Tim Corrigans' Superhero Comics”
I can't remember which issue I picked up first, but Tim had a very Kirbyesque style, and some interesting characters he had created. One of them being “Elastic Worm!”
There was one issue of Tim's homemade comics that I had, which ran a story called “The Messenger.” This was not a story written or drawn by Tim, but by another guy, Jerry Ordway.
Some of you may have heard of him? [ if not, he's writing a blog ]
[ During this time, I did get a short, I think 5-6 page story published by Tim Corrigan titled; “Spy Smasher” and it's best we just let that one sit and move on... ]
Jerry's art seemed so mature and well crafted to my eyes. I couldn't believe this guy was working in a fanzine and not at Marvel or DC.
There was an ad for his own comic he published under the name of “Okay Comix!”
Jerry's work impressed me so much, I had to order his comics. I wrote a letter to him and put it in an envelope and gave it to my mother to send. My mother worked in a contract post office in a pharmacy, she would mail things for me during this time. It was fast and convenient.
I waited for about a month to get my copy of Jerry's “Okay Comix” and it never showed up in the mail.
After the wait, I decided I needed to write Jerry and ask him where my book was. I believe I asked him why he would 'steal' a kids money, not knowing that Jerry himself was only 3 years older than me. He wrote back with the book and a letter that today is quite funny, but at the time wasn't.
Being the kind person he is, Jerry sent the book with a letter stating that my mother had included a note of her own, stating that she had either forgot to put the money in the letter for the book, or I hadn't given her enough to cover all the postage and the money for the book.
Now, I don't believe if I was a few cents short my mother wouldn't cover it for me, and I don't believe [ at least now! ] Jerry would have stiffed me for less than a dollar.
I contacted Jerry before finishing this post to see if his memory could recall, asked my mother if she remembered anything else about the incident, but we all came up blank.
Anyway, point it, for some reason, the money didn't get to Jerry and I wrote a nasty letter to him, and got my books!
Thankfully, Jerry and I are still friends to this day, and have be acquainted with one another since the seventies, perhaps around 1974? A long time, a lot of fun and friendship.
I think Jerry was my first regular contact with another 'fan artist'. We exchanged many letters over the following years. Sadly, all of my correspondence from those early years, I threw out when I moved to Orlando in 1990. I had a drawer full of letters and old 'zines, that looking back would have been nice to have for this blog.
I was lucky enough to ink Jerry on 8 or 9 issues of “Adventures of Superman” sometime in the 80's. I'll get into those, and the hi-jinx behind some of the other stuff Jerry and I did, such as a phone “radio” show, left on the answering machine, to our beloved editor Mike Carlin, during that time!
I'm going to try for a Wednesday weekly post. Topics might run into each other, or I might choose to jump around. I could continue with Jerry for months, but want to cover some other territory to give you readers, an overall view of the early years of “my” fan life and professional work.
I think next week I'll get into some of the other fan artists' at the time, many became working professionals.
See you again on next Wednesday!