Just Newsprint
The Simple Comic Newsletter
Issue #18

Table of Contents
01 Love Them Terrytoons
02 Setting an Example
03 Classic Commercial
04 Bargain Bin Bonanza
05 AOL/Time Warner Deal, What Does it Mean to Comic Fans?
06 Top 10 List
07 Drought is Over!
08 Conclusion

Deputy Dawg, one of the many characters from the Terrytoons studios.

Love them Terrytoons
Ask most people what their favorite cartoon studio is and you will usually get Disney or Warner Bros. A few may say Walter Lanz or even Harvey, but for me it is Terrytoons. Don't get me wrong, I like all the studios, but for some endearing reason, I just really like the Terrytoons. Which brings me to their comics. I am also a big fan of the Terrytoon comics. While they don't hold a candle to the great Duck stories by Barks and Rosa at Disney or some of the early Porky Pig stuff during the 1940's, they have a simple quality to them.

One good thing about Terrytoon books is that the majority of them are very affordable. With the exception of some of the early Heckle & Jeckles and Mighty Mouse and the Deputy Dawg series, they are quite reasonable. Most of the later Terrytoons stuff can be had for a buck or less.

The books are made up of a series of short stories. There are usually about four stories to a book, with a variety of different characters. Heckle & Jeckle, the talking magpies are the most prominent, followed by Mighty Mouse. But there are many other great characters in the Terrytoon library including Deputy Dawg, Gandy Goose, Hector Heathcoat, Sidney the Elephant, Hashimoto-San and others. My personal favorites are Deputy Dawg and Gandy Goose.

The nice thing about Terrytoons is the stories are all self contained and acceptable by any age. While the stories are simple in nature, they take you back to a time when you bought comics for the sole purpose of being entertained and value and condition had no bearing on your purchase. So next time you are in the mood for some quick and enjoyable little stories, then check out the Terrytoons stuff. Remember that man cannot live on Disney alone, no matter what they may want you to think.

Setting an Example
Many comic collectors have small children (where else do future generations of comic fans come from?). While small children and comics don't always mix, I think it is important for people to set a good example for young comic fans. If kids see their parents reading comics, they are going to want to read comics. But you probably don't want your kid reading your books, right? You don't want them to ruin your investment, your nest egg. Get real! What better way to share your love for comics with your children than to enjoy it with them. Now before you call me crazy for suggesting something this radical, read on. I am not suggesting that you give free reign of your collection to your kids, but rather that you set aside some books that they can read. Go to a comic show and browse the bargain bins and get a stack or two of books. Look for some age appropriate stuff.

Even better than giving your kid comics to read is to read the comics to them. What would be nicer than to sit down and read a Mickey Mouse story or an Archie comic? Also buy some bags and boards for the kids and maybe a small comic box. This way you can teach them to care for their books and to put them away when they are done. This way, when they get older, they will be responsible enough to read more of your collection. I mean what are comics for? They are to read and what is better to help encourage reading in kids than comic books?

So take some time and share your hobby. The positive benefits will greatly outweigh any negative ones you can come up with. Next time we will discuss all those action figures that you won't let your kids play with ;)

Classic Commercial
What toy section would have been complete without an ad for the Six Million Dollar Man? This was one of the most popular toys of my youth! Steve Austin, the man who was rebuilt to be stronger and faster is something that fueled the imagination of youths everywhere. He was a superhero without the fancy costume or catchy name.

The toys were actually pretty advanced for the time. You could look through his eye to get long distance vision, peel back his skin to reveal his bionic parts and other neat tricks. This ad not only features the
Six Million Dollar Man (which would be an above average salary for a sports player), but his arch-rival, Maskatron. This was the man of many faces and a name that sounds like he was part of the Transformers. Maybe he was the founder of the legion of robots. It is possible that once Steve Austin stopped him, he was rehabilitated and decided to make robots to help mankind. Nah, too unbelievable.

Unfortunately missing from the ad was my favorite foe of the Six Million Dollar Man series, the Bigfoot. Remember this hairy beast who later befriended Steve? I was on the edge of my seat for that storyline. Anyways, enjoy the ad and think of those glorious days when Steve Austin ruled and I don't mean in wrestling (I am not sure if there is an wrestler named Steve Austin, but it sounds like a name they would use).

Click here to see the ad!

Bargain Bin Bonanza

One of those series that was once very popular, but slinked into obscurity is the Boris the Bear series. For anyone collecting in the 1980's, we all remember the black and white implosion with the thousands of funny animal comics that followed hot on the heels of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Well, one book featured a bear with a very big gun who went and killed all those characters. It was brought out by Dark Horse and to most people, it was a one shot joke that was very funny. What many people don't realize is that it was more than a one shot parody. In fact, it was a whole series of comics. 34 issues to be exact! Quite a run for a one joke book, isn't it.

While the first issue featured Boris blowing away almost every funny animal book out there, later issues had him setting his sights on everyone else in comics. He went after the Transformers, GI Joe, even Superheroes. He would wear different costumes (like Daredevil outfit and even a Blackhawk costume) and keep going and going.

The series ran through two different companies. The first dozen issues were released by Dark Horse (along with reprints of the first few issues called Boris the Bear Color Classics) and the rest by an unknown company called Nicotat. The Nicotat ones are much tougher to find that the Dark Horse, especially the last issues.

The funny thing about this series is that the books are pretty enjoyable. I found myself laughing at every issue I read. And you can now find them very cheap. I sell them on my site for a dollar a piece, a low price for a series that once was red hot. So if you like parody, then check out the Boris the Bear series. They take an era of comics and spoofs it. And the 1980's is an era that deserves some spoofing.

AOL/Time Warner Deal, What Does it Mean to Comic Fans?
One of the most interesting subjects has been the AOL/Time Warner merger. While this will change the internet from a standpoint that it may create a feeding frenzy of other companies to absorb similar companies, what does it mean to the comic world?

While it will be awhile before AOL is able to completely take advantage of all the content available with Time Warner, it will be interesting to see how fast they start including it. Of course to comic fans this means that the DC Comics and Warner Bros cartoons will find homes on AOL. It will be interesting to see what they actually do with all this as they now have a very large (over 22 million and growing) captive audience with AOL.

While DC Comics has had a website for years, will they offer a unique one to AOL subscribers as well as their regular one? Will possible offers of special comics, toys or other promotions be available only on the AOL site? While this may seem far-fetched to you, why not offer things as incentive for people to use the service you offer? They can use this as a way to get more subscribers to AOL, meaning more money.

Another question this raises is what will Marvel do with its AOL site? Will they keep it, knowing they are always going to be second tiered to DC? Do they align with another internet provider or do they stand pat? This will be very interesting to see.

We will have to wait in the coming months to see what this move means in the comic world, if it means anything at all.

Top 10 List
In keeping with the AOL/Time Warner Merger, this Top 10 List is geared towards that. I decided to a list of other possible comic mergers with multimedia companies. Some are possible, some are ridiculous. Who knows if any will come true. If they do, you heard it here first. Look out Jean Dixon!

Top 10 Proposed Mergers from the Swami
10. Archies taken over by Disney/ABC- This gives Disney another avenue to exploit and with them and the Disney properties, they can launch a new comic line as well as make Archie live action movies and cartoons for the Disney Channel.

09. Hustler buys Verotek comics-Who else would want this disgusting company? It would be one pig swallowing another.

08. Microsoft buying Disney-What other company is big enough to do this? Imagine the possibilities with such a strange union?

07. Hasbro buys Marvel-They are on a buying spree and this would allow them to make the Marvel toys without having to pay royalties. Plus, they have a division for making computer and video games, they can really milk this property.

06. Hasbro buys McFarlane Properties-They are buying everything else up lately, so why not? They could add this property to the hundreds of other companies they own.

05. McFarlane Properties buys Dark Horse-Todd could walk from Image and take over this company. This could also possibly give him access at getting toy deals with some of the properties that Dark Horse works with. Imagine Aliens figures made by Todd, now that would be cool!

04. Fox buys Marvel-Fox has the money, the movie studio and the network to benefit from it, so why not?

03. AOL buys Image-Pocket change compared to what they have spent and now they can add more content. DC has already bought part of Image when they bought Top Cow, so why stop there?

02. AOL buys Marvel-Why stop the spending spree now? They can easily swallow up a Marvel. Think of the possibilities.

01. Universal buying Marvel-They already have the characters in their theme parks, so why not buy it up and use the properites in the movies also?

The Drought is Over!
The last few months have been tough for adding content to the website. My holiday sales boomed and it left me with precious little time for the website. Family matters and other stuff left me to do the bare minimum on the website. But now that sales have returned to normal (though still higher than last year, thankfully) and all my kids are back in school, I have started to add some new stuff. Already, I added four new pictures to the classic comic book ads and 12 more pages of the Colt story that I have on the site. Look for alot more to be added. I really want to spruce up the comic section of the website to make it match the rich content that I have for the video game side.

One more step towards the 20th issue, our first real milestone for this newsletter. I hope this is but one minor step in what will be many more. I do enjoy doing this and treasure all the feedback that I get. So if you like the newsletter, let me know. Tell me what you enjoy and what you don't. Then go tell a friend or two. It would be appreciated. Have a happy Year 2000 and may the comic field blossom in the new century.

Tom Zjaba