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Larry Ivie’s Monsters And Heroes #4
posted September 15, 2011

imageCreator: Larry Ivie
Publishing Information: Magazine, Larry Ivie, 48 pages, 1969, 35 Cents
Ordering Numbers:

A lot of what fascinates about this fourth issue of Larry Ivie's late-'60s, nostalgia-driven, comics-centric, magazine-sized fanzine is what it suggests about the future of fan enterprises. There's a letter from an anonymous comics pro that suggests Monsters And Heroes is necessary because of its independence from New York publishing, foreshadowing a more impassioned conversation with fandom over the next decade that would lead to publications like The Comics Journal. There's a feature on people dressing up in superhero costumes and making movies starring their favorite characters, which we certainly see today in cosplay and fan films. A critical article on the superhero Captain Marvel suggests a desire to build canon, albeit within the walls provided by widely accepted terms and historical frameworks like comics "Golden Age." In many ways, this publication fails to stray very far from what a lot of fans are doing now, albeit with a greater surface sophistication and on-line.

There are comics, too. One is called "Olympus," and is a blend of text and illustration depicting specific aspects of Greek myth -- a reminder of the day when mythology was a more central part of the self-taught geek curriculum. The other, "The Crusade Against Voltar Chapter Six: Sword Of Altron Boy" is exactly the kind of fantasy pastiche you might figure from the title. Its most compelling feature is Ivie's dependence on heroic poses and panels -- the metier of adventure comics in most periods, of course -- which gives the short story a "constantly on" feel. I have to imagine that for a lot of kids lucky enough to snag one of these magazine, there might have been something raw and achievable in these comics the same way Image books would excite certain fans 22 years later. I remain in awe of the fanzine makers of this period, as when I got to that same age starting a dozen years later with full access to a Xerox it would never have occurred to me to publish. Look at issues like this one long enough, and you can see a lot of modern comics staring back at you.

my deepest thanks to Vernon Wiley for sending this along