The weather is terrific here in Michigan, so let’s blast off with a new Fabulous Find on this fine Friday! And from the depths of the vault I bring you … Blast Magazine # 1, cover dated February 1971. Blast was a Mad Magazine wanna be. It was published by G & D Publications of New York, New York. Though per the indicia, their editor, Al Forman, was located in Stamford, Connecticut. From the same indicia, I love this quote; “Reproduction is a no-no”. Gotta love it!
Anyway, here’s the cover to the first issue:
As far as I can find out, the magazine only lasted two issues, but I’ve only got the first one. Anyone out there own issue number two (2)?
So what makes this so collectible, you might ask? Good question! I think it’s collectible because of the creators involved in the magazine. The writers and artists definitely have direct ties to the comic book world, which we all love so much. A couple of the writers doing work for issue number one (1) are Marv Wolfman, Stu Schwartzberg and Nicola Cuti. I’m sure you’ve heard of them, or at least one or two of them, if not all.
And on the artistic side of things, represented in this first issue are, Bill Everett, Stan Goldberg, Mike Kaluta, Jim Mooney, Al Weiss and Berni Wrightson. Again I’m sure most of my readers are familiar with all these artist, or at least a couple of them.
As I said, the publishers were obviously trying to go after the Mad Magazine customer base, billing their magazine as; satire so funny it could kill you! Yep, it says so right there on the cover. Of yeah, that cover was by Bill Everett, the creator of Marvel Comics’ Sub-Mariner! He features a new character named; Muggles Mohansky.
The magazine starts off with a two (2) page illustrated table of contents, then a one (1) page “intro-duck-shun”. Following this is a one (1) page Goldberg strip entitled; “Ethics” .
Next up is a five (5) page story entitled; “Beneath the Dignity of the Apes”. It is written by Wolfman and it is drawn by Wrightson. Next, is another one (1) pager; “Straight Jacket”. Following this was a two (2) page story entitled; “Diplomacy in Africa”, where we find out the definition of ungawa.
Here’s an example of the early Berni Wrightson artwork in Blast Magazine # 1:
Next is another one (1) pager about newspaper headlines, with art by Kaluta. Following this is a four (4) page strip entitled; “How a Newscast Should Really Be”. The art is again by Kaluta. Next is another one (1) page strip entitled; “I Know Him from Somewhere” by Goldberg. Then two (2) pages of Fumetti, photos with funny captions, just in case you weren’t familiar with that term. I particularly like the one of Tiny Tim on Skates with the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as, the Raquel Welch photo.
Next up is a three (3) page Body Language strip by Schwartzberg, then a one (1) page strip by Mooney entitled; “Mathematical Encounter”. Which brings us to the centerspread lovingly drawn by Kaluta, entitled; “On Campus”. Take a look:
The second half of the magazine leads off with a four (4) page article on “How to Insult People”. Then a two (2) page strip entitled; “White House Party” featuring Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. Next up is a four (4) page; “R.O.T.C. Notebook” written by Cuti and drawn by Goldberg.
Then “Up the Corporation” for three (3) pages, then a two (2) page strip on birthstones drawn by Kaluta, again. Following this is three (3) pages on the “Evolution of the new Homo Sapiens”. Following this is a one (1) page strip about; “The Gardener”. Another two (2) page strip entitled; “Uni-law” drawn by Mooney. Another one (1) page Straight Jacket strip follows and finally a one (1) page strip by Weiss entitled; “Election Time”.
All that an a funny fashion show joke back cover, completes the first issue of Blast Magazine. A little rough around the edges, but it does feature work by notable comic book creators, even if the early artwork by Kaluta and Wrightson is a little rough around the edges.
I’ll be keeping my eye out for the second and final issue of Blast Magazine and I hope you’ll come back next week for a new RETRO REVIEW and again in two weeks for another Fabulous Find. See ya around the funny books!