13 COVERS: A Groovy Salute to the Classic Mag MENOMONEE FALLS GAZETTE

Where comic strips lived a new life…

Back Issue #136 is out this week and the subject is Bronze Age Comic Strips. Now, personally, I’ve always preferred comic books to comic strips (when it comes to adventure stories) but there’s no doubting the appeal of a daily dose of your favorite heroes and villains. Or even a weekly dose.

Superfans Jerry Sinkovec and Mike Tiefenbacher understood this and, from 1971 to 1978, their Menomonee Falls Gazette was a weekly tabloid that reprinted a wide array of adventure strips, from the popular to the obscure. They were based in Wisconsin but quickly built a national following. There was even a sister pub for a few years — The Menomonee Falls Guardian, which focused on humor strips.

In any event, historian John Wells has put together a superb history of the publication for BI #136, and we’re bringing you a 13 COVERS gallery as our EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT.

But first check out the table of contents because this ish hits a lot of high points:

Back Issue #136 will be available at comics shops and magazine sellers, but you can also order it directly from publisher TwoMorrows. (Click here.)

Now dig these 13 COVERS, all of which appear in the issue.

Back Issue #136 will be available at comics shops and magazine sellers, but you can also order directly from publisher TwoMorrows. (Click here.)


— 13 COVERS: A Groovy Salute to the Classic Mag ROCKET’S BLAST COMICOLLECTOR. Click here.

— MARSHALL ROGERS’ BATMAN Strip Needs to Be Reprinted. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I was a subscriber to the Gazette from the very first issue. There were so many great strips in it, but as I recall the reason I started from #1 was because they carried “Modesty Blaise” by Peter O’Donnell, who I still think was the best writer of comic strips EVER!

    (By the way, for those who are interested, I am working on an article about “Modesty Blaise” for 13th Dimension.)

    Other great strips right from the beginning were “Tarzan” by Russ Manning, “Secret Agent Corrigan,” by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson, “James Bond,” and more. The Menomonee Falls Gazette began expanding almost immediately with more pages and more strips. Soon there were reprints of Neal Adams’ “Ben Casey,” Golden Age “Superman,” “Peter Scratch” by Lou Fine, plus a new Doug Wildey strip called “Ambler.” (I sold my collection years later but just a few months ago I bought over a hundred of them. I just went to the shelves and picked one issue at random, #121, and within its 48 pages were 51 different titles)!

    The MFG came out every week and presented a whole week’s worth of strips for each title…and soon was being printed in solid b&w on excellent paper stock, not the poor printing found in current newspapers of the time. In the MFG, artists finally got to see their work the way it should always have been displayed.) (But to prove you can’t please everybody, I knew someone at the time who was repulsed by them printing a whole week at a time and not having it on newsprint. And this guy was an artist, too.)

    I also got the Guardian for a time, but it was mostly humor strips, so I preferred the Gazette. (However, the Guardian did have “Romeo Brown” for a time, which was the strip that Peter O’Donnell wrote and JIm Holdaway drew, before they moved on to originate “Modesty Blaise.”)

    I look forward to reading John Wells’ article in “Back Issue.” His work on the two 1960s volumes of “American Comic Book Chronicles” for TwoMorrows were exceptional!

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  2. That Modesty Blaise cover… Good lord, that’s gorgeous!

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  3. These look great! I may need to pickup this issue of “Backissue” to learn more. The earliest comics were newspaper reprints so I’m good with it. It’s in the comic’s DNA. I remember DC did a series of newspaper type runs. I enjoyed those.

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  4. Another copy of Back Issue I’ll have to pick up!

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  5. This could have been a salute to Jim Aparo with those awesome JA covers! As a LCS subscriber to Back Issue, I look forward to this issue!

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