RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1963!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 60 years ago…

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Feb. 22, 1963.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Feb. 15, 1987. Click here to check it out.

(Keep in mind that comics came out on multiple days, so these are technically the comics that went on sale between Feb. 19 and Feb. 25.)

So, let’s set the scene: John F. Kennedy was president of the United States. Two of the greatest movies ever made were in theaters at the same time: The classic film adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, starring Gregory Peck, and David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif — which is such a magnificent spectacle that I still can’t watch it on a small screen. (There was a third popular flick at the cinema, as well: Son of Flubber.)

As it happens, Lawrence of Arabia won Best Picture at the Oscars that year, while Peck won Best Actor.

On TV were shows that have achieved iconic status: The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, Candid Camera, Bonanza, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Gunsmoke, among them.

Hey Paula, by Paul and Paula, topped the Billboard 100. The song was later immortalized in a rare, sweet scene in 1978’s Animal House. Nice tune, but my fave among the top-sellers is You Really Got a Hold on Me, by the Miracles (at No. 9).

Vaughn Meader’s satire The First Family and the West Side Story film soundtrack — which had been released in the fall of 1961 and had been ripping up the charts ever since — dominated turntables.

What a time…

Scott Tipton, contributor-at-large, 13th Dimension

The Atom #6, DC. Ray Palmer seemed to have no shortage of rockets or birds on which to ride into frame.

Dan adds: Well, get this: I’m not sure if this has happened before but Scott and I have the exact same lists this week! Since that’s the case, I added some bonus material below to give you a slightly broader sense of what comics were like this week. Also: There were no Marvels this week, so we let ourselves pick from earlier in the month. Oh, The Atom? Really fun Silver Age series. Love the composition of Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson’s cover.

Green Lantern #20, DC. It seems old hat now, but back then the first time you see Flash charging Green Lantern’s ring, it must have been a shock.

Dan adds: Scott is so right. I also love the trickery involved in making GL transparent. Artists are geniuses. This is another Kane/Anderson joint.

Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #68, DC Comics. The Helmet of Hate! Why isn’t that a thing now?

Dan adds: Red-skinned, white-horned Superman! Why isn’t that an action figure now?

Tales to Astonish #43, Marvel. This kinda reminds me of when the Hulk turned Paul Rudd into a baby and an old man in Endgame.

Dan adds: Did you know Ant-Man is Scott’s favorite character? It’s true.

The Amazing Spider-Man #2, Marvel. What a great cover. Ditko coming out of the gate strong for the second issue.

Dan adds: This is the biggie of the month, kids! The first appearance of the Vulture!

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Here’s that bonus material I promised:

The Adventures of Bob Hope #80, DC. Sign of the Times I: Bob Hope was so big he could sustain a comic book for 80 issues. And there were still 29 to go! Sign of the Times II: This cover is all sorts of offensive by today’s more enlightened standards.

Journey Into Mystery #91, Fantastic Four #14, Tales of Suspense #41, Strange Tales #108. More of the Marvel Age at dawn.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Feb. 15 — in 1987! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Feb. 8 — in 1981! Click here.

Primary sources: Mike’s Amazing World of Comics, the Grand Comics Database.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. That Bob Hope cover is “all sorts of offensive by today’s more enlightened standards.” Really?

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  2. When I saw Spidey #2, I could actually smell it. What a memory

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