Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 48 years ago…
This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of May 10, 1975.
Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of May 3, 1970. 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 May 7 and May 13.)
So, let’s set the scene: Gerald Ford was president and the Vietnam War was finally at its end. The Fall of Saigon was April 30, and on May 7, Ford proclaimed the end of the Vietnam Era for the purposes of certain veterans’ benefits. (The era is formally Feb. 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, inclusive.) On May 11, a crowd of about 75,000 people in New York’s Central Park celebrated the end of the war. The rally was organized by Phil Ochs and included performances by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.
The top-performing film in all the land was, ahem, The Happy Hooker, a comedy based on Xaviera Hollander’s memoir of the same name. Lynn Redgrave played the titular prostitute. Other movie choices included The Godfather Part II, which was released at the end of 1974, as well as Shampoo and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, both of which came out earlier in the year.
Chances are that if you were at the movies, however, you’d see the trailer for an aquatic horror flick based on a best-seller by Peter Benchley. It was a little movie called Jaws and it would hit screens in June, making it the defining pop cultural event of the summer — and ushering in the modern era of the Hollywood blockbuster.
It was rerun season on TV. Nevertheless, the top programs included The Carol Burnett Show, MASH, All in the Family and Columbo.
He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You), by Tony Orlando and Dawn, headed the singles charts but my fave among the leaders is Elton John’s Philadelphia Freedom (at No. 7). I also dig America’s Sister Golden Hair (No. 16).
The forgettable Chicago VIII was the best-selling album. The action, though, was on the rest of the chart: Earth, Wind & Fire’s stellar That’s the Way of the World was at No. 2. Not just that, one of the greatest rock albums of all time — Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti — was at No. 3. The soundtrack to the film Tommy clocked in at No. 7.
Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face / And stars fill my dream…
Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension
Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-37, DC. Hands down, the best treasury anthology of all time and I will brook no dissent. From the fab Jim Aparo cover to the collection of outstanding Golden Age Batman stories — plus, the gorgeously oversized reprint of Secrets of the Batcave — this one is a Bat-keeper. A seminal collection and a supremely rich reading experience.
Famous 1st Edition #F-8, DC. Hey, I just got a copy of this in the mail! Seriously, it’s right here as I write this. What timing!
Kamandi #32, DC. The lone “Giant” issue of Kamandi’s original run, this 68-pager featured a map of the world after the Great Disaster. You can really lose yourself inside Kirby’s brain with this one.
Planet of the Apes #10, Marvel. Pound for pound, Planet of the Apes probably had more insane covers than any other Marvel black-and-white mag. This bonkers Bob Larkin job is one of my favorites — a loose adaptation of the climax to Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #13, Marvel. Dig the Luis Dominguez cover! Not just that, there’s a Sons of the Tiger story pencilled by a kid named George Perez.
Scott Tipton, contributor-at-large, 13th Dimension
Superman Family #172, DC. Has any other comic-book character appeared on a cover getting married more than Lois Lane? I would wager not.
Our Fighting Forces #158, DC. Jack Kirby’s brief stint on the Losers makes for some of the best war comics DC ever published. Always worth picking up.
The Amazing Spider-Man #147, Marvel. The peak of the Gerry Conway/Ross Andru run, with the Tarantula and the Jackal (not to mention the frequent appearance of Peter’s murdered girlfriend Gwen Stacy) making Spidey’s life miserable. Tense, creepy stuff.
Dan adds: Great, to be sure. Personally, when it comes to Conway and Andru’s epic run, I consider the Harry-Osborn-becomes-the-Green-Goblin saga to be the top of the top.
The Invaders #1, Marvel. I was always excited to find an issue of The Invaders but never really clicked with the Frank Robbins art. If only the interiors looked like this Romita cover…
— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of May 3 — in 1970! Click here.
— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of April 26 — in 1978! Click here.
Primary sources: Mike’s Amazing World of Comics, the Grand Comics Database.
May 10, 2023
Dan, Dan, Dan – I love just about everything you write- but how can you say “The forgettable Chicago VIII was the best-selling album.” – This album leads off with a song that every reader of 13th Dimension should treasure: “Old days – Good times I remember – Fun days – Filled with simple pleasure -Drive-in movies COMIC BOOKS and blue jeans”… This is actually one of my go to songs when I start going through my collection!
May 10, 2023
Sorry, George! 🙂
May 10, 2023
Lots of great comics. Love Frank Robbins, having Vince Colletta ink so much of his stuff at Marvel was a tragedy.
The Invaders were so much better once Springer came in and inked him.
May 10, 2023
I always loved those Limited Collectors Editions with the modern covers when I saw them advertised in other comics (though I could never find them at my local drugstore). It seems like they were always drawn by the best artists like Jim Aparo and Neal Adams. Someone recently compared Frank Robbins’ art to Milton Caniff and I think that’s a fair comparison. You either love it or hate it (I’m not a fan myself.) and I don’t think his inkers really made that much difference. By the way, is that Kamandi at the wheel on the Losers’ cover?