Rare Kim il-Sung Comic Book

Comic books from North Korea are rare It’s tough to find good paper and nobody buys the propoganda shit unless they’re forced to do so. The topics range from not so funny send-ups of South Koreans and Americans to the amazing exploits of The Great Leader, The Dear Leader, and the Chubby Bunny Leader. Actually, there is no range. Those are pretty much the only two topics.

Here’s an extremely rare comic from 1983. While over 4 million copies were printed, only 12 survive. During the 1993 famine, people ate whatever they could get their hands on and since the comic book was printed on rice paper, it was one of the first things to go.

The comic book, “Of Course You Realize, This Means War!” featured several stories by Kim il-Sung and several of his cronies. Steve Ditko contributed the art for a two-page story about South Koreans defecting to the North. Kim was quite the accomplished artist, we are lead to believe, but like all of the tripe out of North Korea, we believe The Great Leader was as involved in the creation of this comic book as he was in the architecture of Pyongyang. It’s practically worthless outside of North Korea except as a novelty, but a copy recently sold for 7,000,000,000 ₩ (which is actually only about  US$8,000) at the Great Leader’s Comic-Con and Revolutionary Cultural Celebration in Hamhung.

Kim il-Sung North Korean Comic Book

Zirk Short Story from Axel Pressbutton by Pedro Henry and Brian Bolland

We’ve highlighted Brian Bolland‘s work before. He’s one of our favorite artists from the early days when we discovered comics in college. Brian’s art is appealing because he adds so much detail and dimension to his work. His art is exceptionally deceptive (in a good way) because he makes his characters and backgrounds look proportional and anatomically correct but in actuality he slips a lot of cartooning in. The faces and bodies of his characters are usually more distinct than the stock fodder you might find in a more common comic book art. Here’s an example of his incredible technique from the landmark one-shot, Batman: The Killing Joke.

Brian Bolland's art from  Batman: The Killing Joke

The highlighted short story in this post is a backup from Axel Pressbutton, an Eclipse Comics series from the 1980s. The comic book came out during the creator-driven wave of quality stories and art released by publishers like Eclipse. This particular story was written by British comic book writer Steve Moore under his alias, Pedro Henry. Steve was already popular in the UK having been a substantial contributor to the 2000 AD anthologies. Here’s a little tidbit of comic book history:  Steve was also instrumental in helping Alan Moore learn to write comic book stories. There is no relation between the two Moores, by the way.

Zirk the Space Pervert from Axel Pressbutton

Zirk is a character in the sci-fi universe of Axel Pressbutton. He’s a slimy sexaholic creature that, despite his repulsive nature, has the incredible ability to turn on almost anything once he gets in contact with him/her/it. This short story is just plain silly but we like Bolland’s art so we’re posting it for your viewing pleasure.

Thumbnail for Brian Bolland story page 1 Thumbnail for Brian Bolland story page 2
Thumbnail for Brian Bolland story page 3 Thumbnail for Brian Bolland story page 4

Hogan’s Heroes Comic Book Covers

Hogan’s Heroes was one of our favorite shows growing up. We were too young to see the originals but we watched the episodes over and over in syndication. The premise is absurd and the subject matter may be a bit suspect (are Nazis ever really fun?).

Anyway, capitalizing on the success of TVs and movies by pushing out a variety of by-products such as comic books, toys, and games was even more über ubiquitous in the post-WWII period. All it took was some licensing, plastering a brand on a bit of plastic or metal and, zútalo, we had a winner.

We own issue #1. Yeah, no. Not so funny. Weird, kinda. The zany physical humor of the characters, the smugness of Colonel Hogan’s demeanor, and the music (duh) don’t come across in the comic. Kind of a cold fish.

But anyway, we’re sure you’re here because you’re at least curious about what the covers to the issues look like. Here they are for your viewing pleasure. Note: Issue #9 was actually a reprint of issue #1. The only difference is that Dell charged 3¢ more in 1969 than in 1966 when the first issue came out. Cheap bastards.

Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number One Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number Two Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number Three Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number Four Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number Five Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number Six Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number Seven Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number Eight Hogan's Heroes Dell Comic Book Issue Number Nine

2012 in review – Comics A-Go-Go! is GO for 2013


We like statistics. We like them even more if they are trending in the right direction for us. As we pointed out before, we never really set out to do much more than play around. Something in our posts must resonate. Given our topics and the relatively primitive product we produce, we are actually surprised  that we’re fast approaching 100,000 total views since opening for business in September 2011. At the current growth rate, we’ll hit around 200,000 views by mid-year 2013. We’re not sure exactly what that means, but hey, we’ll take it. So, here’s roll-up report from WordPress.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 88,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

So, we’re coming atcha strong in 2013. We guarantee at least one post that will rock  your world. You will never be the same again. Come back often to see which post will change you forever.

Blogging in 2013

Comics A-Go-Go! is ready to explode for you dear reader. Enjoy a wonderful 2013

And, let’s end with a poll. This is a chance to tell us what you think about the blog. It’s a multiple choice poll, so go to town!

Comic-Con Infographic, sort of

We haven’t done of these before so we decided to give it a go. We’ve seen sites that use infographics — images that pack a lot of text and graphical information into a single picture. Since we’re part of the comic book crowd,  pretty pictures accompanying our reading literature is always welcome. Anyway, our thought was to create a big ol’ stream of pictures with commentary showing what we’d seen at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. After more than an hour of flipping through images and trying to pack them into the picture, we decided to drop the commentary and let the mess speak for itself.

Here is an example of a good infographic.

Jim Lee, comic book artist

This is an example of an infographic from Haley Barbour’s website. It lacks punch.


If you been on this blog before you know how we like to kvetch about the fact that we only got Thursday and Sunday badges to the Con. Damn your eyes, comic book gods! So, anyway, these pictures are from those days. Please do not point out what we missed the other days. It will make us sullen. Maybe worse.

San Diego Comic-ConOh, yeah. Speaking about badges — wanna know what happens when you lose a badge? First, you feel sick. Then, you feel angry. Then, you feel all panicky-like. Once reason has been restored, you go to the convention center and tell Security that you need to replace a lost badge. They will smirk and direct you up the escalator and along a cordoned off path against the wall to the registration area. Once you are there, you will stand in line with a handful of other poor sods. Your turn will eventually come up and you will quickly surge to the counter where your pleading and desperate eyes will be met by cold and WGAF eyes. Only the DMV will suck more juice out of your soul (OK, the staff is actually direct but not unkind; we just need to deflect our pain to someone else. And we all know that pop culture pain is the worst kind there is. Oh, the humanity and stuff).


Hey, how are you? Say, is that your badge? ‘Cuz that’s my name too. Kind of weird, huh? Same name and … oh, will you look at that … same city! Wow, what are the odds. Well, anyway, I was wondering if you would mind very much if I pull the bottom end of your intestine out your back door and stuff it back down to connect at the top end . You know, for a poop loop-dee-loop. Give back the damn badge!

You will fill out a lost badge document explaining in as much detail as possible what happened to your badge. Then, if everything is in order, you will be issued a new badge and pay a minimum of $12 (that’s just to get a new Sunday badge; if you lose a four day badge – get out your wallet and sit down). You will be told that the first time you lose a badge, this is the process you will go through. Your information will be entered into a database. If you lose your badge again, you will be blacklisted. Meaning, no soup for you, dear boy/girl.


How should I know where it is? I can’t even remember where I put Mommy’s keys and boy is she sure sore about that. Go away! I gotta  concentrate on finding them before she sells me to the gypsies like she’s always threatening.

Why all this brouhaha? Apparently, there is a propensity among attendees to “lose” their badges into the hands of another person and then go get a new one. The Comic-Con staff is becoming much more active in its enforcement of attendee registration violations. We can only hope that wherever our badge ended up that it was not in nefarious hands. We don’t want to be black-listed because some degenerate took advantage of our good standing and used the badge for some untoward activity. Dunno, maybe like trying to get into a panel and getting pulled aside for a random check. These things are happening now, so be forewarned.  One of us didn’t know how to use a lanyard very well. He has learned.

San Diego Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con

See? This attendees on top of things. Notice the careful placement of the badge in a tightly secure and clearly visible location. No worries about a fan boy diving in after that! They’ll think about it all day, but they won’t do it.

On to the infographic thingy!