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Comics in Special Collections

Odd or Interesting Comics

There are a number of comic in the collection that might be of special note.

Pre-Code Comics                                                                                                            

                Scattered through the “Miscellaneous” boxes are comics that predate the Comics Code.  These are identifiable by a date before 1954 and the lack of the Comics Code symbol on the cover.  The covers tend to be significantly more violent and/or risqué than more modern comics.

                Highlights: Planet Comics, Jungle Comics, Jumbo Comics, Mystery Men Comics

 U.S.A. is Ready!- 1941                                                                                                   

                A one-off comic published by Dell Comics, this is a fantastic example of the comic book as propaganda.  There’s no plot- it’s mostly pictures and descriptions of US military armaments, vehicles, and uniforms.  It’s hard to tell if this was meant to excite children for the coming of World War II, or appear imposing to foreign forces who were at that point potential enemies.

Star Wars- 1977-1982                                                                                                    

                George Lucas missed no opportunity to cross-promote the Star Wars films, so this comic book adaptations by Marvel should be no surprise. The first three issues in the collection are part of the adaptation of the original movie.  After that point, the series goes off on its own.

                Highlights: Issue #2 features a really surprising early version of Jabba the Hutt. Issue #94, the last in the collection features some really interesting art (and Ewoks).

Heavy Metal- 1970s- present                                                                                    

                Heavy Metal has for decades been exactly what its cover always promised- the premier adult science fiction magazine.  Featuring art by luminaries as HR Giger and stories by Phillip K. Dick and others, Heavy Metal always pushed the boundaries.  The art is typically risqué- think sci-fi pinups- but it’s a great read for fans of both science fiction and comics.


                While advertisements are mostly gone from comics today, the books from the 40s through the 80s were filled with all sorts of oddball advertisements for, among other things- mail order jewelry, seed packets, x-ray specs, t-shirts with superheroes on them, weightlifting and video games.