TITLE: Amazing Heroes Issue #9
YEAR: March 1982
COMPANY: Redbeard Inc. (an imprint of Fantagraphics Books)
Editor: Kim Thompson
Art Director: Peppy White
Assistant Editor: J. Collier
Writers: Dwight R. Decker, Jim Korkis, Rich Morrissey, Gene Reed, David Singer
Before “Wizard: Guide to Comics Magazine” and “Hero Illustrated”, the only other major comic book magazine in the ’70s and ’80s was “The Comics Journal” (also published by Fantagraphics Books). But as “The Comics Journal” was seen as an analytical journal, in 1981, “Amazing Heroes” was created and was made to be a comic hobbyist magazine.
“Amazing Heroes” was published from 1981 to 1992 and a total of 204 issues were published, before the publication folded in July 1992.
The first 13 issues of “Amazing Heroes” were magazine-sized until the format changed to a comic book size starting with issue #14 and the publication was known for showcasing characters in bikinis in special editions and swimsuit editions.
The publication was also the goto comic publication for the Jack Kirby Award from 1985-1987 and was managed by Dave Olbrich, who would later become the publisher of Malibu Comics.
The ninth issue features “Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew!” and would feature an article by Kim Thompson of uses of funny animals in comic books, an in-depth look at Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw’s “Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew!” comic book series by J. Collier, an article by Gene Reed about Captain Action and Superman parodies, an article by Jim Korkis.
As a fan of “Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew!” it was no doubt a great publication to learn about Scott Shaw but also learn about how animals were utilized in comic books in the past.
The publication would also feature comic news, a comic checklist for the month, comic book reviews by Kevin C. McConnell and their “Amazing Readers” fan letters. Also, a “Star Wars” adventure by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson and “Star hawks” from Archie Goodwin and Gil Kane.
The publication used newspaper like quality of pages and aside from the color, the issue was entirely black and white/grayscale.
Similar to its brother, “The Comic Journal”, “Amazing Heroes” confront various topics and even for their “Amazing Readers”, similar to the ’90s “Heroes Illustrated”, you would sometimes find scathing letters to the staff.
In this issue, contributor Gene Reed has something to say about David Singer’s Superman article in “Amazing Heroes issue #5” and the tone of the writer that has a little of the Comics Journal’s “pretentiousness”. Also, a letter about too much violence in comics and how children can read about Wolverine and Elektra, characters who have killed people. If only the writer knew how things would change in the ’90s and the 2000s with comic book storylines. Heck, even the ’80s had its fair share of violent books.
Also, the magazine encouraged for people to send their artwork to the publication.
But overall, “Amazing Heroes” was a wonderful comic book magazine for its time and it no doubt was many go to publication for the latest in comic book news until Wizard Magazine made its debut with glossy color pages.
You had well-written articles and wonderful interviews with each publication that “Amazing Heroes” really was a cool magazine for its time and at $1.50 per issue, also quite affordable.