by Beau Smith
Being a comic book creator and reader, I realize there are a ton of things in pop culture and life that have, and continue to, influence me with my writing, as well as what I read. Recently a lot of these influences of mine were packaged between the covers of a massive 270 page book called “Hero-A-Go-Go” from TwoMorrows Publishing. It is written and edited by noted writer and pop culture historian, Michael Eury.
As I have mentioned many times before here in Beauology 101, TwoMorrows Publishing does a wonderful job in making what I call, “The History and text books of the comic book industry.” The information that they publishing in a variety of books not only keep us all up on what has come before in comic books and how they were created both on a level of art and story, but the business side as well. In these days, as a comic book creator, you need to know both sides of the comic book coin.
Hero-A-Go-Go is a truly amazing text/history book of the incredible era of campy, innocent, and hyper creative work in comic books of the 1960s. Michael Eury has done an incredible job covering just about everything and anything that went on in this time of creative freedom and no holds barred imagination.
I felt as I read this book that Eury had reached into my memories and put them to print. So much of what really was important, and influential, to me has been covered in-depth in this book. One example is the coverage of the obscure and truly weird character, B’Wana Beast from DC Comics. The two appearances in Showcase Comics in the late ‘60s sparked decades of fascination for me as a reader and a writer. A few years ago I was finally given the chance to write a B’Wana Beast story for DC Comics in their Christmas Special issue. I have a complete pitch for B’Wana Beast that will bring him into the modern setting of today that will also pay tribute and respect everything that has come before. It started when I was writing Guy Gardner Warrior, B’Wana Beast was one of the characters I was going to bring back and save as a supporting cast member to Guy’s home for misfit heroes. I had already been lucky enough to bring back Lady Blackhawk, Tiger-Man and other heroes. I had B’Wana Beast, Space Ranger and Dial H For Hero ready to come back when the book was discontinued. I hope to have my chance here in the near future to bring them all back.
Getting back to Hero-A Go-Go, Michael Eury does what few other writers are able to do when talking about this special time of the ‘60s with “campy” characters and story lines, he treats them all with respect. It wasn’t just a throw-away time for comic books, it was a truly a creative time, even when publishers were seeking to “cash in” on current trends of the Batman TV show, James Bond spies, pop music sensations, Hippies, Saturday Morning Cartoons, the Mod world of fashion, and all the other really wonderful things exploding in the 1960s. It’s all pretty much covered in this book via interviews, art, color, black and white, in-depth character bios and so much more.
Hero-A-Go-Go is what I call a “cover to cover” read. You will not want to put it down once you start. From a comic book reading and collecting standpoint, this book is a wonderful guide to laser focus your collecting and reading into an era. Collecting the books mentioned in Hero-A-Go-Go, you will be able to enhance your personal collection, your memories and history of a time that was truly special. This book not only covers comic books, but it touches toys, TV, films and everything else that was exploding in pop culture at the time.
Hero-A-Go-Go is one of those rare books that I highly recommend 100 percent. It gets an amazing 10 Busted Knuckles recommendation from me! It is on sale now, and available through Westfield Comics. It has a cover price of $36.95 and isworth every red cent. Color, black and white, interviews, art, photos, and more. Softcover, square bound, and oversized.
Hero-A-Go-Go is ready to go on your reading table.
The Flying Fist Ranch