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Back Issue! # 14 February 2006

01/05/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

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pub: TwoMorrows. 98 page A4 magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US).

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Before you ask, this issue of 'Back Issue!' hasn't been languishing waiting for a read. Just an acquisition after spotting it in the TwoMorrows back catalogue. The cover should give away my interest in not only 'The Legion Of Super-Heroes' but a combined interview with the now late Dave Cockrum and Mike Grell.

When I got back into comicbooks in the mid-70s, it was actually a large panel of Mike Grell's showing Mon-el using his cape to trap two felons that got me back into reading DC Comics and the LSH in earnest. It was then a bonus to find my X-Men favourite, Dave Cockrum, had actually worked on the LSH prior to Grell. Cockrum had re-designed many of the Legionnaire costumes bringing it out from the costumes that hadn't really changed since the 60s, even if many of them wouldn't have looked out of place in the 50s, bearing in mind how old the original artists were.

The interview here appears to be the first and only time, even if it was over the telephone lines, they discussed their LSH involvement. If you thought Dave Cockrum had an easy ride changing their costumes, this interview explains how hard he had to push editor Murray Boltinoff to let him do so. Considering after the 60s, the LSH was only being marketed as a secondary story in the 'Superboy' comic, there was some latitude to get away with doing so. In many respects, the changes allowed the LSH to grow and eventually kick the Boy of Steel from his own title. There's this and other details, together with a lot of illustrations that makes this issue worth getting.

'Back Issue!' also explores other old material from the various companies. From Marvel, their version of 'War Of The Worlds', 'Planet Of The Apes' and 'Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction' - both incidentally magazine format; First Comics' 'Mars'; DC's 'Hex!', 'Kamandi' and a look at the newspaper strip of 'Star Wars'. All of these carry interviews with their various creators and their art. There is also a centre section by Bob McLeod showing the difference between the pencilled art and inked finished product, pointing out the differences between precise pencilled art and layouts from the 70s-80s which is quite illuminating.

I should point out 'Back Issue!' is still going strong and if you have an interest in what could be classed as period comicbooks from a couple decades back then this will certainly stir some pleasant memories.

GF Willmetts

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