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Back Issue! # 29 August 2008

01/06/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

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

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After looking at two earlier issues of 'Back Issue!' in recent months, I thought it was time to look up something a little more up-to-date, even if it is last August. All right, so it's another one with an X-Men cover, but as the repro should show, what's not to like about a picture by the late Dave Cockrum?

Interestingly, a large chunk of the contents are more around the edges of the main team, looking at Angel, Beast, Longshot, Captain Britain and Nightcrawler's parentage. Team-wise, a concentration on New Mutants and X-Factor and, oh yes, one feature on the Claremont/Byrne X-Men. On top of this are interviews with artists Paul Smith and John Romita Jr on their tenure with the books. Just in case you think the book is all Marvel orientated, there is also an article about Captain Comet and a fascinating feature showing how various artists depicted Superman flying.

About the only wasted space is seeing a depiction of comicbook history as if Charlie Gaines had kept the Silver Age DC comicbook heroes which, to my mind, comes over as a tad self-indulgent when as the rest of this big magazine shows the real world is far more interesting.

A lot of the information from the pros fills in all kinds of information about the thought processes involved and the decisions made at the time. The letters page forum also allows other pros to correct or fill in information that might have been over-looked in previous issues.

I have to be a little concerned about editor Michael Eury throwing out assignments on old material and hoping his writers can cope on knowing some subjects but that might just be me. What does top the magazine up nicely is a wide selection of artwork by various artists, often with pencil layouts to compare to the final inked product. Although I doubt if a lot of this comicbook info will be of interest to the younger readers, if you were brought up on comics from the early 70s-80s. You're going to relive a lot of material here.

GF Willmetts

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