Wednesday, June 20, 2012
In 1971, two young men by the names of Sal Quartuccio and John Carbonaro put together what may be the greatest group of talent to ever appear in one fanzine: Marv Wolfman, Ken Barr, Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Gerry Conway, Gray Morrow, Mike Kaluta, Tony DeZuniga, Ernie Colon, Frank Brunner, Rich Buckler, Jeff Jones, Denny O'Neil and Len Wein to name a few. The result of this amazing group of collaborators became Phase #1.
Mixed with intriguing tales of high fantasy, sci-fi, war stories, westerns, humor and even a tale about being transformed into a gigantic fish...Phase had it all. Without further ado, let's take a look inside. Things kick off with a literal 'bang' with this Bernie Wrightson pinup:
"Sword of Dragonus" by Frank Brunner features some high-quality fantasy. Dragonus must save the maiden Zareen from the evil wizard Talvuras, and must withstand the assault of the wizard's undead guardians, the Soul Eater monster, and a dark demon from the deep! Full story:
Gerard Conway and Gray Morrow lend their talents to, "Duel", a western tale of revenge. Although the story is in text, Morrow drew several fantastic panels for it. Two excerpts:
Marv Wolfman and Rich Buckler pair up for a two-page story titled, "Comes The Gray Dawn!":
Ken and Kathy Barr tease us with a three-pager called, "Veteran". First page:
Murphy Anderson graces us with this page featuring Jor-Val and Lur-na:
And Bil Maher produced this gem titled, "Hero", in which a young man decides to become a hero on Halloween and gets his wish of becoming one...but is it more than he bargained for? Two page excerpt:
Dan Recchia gifts us with this splash page of....something awesome:
Steve Fritz has one of the more artistic features in Phase with, "Yesterday's Rain!!":
To round things up, Dan Adkins offers this perfectly inked beauty:
And that's not all...there is so much more in this well-crafted 80 page fanzine that it must be seen to be believed. Other stories include, "A View From Without" by Neal Adams, "Impact" by Ernie Colon, "Soul Food" by Phil Seuling and Chris Notarile, "Home" by Jeff Jones, "Sally's Song" by Mike Kaluta, "Comic Book Freak" by Tom Sutton and "Dragon Slayer" by Len Wein...as well as many other pinups by the likes of Bill Stillwell, Syd Shores, Ken Kelly, Bill Graham and this amazing cardstock splash cover by Ken Barr:
Although there are ads for Phase Two, sadly it never materialized. Still, count Phase One as a contender for the King of Fanzines. Praise to those lucky enough to get their hands on this puppy!