The 2nd Tel Aviv Comics Exhibition
September 6, 2002
By Avi Green
I’ve never been to a real comics convention like those held in the
USA so far. Which is a shame, because that’s where the real action
can be found, with artists and writers all coming to give speeches
and all that.
But luckily, I have been to the comics exhibitions held in Tel Aviv
at the city’s Cinematheque (there have been two of them so far), and
I enjoyed all my time there.
There were some good exhibitions of children’s drawings, and the
Bat-Yam based Comics World
was in charge of the sales of plenty of comics, old and new.
I also found a few old comics that I used to own there, such as an
old issue of Justice League of America (#220 volume 2.) from
I was so lucky to get more than a few goodies there, mostly in TPB
format, of comic book story arcs from the years gone by that I’ll
sure enjoy reading, including John Byrne’s Fantastic Four:
Visionaires, collecting some of his best work from the early
1980’s on "The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine!"
This was only the second exhibition for comics that was held at the
Tel Aviv Cinematheque, and I’m certainly hoping that there will be
more to come in the near future. The future, as I can see it, shines
bright for such fairs.
Related link: http://www.icaricatura.co.il
My first reads in comics
With the Tel Aviv Comics exhibition having been told as best as
possible, I now thought I’d relate some of the first issues of
comics that I read when I was but a tot.
The first comic book I read was an issue of Fantastic Four
from 1973 (#139, volume 1.), which had Ben Grimm, best known
as The Thing, and Johnny Storm, alias the Human
Torch, fighting against an insane metahuman who called himself
Miracle Man. It had on the cover the Thing’s most well known
exclamation, “It’s clobberin’ time!” In the end,
however, some ancient Indian spirits plucked the madman Miracle Man
off the face of the earth and told our heroes that he was being to
somewhere far away until he could cured of the madness that plagued
That was the first Marvel comic I read too,
for that matter. The first DC comic I read was The Flash
#230 vol. 1. From 1974 which was called “Fury of the Fire
Demon!” The story had Barry Allen, then the
Flash of the DCU, dealing with Albert Desmond, then
reformed from his days as a criminal, after his peculiar split
personality went haywire again and was running around loose in his
guise as Dr. Alchemy again. The scene that really stands out
in my memory from that issue was of the Flash speeding up a column
of water sprayed by the Central City Fire Department onto a burning
building so that he could climb up onto the top of the building.
(Trivia note: Albert Desmond first appeared in Showcase #13 in
1958 as Mr. Element. In the following issue of that
series, while in jail, he learned that his cellmate's "lucky
stone" was actually a powerful "Philosopher's Stone", and
subsequently escaped from prison to find it, then taking up a new
criminal career as Dr. Alchemy. He later reformed and married,
becoming best friends with Flash's alter ego, Barry Allen, and his
wife, Iris West Allen, best known today as the aunt of
current Flash Wally West, then Kid Flash and a
founding member of the Teen Titans. )
This issue also included a backup story with Green Lantern
called "The Man from Yesterday." In it, Hal
Jordan, then in the role of the emerald warrior, was pitted
against what may have a replicant of Aaron Burr, the man who killed
Hamilton, as told in the issue. The culprit was trying make off with
a train carrying a valuble exhibition, with an army of robots
dressed in 18th century style clothing to back him up ("What! A
bumpkin thinks to stop us!").
Two other comics that I read were a 1981 issue of Justice League
of America that I’ve already referenced above, five years
before the Crisis on Infinite Earths that featured a warlord
who said on the cover “Come closer, Justice Society, and
learn the true origin of Black Canary!” That story I'll
leave up to the readers to find out though; it wouldn't be good to
spoil what this, or any other issue of those classic tales, had to
And there was also an issue of Amazing Spider-Man from 1974
titled “Madness Means the Mindworm!” In this issue,
Peter Parker, known to us all readers as Spider-Man
was looking for a new apartment after the old one he shared with the
late Harry Osborn was bombed by the latter in an attempt to
kill him when he briefly figured out that Peter and Spidey are one
and the same. Until he could do so, he was invited to stay over at
the apartment of his former rival at high school, Flash
Thompson, who by now wanted to fully reconcile with him. While
staying at the apartment, little did they know that a strange man
known to the readers, if anyone, as the Mindworm, was
living in an old ramshackle house nearby in the neighborhood, and
plotting to control the minds of the neighborhood’s residents,
hoping to feed on their thoughts. Luckily, Spidey came to the rescue
and managed to disable the Mindworm with a stun clap to the ears.
There were a few more gems from what is often referred to as the
Bronze Age of comics (which goes between the years 1970-1987) that I
once had and enjoyed a lot back then, but alas, they have all been
given away over the years to a friend of mine, and there’s just no
telling if and when I’ll get to read them again. But they were all
some of the best stuff from my childhood, and I’ll always remember
them with fondness.
Will DC finally put the crossovers to rest for awhile?
The latest crossover story arc from DC, Bruce Wayne: Murderer?,
and it’s followup, Bruce Wayne: Fugitive has just come to a
close at last. I won’t spoil it for anyone who’s interested in
checking through all the backissues of the Batman franchise
and its spinoffs or wants to read the whole thing in TPB format, but
I will say that while this latest of three crossovers that came so
alarmingly close to each other in release did have its high points,
it still severely dampened my enthusiasm for crossovers from Marvel
and DC, at least for awhile.
So is DC going to please let the whole crossover concept get some
R&R for at least a few years? It would be most truly
appreciated, considering not only how expensive comics are becoming,
but how even the crossovers can eventually get worn out if not given
some rest and recovery.
I really don’t want to put down the whole idea, but enough is
enough. If you do it all so close together, it just doesn’t work out
I do, however, have an idea that might be a good substitute for
crossovers: a miniseries that involves several superheroes working
together that’s separate from the other ongoing books, and can be
either in or out of the mainstream continuity.
If DC or Marvel could try this out, who knows, it might work, and
could help save some people a lot of money so that they don’t have
to buy so many books simultaneously.
Avi Green, who wishes that he could’ve covered some of the first
comics exhibition at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque last year too, can
be reached at email@example.com
Copyright 2002 Avi Green. All rights reserved.
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