1971 in comics
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This is a list of comics-related events in 1971.
- 1 Events
- 2 Conventions
- 3 Awards
- 4 First issues by title
- 5 Initial appearance by character name
- 6 References
- The Comics Code Authority revises the Code a number of times during the year. Initially "liberalized" on January 28, 1971, to allow for (among other things) the sometimes "sympathetic depiction of criminal behavior . . . [and] corruption among public officials" ("as long as it is portrayed as exceptional and the culprit is punished") as well as permitting some criminal activities to kill law-enforcement officers and the "suggestion but not portrayal of seduction." Also newly allowed were "vampires, ghouls and werewolves . . . when handled in the classic tradition such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and other high calibre literary works written by Edgar Allan Poe, Saki, Conan Doyle and other respected authors whose works are read in schools around the world." Zombies, lacking the requisite "literary" background, remain taboo.
- Jack Kirby introduces his Fourth World series in a number of new DC titles — The Forever People, New Gods, and Mister Miracle — while continuing his run on Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. Kirby writes and draws all four titles during the year.
- Early in the year, DC Comics editorial director Carmine Infantino is promoted to publisher.
- Bill Schanes and Steve Schanes co-found Pacific Comics, starting out as a mail-order company selling to consumers via ads in the Comics Buyer's Guide.
- Blackmark published by Bantam Books. Conceived and drawn by Gil Kane, and scripted by Archie Goodwin from an outline by Kane, it is one of the first American graphic novels.
- "The Sandman Saga" Superman story-arc, written by Denny O'Neil and drawn by Curt Swan, begins in Superman #233 (running almost continuously through the September issue, #242). Among other things, the story arc eliminates all Kryptonite on Earth, makes Clark Kent less wimpy, and essentially reinvents Superman for the Bronze Age.
- January 27: E. Simms Campbell, creator of Cuties, dies at age 65.
- Alan Light publishes the first issue of The Buyer's Guide to Comics Fandom.
- World's Finest Comics #200: "Prisoners of the Immortal World!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. (DC Comics)
- New Gods #1 (February /March ) (DC Comics)
- Classics Illustrated, published under that title since March 1947 (and before that as Classic Comics since 1941), canceled by Gilberton after 288 issues.
- The Avengers #85 (Marvel Comics)
- First appearance of the Squadron Supreme, as well as members Blue Eagle, Doctor Spectrum (Joseph Ledger), Golden Archer, Hyperion (Mark Milton), Lady Lark, Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond, Earth-712), Tom Thumb, and Whizzer (Stanley Stewart)
- Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., with issue #18, canceled by Marvel.
- Tower of Shadows, with issue #10, changes its name to Creatures on the Loose. (Marvel Comics)
- Ka-Zar, with issue #3, is canceled by Marvel.
- Mister Miracle #1 (DC Comics)
- First appearance of Mister Miracle
- Action Comics #400: "My Son... Is He Man or Beast?", by Leo Dorfman, Curt Swan, and Murphy Anderson.
- The "Green Goblin Reborn!" story-arc begins in The Amazing Spider-Man #96 (continuing through issue #98). Written by Stan Lee, and drawn by Gil Kane and John Romita, Sr., it is recognized as the first mainstream comic publication which portrayed and condemned drug abuse, and was published without the seal of approval of the Comics Code Authority.
- Detective Comics #411 (DC Comics)
- Forever People #2 (DC Comics)
- First appearance of Desaad
- Mister Miracle #2 (DC Comics)
- First appearance of Granny Goodness
- With the publication of Savage Tales #1, Marvel creates its black-and-white magazine imprint, Curtis Magazines, which published material that doesn't carry the seal of the Comics Code Authority.
- First appearance of Man-Thing
- Batman #232 (DC Comics)
- The "Kree-Skrull War" story arc, written by Roy Thomas, begins in The Avengers #89 (running through issue #97, March 1972).
- Captain America and the Falcon #138: "It Happens in Harlem," drawn by John Romita, Sr.
- Tarzan #200: "The Secret Vaults of Opar," by Gaylord DuBois, Paul Norris, and Mike Royer. (Gold Key)
- Hollywood Romances, with issue #59, cancelled by Charlton.
- House of Secrets #92 (DC Comics)
- First appearance of Swamp Thing
- The woman appearing on the cover of this issue was modeled after future comics writer Louise Simonson.
- The Incredible Hulk #141 (Marvel Comics)
- First appearance of Doc Samson
- Timmy the Timid Ghost (vol. 2), with issue #23, canceled by Charlton.
- July 24: Golden Age artist Lou Fine dies at age 56.
- DC Comics raises the price of its typical comic book from 15 cents to 25 cents, and the page-count from 36 to 52 by adding reprints and new backup features.
- The "Snowbirds Don't Fly" story-arc, written by Denny O'Neil and drawn by Neal Adams, begins in Green Lantern #85 (August/September cover date) (concluding in issue #86). (DC Comics)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #100: "The Spider or the Man?", by Stan Lee, Gil Kane, and Frank Giacoia. "The Six Arms Saga" story-arc begins (running through issue #102).
- With issue #20, Ghost Manor vol. 1 changes its title to Ghostly Haunts.
- The Brave and the Bold #98 (written by Bob Haney) — Jim Aparo's first issue as artist. Haney and Aparo continue to contribute the majority of issues until the series' finale in July 1983.
- In the Days of the Mob #1 and Spirit World #1, two one-shot black-and-white magazines by Jack Kirby.
- Mister Miracle #4 (DC Comics)
- First appearance of Big Barda
- The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (Marvel Comics)
- First appearance of Morbius, the Living Vampire
- Girls' Romances (1950 series), with issue #160, is cancelled by DC.
- Marvel Comics, following rival DC's lead, raises the price of its typical comic book from 15 cents to 25 cents, and the page-count from 36 to 52.
- The Avengers #93: Neal Adams begins his celebrated stint as Avengers artist, continuing the "Kree-Skrull War" story arc begun in issue #89 of the title.
- DC Special (1968 series), with issue #15 (November /December cover date), is cancelled by DC.
- After a month-long experimentation with 25-cent comics, Marvel reduces the price of a typical comic to 20 cents, and returns the page-count from 52 to 36 pages.
- The Avengers #94: First appearance of the Mandroid power armor.
- Marvel Feature #1 (Marvel Comics)
- First appearance of The Defenders
- Green Lantern #87 (DC Comics)
- First appearance of John Stewart
- February 27–28: Comicon '71 (British Comic Art Convention) (Waverley Hotel, London, England) — organized by Bram Stokes and Dez Skinn; guest of honor: Frank Bellamy; other guests include Frank Dickens, Mick Farren, and Edward Barker
- Summer: Miamicon II (Miami, Florida)i
- Summer: Name TK (Boston, Massachusetts)
- June 17–20: Houstoncon '71 (Houston, Texas) — official guests include Kirk Alyn at his first fan convention
- July 2–4: Comic Art Convention (Statler Hilton Hotel, New York City) — presentation of the Goethe Awards, emceed by Tony Isabella and Carl Gafford. Convention credited by Will Eisner for his return to comics:
|“||I came back into the field because of [convention organizer Phil Seuling]. I remember [him] calling me in New London, [Connecticut], where I was sitting there as chairman of the board of Croft Publishing Co. My secretary said, 'There's a Mr. Seuling on the phone and he's talking about a comics convention. What is that?' ... I came down and was stunned at the existence of the whole world. ... That was a world that I had left, and I found it very exciting, very stimulating. I went down to the convention, which was being held in one of the hotels in New York, and there was a group of guys with long hair and scraggly beards, who had been turning out what spun as literature, really popular 'gutter' literature if you will, but pure literature. And they were taking on illegal [sic] subject matter that no comics had ever dealt with before. ... I came away from that recognizing that a revolution had occurred then, a turning point in the history of this medium.||”|
- July 8–11: D-Con '71 (Sheraton-Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas) — 6th annual Southwesterncon
- August 6–8: Golden State Comic Con (e.g., the second occurrence of what becomes the San Diego Comic-Con) (Muir College, University of California, San Diego Campus, La Jolla, California) — official guests: Kirk Alyn, Leigh Brackett, Ray Bradbury, Edmund Hamilton, Jack Kirby
- August 15: Metro Con (Washington, D.C.) — second annual show organized by 16-year-old Gary Groth; attendees include Phil Seuling, Bud Plant, and Dave Cockrum
- November 26–28: Creation Con (New Yorker Hotel, New York City) — first iteration of this trade show, produced by two 14-year-old Queens schoolboys, Adam Malin and Gary Berman; guest: Jim Steranko
Presented in 1972 for comics published in 1971:
- Best Continuing Feature: Conan the Barbarian (Marvel)
- Best Individual Story: "Snowbirds Don't Fly", by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams, Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85 (DC)
- Best Writer (Dramatic Division): Roy Thomas
- Best Penciller (Dramatic Division): Neal Adams
- Best Inker (Dramatic Division): Dick Giordano
- Best Writer (Humor Division): John Albano
- Best Penciller (Humor Division): Dan DeCarlo
- Best Inker (Humor Division): Henry Scarpelli
- Best Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
- Best Colorist: Tatjana Wood
- Best Foreign Artist: Frank Bellamy
- Outstanding New Talent: (tie)
- Special Recognition: Gil Kane, "for Blackmark, his paperback comics novel"
- Special Achievement by an Individual: Jack Kirby, "for his Fourth World series in Forever People, New Gods, Mister Miracle, Jimmy Olsen"
- Hall of Fame: Will Eisner
First issues by title
Ghost Manor vol. 2
- Release: October Editor: Sal Gentile.
- Release: September Editor: Sal Gentile.
- Release: September Editor: Sal Gentile.
DC 100 Page Super Spectacular: debuts with issue #4
- Release: September /October Editor: Joe Orlando.
- Release: February /March Writer/Artist: Jack Kirby.
- Release: September /October Editor: Murray Boltinoff.
- Release: April. Writer/Artist: Jack Kirby.
- Release: February /March Writer/Artist: Jack Kirby.
- Release: September /October Editor: Joe Kubert.
- Release: July by Hell Comics.
- Release: February 20 by Polystyle Publications.
- Release: February 6 by IPC Magazines.
Initial appearance by character name
- Ra's al Ghul, in Batman #232 (June)
- Talia al Ghul, in Detective Comics #411 (May)
- Big Barda, in Mister Miracle #4 (October)
- Black Racer, in New Gods #3 (July)
- Champions of Angor, in Justice League of America #87 (February)
- Desaad, in Forever People #2 (May)
- Doctor Bedlam, in Mister Miracle #2 (May/June)
- Dubbilex, in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #136 (March)
- Glorious Godfrey, in Forever People #3 (June)
- Gnarrk, in Teen Titans #33 (June)
- Granny Goodness, in Mister Miracle #2 (May/June)
- Highfather, in New Gods #1 (February /March )
- Kalibak, in New Gods #1 (February /March )
- Lightray, in New Gods #1 (February /March )
- Bruno Mannheim, in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #139 (July)
- Mantis, in Forever People #2 (June)
- Merlyn, in Justice League of America #94 (November)
- Mister Miracle, in Mister Miracle #1 (April)
- Orion, in New Gods #1 (February)
- John Stewart, in Green Lantern #87 (December)
- Sonny Sumo, in Forever People #4 (September)
- Swamp Thing, in House of Secrets #92 (July)
- Virman Vundabar, in Mister Miracle #5 (December)
- The Defenders, in Marvel Feature #1 (December)
- Jarella, in The Incredible Hulk #140 (June)
- Man-Thing, in Savage Tales #1 (May)
- Mockingbird, in Astonishing Tales #6 (June)
- Morbius, the Living Vampire, in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (October)
- Overmind, in Fantastic Four #113 (August)
- Doc Samson, in The Incredible Hulk #141 (July)
- Serpent Men, in Kull the Conqueror #2 (September)
- Spymaster, in Iron Man #33
- Squadron Supreme, in The Avengers #85 (March)
- Valkyrie (Samantha Parrington), in The Incredible Hulk #142 (August)
- Thompson, Don & Maggie, "Crack in the Code" in Newfangles #44 (February 1971).
- McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
As the writer, artist, and editor of the Fourth World family of interlocking titles, each of which possessed its own distinct tone and theme, Jack Kirby cemented his legacy as a pioneer of grand-scale storytelling.
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 144 "New editor Julius Schwartz, new scripter Denny O'Neil, and regular artist Curt Swan removed the Man of Steel's greatest weakness from the face of the Earth."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 145 "Before Batman first encountered one of his greatest adversaries, Ra's al Ghul, he met his daughter, the lovely but lethal Talia [in a story by] writer Denny O'Neil and artist Bob Brown."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 145: "Writer Denny O'Neil once stated that he and artist Neal Adams 'set out to consciously and deliberately to create a villain...so exotic and mysterious that neither we nor Batman were sure what to expect.' Who they came up with was arguably Batman's most cunning adversary: the global eco-terrorist named Ra's al Ghul."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 146: "'Swamp Thing' was the name of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's start of the 20th century tale, and its popularity with readers led a modernized version of the character into his own series a year later."
- Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 481. ISBN 978-3-8365-1981-6.
When Swamp Thing debuted in this issue of House of Secrets as a "one-shot", no one could have known it would lead to an enduring hit franchise, least of all its cover model, future comics writer Louise Simonson.
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 144: "Although decreasing sales and inflation dictated a hefty cover price increase from 15 to 25 cents, [DC Comics Publisher Carmine] Infantino saw to it that extra pages containing classic reprints and new back-up features were added to DC titles."
- Levitz, p. 451: "Marvel took advantage of this moment to surpass DC in title production for the first time since 1957, and in sales for the first time ever."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 146 "It was taboo to depict drugs in comics, even in ways that openly condemned their use. However, writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams collaborated on an unforgettable two-part arc that brought the issue directly into Green Arrow's home, and demonstrated the power comics had to affect change and perception."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 147: "Believing that new formats were necessary for the comics medium to continue evolving, Kirby oversaw the production of what was labeled his 'Speak-Out Series' of magazines: Spirit World and In the Days of the Mob...Sadly, these unique magazines never found their desired audience."
- Skinn, Dez. "Early days of UK comics conventions and marts," DezSkinn.com. Accessed Mar. 3, 2013.
- Jacobson, Aileen. "Serious Comics Fans," Washington Post (August 16, 1971), p. B2.
- "The 1971 Goethe Awards" (ballot), Graphic Story World vol. 2, #2 (whole #6) (July 1972), p. 29.
- Miller, John Jackson. "Goethe/Comic Fan Art Award winners, 1971-74," CBGXtra (July 19, 2005).
- Eisner interview (excerpt), The Comics Journal #267 (May 1, 2005)
- Transcript, Will Eisner's keynote address, Will Eisner Symposium: The 2002 University of Florida Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels
- Pinaha, Bob. "Creation '71 No Turkey!" Comic Fandom Monthly (Jan. 1971), pp. 4–7.
- Beerbohm, Robert. "Update to Comics Dealer Extraordinaire Robert Beerbohm: In His Own Words," Comic-Convention Memories (June 24, 2010).
- "The Comic Book Conventions: The humble beginnings...continued...," Creation Entertainment website. Accessed June 4, 2012.
- "The Comic Book Conventions: The humble beginnings...," Creation Entertainment website. Accessed June 4, 2012.