Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hidden Gems: Strange Stories #1

I found this book in a '5 for $1' bundle as an LCS last week. Avalon Communications seems to be the Canadian equivalent of Bill Black's AC Comics. They seem to have published a ton of reprint titles between 1997 and 2002, featuring loads of reprints from publishers such as Charlton and American Comics Group. I am sure someone out there knows the complete history of this company, but I will freely admit that they, and all of their books passed me by completely. To be honest, I don't know that I would have paid $3 for a slim volume of black and white reprints, but it was tough to pass up for a a fraction of a Loonie. This volume includes a fun Magicman tale with a solid appearance by Fidel Castro and a fairly standard story involving a soldier trying to make amends for cowardice. The real treat here is the John Force, Magic Agent tale entitled Cute as a Button, in which the 'Tattooed One' meets a baby while while investigating a series of terrorist bombings. The baby has a rather intriguing secret, with shades of 'The Unholy Three'. Also, there's a brief Hitler cameo. As a sampler of the type of stories ACG was publishing in the 60s, you really can't go wrong if you find a cheap copy of this book.


bob said...

Kind of a cute nod to the old STRANGE TALES tandem of Doctor Strange and Nick Fury combining reprints of these two characters in a single book.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

Avalon Communications started in the late 1980s as 'A-Plus Comics'


Scott M said...


I agree that this is really a Strange Tales homage cover, but I never noticed it until you brought it up.

I do have at least one A+ book. I never saw these on the shelves when they were first published.

Michi S said...

A+ comics from Canada are oversized in height, measuring about 6-5/8 x 10-1/2 (17 x 27-28 cm), instead of 6-5/8 x 10-1/4 (17 x 26 cm). As a result, in the U.S. anyway, you almost always see top edge wear on otherwise pristine copies of A+ titles. I have owned copies that actually overhang a standard 10-1/2 inch high backing board!