Friday, June 30, 2006

Amazing Heroes Swimsuit Special 1990

AMAZING HEROES was one of my favorite comics related magazines (and not just because they published my first ever article!). Put out by the otherwise elitist Fantagraphics, the folks who bring you THE COMICS JOURNAL, AH was a surprisingly fun, upbeat publication with emphasis on silver age classics and modern, mainstream independent comics. In spite of a revolving door for its editors, the mag maintained an enjoyable standard of quality for quite a few years and included annual special issues such as a preview issue and a swimsuit issue. In this case, the swimsuit issue was just an excuse for artists to turn in illustrations and cartoons of characters in various stages of undress, sometimes to plug a project but more often than not just for fun. It may not sound like much but it had a joy for comics that’s missing in today’s WIZARD-dominated marketplace. Take a look at some art from the 1990 AMAZING HEROES SWIMSUIT SPECIAL.

The cover features Reed Waller and Kate Worley’s OMAHA, THE CAT DANCER looking rather more discreet than usual. Mario Hernandez envisions Harvey Comics LITTLE DOT all grown up and in need of therapy. Friend Fred Hembeck presents the delightful tableau in which NANCY’s world crosses over with that of DENNIS THE MENACE (with a side of LITTLE LULU and even PETEY PARKER!). Rich Howell offers Disney’s Malefecent and her day at the beach while Neil Vokes pokes fun at Marvel’s X-Calibur and Janet Hetherington shows off snapshots of DC’s TEEN TITANS. Finally, leave it to TV’s Bruce Timm to resurrect ANGEL AND THE APE on the sand! Also in this issue were Batton Lash, Don Simpson, Charles Vess, Marc Hempel, Kurt Schaffenberger, Ty Templeton, Scott Shaw! And a whole lot more including more Hembeck and Timm! These things go for a song when you can find them and they’re lots of fun on a hot summer day whether you make it to the water or not. Surf’s up!


  1. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I still have a box of almost every single issue of Amazing Heroes.

    I have the original 13 first issues before it changed size too.

    I am sure I have the issue with your article.

    Won't sell them.
    Won't give them away.
    Won't throw them away.

    Alan Bryan

  2. Which issues of Amazing Heroes were Swimsuit issues?