Hembeck: The Best of Dateline: @!!?# (1979) #1 by Fred Hembeck
I think this is Eclipse’s second publication, and it’s a strange choice for Eclipse: The first half dozen things they publish point to trying to distance themselves from super-hero fanboyisms, and here they are reprinting a column from The Comics Buyers Guide, the bastion of super-hero fandom at the time.
A number of strips deal with looking back to older, discontinued publishing lines. What a weirdo!
There’s a lot of pages that aren’t as imaginatively rendered as this one, though.
There’s a bit too much of this kind of thing, which is basically a preview of what it would be like to read blogs twenty years later. Only without as many panels.
I do remember reading this page as a child, though. I thought it was a fascinating glimpse into a different reality: I grew up with a single TV channel, and reading about somebody growing up with cable… with a programming policy as kooky as that… it was just mind-boggling.
Not all the pages were equally fascinating, though.
But you have to admire that charming swirly-knee drawing style.
Eclipse published one issue of this, and then Hembeck moved to Fantaco, who reprinted this issue and published a bunch more.
One thought on “1979: Hembeck: The Best of Dateline: @!!?#”
Hembeck was good stuff, with some side-splitting hilarious stuff and some just mildly amusing. cat and Dean Mullaney were from fandom and they never lost that love for Silver Age Marvel. They also had a relationship with the Comic Buyer’s Guide, as cat had a regular column there and Eclipse had a regular marketing page. It continued to the end, when cat detailed Dean’s affair and her discovery of it, and the bankrupting of the company.
A lot of their early stuff was very much fanboy material and they continued that through their first decade, to some extent.