I don't remember buying many of these (if any at all, actually) but we were able to get them as 'hand-me-downs' from other kids in the neighborhood.The comics featured more fantasy elements storywise, but still seemed to mimic stories from the (then popular) TV show episodes with only a few, if any, changes to the plot (simple variations on a theme). They were still a fun read for us diehard fans of the television show though.
Superboy - the unending popularity of Superman led to multiple titles featuring stories introducing several supporting cast 'players' & characters who would become part of the Superman 'family'. The stories in Superboy were normally carefree, offering more gimmicks than other Superman titles. Although world-saving was a priority, Superboy was mostly concerned with protecting his secret identity and avoiding the romantic interests of girls in Smallville. Acceptable fun, if not very memorable.
Scooby Doo...Where Are You? - the format of the series is identical to the TV cartoon: Fred, Daphne, Velma & Shaggy, 'meddling kids' who are transported straight out of the 60s, spot a ghoul or an apparition - usually on their way to or from some event in their van, the 'Mystery Machine'. Scooby Doo is, of course, the group’s dog, a comical Great Dane that usually stumbles across the secret to the mystery while searching for food. Forgettable fare that never surpassed (or matched) it's TV roots.
Classics Illustrated - this well-known publication began back in 1941 and changed in presentation slightly to the more commonly recognized format seen here. The books were somewhat renowned for the artwork of their covers, and some of the panels within the pages. Besides the (sketchy) literary adaptations, there were also author profiles, educational fillers, and usually an ad for the next issue. We received each of these titles as hand-me-downs...quite diverting & entertaining for us kids then.
The Atom & Hawkman - when sales declined on each of the individual superhero's own title series in '69, DC Comics combined them into a single (but very short lived) publication. Some issues paired up the two to take down a common foe, while most others in the series featured each in their own tailor-made stories, continuing to battle their arch-foes. The artwork was the real star here - the cover on this issue is a prime example. I really liked this series - vintage Silver Age comic!
Space Adventures - a bit of a legend for publisher Charlton Comics, the title has undergone various subtitles (always with Space Adventures in the title) and a slight variance in format and material - though remaining true to it's science fiction roots. When we read the series (late 60s/early 70s) it featured the standard sci-fi story components: alien armies infiltrate mankind, androids turn against their creators, rockets travel to the far regions of the universe, etc. Very enjoyable escapism.
Chamber Of Darkness - another of the Marvel Comics horror/fantasy anthology titles, this one debuted in late '68. The stories were usually 'hosted' by Digger, a gravedigger, or undertaker Headstone P. Gravely. A quite inspired genre entry with creative storytelling & superior artwork. However, the publishers soon began including mainly reprints from earlier Marvel series of the 50's and eventually even retitled it Monsters On The Prowl. A highly disappointing turn of events...what might've been.
Sad Sack - another newspaper comic strip character that made the successful transition to comic book form. Sad Sack was similar to Beetle Bailey in that he too was 'blessed' with the ability to mess up virtually any task, and create chaotic havoc out of his simplest assignments. He was different from BB primarily in being much less lazy (in fact, on some occasions, too eager to work - in order please superiors), but also a great deal more pathetic. Silly fun, but not very memorable.
Conan The Barbarian - everyone is familiar with the Conan character, first introduced decades ago by fantasy writer Robert E. Howard in pulp form. Conan has fought both gods & demons, monsters & men, all the while leading an army of fearsome warriors. The fantastic and adventurous stories of his 'savage' skills and sword mastery are the stuff of legend and fitted the comic book form perfectly. Most worthwhile and always diverting, the series was quite popular back then.
G.I. Combat - although a popular & successful 30-yr publication for DC Comics, my memories of it aren't too fond. The primary storyline in each issue featured Jeb Stuart’s Haunted Tank, that had a ghostly guardian who used supernatural powers to aid the tank’s crew in their fight against the Axis forces. The action combat tales were heavy on intrigue, with most ending in a surprise twist. We all found it pretty tepid stuff...not nearly as good as other horror anthology titles in print then.
The Occult Files Of Dr. Spektor - the title character was an investigator who specialized in the field of the occult, and dealt with various fantastic otherworldly menaces. He faced off against such typical mundane comic book monster staples as mummies, vampires, ghouls, etc. But he more often battled paranormal creatures not usually seen in the comics of my era. Generally inspired storytelling & very good of it's type, I never missed an issue during it's publication.
The Defenders - originally the group consisted of the bedeviled Marvel superheroes, Doctor Strange, The Sub-Mariner & The Incredible Hulk. This starcrossed lot also featured other superheroes in their stories (for instance, here Ironman appears) & had occasional member changes. Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Moondragon & a host of others were each part of The Defenders for a period. The enemies they fought were as myriad as well, with many super-villains receiving their intro to the Marvel universe here.
Beware! - a Marvel Comics series that reprinted stories originally appearing in comics from the early 50's. At that time the Comics Code Authority stripped publishers of their rights to use the genre's monsters & related bloodshed, gore, etc. By 1971 the code had relaxed and this series premiered, blitzing the reader with every horror gimmick known, reprinting forgotten (and forgettable) monster stories from the earlier era. Never a priority purchase, later similar series would fare much better.
Wonder Woman - DC Comics first female superhero, Diana Prince was an Amazonian princess who nursed an American pilot back to health and returned with him. Possessing great strength, speed & agility (matched only by Superman then) she fought the good fight against crime & evil - and had some very cool accessories too: an invisible plane, Feminium bracelets (used to deflect bullets, shrapnel, etc.) and of course the Golden Lasso, whose magic could make captives tell the truth. Passable timekiller.
Detective Comics - a milestone in DC Comics and legendary for introducing the cornerstone character Batman. It was also instrumental in bringing several other superheroes to the comic pages, some evolving into their own series. Most well-known among those first 'brought to life' here include both Robin & Batgirl. Other highlights were Martian Manhunter & Elongated Man, each appearing regularly here in their own backup feature stories in the 60's & 70's, eventually becoming members of the JLA.
Walt Disney Comics Digest - this series reprinted classic comic tales of Donald Duck, his nephews, Huey, Dewey & Louie, Uncle Scrooge and the rest of the Disney menagerie. Occasionally crossword puzzles, word games, comic story renderings of Disney movies, etc., were featured. The reduced size of the comic panels was a minor drawback, but for the price (.50 cents) it was a 'goldmine' of Disney cartoon fun. Walt Disney's legendary 'duck' artist, Carl Barks, was featured prominently. Worthy fun.
Tales To Astonish - like other anthology themed comics, this Marvel Comics title was a breeding ground for several of the era's superheroes. By the time we'd started collecting them they only featured both The Incredible Hulk and The Sub-Mariner. Normally the two were each spotlighted in their own adventure; however, this particular issue had the green goliath being manipulated by a common foe to battle Prince Namor. Memorable series with good stories.
Mighty Mouse - I only vaguely recall the comic book series but I do have vivid memories of the classic animated Saturday morning TV cartoon. Like the show, it seems the comic stories would have featured MM fighting off the evil machinations threatening Mouseville - arch-villain Oil Can Harry in particular. And, of course, protecting his true love Pearl Pureheart. His famous call to duty ("Here I come to save the day!") just didn't play as well in book form.
Cheyenne Kid - Charlton Comics series title with a Western setting, the 'Kid' was a frontier orphan raised among Cheyenne Indians. He became a trusted scout and guide for hire based at a fort under the command of Colonel Mackenzie. Cheyenne worked to keep the peace, battling unscrupulous exploiters, prejudicial lawmen and violent renegades, all the while helping to avert numerous wars and uprisings. Typical 'white-hat' Western comics hero. Eminently readable if not very memorable.
Silver Surfer - considered a milestone for Marvel Comics by many comic enthusiasts, the Silver Surfer was an instant hit when first introduced in a Fantastic Four story. Endowed with the 'Power Cosmic' which was never completely defined, the Surfer's superpowers seemed to increase with each new issue, but that never detracted from the great stories within the pages though. A rare combination of both hero & protagonist, the Silver Surfer remains one of the most enduring Marvel characters.
Jimmy Olsen - 'Superman's Pal', Daily Planet cub reporter Jimmy Olsen, was always on the lookout for a story, and this comic series took him on several humorous adventures. From undersea kingdoms to encounters with aliens to even being granted his own superpowers on occasion. If the action got too hot, Jimmy could just use his signal watch to call Superman for a rescue. And indeed it seemed like never an issue went by that Superman didn’t save Jimmy from one menace or another. Frivolous fun.
Tales Of Asgard - soon after The Mighty Thor first appeared in Marvel Comics, the entire pantheon of Norse god mythology followed. Their stories were originally backup features in the Marvel comic series Journey Into Mystery. Three of those were gathered here for a special one-of-a-kind publication. Told from the Marvel universe perspective, featured were all-wise Odin and two other loyal & brave companions of Thor. Great fantasy tales! It's a shame they didn't consider doing further issues.
The Twilight Zone - based on the seminal TV series and outlasting it's inspiration by nearly 20 years, this was a favorite of mine. The stories were all original and in the same vein as the TV show, each ending with an unexpected twist. There was also one original short story included in each issue with text only, no illustrations - unusual for the era. Rod Serling, the series creator, 'appeared' at the beginning & ending of each of the stories as the narrator. Great stuff and very memorable!
Drag N' Wheels - just as the comics cover advertises, stories of drag races, motorcycle racing and the like. Featuring the main character of Scot Jackson in every issue, he would go head-to-head against other rival drivers and would - naturally - win against all odds. The characters were usually in their late teens, drove souped-up vehicles of all sorts and the stories revolved around either a race or a challenge of some sort. Completely forgettable and barely registers in the memory any longer.
Baby Huey - super-titled 'The Baby Giant', he was a huge yellow duckling, always dressed in a diaper, bow-tie and a baby bonnet. Ever lovable, but dim-witted and never fully aware of his true physical strength, Baby Huey was always bumbling himself (and often his friends) into situations that usually ended up in slapstick heavy resolutions. While it was definitely a successful series for Harvey Comics (spinning off 2 other featured titles), it's humor was strictly only for very young kids.