Independent Iron Age

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Vol 1

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was first published by Mirage Studios in 1984 in Dover, New Hampshire. The concept arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Kevin Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming and bad television with Peter Laird. Using money from a tax refund, together with a loan from Eastman’s uncle, the young artists self-published a single-issue comic intended to parody four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel ComicsDaredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim’s Cerebus, and Frank Miller’s Ronin. The TMNT comic series has been published in various incarnations by various comic book companies since 1984.

Dark Horse Presents

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Dark Horse Presents was the first comic book published by Dark Horse Comics in 1986 and was their flagship title until its September 2000 cancellation. The second incarnation was published on MySpace, running from July 2007 until August 2010. A third incarnation began in April 2011, released in print form once again.

Locke & Key Grindhouse (2012)

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Locke & Key is written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez and published by IDW Publishing. Set in the glare of a Depression-era summer, in which three Canuck gangsters carry out a heist and hide out at the Keyhouse. Locke & Key: Grindhouse includes an expanded ‘Guide to Keyhouse,’ which describes the mansion.

Locke & Key Grindhouse #1 NM- $12

Ghost (1990’s)

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Ghost first appeared in Comics’ Greatest World, week three, in 1993. After a popular special in 1994, a monthly title devoted to the character began publication in 1995. It ran for 36 issues, followed by a six-month break and a second series of 22 issues. The second series was a continuation of the first with a number of changes, including new details about Ghost’s origin. The stories in both series were based in (and around) the city of Arcadia, in a self-contained fictional universe outlined in Dark Horse’s Comics’ Greatest World.

Ghost continued appearing in her own titles (and others) into the 2000s, including several crossovers unrelated to Comics’ Greatest World. Most notable among these were a two-issue crossover with Dark Horse’s Hellboy (Ghost/Hellboy), and a four-issue crossover with DC Comics’ Batgirl (Ghost/Batgirl: The Resurrection Machine). Ghost was ranked 15th on the Comics Buyer’s Guide‘s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list.

Flaming Carrot Comics (1980’s)

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The Flaming Carrot origin states that “having read 5,000 comics in a single sitting to win a bet, this poor man suffered brain damage and appeared directly thereafter as—the Flaming Carrot!”

The Carrot, who lives in Palookaville, a neighborhood of Iron City, has staved off at least three alien invasions, a Communist take over of Iron City, flying dead dogs, the Man in the Moon, Death itself, and a cloned horde of evil marching Hitler‘s boots. Possessing no real super powers, the Carrot wins the day through sheer grit, raw determination, blinding stupidity, and bizarre luck. Flaming Carrot even died in #6 (fell into a deep toxic waste pit in Palookaville), was brought back from clinical death in #7, described his sojourn in Limbo in #8 and got back at those who sent him to Limbo in #9.

Flaming Carrot was also a founding member of the blue collar superhero group the Mystery Men, introduced in a flashback/dream sequence in Flaming Carrot Comics #16. The story of this group was later made into the 1999 movie Mystery Men and a short-lived spin-off comic book series. The Flaming Carrot himself does not appear in the film, although a handful of characters like Mr. Furious, the Shoveler, and Dr. Heller do.

Freaks of the Heartland (2004)

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Trevor Owen has a younger brother who lives in the barn behind the house, too monstrous to be let into the house. The boy’s only six years old, but he towers over his older brother, and possesses monstrous strength. For years, Trevor has looked after his baby brother, keeping him from the light, but now that’s all about to change. His family’s profane secret is about to be revealed, uncovering the horrible truth of the small mid-western town the boys have grown up in.

Freaks of the Heartland 1 NM 8
Freaks of the Heartland #1 NM $8

Creepy – Harris (1992)

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Harris Comics brings the old Warren magazine back from the dead, as it were, in this monstrous 1993 title. Creepy follows a familiar format, telling horror stories interspersed with comments from ghoulish hosts—in this case a sadistic couple of cousins. The stories hark back to the great EC horror titles such as Tales From the Crypt, featuring all number of vampires, witches, demons, and dark sorcery. And of course, there’s always Vampirella.

If there is one way in which Creepy sets itself apart from old-style horror, it’s that in classic horror comics, evil was (almost) always punished, and good always won out in the end. Creepy, on the other hand, makes no such distinction—preferring, as it might say, to be an “equal opportunity destroyer.”