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  1. #1
    Mighty Member tib2d2's Avatar
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    Default "Giant" Justice League of America in 1977-78

    I noticed that JLA in 1977-78 went to a Giant format. Any idea why they decided to bump up the size? Was it just an excuse to raise the price?

    Did they keep to one story in the issue or do multiple stories?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Air Wave's Avatar
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    They were still single stories as I recall. Just longer. They were just bumping some titles up to 60 at the time.

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    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tib2d2 View Post
    I noticed that JLA in 1977-78 went to a Giant format. Any idea why they decided to bump up the size? Was it just an excuse to raise the price?
    They didn't need an excuse to raise prices in those inflationary years, trust me. It got to a point that I started expecting a price increase every month.
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  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Air Wave's Avatar
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    Yeah all the regular comics, which were 17 pages, went from 30 to 35, and all the Giants from 50 to 60. Dollar comics were brand new but huge, 80 pages, and not all that common. Then came the DC Explosion, where everything went to 50, but 25 pages. We all know what happened next.

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    The change to a 'giant' comic was all writer Steve Englehart.

    https://jlasatellite.blogspot.com/20...ith-steve.html

    Englhart: "Jenette Khan had taken over at DC and she got in touch and said come on over and do stuff for us.

    I said, well, I'm planning on leaving the country in a year and go to Europe and travel around, so I can only do it for a year. And she said that's fine, we need you to revamp The Justice League, we need to bring the Justice League up to speed with what Marvel is doing and you're obviously the guy, having come off The Avengers, to do it.

    So we had lunch in New York and I said I'd be happy to do it, but I want to do Batman specifically, and that led on to me doing Detective. But the original concept was, fix the Justice League--y'know, give all these characters character, and so forth.

    The other significant thing about all that was, once I thought about it, and if I'm supposed to give every one of these guys characterization and tell a story, I can't do that in a regular-sized book. I need something larger and I came up with this idea for a double-sized book so I could tell what turned out to be fairly expansive stories and get to spend time with each individual character as they showed up."

  6. #6
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    Man, some readers are so jaded. I remember this as being one of the greatest moments in my comic book buying career. Not only did JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA become a Giant, but so did SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. Other Giants included BATMAN FAMILY (now with all-new material), DC SPECIAL and DC SUPER STARS, plus an occasional DC SPECIAL SERIES. And this was also the time when they added the Dollar Comics--which were initially SUPERMAN FAMILY, HOUSE OF MYSTERY, G.I. COMBAT and WORLD'S FINEST COMICS.

    You have to understand that to offset costs, they had put more and more ads into the 32 page comics, which squeezed out the number of story pages--and we ended up with 17 pages of story per issue. So a double sized story count meant that JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES now had 34 pages of story to work with. The Englehart issues were especially satisfying as it was like getting a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, including pumpkin pie, each and every month.

    In her "Publishorial" for the Dollar Comics, Jenette Kahn explained that retailers were not happy to give comics a big display, because the profit margin on a 30 cent comic book didn't make it worth their while. But they stood to make much more profit on a dollar comic book and would be encouraged to give those comics better display. I imagine that the same idea applied to the 50 and 60 cent comics and to the tabloid format comics--which went up to $2 from $1, but I personally hardly ever saw the tabloids for sale, certainly not in drugstores and was always forced to order them by mail.

    It's not like this was a big cash grab. You got a lot of story for your money. And the number of titles they had out each month was only around 32--so it wasn't like you were inundated with titles to choose from, like it is now when they have upwards of 80 titles competing for your money each month.
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  7. #7
    Mighty Member JLH's Avatar
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    I cut my comic book teeth on the 100-pagers but LOVED the Giants that followed--JLA, LoSH, DC Special, DC Super-Stars--the lot of them. Great memories.

    Thanks for the link to the Englehart interview, caj. Interesting stuff.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Air Wave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Man, some readers are so jaded. I remember this as being one of the greatest moments in my comic book buying career. Not only did JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA become a Giant, but so did SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. Other Giants included BATMAN FAMILY (now with all-new material), DC SPECIAL and DC SUPER STARS, plus an occasional DC SPECIAL SERIES. And this was also the time when they added the Dollar Comics--which were initially SUPERMAN FAMILY, HOUSE OF MYSTERY, G.I. COMBAT and WORLD'S FINEST COMICS.

    You have to understand that to offset costs, they had put more and more ads into the 32 page comics, which squeezed out the number of story pages--and we ended up with 17 pages of story per issue. So a double sized story count meant that JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES now had 34 pages of story to work with. The Englehart issues were especially satisfying as it was like getting a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, including pumpkin pie, each and every month.

    In her "Publishorial" for the Dollar Comics, Jenette Kahn explained that retailers were not happy to give comics a big display, because the profit margin on a 30 cent comic book didn't make it worth their while. But they stood to make much more profit on a dollar comic book and would be encouraged to give those comics better display. I imagine that the same idea applied to the 50 and 60 cent comics and to the tabloid format comics--which went up to $2 from $1, but I personally hardly ever saw the tabloids for sale, certainly not in drugstores and was always forced to order them by mail.

    It's not like this was a big cash grab. You got a lot of story for your money. And the number of titles they had out each month was only around 32--so it wasn't like you were inundated with titles to choose from, like it is now when they have upwards of 80 titles competing for your money each month.
    I don't recall the double issues getting any better placement at the drugstore I went to because they were all in the same spinner rack. But I never saw those tabloids anywhere either. My friend had them some though. I don't know where he got them.

    My $4 allowance would only go so far though.

  9. #9
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, I thought the Giant issues were great. The first one I recall was from the Super-Team Family, where that great superhero Henry Kissinger helped out the Challengers of the Unknown.
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  10. #10
    Mighty Member Mike's Avatar
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    The Giant Justice League of America issues were great.
    My favorite, that I got for Christmas of 1976, was issue #140.
    s-l640.jpg

  11. #11
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The Giant Justice League of America issues were great.
    My favorite, that I got for Christmas of 1976, was issue #140.
    s-l640.jpg
    My favorite was #142, which featured the Atom, Aquaman, Elongated Man, and the beautiful green-haired Willow:

    A bat! That's it! It's an omen.. I'll shall become a bat!

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLH View Post
    Thanks for the link to the Englehart interview, caj. Interesting stuff.
    Glad you liked it. Those Englehart Justice League issues are my all-time favorite.

  13. #13
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    They may have pushed the double length for Englehart's run--which also included a two issue League/Society/Legion team-up by Pasko and Levitz--but they kept to it for the beginning of Gerry Conway's run. For seven issues anyway, until a format change to 40 pages for 50 cents reduced it. I think that was part of the Explosion, before the Implosion took it back to 32 pages now for 40 cents.
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  14. #14
    Fantastic Member Jon-El's Avatar
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    When I think of the JLA of that period, the first thing that pops into me head is Star Tsar. I seem to remember that being a character tied into the Manhunter story. Maybe not. That name just burned into my 7 year old brain!

    I love this period but then I think JLA was great for the entire decade of the 70’s.

  15. #15
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon-El View Post
    When I think of the JLA of that period, the first thing that pops into me head is Star Tsar. I seem to remember that being a character tied into the Manhunter story. Maybe not. That name just burned into my 7 year old brain!

    I love this period but then I think JLA was great for the entire decade of the 70’s.
    It was my favorite comic of the '70s, FWIW.
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