Saturday, June 23, 2018

Whoring Sonja

Just the other day I was browsing one of my favourite comics blogs, Pete Doree's The Bronze Age of Blogs, when I came across this Brian Bolland 1978 advert for Derek and Diane Stokes's  Dark They Were, And Golden Eyed, published in STARBURST #1.

DTWAGE was an iconic science fiction and comic book shop in London, which counted among its most distinguished costumers Nick Laundau, Alan Moore and a host of other soon-to-be famous writers and artists before it closed its doors in 1981. Not having ever been to London prior to that time, but having always been a fan of horror, science fiction, comics and, yes, even Fortean literature (and its sixties derivates from Erich Von Daniken and Robert Charroux, to Jacques Vallée and J.J. Benítez), the famous and sadly missed bookstore was an ever present reference in my imaginarium.

In 1978 Red Sonja was at the peak of her popularity thanks to Frank Thorne's run on her book at Marvel, and she clearly dominates the advert in question, relegating even Batman, Mr. Spock and Robbie the Robot into the background. As I had never seen this advert before, it was something of a surprise to see the high esteem in which such a revered artist as Brian Bolland held our lovely Sonja, or, at least, the popularity she seemed to have on the other side of the Atlantic pond. And that she's here associated with one of the most important and beloved fantasy bookstores in the world, advertising it (without the copyright holders's knowledge, I'm sure) just made me ponder how Dynamite has been legally whoring Sonja in a way that not even an unauthorized advert could.   

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