One of my (many) other collecting interests is comic books so I was pleased when I found a bunch of these cheap at a card show a couple months back. Both the 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee and Topps sets featured these card-sized comic book inserts. (I believe some–or all?–of the OPC versions are in French.) They’re eight pages long, printed very colorfully (see the yellow brick building below) on newsprint, and are VERY corny. They remind me of those old Hostess pie advertisements that ran in the seventies as well. I wasn’t exactly expecting these to be Kirby/Lee-esque but they seriously make Bazooka Joe look like it was written by Alan Moore. The front borrows the photo from the player’s corresponding base card, often cropped. The Gordie booklet is a bit interesting as it appeared in the O-Pee-Chee set while the actual card did not. I’m not quite sure why the colors are changed. Note the green jersey and black collar instead of the white and red.
I can’t really stress how goofy this comics are. They have the same tone, humor, and positivity as the cartoons from the backs of cards from around the same time.
A few things come to mind. Why did they chose to do such a morbid panel on Howe fracturing his skull? Why does it directly precede a panel about him being hockey’s iron man? In what world are people walking by windows featuring human sized robots and somehow connecting that with Gordie Howe? Where’s Gordie’s number in the second panel? Why is the Maple Leaf goalie wearing number zero?
Collect all 24 booklets!