House ad for Teen Beat #1 (November-December 1967); printed in Batman #196 (November 1967)
Teen Beat! The late '60s DC comic book that wasn't a comic book, but was a magazine about every favorite pop idol, long before that term had been coined, or indeed, that coin had been termed. That groovy gal I pointed out yesterday and perching on the sandwich-board of that
Cover of Teen Beat #1 (November-December 1967)
Here's Teeny again on the TOC (that's table of contents to squares like you and me), showing off
Stylistically, Teen Beat was an odd mix of professionally printed pop star magazine mixed with all the eptitude of a fanzine: witness the heavy use of typewriter captions throughout. For instance, inside the front cover: a clip-it-and-pin-it-and-then-eventually-throw-it-out heavily Ben-Dayed portrait of Moby Grape!
And here's the first page of a feature on that seminal rock group, the force which finally brought San Francisco the recognition it deserved in 1967. Take that, you old-fashioned '06 earthquake!
Here's a look at an obscure up-and-coming band. Luckily Teen Beat is there to alert us of the newcomers and the fast-moving trends of pop music! What the heck ever happened to these guys, anyway?
As the front cover promised us, The Monkees are breaking up! Well, even if they aren't, their typography and stock photographs certainly are.
Sheesh, don't cry, Monkeemaniacs: the Monkees did not split up. Until 1970. And again, more bitterly, in 2002. Look, will a full-color, traced cartoon of the Mamas and the Papas help any here?
And nobody but nobody, daddy-o, remembers a group called "The Lovin' Spoonful"...unless you tell them, it's the band that Zal Yanovsky started out in before his incredibly successful solo career! Which consisted of one single, the B-side of which was the A-side played backwards.
But I kids the late great Zal Yanovsky. Here's his greatest hits! Hit.
"Teeny Predicts!" profiles four groups with the prediction that they'd become big. Well, Procol Harum ("A Whiter Shade of Pale") and the Bee Gees ("Every 45 Single Sold in the Year 1977") were certainly huge worldwide smashes, and the Tremeloes, a long-running group still doing concerts today, is one of those bands you think you've never heard of until you hear them and then say "Oh, I'd heard these guys!" Only poor Free Spirits seem to have disappeared from contemporary ken, rating only a mere stub page on Wikipedia.
Now, in a very special Destroy Your Comics moment, cut out and re-assemble this photographic puzzle to recreate the visage of a famous pop star and/or a green-furred kitty cat!
Don't worry, folks. I destroyed my own comic book so you didn't have to. Hey, look, it's a heavily-rotoscoped photo of the creator of TV's Elephant Parts and heir to the vast Liquid Paper fortune*, Mike Nesmith!
Frankly, I preferred Mike when he was appearing in his own comic book.
Panel from The Monkees #8 (Dell, January 1968), pencils and inks by Jose Delbo
On the other hand, even the appearance of the Monkeemen cannot save Kingdom Come from being one of the direst, takes-itself-so-serious-comic books to ever dictate the complete tone of a entire comic book company.
Panels from Kingdom Come #3 (July 1996), script by Mark Waid, painted art by Alex Ross, letters by Todd Klein
When Teen Beat returned for a second and final issue in '68, it sported a brand-new name: Teen Beam! Let's let Teeny explain:
from Teen Beam #2 (January-February 1968)
Supposedly it was to avoid litigation from popular mag Tiger Beat, but I imagine that there was another entire magazine called Teen Beat that may have had something to do about it. To be fair, their honesty here is refreshing. "We don't want to get sued!" Stan Lee would have put it like this: "We figured we'd give those crazy cats over at Tiger Beat a fair chance on the racks...after all, everybody knows Mighty Marvel mags are the hit at the newsstand already!" Let's close out this look at the two issues of Teen Beat/Beam with #2's cartoon feature on...who else?...The Monkees!
"Watch the Birdie: The Monkees' Family Album" from Teen Beam #2 (January-February 1968), art by Joe Orlando
Sad to see this post end? Cheer up, sleepy Jean! Play us off with the best pop single ever, boys!:
*Actually, Mrs. Mike Nesmith's mother sold the Liquid Paper Corporartion to Gillette in 1979 for many millions of bucks, so Mike will have to rely on his royalties on sales of the DVD of the movie Head.