For those who remember Joe Bloke’s Grantbridge Street and other Misadventures from A Groovy Diversion, Joe’s recent posts have been part of a Star Reach day, where he brought a few stories from the Michael Friedrich‘s ground breaking and visionary independent comic book series of the 1970′s.

The three stories uploaded from Star Reach begin with Howard Chaykin’s Cody Starbuck and end with P. Craig Russell’s Parsifal. Both stories are iconic creations from two legendary artists/writers at the onset of their foray into independent creator owned work. These properties are amongst the rare ones of that era which set the stage for what’s become the thriving independent comics market of today. Follow the links for a taste of fine comics history at one of its more critical junctions.

Sandwiched between the two, Joe ran my one contribution to Star Reach, The Old, New and Future Testament, produced at one of the more volatile times of my career back in late 1977, as told in The San Fransisco Treat at Steve Leialoha’s abode, who also colored the story. This is one of the first few times this work has been mentioned in the comics industry or when Star Reach is referenced. Most industry and fan reactions to it have been closer to outright fright on the emotional scale. It seems that popular culture of the 1970′s was not very keen on such a mixture of religious history, pseudo-hedonistic imagery and futuristic vision. It is to Joe’s big credit that he breaks this unspoken taboo on this work in his wonderful blog and phenomenal archive of Bronze Age comics. It’s also good to see that things have changed since the fearful days in mainstream pop culture. The aim of this story was exactly for that purpose, to allow us one day to candidly open the book on our history and spiritual aspirations, without fear of criticism or recrimination from hard-line thought systems and creeds.

I like Joe’s title change from “Final” to “Future”, as it better reflects the overall scope of the work. The scans for the post are in better high-rez and original color than the ones in our gallery, which had undergone some Photoshop manipulation and lost detail and grittiness. So I highly recommend having a fresh look at these pages.

I also took the opportunity to ask Joe for a scan of the editorial that Mike Friedrich wrote for it. I haven’t had a copy of this issue to include the editorial with the art published in the galleries. So this is a good opportunity to finally have this as a reference on this site. The image to the right shows the original editorial page with the paragraphs that reference this story marked in red. Below is a close-up of the text, spliced together for this presentation.

Much gratitude to you, Joe, for being the first to dare bring this story to light in recent times, and for the very nice and warm words accompanying the post. You are a treasure as is the fabulous online museum you curate.

Here’s the link again to this story at Grantbridge Street and other Misadventures.