Wednesday, October 21, 2009
It’s Spring and love is in the air! Wait a sec…it’s 35 degrees outside with a chance of flurries. Maybe that’s why these 1950′s love comics are actually crime comics in disguise…except one is actually a crime comic disguised as a love comic. ???!!! Ogden Whitney and Tex Blaisdell do the illustration honors,
Here’s a look at Gil Kane’s self-referential story, HIS NAME IS…KANE as published in an early 1970′s HOUSE OF MYSTERY. With references to the previous HofM story in that issue by Kane, also with inks by Wally Wood, it’s hard to accept Kane’s own statement that the story was NOT necessarily intended for him even though the story is credited to Mike Friedrich. Either way, a lot of nicely drawn fun.
Artist Russ Manning’s great layouts and amazingly smooth style are on display in a sequence of color Sunday TARZAN strips from 1970 here. Manning was a very influential artist who, along with Burne Hogarth, Hal Foster and Joe Kubert is up there with the best of the ERB illustrators.
Amongst other nifty nostalgic pieces in his latest post, Waffyjon shares a number of the cool covers from Marvels’ 1970′s fan club publication, FOOM! Art is by, among others, John Romita Sr (seen above) Dave Cockrum, Jim Steranko and Gene Colan.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The tricky thing about collecting comics-related songs is knowing when the song is really about a comic book character and when it’s just a coincidence. For example, “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” is not about the Caped Crusader. (I think it’s about the game of cricket, but since it’s an instrumental it’s hard to tell.) The same is true of any number of songs with “superman” in the lyric. Is it about Clark Kent, aka The Main of Steel, or a sly reference to Friedrich Nietzsche? (Or George Bernard Shaw, for that matter.)
Here we have a track called “Submariner.” Is it about Namor, Prince of the Seven Seas? Or about a guy who loves sandwiches?
From his pointy little head down to the itty bitty wings on his feet, the Sub-Mariner is one of the strangest and oldest characters in the Timely/Marvel pantheon.
Is this song about his appearances as a Fantastic Four villain?
Was the song written about Subby’s very own postage stamp?
It may even be about a Rolex watch, for all I know, since there are no lyrics to give me a clue.
So I’m just going to assume that this is a song about the famous underwater anti-hero and that Mister Neutron couldn’t find a rhyme for “Namor” so he didn’t write words to the song.
Click the link below and groove!
Submariner by Mister Neutron
Next Tuesday, another comics connection that’s all wet.
— DJ David B.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
When Russ Cochran decided to reprint the entirety of EC Comics’ output in massive hardcover, slip-cased editions, it must have seemed quite a folly to many but Cochran had already tested the waters with his EC portfolios of the preceding years, often made from Bill Gaines’ hoarded original artwork! With art from Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig and Wallace Wood, here are all thirty classic covers from Cochran’s early 1970′s CRYPT COVER PORTFOLIO.
Ol’ Groove makes fun of Gold Key’s 1967 camp revival of the Golden Age superhero, THE OWL, as done up by Jerry Siegel in a scan of the first of only two issues. Beyond that, however, he also spotlights author Don Glut’s unusual re-revival many years later in his DR. SPEKTOR series.
THE JACK KIRBY MUSEUM shows some rare mixed company art that the King did for a cover of Paul Levitz’ THE COMIC READER in 1973, both the used and the unused versions.
There’s a grisly pre-Code horror tale by Dick Ayers over at THE HORRORS OF IT ALL and believe it or not it’s actually froma 1950′s WESTERN comic book! BOBBY BENSON’S B-BAR-B RIDERS had a long popular radio series for kids (Don Knotts started out on it!) but this is creepier than anything that ever appeared on the show!
Monday, October 19, 2009
In the early seventies, DC’s E. Nelson Bridwell ran two stories of the Golden Age Flash that replaced long-time artist Martin Naydel’s work with that of new, modern artists supposedly because the original work did not meet their “current standards.” In effect, he was dissing the veteran Naydel whose work (seen here in a side by side splash page comparison made by yours truly) was perfectly appropriate for the time. SLAY, MONSTROBOT OF THE DEEP revisits this injustice here:
Jerry Beck’s ever-insighful CARTOON BREW posts the first part (of 3) of a video re-presenting a rare (Jerry had never heard of it! That’s how rare it is!) MAD MAGAZINE TV special from 1974 that features animated versions of the art of Al Jaffee, Mort Drucker, Dave Berg and the Usual Gang of Idiots!
BULLY SAYS COMICS OUGHTA BE FUN does one of those “Ten of a Kind” things this morning that is kind of interesting. It’s a look at ten comic book covers dating from the early 1940′s to the present that have depicted Mount Rushmore (or some variation thereof).
Celebrating their 50th post, COLE’S COMICS reprints the very last work that Jack Cole ever did on PLASTIC MAN and compares and contrasts it in some depth with that of one of his primary followers on the strip, Alex Kotzky.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Here’s a fun idea. SILVER AGE COMICS has begun a couple of series that take detailed looks at relatively minor supporting characters in sixties comics series. The latest is the first installment of THE MAVIS TRENT CHRONICLES, investigating the appearances of Hawkgirl’s rival in the early HAWKMAN stories of the Silver Age.
Over at HOORAY FOR WALLY WOOD, booksteve (in the interest of full disclosure, that’s ME!) has a long talk with OBNOXIO THE CLOWN creator Alan Kupperberg about his time working with Wally Wood in the seventies writing and sometimes drawing CANNON and SALLY FORTH.
One of the more ludicrous continuity impants in comics history is examined at THE BRONZE AGE OF BLOGS today–the time Clark Kent realized that his glasses with their alien lenses slightly hypnotize everyone he meets (and apparently everyone who watches him on the WGBS News) into thinking he doesn’t look anything like Superman!
Counting down to Halloween, JON’S RANDOM ACTS OF GEEKERY presents a parade of original horror comic artwork from the likes of Gene Colan, Tom Sutton, Wayne Howard, Mike Ploog and P. Craig Russell.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The outpouring of affection for the just deceased comics artist George Tuska would have no doubt surprised even him. The blogosphere is abuzz with his stories and stories of him. Here are a few nice tributes.
News of George Tuska’s retirement from even commission work came just a week or so ago and it originally broke through 20TH CENTURY DANNY BOY. As might be expected, then, that site has a nice tribute to the artist.
George’s longtime home, Marvel, presented THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN RIDES AGAIN in their SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS series of the early seventies. With art by George and Jack Abel, you can read it again here:
Another appreciation of George Tuska and his work can be found at SWANSHADOW THINKS OUT LOUD.
George Tuska before IRON MAN is the theme of the remembrance at THE TIME BULLET which is topped off by a vintage reprint from CRIME DOES NOT PAY.
Mr Tuska, I hope when you were alive that you had at least some idea of just how much your work has been and continues to be appreciated. Rest in Peace.
Friday, October 16, 2009
On this day in history Joe Sinnott was born. This afternoon, I made a phone call and the person I was calling had to put me on hold…because they were talking to Joe Sinnott on their other line, wishing him happy birthday! Joe has the reputation of being the nicest guy in an industry that has over the years eaten a number of other nice guys alive. The peak years of Joe’s career were spent at Marvel in the sixties and seventies, plying his masterful inks over the pencils of the Marvel Age’s greatest illustrators, most notably Jack Kirby and John Buscema on long runs of THE FANTASTIC FOUR. Happy 83rd birthday, Joe!
The Mighty Thor above comes from one of Joe’s last actual pencil jobs before he devoted himself to inking professionally. For more of his pencils as well as his inks, check out his nifty website at http://www.joesinnott.com/
Friday, October 16, 2009
Today we point you toward some online comic strip sites.
King Features Syndicate runs DAILY INKwhere you can read some recent strips for free and a bunch of vintage classics for a small annual subscription fee (less than those porn sites you’re always joining!). Did you know they were still making THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS? FLASH GORDON? MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN?
COMICS.COM is your one-stop for most other current strips including BC, THE WIZARD OF ID, ALLEY OOP, NANCY, ROSE IS ROSE and even Frank Cho’s LIBERTY MEADOWS. There’s even a selection of classic PEANUTS strips online.
I LOVE COMIX is an online archive where you can find everything from century old BUSTER BROWN strips to the sixties BATMAN and the seventies STAR WARS by Russ Manning. Hours of enjoyable reading.
What’s that you say? All that stuff a little too recent for you? Well then hit BARNACLE PRESS for a huge selection of obscurities and forgotten classics, very few of which date beyond the 1930′s!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Old fashioned comic panel joke books are now completely a thing of the past but there was a time when they were everywhere–clean, dirty and only slightly risque. Here’s a reprint of one of the latter, a Jackson joke book from the early 1940′s whose theme is travel.
HP Lovecraft is strangely trendy in comics today but there was a time when a Lovecraft adaptation in comics was something new and special. Here are two Marvel adaptations from the early seventies by Roy Thomas–one with art by the still looking for a style to call his own Barry Windsor-Smith and the other a favorite of mine offering rare pencils from inker extraordinaire Tom Palmer.
GIANT-SIZE MARVEL revisits the unique and bizarre one-off teaming of highly stylized artist Alex Nino with cosmic consciousness guru Jim Starlin on a 1970′s issue of THE RAMPAGING HULK.
Already a week old but I just discovered this nice analysis of the artistic stylings of the editorial cartoons of the late Jeff (SHOE) MacNelly over at ILLUSTRATION ART.