Friday, December 26, 2008

Man Of Rock

One of the cooler Christmas presents I got was the new Joe Kubert biography, Man Of Rock by Bill Schelly. I haven't got a chance to start reading it yet but it looks to be a fantastic look at one of the most legendary artists ever to grace the four color page. It's much more in depth than I thought it would be. If you're a fan of comic art, this book is a must have.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Conan The Barbarian #44

While we're on the subject of John Buscema, here's another great cover by the master. You could tell he much preferred drawing Conan to regular superheroes. This cover just jumps out at you. Buscema was second only to John Romita at Marvel in drawing females. His Red Sonja was just breathtaking. This issue came out in November, 1974, right when this title was hitting its stride. Conan was definitely one of the highlights of 1970's Marvel.

Silver Surfer #4 1969

This is my all time favorite Marvel cover. This beauty by John Buscema has everything. It's powerful, graceful, and contains all the majesty and wonder of the Silver Age Marvel Universe. Buscema was a fantastic craftsman and storyteller. I much preferred his version of the Surfer and Thor to Jack Kirby's. This is Silver Age Marvel at its very best.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Superman's Christmas Adventure

During the Golden Age Of Comics, there were a couple of one shot Christmas specials featuring the greatest hero of them all. The first one came out in 1940 and was produced in conjunction with Bailey's department stores. I believe there were reprints of previous adventures with new Christmas covers. The second one came out in 1944 and was sponsored by Kennedy's Boys Shop.

Spaceman Discovers Christmas 1958

Continuing with the space theme, we have Santa spreading the joy of the holidays to one of the many extraterrestial species approaching Earth at the time. If Santa was our good will ambassador, I don't think we'd ever have to worry about an alien invasion.

Christmas On The Moon 1958

Eleven years before we actually landed on the moon, we had this cool one shot from Christmas, 1958. This was the time that the Space Age was just starting to happen and we had a lot of space related themes. It's one of my favorite times in history. The Apollo 17 crew came closest to spending Christmas on the moon. They were there in early December, 1972. Maybe some day this title will come true for some lucky future astronaut.

Christmas In Disneyland 1957

Dell Comics put out this beauty in 1957, two years after the park opened. All of Walt's gang are at the park to celebrate the holidays and tell stories of their recent exploits. All the kids got their whopping quarter's worth of entertainment that year for sure.

World's Finest #37

I was perusing some old Golden Age covers to find some Christmas themed images when I realized that this Win Mortimer cover from World's Finest #37, November-December, 1948, would make great wrapping paper. Not the cover itself, mind you. I definitely don't believe in defacing comics, especially Golden Age DC. The marketing geniuses at Warner Brothers should take a look at this beauty and develop some cool wrapping paper for next year. I know I'd wrap all my presents with it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Curt Swan A Life In Comics

Perhaps my favorite book about comic creators is this in depth biography of the fantastic Curt Swan. He was always in my top two favorite artists and I was thrilled with this book. Interspersed throughout the book are interviews with many of the legends of the industry Curt worked with, like Murphy Anderson, Julie Schwartz, Joe Kubert, Carmine Infantino, and many others. Unfortunately, the book came out several years after Curt died so there couldn't be any signed copies but Murphy and Julie signed several copies that were put out as a limited edition, which I was lucky enough to get.

I believe that shot of the three of them was taken in Kansas City at the convention where I met Curt back in the early 90's. I remember him wearing that same jean jacket when I met him. This book is fantastic and is highly recommended if you like great comic art.

The Comic Book Makers

Periodically I'll recommend some great comic book related books that cover the history and backgrounds of the creators of this great medium. The first one I'm going to cover is The Comic Book Makers, the memoir of the legendary co-creator of Captain America Joe Simon. Co-written with his son Jim, it's a very in depth look at the career of Mr. Simon from the Golden Age Of Comics to the present. It's chock full of great art and stories about such luminaries as Captain America, The Boy Commandos, Sandman, and many, many more. I was lucky enough to get an autographed copy when I ordered it several years ago.

If you're interested in the history of comics, this book is a must read!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Battle Of The Planets

One of my favorite cartoons as a kid was Battle Of The Planets. I just really dug the Star Wars type space adventure from Japan, although at the time I didn't realize it was an Americanized version of a popular Japanese show. Anyway, I was very excited when I found out Gold Key put out a Battle Of The Planets comic series. It only lasted 5 issues but I enjoyed the four color adaptation with art by DC Silver Age artist Win Mortimer. This cover is from #2, cover dated August, 1979.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Boris Karloff Tales Of Mystery

Boris Karloff Tales Of Mystery was a cool horror suspense title that Gold Key published in the 1960's. It featured contributions from such talents as Joe Orlando, Tom Gill, and Reed Crandall, among others. They also featured great painted covers, which were a Gold Key specialty. Dark Horse Comics acquired the rights to this series and is putting out an archive reprinting the first several issues of the series. Hopefully it will sell well and the whole series will be reprinted. It doesn't come out until next summer but it will be worth the wait.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Incredible Hulk Special #1

I just bought the Incredible Hulk DVD the other day and I decided to get out some of my old Hulk issues. One of my favorite ones is this gem from 1968. Featuring an outstanding cover by the great Jim Steranko, this issue features the green giant in the land of the Inhumans. It's great Silver Age Marvel fare with interior art by the vastly underrated Marie Severin and a pretty good script by Gary Friedrich. It's good old fashioned fun in the mighty Marvel way.

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