Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Journey Through Space

Courtesy of the awesome Grand Comic Book Database comes this beauty from 1960. Not much is known about this book but the blurb on the title says it all. It's Merry Christmas time. Hope everyone out there gets all the comics they want for Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

DC Comics Calendar December, 1976

I love the 1976 DC calendar. Every month features beautiful Neal Adams-Dick Giordano art but my favorite image is Superman as Santa reading hardbound DC comics from that great Bronze Age year of the bicentennial. Another cool thing about the calendar are those goofy facts relating to the different heroes like their birthdays and anniversaries. Did you know Batman's first case was December 4th or that Captain Cold's birthday is the 11th? Neither did I.

Whenever I get down around Christmas I look at this hanging on my wall and I instantly feel better. If I don't post again before Christmas, have a great holiday season!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Joe Kubert Hawkman Sketch

I just got my copy of the deluxe edition of Joe Kubert's How To Draw From Life book. While it contains some great examples of Joe's still life work and is a valuable learning tool for any aspiring artist, I was very happy to be able to get a sketch from the man himself. It cost a pretty penny but it was worth it. I've always wanted a Kubert piece and Hawkman is one of my favorite characters so it was a no brainer for me although Sgt. Rock or Tarzan would have been cool too. Heck, anything would have great coming from Kubert. This is definitely one of the highlights of my art collection.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Brave And Bold Christmas

I always loved Batman themed Chistmas stories and this one from The Brave And The Bold #184 is one of my favorites. Featuring fantastic art from the one and only Jim Aparo and a nice script from Mike W. Barr, the teaming of Earth 1 and 2 characters was always a hit with me. The splash page is classic Aparo. The Gotham Guardian would make a fantastic Santa.

Aparo was such a good visual storyteller that no words needed to be said except at the very end. I love this sequence.

Not only did we get a classic story we got 1981 Christmas wishes from such DC legends as Joe Kubert, Sheldon Mayer, Julius Schwartz, Irv Novick, and many more.

I miss these Christmas themed issues from the 70's and 80's. It just doesn't seem the same anymore. There's no Christmas like a DC Christmas, especially during the Bronze Age.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DC Comics Rarities Archives

I really, really love the DC Archives series. It's given me a chance to have nice reprints of books that I never could afford. It's given me a chance to look at Golden Age material that had rarely been reprinted or even seen for that matter. One of my favorites is the DC Rarities Vol. 1. It reprints the two New York World's Fair Comics of 1939/40 and the Big All American Comic Book from 1944.

I really love the iconography of the 1939 World's Fair. The 1930's view of the world of tomorrow is awesome in all its Art Deco glory. Nowhere was this more evident than the icons of the fair, the Trylon and Perisphere. Here are some fun facts about the T&P from the 1939 issue.

Of course Superman was the main attraction of these issues, although most of DC's stable of heroes at the time made an appearance as well. I don't think it gets more inspiring than the Man Of Tomorrow visiting the World Of Tomorrow.

These great books are chock full of goodies relating to the Fair and this archive is a must have for anyone interested in the Fair or Golden Age DC. It's a real treat from cover to cover. Now if only they had done Superman Goes To The 1964 New York World's Fair. Now, that would have been a cool comic!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tales Of Terror

I was recently going through some of my hardback collections and I came across this great history of the preeminent horror line of the 1950's, EC Comics. I picked it up at the 2000 San Diego Convention where they had the author and many of the surviving EC creators there to do a signing. It was wonderful to meet such legends as Al Williamson, Marie Severin, Al Feldstein, and many others. I got everybody who was there to sign the inside front cover.

I didn't know a whole lot about EC prior to this book. The original issues of such titles as Tales From The Crypt and Weird Science were kind of hard to find and expensive. I always liked what I did see though and it was cool reading about the history of this great line of comics. I'm not sure if the book is still in print but if it is, it's a must have for any comic lover's collection.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Strange Adventures #117

I've always been a fan of DC's science fiction titles of the Silver Age. This particular issue of Strange Adventures from June, 1960 features everything that made these books great. It has an awesome Gil Kane/Murphy Anderson gorilla cover followed by the story of this incredible simian by the quintessential DC science fiction team of John Broome, Carmine Infantino, and Joe Giella. If that was all that was in this issue, it would have been one to remember. But the true gem of this one was the first appearance of Broome and Anderson's Atomic Knights. I've always been a huge fan of the Knights and have loved Anderson's exquisite artwork on the series for a long time. That's why I was so excited to hear that DC is putting out a hardback reprinting of all the Knights' tales next summer. I've always wanted a full collection of these stories and now they're going to do it. I hope the printing is good. Sometimes the reproductions on these collections isn't very good but I've got my hopes up for this one. It's a must have for anyone who loves DC science fiction.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

I'd like to wish everyone out there a very happy Halloween. What would be scarier than the Man Of Steel's pesky girlfriend having super powers? Not much I'd say. That cool Curt Swan cover from April, 1958 is definitely not scary though.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1941 The Illustrated Story

I recently picked up the adaptation of one of the more underrated comedies of the 1970's. Steven Spielberg's 1941 bombed at the box office but it's surprisingly funny on repeated viewings. The comic adaptation, published by Heavy Metal in 1979, ratchets up the slapstick humor to a high degree. Featuring art by Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch with the script by Allan Asherman, the book is a fun read that follows the movie fairly well. The art is pretty cartoony on the inside but the front and back covers are pretty nice.

I found this gem fairly cheap and it's a great addition to my film adaptation collection. If you haven't seen the movie in a while, check it out. It's a hoot.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Secrets Of Haunted House

Secrets Of Haunted House was one of many horror books DC put out in the Bronze Age. I enjoyed them all and didn't see a whole lot that was different in each one. They all had great creepy art by the likes of Bernie Wrightson and the Fillipino stable of artists DC had at the time. This particular series only lasted 46 issues, from 1975-1982. I need to get the whole series. I only have a few including this beauty from December 75/January 76. Behind that fantastic Wrightson cover, there's art by Nestor Redondo, John Albano, and Ernie Chan. I enjoyed going back to my grade school years with this stuff. It needs to be October every year.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

George Tuska R.I.P.

I was saddened to learn of the death yesterday of comic book legend George Tuska. I was always a fan of his 1970's output for Marvel Comics but it was only in the last ten years or so that I realized how far back his career went. He was one of those workhorse artists that could draw in any style or genre. My friend contacted him for a commision back in 2001 and I added my name to the list. I was thrilled with the result.

I thought he brought a certain John Buscema like nobility to the Thunder God. It's one of my favorite commissions. A few years after I got this sketch, I got to meet Tuska at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. He was very pleasant although he could barely hear. He signed my copy of the excellent Art Of George Tuska book from Twomorrows which is an excellent overview of this great man's work.

It's a true loss for comic fans. At least we'll always have his excellent output through the years to remember him by.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weird War Covers

One of my favorite DC titles of the Bronze Age was Weird War Tales. It combined two genres that DC did very well at the time, horror and war. While not every single issue had great stories, the covers were almost always fantastic. My favorite, of course, is the above beauty by Jim Aparo from issue #53, cover dated May, 1977. Here are some of my other favorites. This series is always a great read but it's especially great this time of year.

#1 September-October, 1971 Cover by Joe Kubert

#13 April, 1973 cover by Luis Dominguez

#58 December, 1977 cover by Joe Kubert

#77 July, 1979 cover by Joe Kubert

#93 November, 1980 featuring the great Creature Commandos. Cover by Joe Kubert

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ghosts Treasury Edition

I'm still on my horror comic kick and dug up this beauty the other day. I'm a huge fan of the treasury sized comics both DC and Marvel put out back in the 70's. This particular issue, cover dated December 1974-January 1975, features a great Nick Cardy cover and interior art from the likes of Art Saaf, Gerry Talaoc, George Tuska, John Calnan, and many more. The high point of the book is the reprint of the Jim Aparo drawn gem Death's Bridegroom from Ghosts #1. I wish Jim had drawn more horror stories. He was really good at it as evidenced by his great run on the Spectre. He captured the creepy mood of the genre very well. If you like the treasury format, this is a definite must get if you don't already have it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Showcase Presents The House Of Mystery

With Halloween approaching in a few short weeks, I thought I'd dig out one of my favorite volumes of DC's Showcase Presents series. The House Of Mystery was one of my favorite horror anthologies back in the 1970's and it's great that DC decided to collect these seminal mystery stories in multiple volumes. Volume 2 reprints issues #'s 195-211 in beautiful black and white. The B&W reproduction makes these tales even more spooky than they were back then. These issues feature stories by such Bronze Age legends as Len Wein, Gerry Conway, and Robert Kanigher with art by such luminaries as Bernie Wrightson (perhaps the finest horror artist DC had at the time), Michael Kaluta, Nick Cardy, and Alex Toth. If you're interested in horror comics, there's no reason you shouldn't pick up either volume of this great series.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Batman Illustrated By Neal Adams

I was going through some of my archive editions the other day and pulled out this gem spotlighting the great Neal Adams' early work on the Caped Crusader. While I obviously think Jim Aparo was the best Batman artist of all time, you can't deny Adams' innovative work during a time when the character underwent a much needed darker makeover. This is the first of two volumes reprinting Adams' fantastic run. I highly recommend both. It shows the high quality of comics DC was putting out in the late 60's.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Comic-Con 40 Years Book

I just got this great book about the history of the San Diego Comic Con. It's chock full of goodies chronicling 40 years of the world's foremost pop culture convention. I love the Sergio Aragones cover which pretty much encapsulates what the show is all about. I've only been to one San Diego Con, in 2000, which was a very fun experience. If you've ever had any interest in this show, this book is for you. Here's the Amazon link. It's well worth the money.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Even More Bicentennial Goodies

A few weeks ago I posted some covers from the July, 1976 DC Comics line saluting our country's bicentennial. I love these books so I decided to post some more from that great time in DC history.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Batman War Covers

I thought I'd post some World War II era patriotic Batman covers courtesy of the fantastic Grand Comic Book Database. The first two are by the great Jerry Robinson and the third one is by the legendary Dick Sprang.

Batman #12, August-September, 1942

Batman #17, June-July, 1943

Batman #30, August-September, 1945

I can never get enough of these great Golden Age covers.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

All-American Comics #53

I really love this Irwin Hasen cover for All-American #53, cover dated October, 1943. I've been a fan of Hasen's for quite a while. His semi cartoony style fit in well with the Golden Age Green Lantern. I've met him a couple of times and got a sketch of the Golden Age Flash from him in 2002.

I need to pick up the Golden Age Green Lantern archives. It's the one archive series from the Golden Age that I don't have at least one volume of. I'm not sure why I don't. That needs to be rectified soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Showcase Presents G.I. Joe

I recently went to the G.I. Joe convention and had a good time. I've always had a love for the 12" Joes from the 1960's. DC Comics jumped on the bandwagon in 1964 by putting together some of their war reprints under the G.I. Joe banner in their famed tryout series Showcase. The first installment, #53, cover dated November-December, 1964, came out right around the time the first figures were being introduced. There was a new four page framing story by the team of Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert, and Irv Novick that introduced the various stories. This issue reprinted G.I. Combat #'s 52, 59, and 60 and featured art by war comics legends Kubert, Russ Heath, and Ross Andru.

The second G.I. Joe Showcase, cover dated January-February, 1965, reprinted Our Army At War #75, Star Spangled War Stories #50, and All-Amercian Men Of War #67, featuring art by the same creators as the previous issue. I don't think these sold real well but with new covers by Kubert, they are well worth going after. They are great representations of 1950's and early 60's DC war comics.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Art Of Joe Jusko

I just got the fantastic The Art Of Joe Jusko book from Amazon yesterday and it is an amazing book. It's chock full of just beautiful artwork covering all sorts of genres, ranging from superheroes to horror to sci-fi to fantasy. The reproductions are great and the full color artwork is stunning. All comic art fans should definitely own this coffee table book.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Unknown Soldier Action Figure

I picked up this super cool new Unknown Soldier action figure yesterday at the G.I. Joe convention. I've always wanted a figure of this great character and I'm not disappointed. Seeing this made me want to break out my Showcase Unknown Soldier volume, which reprints Star Spangled War Stories #151-188.

Featuring great art by the likes of Joe Kubert, Jack Sparling, and Gerry Talaoc, these are some of the best DC war stories of the 1970's. If you don't have this volume already then you're definitely missing out on some good Bronze Age DC.

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