Monday, January 26, 2009

Dennis The Menace Big Deal 1975

I started collecting comics in 1977 when I was seven but there were a few occasions before then that I got comics for some special occasions or just to tide me over while my parents shopped or did whatever. This Dennis The Menace book is probably one of the few comics from that period that I kept. I believe this might have been a Dairy Queen promotional book but I'm not real sure. I enjoyed it back then but as I got more involved in collecting, I wasn't real wild about the humor comics. I was strictly a superhero guy. This book is cool though and I'm glad I still have it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Superhero Merchandise Catalog 1976

I forgot I had this promotional comic from 1976 showcasing all the superhero merchandise that the comics of the time advertised. There are great ads in here that brought such great products as t-shirts, toys, calendars, records, and even that staple of 70's bedrooms, black light posters.

That Cap poster is fantastic. There are way too many cool stuff in this book to post here but I thought I'd show part of the cool selection of cool Marvel shirts that were available at the time. 1976 was a great time to be a superhero fan!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sgt. Rock #331

I thought I'd reach into one of my comic boxes from time to time and talk about whatever book I pull out. The first one I pulled out was Sgt. Rock #331 from August, 1979. Sporting a cover by Joe Kubert, the main interior story, The Sons Of War, was a Robert Kanigher/Frank Redondo effort that was a very basic, straigtforward story that was very typical of the era. The war books were kind of winding down at this point and the stories kind of reflected that. The art was just OK and the script was typical Kanigher, well written but there was a sense of seeing it before. There was also a cool back up story in this ish drawn by the great Ric Estrada, one of the more underrated war artists DC had at the time. This era of DC is one of my favorites but this ish is just OK. The superhero stuff was much better at this time. It's definitely worth a read though. You can't beat Sgt. Rock, regardless of the creative team.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Super Friends Lunch Box

I only had two lunch boxes back in grade school. The first one was Star Wars and the second one, which I used a lot longer for some reason was the classic Super Friends box. It was my favorite cartoon at the time and I was a devoted DC Comics fan so it was a no brainer to carry my sandwiches in this timeless box. Naturally I loved the art on it. I assume it was by Dick Giordano, who did a lot of the licensing art for DC through Neal Adams' Continutiy Studios, but on the front Superman looks like Curt Swan and Batman looks like Carmine Infantino. Maybe Girodano or whoever did the art was instructed to ape their styles.

The back box art surprised me a little.

While Flash and I believe Green Arrow appeared on the show, I don't remember ever seeing Batgirl show up at the Hall Of Justice. At any rate, it's a cool image and I wish I had my original box. I have no idea what happened to it. It was probably pretty beat up and my mom probably threw it away. These scans are from Hallmark's version of the box I got a few years ago. I always look at it fondly and remember a lot of cool grade school lunches.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flash Gordon Newspaper Strip

I recently checked out this fantastic book at the library reprinting the first couple of years of Alex Raymond's seminal comic strip, the one and only Flash Gordon. Raymond's art just leaps out of the page and his visual style influenced pretty much every artist working in the then new medium of comic books. He definitely influenced Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Kubert's Hawkman stories of that period. In fact, some say that Moldoff actually used some Rayomd swipes in some of his stories. In any case, the art on those Hawkman stories was great and so are these stripes. It's probably the greatest adventure strip of all time, right up there with Hal Foster's Tarzan. If you haven't checked these out, by all means do so!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Showcase Presents The Brave And The Bold

I just picked up the new Showcase volume reprinting the pinnacle of the Bob Haney/Jim Aparo Brave And Bolds. This was my all time favorite book and I've had a complete run for several years but it's neat having it all in one package. This volume reprints issues #109-134 in beautiful black and white. Aparo's art looks really good in this format and the stories still hold up very well. There should be another couple of volumes to go to finish their entire run. I highly recommend these great stories.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

DC Comics 1978

The fantastic site Dial B For Blog has posted this fantastic clip showing a behind the scenes look at DC Comics in 1978. This was produced in conjunction with the opening of Superman The Movie and features such greats as Curt Swan, Julie Schwartz, and Cary Bates. This is my favorite era of DC and it's great to see what it was like back then.

Two Legends Doing What They Do Best

I love this clip of Joe Kubert and John Romita sketching for the Hero Initiative at the Baltimore Comic Con in 2007. I really dig watching these masters at work. These are probably the top two creators on my wish list to meet. I have friends who have met both of them and they had nothing but great things to say about them. Maybe someday. For now, I have this great video. Enjoy!

Various Creator Autographs

Through the years, my buddies and I have attended many different conventions and have met many different creators. A lot of times we've gotten sketches or original art signed by these guys but a lot of times we just got signatures either on index cards or sketchbook pages. I thought I'd share some of these pages with you. Since I started my sketchbook in 2001, I've had several different artists sign my artist's page.

I was thrilled to get greats like Jim Aparo, Herb Trimpe, Gill Fox, and Russ Heath on this page. I also have a separate page for writers with greats like Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, Marv Wolfman, and Len Wein represented.

A few years ago my buddy Neato Coolville went to the San Diego Con and got me several comic legends' autographs, including John Romita, Joe Giella, Mike Royer, and the legendary Jerry Robinson. Thanks again NC!

Hopefully I'll be able to acquire more signatures of the greats of the comic book field in the years ahead.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Adventures Of Superman 1942

One of my favorite kids books is this reprint of the 1942 novel The Adventures Of Superman which came out in 1995. It features many sketches by Superman co-creator Joe Shuster which illustrate each chapter heading. I really like this title page sketch.

The book is chock full of quick sketches like this one and it's a fun read. It's aimed for kids so it's not real in depth but it's a book I'm really glad I have.

Tor Archives

I've been on a Joe Kubert kick lately and recently revisited Joe's legendary creation Tor The Hunter in these great archive editions. Joe came up with this prehistoric character in the 1950's while his style was still developing a little bit. The art is beautiful and the strip was definitely ahead of its time. These archives are a great read and are recommended for Kubert fans and fans of great art in general.

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