Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fax From Sarajevo

I recently reread Joe Kubert's 1996 masterpiece Fax From Sarajevo, the story of a friend of Kubert's first hand accounts of the war in Sarajevo in the early 90's. The art is incredible and Kubert's storytelling is first rate. You can tell he had a true love for the story and it definitely comes across in the book. I liked it so much I sent it to Joe at his school back in 2003 to have him sign it. I knew he probably wouldn't be at a convention near me so I figured I'd try the in mail autograph route. I also told him how much I was looking forward to him working on Sgt. Rock again in the graphic novel Sgt Rock: Between Hell And A Hard Place. I got it back really fast with a very nice note from Joe that made my day.

It's one of my favorite signed books. It's a great comic that showcases one of the greatest talents the field has ever seen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Secret Origins Of The Super DC Heroes

When I was a kid, my mom worked for the local public library and I spent a lot of time in the 741.5973 Dewey Decimal section. For those of you not familiar with the Dewey Decimal system, that's the comic book section. They had several great comic collections that I checked out over and over again. The one book I checked out the most was the Secret Origins Of The Super DC Heroes paperback put out by Warner Books in 1976.

Like the back cover said, this great book featured eighteen action packed, hair-raising adventure stories featuring the top ten comics crusaders against crime. For some of these characters, it was my first exposure to them. I hadn't read any Plastic Man or Captain Marvel stories before this, for example. I remember vividly going over the very cool table of contents where instead of listing the heroes by name, they have images of them drawn by the signature artists.

After the library got rid of the book a few years later, I hadn't seen this great book at any stores or conventions. It was one of my holy grails of comic collecting. After almost 20 years, I finally found it at my local comic store. Needless to say, I forked over the money as soon as I saw it. It remains one of the four or five favorite books in my collection.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sam Glanzman Haunted Tank Art

Sam Glanzman was one of the more underrated DC war artists. He brought a realism to the strips he drew that made them stand out. His USS Stevens series was one of the hallmarks of the era. It was based on his experiences in the Navy during World War II. I was lucky to meet him in 2000 and I got this gorgeous Haunted Tank illustration. It's one of my favorite pieces of art. If you've never read any of his stuff, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blazing Combat Hardback Collection

I just got the new Fantagraphics collection of one of the seminal war comics of the 60's, Warren's Blazing Combat. Featuring breathtaking art by the likes of Russ Heath, Alex Toth, John Severin, Gray Morrow, Gene Colan, and many others, these stories showed a more realistic war setting than some of the other books of the time. If you're interested in the war genre at all, this is definitely a must have. It's a fantastic book.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek (1980 Marvel)

After seeing the Star Trek movie this past weekend, I decided to dip into my Marvel Star Trek collection from my childhood. One of my first exposures to Trek was this adaptation of the first movie. I loved the interior Dave Cockrum art that made the movie jump out. In fact, I liked the comic series much better than the movie. This particular cover by Bob Wiacek for #3 is particularly cool. Out of all the Star Trek series, I think this 18 issue long series is probably my favorite.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gene Colan Captain America

One of my favorite pieces of art in my collection is this gorgeous Gene Colan Captain America commission I got from him at a convention in the mid 90's. Colan had one of the most unique art styles of the Silver Age. I initally thought his style didn't work for Cap but as I grew older I came to love his version of the Star Spangled Avenger. I comtemplated getting a Iron Man of Dracula drawing but I went with Cap, which didn't disappoint. I remember Gene not being real pleased with the results but I was ecstatic. I'm glad I have a Colan in my collection. He's one of the best.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Brave And The Bold

As some of you might know, The Brave And The Bold was my favorite comic growing up and Jim Aparo is my all time favorite artist. I haven't posted much Aparo art lately so I thought I'd post a few of the covers of the book that made me fall in love with his art in the first place. These books bring a smile to my face even now.

Showcase #100

When I was a kid, I got excited over any little thing associated with my favorite DC characters. I didn't read Marvel much at the time so the DC heroes were the ones I had the most connection to. In the early part of 1978 one book made me more excited than any other. I remember seeing ads for the big 100th issue of DC's flagship try out title Showcase in pretty much every other book. The cover with all the different heroes that appeared in the book through the years captured my eye immediately. I couldn't wait for it to come out. When it did, I wasn't disappointed. From the great Joe Staton cover to the cool interior story with art also by Staton, the book was one of my favorites at the time. I always liked the 70's Showcase. There were some pretty good stories there from the Power Girl story arc to the Hawkman and OSS stories that wrapped up the run. It was one of many cool titles DC had in the late 70's.

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