Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Best Of DC Blue Ribbon Digests

I loved the DC digests that came out in the late 70's and early 80's. They were my first exposure to a lot of great Silver Age material. Here are some of my favorite issues I devoured when I was a kid.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Adventure Comics #500

I always loved the DC Blue Ribbon Digests and tryed to get them all. At the tail end of its run, Adventure Comics went to the digest size and celebrated issue #500, cover dated June, 1983, by reprinting 10 classic Legion Of Super Heroes stories. A lot of my early love of the Legion came from these digests. I always liked the Keith Giffen cover for this particular ish.

I'll try and post all my digest covers over the next week or so.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans' Day From Sgt. Rock's Battle Stars

As we honor and think about all the awesome people that have and are currently protecting our country, I thought about pulling out this well read copy of Our Army At War #177 from March, 1967 and read about the fictional exploits of DC's battle stars, led by the immortal Sgt. Rock. Although these heroes are exciting and fun to read, the real heroes are overseas and at bases all around the country doing their duty to protect us. Thanks again for your sacrifice.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bronze Age Kirby Cap

With the release of stills from the upcoming Captain America movie coming out next year, I've started getting into rereading a lot of his 70's and 80's books. This issue, from March, 1977, was my first exposure to the Star Spangled Avenger. This was during Jack Kirby's return to the title and the series was very unique to say the least. The King's distinctive style was a plus to his co-creation. These two panels of Cap and his partner The Falcon are examples of Kirby's great sense of design and storytelling.

Hopefully the movie will have a Kirby-ish sense of adventure and style. I'm really excited about it. He's been my favorite Marvel character for 30+ years and I can't wait to see him on the big screen next year.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

And what better thing to post on Halloween than this awesome Frankenstein that William Stout did in my sketchbook back in 2003.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

DC Super-Stars Of Space 1976

One of the first comics I remember getting was this sixth issue of DC's reprint title DC Super-Stars. I was six years old and my mom took me over to a friend's house to play and my buddy's big brother had this issue and I took to it immediately for some reason. He was nice enough to give it to me and it's one of my favorite comics. It gave me my introduction to DC's science-fiction characters of the Silver Age. Behind the Ernie Chan cover the book reprinted the Adam Strange story from Mystery In Space #88 by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. It also contained Captain Comet, Tommy Tomorrow, and Space Cabby stories from past issues of MIS with art by Murphy Anderson, Jim Mooney, and Bernard Sachs. And all for only 50 cents! With my extra money I could have bought one of these cool t-shirts.

I remember wanting that Shazam shirt really bad. These old issues of DC Super-Stars are a good, cheap way to get some good Silver Age reprints.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Justice League Of America Book Bag

My friend at work picked me up this really cool Justice League book bag the other day. It features great cover artwork like the cover to JLA #137 from December, 1976 by Ernie Chan.

It also has one of my favorite JLA covers from #217, August, 1983, by the awesome George Perez.

It's part of DC's 75th anniversary which promises to have a lot of cool stuff coming out in the next year. I better get my wallet ready!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Starman By Jack Burnley

As I've mentioned here before many times, Jack Burnley is my favorite Golden Age artist. I loved his work on Starman in Adventure Comics and I was thrilled when DC put out an Archive Edition with his stories. It's my favorite Archive and I thought I'd show a few reasons why Burnley was so great. If you don't have this volume, I highly recommend it. It's Golden Age artwork at its best.

Batman: The Sunday Classics

I've been enjoying rereading the great 1940's Batman Sunday color newspaper strips that were reprinted in this great volume which came out in 1991. Many of the strips feature art by my favorite Golden Age artist, the great Jack Burnley. Although he drew in Bob Kane's style, you can still see his style come through. Here are a couple of examples of his fine work. This is the strip from January 16, 1944, written by Bill Finger.

This strip is from February 10, 1946, written by Al Schwartz. I really wish there were more adventure strips in newspapers these days.

It's been a lot of fun reading these great strips again. I'll have to dig out my Superman Sunday collection next weekend.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dazzler Vs. Galactus!

I've always got a kick of of Marvel's late 70's disco heroine Dazzler. She was definitely of her time but her book actually had a lot of pretty good stories and art. This particular issue, from December, 1981, is a good example of that. It has good cover and interior art by Frank Springer and Vince Colletta and the sheer notion of the Dazzler taking on the mighty Galactus makes me smile. This issue also has cool ads promoting the new Saturday morning lineups for NBC and CBS. There were a lot of cool cartoons coming out at the time. What choices for an eleven year old to make!

And who could resist ol' Greenskin's request to subscribe to your favorite Marvel mags for only $5 a year?

It was a great time to be a Marvel Maniac and this issue brings back a lot of good memories of that era.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Adam Strange Archives Vol. 1

One of my favorite DC archives is the one featuring the super spaceman Adam Strange, protector of the planet Rann. Nobody did science fiction as well as DC did in the 1950's and '60's, thanks in large part to the efforts of editor Julius Schwartz, who had an extensive background in sci-fi fandom before he became a comics editor. This volume reprints Showcase #17-19 and Mystery In Space #53-65 and features just beautiful artwork by the likes of Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky, and the awesome Carmine Infantino. Carmine's sense of style was put to great use on this strip, which made it better than a lot of the other sci-fi strips DC was putting out at the time. A good example is this splash page from MIS #55, November, 1959.

Not only was the splash great but the cover to this particular issue was a standout as well, by Gil Kane and Jack Adler.

I've always loved this character and I highly recommend the whole Adam Strange archive series as well as this action figure, which I think is the best one DC Direct ever did.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Presenting The Phantom Stranger

When I first started collecting comics in 1977, one of the characters who really grabbed my interest was the mysterious Phantom Stranger. I first became aware of him through his appearances in the Justice League Of America book. I didn't know too much about him and my access to back issues was very limited at the time. He didn't appear too much in JLA so my appetite was definitely whetted for more PS. I was real excited in the summer of 1978 when this issue of my favorite book came out.

I was thrilled. I was finally going to see more of this mysterious supernatural superhero. As much as I liked Dick Dillin's version of him in JLA, it didn't hold a candle to the great Jim Aparo's version. This is a great issue by the regular B&B team of Bob Haney and Aparo. I was excited to get Aparo himself to sign the splash page when I met him in 2002.

As the years went by, I managed to acquire Aparo's early 1970's run on the Stranger's own book, which I didn't even knew existed when I was eight. Out of all the covers Aparo did for the series, these two are probably my favorites although it was hard to pick just two.

Phantom Stranger #21 October, 1972

Phantom Stranger #22 December, 1972

Of course after I got all the original issues, DC put out two volumes of Showcase Presents reprinting every issue in glorious black and white.

When I got old enough to start buying commissions from pro artists, The Phantom Stranger turned up in a couple of them, including my all time favortie commission piece from Jim Aparo in 2000.

I also got local Kansas City artist Rick Stasi to draw me a great color piece featuring the PS and the equally mysterious Spectre.

I was real jealous of my buddy Neato Coolville's Aparo commission he got around the same time as mine. What a beauty!

For more info on DC's underrated 70's hero, check out this great blog dealing exclusively with PS. There's tons of great info there. It'll make you want to break out some good old Bronze Age suspense.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hembeck's Mr. Met

I got this awesome sketch of my favorite baseball mascot standing in front of the centerpiece of the 1964 World's Fair by the one and only Fred Hembeck, one of my all time favorite cartoonists. I know Fred is a big New York Mets fan and I've always been amused by the shenanigans of Mr. Met so I thought it would be a natural and I'm definitely not disappointed. Fred does commissions and they're always great so check out his sales page on his site. Thanks again Fred!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Joe Kubert's Viking Prince

I just picked up the new Viking Prince collection DC put out as part of its Joe Kubert library. I always thought that Viking Prince was one of the more underrated strips Kubert did for DC in the 50's and 60's. The art as usual is just gorgeous and the stories by Bob Kanigher are a treat as well. The collection reprints all of the Brave And Bold issues plus his guest appearance in a Sgt. Rock tale from the mid 60's. It's just great Silver Age stuff. The actual cover underneath the dust jacket just blew me away.

Here's the Amazon link to pick this beauty up. I highly recommend it for any Kubert fan and fan of DC's Silver Age adventure strips in general.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Silver Age Mutant Madness

When I was in junior high school, I was a huge Marvel Maniac. I had always been a DC guy up until then but a buddy I met in 7th grade introduced me to The X-Men and it was all over. I picked up all the newer issues including the classic Dark Phoenix saga but I had a huge interest in picking up the earlier Silver Age issues. I recently found some of them again and thought I'd post some of my favorites.

X-Men #13 (September 1965) Cover by Jack Kirby

X-Men #18 (March 1966) Cover by Werner Roth with layouts by Jack Kirby

X-Men #29 (February 1967) Cover by Werner Roth

X-Men #31 (April 1967) Cover by Dan Adkins

X-Men #39 (December, 1967) Cover by George Tuska

X-Men #42 (March, 1968) Cover by John Buscema

X-Men #43 (April, 1968) Cover by John Buscema

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