Friday, September 23, 2011

The Magic Of Darwyn Cooke

I've recently been getting into the great artwork of Darwyn Cooke. Best known for the seminal Silver Age influenced 2004 mini-series The New Frontier, Cooke's retro cartoony style fit perfectly with the story of the Justice League's formation in the 1960's. I love the way he draws women and his sense of 60's style is simply wonderful. Here are a couple of more New Frontier covers that stand out to me.
Cooke also did a lot of other stuff for DC and other publishers. Check out some of these beauties courtesy of the Grand Comics Database. I especially like the JSA and T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents covers.
I really hope I get to see him at a con soon. Over at the Comic Art Fans site, there are a bunch of beautiful con sketches he's done over the years. Darwyn Cooke, a true modern age artistic giant.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cancelled: Two Super-Heroes

I was digging through my collection of my all time favorite comic The Brave And The Bold and decided to re-read some of the late 60's team up tales before the likes of Neal Adams and Jim Aparo got their talented mitts on the Caped Crusader and his pals. This particular ish, cover dated February-March, 1967, is a good example of how the book was during the "go-go checks" era. It sports a great Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella cover but the interior art by Johnny Craig and Charles Cuidera doesn't live up to the cover. It's not bad at all. It just doesn't have the style of Infantino. That's not a knock on Craig. Not many had Infantino's talent for design and storytelling. The art inside is actually kind of charming. I love the DC house style of the Silver Age and this fits in quite nicely with that. Here's the splash page.
During this period in DC's history, I tended to enjoy the ads inside the books almost as much as the mags themselves. For example, I love this Sgt. Rock Battle Stars ad. Who could resist an 80 page war giant?
Of course this book came out right in the middle of Batmania, the intense popularity of the character caused by the great, yet radically different from the comics, Batman TV show. What little kid in 1967 could resist having their own "pop" gallery?
I had fun reading these pre Bronze Age B&B's but give me Haney and Aparo any day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Alex Toth's Zorro

I recently picked up a great collection Image Comics put out in 2001 of Alex Toth's run on Western Publishing's adaptation of Disney's classic 1950's Zorro TV show. I love the show but had not seen any of the comics. Toth was the perfect artist to convey the swashbuckling heroics of the masked hero. Although the original books were printed in color, the black and white reprints bring out his work even more. I love his use of blacks to convey the mystery of the main character.

Although the art is fantastic, I got the sense that Toth was limited some by the scripts, which were taken practically verbatim from the TV screenplays. There's a lot of dialouge spread through these stories, which limited Toth's storytelling abilities, although a static head drawn by Toth is still pretty great.

Of course Toth's women were always fantastic and this fiery senorita is no exception.

I was really thrilled to be able to read these stories and see Toth's masterful artwork on a character I really love. These strips are further proof that Alex Toth was one of comics' finest and most innovative artists.

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