Texas Rangers in Action v1 #11, 1958 - Filled with 68 pages of new material, this special issue also boasts three stories drawn by Al Williamson. In the first, a cowboy comes across a wounded Texas ranger and vows to thwart an upcoming bank robbery. The second tale chronicles a lone drifter who comes across a gang of horse thieves. Both are capably drawn in Williamson's action-oriented style, aided by Angelo Torres' loose inks. Though similar, "A Ranger Born" is easily better drawn than "Rustler's Jinx". A third story tells of a married couple whose gold prospecting attracts the attention of criminals. The quality of the drawings vary, mostly due to multiple inkers involved (Angelo Torres and George Woodbridge are likely candidates). Williamson himself inked several pages, resulting in the best work in the entire issue. Page six is especially fine in its definition and craftsmanship. Other artists in this issue include Sal Trapani. This is number 1 of 2 Texas Rangers in Action issues with Williamson art and/or covers.
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"A Ranger Born" Williamson story pencils (Angelo Torres inks) 5 pages = **
"Rustler's Jinx" Williamson story pencils (Angelo Torres inks) 5 pages = **
"Poisoned Spring" Williamson story pencils (Angelo Torres inks) 8 pages = ***


Al Williamson
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>this issue >Williamson >Texas Rangers in Action
Iron Man v1 #55 marvel comic book cover art by Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin
Iron Man v1 #55, 1972 - Thanos makes his first appearance, along with the bronze age version of the Destroyer. The story artwork, Jim Starlin's first full contribution to the title, displays not only his youth but his inexperience as well. Several pages are drawn crudely and many figures mis-proportioned in smaller panels. Other pages are simplistic and hurried. And yet, Starlin also shows his potential, particularly in two full splash pages and several carefully planned panel sequences. Compare the interiors to his more finely polished (thanks to inker Joe Sinnott) cover design. This story (with the first appearances of Thanos and Drax the Destroyer) was later reprinted in Life of Captain Marvel #1. This is number 2 of 6 Iron Man issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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Starlin cover pencils (Joe Sinnott inks) = ***
"Beware the Blood Brothers" Starlin story pencils (Mike Esposito inks) 20 pages = **

Iron Man v1 #55 marvel comic book page art by Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin
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>this issue >Starlin >Iron Man
Joe Kubert
Tarzan of the Apes v1 #230, 1974 - The first of several DC super spectaculars, this issue contains both new and reprinted material. Joe Kubert's crowded cover pales compared to his terrific contents page and stunning short story. Opening with a magnificent two-page spread, this tale of Tarzan's rescue of a small deer equals other longer Kubert works in quality. Much of the issue features a sequence of Russ Manning newspaper strips, appearing in comic book format for the first time. Impeccably drawn, the 1960s story makes a worthy contribution to this 100 page issue. Other artists in this issue include Russ Heath and Mike Kaluta. This is number 23 of 43 Tarzan issues with Kubert art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
Kubert contents page pencils and inks = *** 
Untitled story Kubert pencils and inks 6 pages = ****
"Slave TradersManning story pencils and inks 19 pages (1st time in comic book format) = ***

Joe Kubert
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>this issue >Kubert >Manning >Tarzan
Rima the Jungle Girl v1 #7 dc bronze age comic book cover art by Joe Kubert
Joe Kubert
Rima the Jungle Girl v1 #7, 1975 - No Nestor Redondo art, despite what comic book price guides say. The actual artist is most likely a Filipino colleague, whose work resembles much of the art in DC's bronze age horror titles. The inking style has a similarity to Redondo on certain pages, but his skills overall are lacking. Alex Nino has also been credited in the same guides, but this is also inaccurate. For the record, Redondo's and Nino's artwork appear in previous issues of Rima. Joe Kubert does his typically fine effort on the cover, his last of the series. This is number 7 of 7 Rima issues with Kubert art and/or covers.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***

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>this issue >Nino >Redondo >Kubert >Rima

Heroic Comics v1 #44, 1947 - Alex Toth illustrates a pair of stories featuring two heroic people: a pilot who risks his life to save polio patients and a hospital nurse who saves the life of a child. While Toth's artwork is still in its primitive stage, both tales reveal more effort and enthusiasm than his usual fare. Most impressive are the large opening panels, rich with detail and texture (see interior [age above). Other artists in this issue include H.C. Kiefer, among others. This is number 10 of 13 Heroic Comics issues with Toth art and/or covers.
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"Mercy Flight" Toth story pencils and inks 5 pages = **
"Nurse Without Fear" Toth story pencils and inks 2 pages = **

Alex Toth
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>this issue >Toth >Heroic Comics
Marvel Spotlight v1 #4 Werewolf by Night marvel comic book cover art by Mike Ploog
Mike Ploog
Marvel Spotlight v1 #4 on Werewolf by Night, 1972 - Drawn to his ancestral castle on a small island, the werewolf discovers a new inhabitant: a madman who performs experiments on unwilling participants. Mike Ploog's layouts turn more conservative, utilizing a more traditional six panel grid. His drawings, however, retain their distinctive flair and high level of detail (see interior page below). Ploog's cover is adequate, despite all the crowded typography. The title character ends its run on Marvel Spotlight, but the storyline continues in Werewolf by Night #1. This is number 3 of 8 Marvel Spotlight issues with Ploog art and/or covers.
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Ploog cover pencils and inks = ***
"Island of the Damned"
Ploog story pencils and inks 21 pages = ***


Marvel Spotlight v1 #4 Werewolf by Night marvel comic book page art by Mike Ploog
Mike Ploog
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>this issue >Ploog >Marvel Spotlight >Werewolf By Night

Walt Disney's Comics and Stories v1 #49, 1944 - When Huey, Louie and Dewey aspire to become tightrope walkers, their Uncle Donald does his best to discourage them. He also upstages them by attempting to walk across Niagara Falls. Given the story's plot, Carl Barks makes use of angled lines for more interesting layouts. Despite the genre, the artist insists on drawing accurate scenes and perspectives. This story was later reprinted in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #303. Other artists in this issue include Walt Kelly (cover). 
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Untitled Barks story pencils and inks 10 pages = ***

Carl Barks
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>this issue >Barks >Walt Disney's Comics and Stories

Weird Mystery Tales v1 #6, 1973 - In a rural mountain community, fear and suspicion lead to the murder of an old woman. This tale of witchcraft and revenge is drawn a bit too harshly for my tastes. The hillbillies are more caricatures than characters, rendered in messy, even coarse linework. Some of Nino's best work appears in horror titles, but this one falls short. Other artists in this issue include Abe Ocampo and Ruben Yandoc. Cover by Jack Sparling. This is number 2 of 6 Weird Mystery Tales issues with Nino art and/or covers.
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"Even the Dead Shall Laugh" Nino story pencils and inks 6 pages = **

Alex Nino
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>this issue >Nino >Weird Mystery Tales
The Phantom v2 #74 charlton comic book cover art by Don Newton
Don Newton
The Phantom v2 #74, 1977 - This period tale of 1776 nicely commemorates and coincides with the American Bicentennial. The colonial-era Phantom of comes to the aid of Benjamin Franklin, but not before denouncing the colonies' ongoing participation of slavery. Don Newton's flag cover painting (considered a classic by many) conveys both patriotism and traditionalism. The interior story, the artist's last of the series, is no less exemplary. Skillfully drawn and paced, the highlights include an engraving-like illustration of a ship at sea (page 6) and the bold dramatically-lit close-ups on pages 7, 8 and 11. The letters page toward the end repurposes previous published Newton art. This is number 7 of 7 Phantom issues with Newton art and/or covers.
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Newton cover painting = ****
"The Phantom of 1776" Newton story pencils and inks 22 pages = *****

The Phantom v2 #74 charlton comic book page art by Don Newton
Don Newton
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>this issue >Newton >Phantom
Steve Ditko
Amazing Spider-man v1 #21, 1965 - Spidey joins the Human Torch in fighting the nefarious Beetle, whose most recognizable traits are his armor-plating and suction-cup gloves. Steve Ditko's layouts are more varied than the previous issue, avoiding repetition. Like his acrobatic cover, his juxtaposition of three characters (rather than two) is more visually interesting. Not surprisingly, there's also a brief skirmish between the two heroes (page 14-15). Ditko clearly revels in the drawing and positioning of multiple figures, especially in sequence. As with previous issues, his consistently eclectic style contributes to the series' success. This is number 21 of 38 Amazing Spider-man issues with Ditko art and/or covers.
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Ditko cover pencils and inks = ***
"Where Flies the Beetle" Ditko story pencils and inks 20 pages = ***
"Spider-man" pin-up Ditko pencils and inks = ***

Steve Ditko
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>this issue >Ditko >Amazing Spider-man
Ronin v1 #2 dc comic book cover art by Frank Miller
Frank Miller
Ronin v1 #2, 1983 - The samurai warrior begins to adjust to a unfamiliar world of the war-torn future. With his second issue, Frank Miller's artwork becomes more loose and expressionistic. Elaborate cross hatching brings texture to both the seedy characters and the gritty urban setting. As usual, Miller's strength is his layout and pacing, augmented by four double page spreads. This is number 2 of 6 Ronin issues with Miller art and/or covers.
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Miller wrap around cover pencils and inks = ***
Miller story pencils and inks 48 pages = ***

Ronin v1 #2 dc comic book page art by Frank Miller
Frank Miller
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>this issue >Miller >Ronin

Boots and her Buddies v1 #9, 1949 - Nestled within this issue are two single page stories featuring the Toppsy Twins. Cute yet rambunctious, these little boys manage to draw the ire of nearby adults. Frank Frazetta draws both pages with a playful spontaneity. His portraits on the opening panels show a wide-eyed innocence that belies their obnoxious nature. Despite being early in his career,  Frazetta displays a high level of draftsmanship. Other artists in this issue include Edgar Martin. This is number 1 of 1 Boots and her Buddies issues with Frazetta art and/or covers.
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"The Toppsy Twins" Frazetta story pencils and inks 2 pages = ***

Frank Frazetta
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>this issue >Frazetta >Boots and her Buddies

Sea Hunt v1 #11, 1961 - The lead story opens with an airplane's spacious view of the Grand Canyon, but the lack of detail reduces visual interest and depth. Russ Manning makes up for it on subsequent pages, drawing the main character's underwater explorations of the Colorado River (see interior page below). The second tale, about an embezzler and some missing ledgers, is equally well drawn. Manning renders the characters with uncommon crispness and clarity. This is number 7 of 8 Sea Hunt issues with Manning art and/or covers.
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"Canyon Danger" Manning story pencils and inks 14 pages = ***
"Davey Jones's Ledger" Manning story pencils and inks 13 pages = ***
 
"Legends of the Sea" Manning story pencils and inks 1 page = ***
"Deep in the Deep Sea" Manning inside back cover pencils and inks
(black and white) = ***

Russ Manning
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>this issue >Manning >Sea Hunt

Warfront v1 #36 featuring Dynamite Joe, 1965 - Not only do two GIs find out they're in enemy territory, but they're tasked with blowing up a grounded missile gone awry. Different sources have different attributions to this brief story. At the very least, Al Williamson  drew the layouts and perhaps some of the pencils. Regardless, the artwork is abysmal. The drawings are amateurish and the layouts are poorly constructed. Williamson's usually sophisticated style is near unrecognizable. Also included in this issue is a one-page Goodyear ad by Neal Adams, which appears in several Harvey comics of the era. Other artists in this issue include Jack Sparling and George Tuska. This is number 1 of 1 Warfront issues with Williamson art and/or covers.
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"Warhead" Williamson story pencils and inks 5 pages = *

Al Williamson
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>this issue >Williamson >Warfront
Joe Kubert
Ragman v1 #4, 1977 - Joe Kubert's near-symmetrical cover echoes a dramatic double-page spread inside. Four guns menacingly point toward the title character, converging on the woman's body. The Redondo Studio appears to be responsible for the bulk of the story art, but Kubert's exquisite back-up tale is the issue's high point. Told mostly without captions or dialogue, three gravediggers find more than they bargained for in a dark cemetery. Grittier, tougher, and more aggressive, Kubert's artwork makes the feature story pale by comparison. This is number 4 of 5 Ragman issues with Kubert art and/or covers. 
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
"Untitled"
Kubert story pencils and inks 5 pages = ****

Joe Kubert
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>this issue >Kubert >Ragman

Secret Hearts v1 #143, 1971 - Spending a week in a luxury resort, Lynn has to concoct lies to hide the fact that she's neither rich nor well-connected. The story's artwork is deceptively simple, letting the design and pacing come to the fore. Alex Toth's linework is bold and graphic, typical of his bronze age work. Most effective is his opening page, featuring a shadowed panel that suggests a character being "in the dark". Other artists in this issue include Vince Colletta and Dick Giordano. This is number 3 of 4 Secret Hearts issues with Toth art and/or covers.
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"Masquerade" Toth story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***

Alex Toth
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>this issue >Toth >Secret Hearts
The Sandman v1 #3 dc bronze age comic book cover art by Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby
The Sandman v1 #3, 1975 - Is the title hero appearing within the woman's dream, emerging from it, or both? Jack Kirby's cover design could stand more clarity. The encroaching ape on the left also looks uncomfortably squeezed into the remaining negative space. Kirby's uniquely graphic drawing skills are evident though the cover just falls below expectations. Ernie Chua (Chan) draws the interior story in a disappointingly similar style. Kirby would thankfully resume the penciling chores with the following issue. This is number 3 of 6 Sandman issues with Kirby art and/or covers.
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Kirby cover pencils (Mike Royer inks) = **

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>this issue >Kirby >Sandman
 
My Experience v1 #21, 1950 - In two separate stories, a superstitious girl fears a break-up of her third engagement and a young lady chooses between the welfare of her parents and her one true love. Wally Wood's inking is evident in both tales, apparently pencilled by two different artists (perhaps A.C. Hollingsworth in the second?). Unfortunately, they're equally amateurish in both their drawings and compositions. Wood's style is more forcefully applied in the first tale, adding deep shadows and lighting where needed (see interior page below). This is number 2 of 3 My Experience issues with Wood art and/or covers.
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"No Wedding Bells for Me" Wood story inks 9 pages = **
"I Wanted Love" Wood story inks 10 pages = *

Wally Wood
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>this issue >Wood >My Experience
Giant-size Man-Thing v1 annual #4 marvel 1970s bronze age comic book cover art by Frank Brunner
Frank Brunner

Giant-size Man-Thing v1 #4, 1975 - An unmoving hand smolders while the Man-Thing looks on, entranced by the rising flame. Despite the graphics and text, Frank Brunner delivers one of his potent bronze age covers. Accompanying the Man-Thing feature is Howard the Duck's first solo tale, continued from events in Fear #19. Brunner does the artwork as well, depicting a cartoon character in a realistic world. There are panels influenced by Carl Barks' Donald Duck, but presented in a fresh, contemporary way (this story was later reprinted in Marvel Treasury #12). Rounding out the book is a fine Steve Ditko reprint from Strange Tales #72. Other artists in this issue include Ron Wilson, Ed Hannigan and Frank Springer. This is number 1 of 2 Giant Size Man-Thing issues with Brunner art and/or covers.
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Brunner cover pencils and inks = *****
"Frog Death" Brunner story pencils and inks 9 pages = ****


Giant-size Man-Thing v1 annual #4 marvel 1970s bronze age comic book page art by Frank Brunner
Frank Brunner
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>this issue >Brunner >Ditko >Man-Thing