Friday, August 22, 2014

Authentic Police Cases #27 - Matt Baker cover

Authentic Police Cases v1 #27, 1953 - Triple the page count of regular issues, it's a shame that no Matt Baker stories reside inside. He did, however, supply the intense cover illustration. Bank robbers take a pretty elevator operator hostage, just as the police begin shooting into the cab itself. Baker's figure drawing and placement are outstanding. Diagonal lines add further tension and excitement. Though the woman's red jacket makes her the obvious focal point, note how the gunfire just barely misses her. This is number 19 of 28 Authentic Police Cases issues with Baker art and/or covers (not including reprints). See today's posts or more Baker or Authentic Police Cases issues. See also this blog's Matt Baker checklist.
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Baker cover pencils and inks = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Baker issues, >more Authentic Police Cases issues

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tarzan #125 - Russ Manning art


Tarzan v1 #125, 1961 - Discovering an ancient abandoned city, the Brothers of the Spear quickly turn it into a refuge when a small tribe is under attack. Russ Manning's architectural forms are a welcome change from the usual jungle settings. They seem well suited for the artist's clean, sharp lines. The story's largest panel features a panoramic view of the wall fortress and its contents. Other artists in this issue include Jesse Marsh (on Tarzan). This is number 87 of 132 Tarzan issues with Manning art and/or covers (not including reprints). See today's posts or more Manning or Tarzan issues. See also this blog's Russ Manning checklist.
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"Walls of Mystery" Manning story pencils and inks 5 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Manning issues>more Tarzan issues

Eerie v4 #35 - Frank Brunner, Mike Ploog art


Eerie v4 #35, 1971 - Imprisoned by Roman soldiers, the wizard Sidious grants himself immortality and plans his revenge in the future. This early work by Frank Brunner is meticulously drawn. His flowing brushwork pervades every panel, adding movement and texture to the story. The resulting nightmarish tale is one of his best bronze age efforts. Mike Ploog tells of a barbarian seeking a wizard's help in resurrecting his lover. The artist's rippling, viscous style seems to work well with this sword-wielding fantasy (see interior page above). There is a lack of polish, however, in some of the faces and figures. Ploog's inexperience is partially offset by his enthusiasm. Other artists in this issue include Enrich Torres, John Cornell, Steve Englehart, Victor de la Fuente, Jerry Grandenetti, John Ayella and Sanho Kim. This is number 1 of 1 Eerie issues with Brunner art and/or covers and number 1 of 2 Eerie issues with Ploog art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Brunner, Ploog or Eerie issues. See also this blog's Brunner checklist, Top 10 Brunner comics, Ploog checklist or Top 10 Ploog comics.
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"The Comet's Curse" Brunner story pencils and inks 6 pages = ****
"The Tower of the Demon Dooms" Ploog story pencils and inks 9 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Brunner issues>more Ploog issues, >more Eerie magazine issues

Captain America #254 - John Byrne art & cover


Captain America v1 #254, 1981 - Still in England due to Lord Falsworth's request, Captain America continues his search for Baron Blood, newly revived since World War II. After a brief retelling of previous events, John Byrne illustrates the inevitable battle with the royal vampire. An English manor provides a distinctive setting for most of the action. Byrne's artwork is brilliantly executed, from the more mundane scenes (see interior page above) to the clashes with the Baron. The artist's deft pacing leads up to a superb splash toward the end: an inspiring and memorable portrait of the original Union Jack. This is number 10 of 15 Captain America issues with Byrne art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Byrne or Captain America issues. See also this blog's Byrne checklist.
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Byrne cover pencils (Josef Rubinstein inks) = ***
"Blood on the Moors" Byrne story pencils (Josef Rubinstein inks) 17 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Byrne issues>more Captain America issues

Teen-age Romance #85 - Jack Kirby art & cover


Teen-age Romance v1 #85, 1962 - Though three Jack Kirby tales reside in this issue, none really shows the extent of his talents. Like most romance comics, figures and faces seem repetitive. Of the three, "My Boy Friend" has the most interesting scene, depicting a girl sitting alone in a crowded stadium. Other teenagers recoil from her and proceed to judge her while she's mere inches away. Kirby's cover is not much better, crowding in figures within an uninspired layout. Other artists in this issue include Gene Colan and Jay Scott Pike. This is number 2 of 3 Teen-age Romance issues with Kirby art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Kirby or Teen-age Romance issues. See also this blog's Jack Kirby checklist.
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Kirby cover pencils (Vince Colletta inks) = **
"She Who Laughs Last" Kirby story pencils (Vince Colletta inks) 6 pages = **
"My Boy Friend" Kirby story pencils (Vince Colletta inks) 7 pages = **
"Too Shy Am I" Kirby story pencils (Vince Colletta inks) 5 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Kirby issues>more Teen-age Romance issues

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