2/28/17

Noman #1 - mis-attributed Al Williamson / Wally Wood cover

Noman v1 #1 - Al Williamson / Wally Wood tower silver age 1960s comic book cover art
Al Williamson / Wally Wood
Noman v1 #1, 1966 - A collaborative effort by two great artists results in this competently illustrated cover. Al Williamson rarely did covers, and in this case he benefited from Wally Wood's fine inking. The details on the encroaching caveman are impressive, from the muscular anatomy to the texture of the clothing. The overall layout is a bit less compelling than expected, perhaps due to too few compositional elements. Some comic book guides credit the pencils to Wood and the inks to Williamson, but closer inspection leads me to believe it's actually the reverse (look for yourself and share your opinion). Unusually, rather than the title character standing out in the forefront, an invisible Noman is relegated to the background. This is 1 of 1 Noman issues with Williamson art and/or covers and 1 of 2 Noman issues with Wood art and/or covers.
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Williamson cover pencils / Wood inks = ***

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3 comments:

  1. It certainly looks like Wood was involved with the cover, but something isn't right. The image may have been larger and then cropped- Wood wouldn't cut off the woman's left elbow and right hand like that. Her left wrist is also awkward and undefined. Maybe he drew a sexier woman who was replaced.

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  2. Not sure about the woman, though overall it looks more Wood than Williamson. As for cropping, I think many covers of that era were "adjusted" with little or no artist input.

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  3. I can't believe that anyone or any publication would have attributed the inking of this cover to Al Williamson. Without addressing overall quality, nothing about the inks on this is Williamson, and they are clearly by Wood. And that was even evident to me when I was a kid when this was published.

    I'll also add another comment regarding various "100% Wood" attributions to certain jobs by Wood in the late 1960s & 1970s, e.g. the Charlton Jungle Jim stories that are not penciled by Ditko. There is a very suspect quality and clumsiness in much of that work, and we all know that Wood had a lot of assistants coming and going. So I'd really doubt Wood did all that penciling or inking. And I'd further guess that Wood's lifestyle/health at the time perhaps necessitated a good amount of ghost work by his assistants.

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