Sunday, March 7, 2010

Uncle Scrooge #24 - Carl Barks art & cover


Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge v1 #24, 1955 - Of the three Carl Barks stories that reside in this issue, the lead feature is one of my personal favorites. Scientists discover a second moon revolving around the Earth, and determine it's made of solid gold. Uncle Scrooge, a wealthy Rajah, and a Texas oilman race through space to claim it as their own. The majority of scenes are in space and aboard spaceships, but Barks utilizes larger panels as needed for scale. His rendition of the new moon as first seen by Scrooge and his crew (see inset above) is dramatic and unusually realistic for "cartoon character" book. Just as compelling is the final page of the golden moon's former Venusian owner leaving for his home planet. The two remaining Barks tales, though shorter, are also enjoyable and well written. This is number 24 of 70 Uncle Scrooge issues with Barks art and/or covers (not including reprints). See today's posts or more Barks or Uncle Scrooge issues. See also this blog's Carl Barks checklist.
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Barks cover pencils and inks = **
"The Twenty Four Carat Moon" Barks story pencils and inks 20 pages = ****
Gyro Gearloose "Cyclone Hill" story Barks pencils and inks 4 pages = ***
"The Magic Ink" Barks story pencils and inks 6 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Barks issues, >more Uncle Scrooge issues

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Young Love v3 #73 - Alex Toth art


Young Love v3 #73, 1969 - A young woman loses her affection for her boyfriend, only to find out he feels exactly the same way. Alex Toth's drawing style became more minimalist during the bronze age, but more experimental with page layout and pacing. Despite the sappy plot, the artist treats it with all due seriousness and sensitivity. His opening splash page of the couple embracing in an apartment setting (see interior page above) is an astonishing composition of mostly rectangular forms. A curtain (or room partition?) reinforces the design in a Mondrian-like manner. It is one of Toth's finest splash pages of the 1970s. This is number 1 of 4 Young Love issues with Toth art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Toth or Young Love issues. See also this blog's Toth checklist.
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"When Love Has Gone" Toth story pencils and inks 6 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Toth issues>more Simonson issues>more Young Love issues

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vampirella #14 - Mike Ploog art


Vampirella v1 #14, 1971 - Mike Ploog illustrates a retelling of Pandora and the infamous box she would unleash upon the world. The abundance of nudity is different from Ploog's mainstream comics, but does not detract overall. This early work by the artist displays some commanding brushwork. The opening splash's foreground foliage and a fallen cyclops (page 7) are just two fine examples. In the final panel, Pandora transforms into different women, representing future generations. This is number 1 of 1 Vampirella issues with Ploog art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ploog or Vampirella issues. See also this blog's Ploog checklist or Top 10 Ploog comics.
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"The Wedding Gift" Ploog story pencils and inks 7 pages (black and white) = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Ploog issues, >more Vampirella issues

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Durango Kid #11 - Frank Frazetta art

Frank Frazetta 1950s golden age western comic book page / Durango Kid #11
Durango Kid v1 #11, 1951 - A wagon train full of supplies must cross British lines to reach General Washington's starving army. Dan Brand and Tipi accept the mission during the harsh winter, giving Frank Frazetta opportunity to draw a much different setting than previous issues. The opening panel, depicting the two heroes skiing, is minimal yet suited to the environment. The snow-capped mountains, trees, and foliage throughout complement heroic figures and convincingly drawn horses. This story was later reprinted in White Indian #12. Other artists in this issue include Joe Certa (Durango Kid stories). This is number 11 of 16 Durango Kid issues with Frazetta art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Frazetta or Durango Kid issues. See also this blog's Frazetta checklist.
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"The Blood of Valley Forge" Frazetta story pencils and inks 7 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Frazetta issues>more Durango Kid issues

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Justice League Europe #21 - Marshall Rogers art & cover


Justice League Europe v1 #21, 1990 - The artwork has a roominess not often seen in later JLE issues. Minimal dialogue, especially in the second half of the book, puts more of a burden on Marshall Rogers to tell the story. While his layouts are fairly conservative, they do a more than adequate job. The best page, ironically enough, is the straightforward opening splash of the US embassy. The composition of varied architecture gives the issue a peaceful yet pleasing start. This is number 2 of 3 Justice League Europe issues with Rogers art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Rogers or Justice League Europe issues. See also this blog's Rogers checklist or Top 10 Rogers comics.
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Rogers cover pencils (Bruce Patterson inks) = ***
"Blood Sweat and Tabloids
" Rogers story pencils (Joe Rubenstein inks) 22 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Rogers issues>more Justice League Europe issues

Thrilling Adventure Stories #2 - Neal Adams cover, Alex Toth, Walt Simonson, Russ Heath art


Thrilling Adventure Stories v1 #2, 1975 - Along with a handful of short-lived comics, Atlas/Seaboard also produced this magazine-sized comic during the 1970s. The Neal Adams cover captures your attention immediately with its strange prehistoric-looking monster. The barbaric couple remains defiant, and the man looks a little too suspiciously like Marvel's Ka-Zar. Alex Toth chronicles a lone cop's war against the drug trade. Fast paced and frenetic, his limited use of frames add an illustrative, montage-like quality. Toth's visual storytelling is some of his most experimental and innovative. Walt Simonson teams up with writer Archie Goodwin on a story set in feudal Japan. The artist's layouts are superbly designed, with drawings rich in graphic texture. Russ Heath's contribution is the especially violent but artfully drawn "Tough Cop", one of his finest works of the bronze age. Other artists in this issue include Jack Sparling and John Severin. The interior page shown above is by Simonson. This is 1 of 1 Thrilling Adventure Stories issues with Adams, Toth and Simonson art and/or covers and number 2 of 2 Thrilling Adventure Stories issues with Heath art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Adams, Toth, Simonson, Heath or Thrilling Adventure Stories issues. See also this blog's Adams checklist, Top 10 Adams comics, Heath checklist, Toth checklist or Simonson checklist.
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Adams cover pencils and inks = ***
"
The Temple of the Spider" Simonson story pencils and inks 11 pages = ****
"A Job Well Done" Toth story pencils and inks 7 pages = ****
"Tough Cop" Heath story pencils and inks 8 pages = ****
(all pages above in black and white)
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Find on ebay:
>this issue, >more Toth issues, >more Adams issues, >more Simonson issues, >more Heath issues

Monday, March 1, 2010

All-Star Squadron annual #3 - non-attributed Don Newton art


All-Star Squadron annual v1 #3, 1984 - This lengthy annual, comprised of forty pages, divides its artistic efforts between several artists. Carmine Infantino, George Perez, Keith Giffen, and Rich Bucker are among the better known names in addition to Don Newton. By then a veteran artist on both Batman and Detective Comics, Newton was a logical choice for the golden age Batman segment. Unfortunately, the artwork is all too brief and just barely recognizable in style. Mike Machlan's inking also hinders rather than helps. This is number 1 of 1 All-Star Squadron issues with Newton art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Newton or All-Star Squadron issues. See also this blog's Newton checklist.
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Untitled Batman & Robin story Newton pencils (Mike Machlan inks) 3 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Newton issues>more All-Star Squadron issues

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