Saturday, August 7, 2010

Crime Smashers #2 - Joe Kubert cover

Crime Smashers v1 #2, 1950 - At the height of the crime comics fad, this series featured such forgettable characters as Ray Hale, Dan Turner and Girl Friday. Joe Kubert illustrates the cover, featuring the lead feature Sally the Sleuth. Her sultry portrayal inside is a marked contrast to Kubert's more business-like attire. Sally and her partner the "Chief" easily overcome two thugs, perhaps a little too easily. Kubert does an acceptable job with the artwork, though not particularly arresting. This is number 1 of 1 Crime Smashers issues with Kubert art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Kubert or Crime Smashers issues. See also this blog's Kubert checklist.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Kubert issues, >more Crime Smashers issues

Weird War Tales #23 - non-attributed Alex Nino art

Weird War Tales v1 #23 dc bronze age comic book page art by Alex Nino
Weird War Tales v1 #23, 1971 - On a remote island in the Pacific, a lone Army Corporal mans a radar station that sees little to no action. That rapidly changes when an inter-dimensional portal whisks him to another planet, engaging in a very different kind of war. Alien figures and landscapes are a specialty of Alex Nino's, and he makes splendid use of his talents here. His disturbingly irregular shapes are well suited for this sci-fi/war story, culminating in the massive destruction of alien weaponry on page six, panel one. Other artists in this issue include Alfredo Alcala, Luis Domingez (cover), and Rich Buckler. This is number 5 of 13 Weird War Tales issues with Nino art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Nino or Weird War Tales issues. See also this blog's Nino checklist.
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"Corporal Kelly's Private War" Nino story pencils and inks 6 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Nino issues, >more Weird War Tales issues

Friday, August 6, 2010

Korg 70,000 B.C. #2 - John Byrne art

Korg 70,000 B.C. v1 #2, 1975 - Charlton Comics tries its hand at a prehistoric series laden with a cast of cavemen characters. Along the similar theme of ancient cultures, a two page text story features a young viking prince. A young John Byrne draws the piece with considerably less effort than usual. Text illos rarely match the quality of multi-panel pages, and this example only reinforces that perception. Other artists in this issue include Pat Boyette. This is number 1 of 1 Korg 70,000 BC issues with Byrne art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Byrne or Korg 70,000 BC issues. See also this blog's Byrne checklist.
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"The Prince and the Serpent Men" Byrne three text illos pencils and inks = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Byrne issues, >more Korg 70,000 BC issues

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Captain America #108 - Jack Kirby art & cover

Captain America v1 #108 marvel comic book cover art by Jack KirbyCaptain America v1 #108 marvel comic book page art by Jack Kirby
Captain America v1 #108, 1968 - Jack Kirby dazzles his readers with his lively expressionistic style. The issue begins with another iconic portrait of title hero exploding off the splash page. Once he discovers his girlfriend is captured, Cap is in constant motion throughout most of the book. Kirby provides plenty of action and visual stimulation without sacrificing the story. On a second splash page, the kidnapper emerges from the shadows, revealing himself as the Trapster. Syd Shores continues to prove himself one of Kirby's finest inkers of the late silver age. This is number 9 of 34 Captain America issues with Kirby art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Kirby or Captain America issues. See also this blog's Kirby checklist.
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Kirby cover pencils (Syd Shores inks) = ***
"The Snares of the Trapster" Kirby story pencils (Syd Shores inks) 20 pages = ****

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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Kirby issues, >more Captain America issues

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blackhawk #260 - Alex Toth art

Blackhawk v1 #260, 1983 - Rather than one long single story, this edition is divided into three segments, each drawn by a different artist. Alex Toth illustrates a tale of Blackhawk's old friend who never manages to stay out of trouble. Though not outstanding overall, the artist does provide a couple of superbly laid out pages of the hero in aerial combat (see interior page above). They also maintain a sense of spontaneity, breaking free from Frank Giacoia's inks. Other artists in this issue include Dick Rockwell, Dan Spiegle and Howard Chaykin (art & cover). This is number 1 of 1 Blackhawk issues with Toth art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Toth or Blackhawk issues. See also this blog's Toth checklist.
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"Barnacle Bill" Toth story pencils (Frank Giacoia inks) 7 pages = ***
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Find on ebay:
>this issue>more Toth issues, >more Blackhawk issues

Monday, August 2, 2010

Frontier Western #10 - non-attributed Matt Baker art

Frontier Western v1 #10, 1957 - A bank robber seeks revenge on a witness that testified against him, only to a the man that stands his ground rather than runs away. Although a typical western morality tale, the artwork is infused with empathy thanks to Matt Baker. There are a few jarring selections by the colorist (see interior page above), but otherwise the distractions are few. Like many of his stories in this era, the brushwork is softer and more dimensional than the decade before. This unattributed tale is one of Baker's more memorable efforts for Atlas. This story was later reprinted in Gunhawks #7. Other artists in this issue include George Tuska, Sid Check, and John Severin (cover only). This is number 3 of 3 Frontier Western issues with Baker art and/or covers. See today's posts, more Baker or Frontier Western issues. See also this blog's Matt Baker checklist.
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"Dangerous Game" Baker story pencils and inks 5 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Baker issues>more Frontier Western issues

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Daring Love #1 - Steve Ditko art (1st pro work)

Daring Love v1 #1 - Steve Ditko golden age romance comic book page art
Daring Love v1 #1, 1953 - Published by Gilmore Magazines, this one-shot romance issue was retitled Radiant Love and lasted a mere six issues. The cover seems boldly implicit in its sexuality, similar to pulp paperbacks targeted toward male audiences of the era. Yet the interior stories are typically standard (and mild) romantic fare for teenage girls. The farmer's daughter theme is repeated in the Steve Ditko tale, but his version is more tastefully done by comparison. An abundance of text crowds most of his panels, but even then his artwork is clearly unpolished and far from memorable. The first and last panels reveal the couple through an open trapdoor from above, giving the scenes a slightly voyeuristic intimacy. This story is commonly credited as Steve Ditko's first published work, although Fantastic Fears #5 is his first professionally drawn story. This is number 1 of 1 Daring Love issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ditko or Daring Love issues. See also more firsts or this blog's Ditko checklist.
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"Paper Romance" Ditko story pencils and inks 6 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Ditko issues, >more Daring Love issues