Monday, March 7, 2011

Get Smart #3 - Steve Ditko art

Get Smart v1 #3 - Steve Ditko silver age tv humor dell comic book page artGet Smart v1 #3 - Steve Ditko dell tv 1960s silver age comic book page art
Get Smart v1 #3, 1966 - Like the previous Get Smart issue, Steve Ditko attempts to show his comedic side in the comic book version of the popular television series. While the artist's hand is evident on several panels, Sal Trapani's inking overwhelms the majority. Most pages show only the bare minimum of backgrounds and the pacing and layouts are ill-timed and monotonous. Still, the effort is unusual enough for consideration, especially for die-hard Ditko completists. This is number 2 of 2 Get Smart issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ditko or Get Smart issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist.
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"The Raid" Ditko inside front cover pencils (Sal Trapani inks) black and white = *
"The Nuclear Gumball Caper" Ditko story pencils
(Sal Trapani inks) 31 pages = *
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Ditko issues, >more Get Smart issues
Find on amazon: >this tv show

Jonah Hex #12 - Jim Starlin cover

Jonah Hex v1 #12 dc western comic book cover art by Jim Starlin Jonah Hex v1 #12, 1978 - Known mostly for superhero comics, this is among the few Jim Starlin western covers (see also Weird Western Tales #44 and #45). The composition is unusually dynamic for the genre and the figures posed a little too heroically. Still, other artistic details are appropriate and even praiseworthy. I especially like how Jonah's head conveniently falls into shadow, allowing for some dramatic backlighting. This is number 1 of 1 Jonah Hex issues with Starlin art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Starlin or Jonah Hex issues. See also this blog's Starlin checklist or Top 10 Starlin comics.
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Starlin cover pencils and inks = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Starlin issues>more Jonah Hex issues

Sunday, March 6, 2011

G.I. Joe #77 - Marshall Rogers art & cover


G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero v3 #77, 1988 - Marshall Rogers' art continues to disappoint with its passive drawings and erratically paced layouts. Aside from some additional clarity, inker Randy Emberlin does little to improve the pencils. Rogers' close-up of two women fighting on the cover is somewhat better, reminiscent of his stronger works from years earlier. This is number 3 of 8 G.I. Joe issues with Rogers art and/or covers. Other artists in this issue include Ron Wagner (cover). See today's posts or more Rogers or G.I. Joe issues. See also this blog's Rogers checklist or Top 10 Rogers comics.
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Rogers cover pencils (Bob McCleod inks) = **
"Aftershocks" Rogers story pencils (Randy Emberlin inks) 22 pages = *
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Rogers issues>more G.I. Joe issues

Mister Miracle #9 - Jack Kirby art & cover

Mister Miracle v1 #9 dc 1970s bronze age comic book cover art by Jack KirbyMister Miracle v1 #9 dc 1970s bronze age comic book page art by Jack Kirby
Mister Miracle v1 #9, 1972 - The experiences of a young Scott Free are chronicled here, long before his became Mister Miracle. His mentor Himon is introduced, along with his first encounter with Big Barda. Like previous issues, Jack Kirby delivers two splash pages and a dramatic double page spread. The bleak industrial landscape of Apokolips is depicted in all its harshness and futility. Tightly rendered throughout, Kirby deviates only in page 19 panel 5, loosening facial expressions to convey shock and horror. This is number 9 of 18 Mr. Miracle issues with Kirby art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Kirby or Mister Miracle issues. See also this blog's Kirby checklist.
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Kirby cover pencils (Mike Royer inks) = ***
"Himon" Kirby story pencils (Mike Royer inks) 20 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Kirby issues, >more Mister Miracle issues

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Forbidden Worlds #3 - Al Williamson // Frank Frazetta / Wally Wood art


Forbidden Worlds v1 #3, 1951 - An anthropologist confesses to murder and suffers the grim consequences. Although clumsily written, Al Williamson's art far exceeds the rest of the book. Pages abound with rich textures that support the tone of each scene. Overstreet's guide credits most of the inks to Joe Orlando with a single panel attributed to Wally Wood. However, The Art of Al Williamson checklist divides up the chores equally. Wood's contributions seem to appear on pages 1 and 3 but it's hard to be sure. Both sources agree that a single panel, most likely page 6 panel 3, was inked by Frank Frazetta. Other artists in this issue include Ogden Whitney. This is number 2 of 7 Forbidden Worlds issues with Williamson art and/or covers, number 1 of 1 Forbidden Worlds issues with Wood art and/or covers and number 2 of 2 Forbidden Worlds issues with Frazetta art and/or covers. See today's posts or more WilliamsonWood, Frazetta or Forbidden Worlds issues. See also this blog's Williamson checklist, Wood checklist, Frazetta checklist or Top 10 Frazetta comics.
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"Skull of the Sorcerer" Williamson story pencils / Frazetta, Wood, Joe Orlando partial inks 7 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Frazetta issues>more Williamson issues, >more Wood issues>more Forbidden Worlds issues

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fighting American #2 - Jack Kirby art & cover

Fighting American v1 #2 harvey comic book cover art by Jack KirbyFighting American v1 #2 harvey comic book page art by Jack Kirby
Fighting American v1 #2, 1954 - Small panels and heavy dialogue permeate most of the pages, yet Joe Simon and Jack Kirby do an than admirable job with the art. The opening splash pages for the first two stories are terrific, worthy enough to have been covers in their own right. The opening to "League of Handsome Devils" could have been especially chaotic, but the artist perfectly balances the elements. "City of Ghouls" begins with a smaller panel, but framed within a horrific architecture not dissimilar from his Black Magic series (see interior page shown above). Kirby's cover depicts a refreshingly unusual view, looking up toward the heroes within a circular opening. Some stories in this issue were later reprinted in Fighting American v2 #1. This is number 2 of 8 Fighting American issues with Kirby art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Kirby or Fighting American issues. See also this blog's Kirby checklist.
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Kirby cover pencils (Joe Simon inks) = ****
"League of Handsome Devils" Kirby story pencils (Joe Simon inks) 9 pages = ***
"Meet Doubleheader" Kirby story pencils (Joe Simon inks) 7 pages = ***
"City of Ghouls" Kirby story pencils (Joe Simon inks) 7 pages = ***
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Find on ebay:
>this issue, >more Kirby issues, >more Fighting American issues
Find on amazon: >Fighting American hardcover edition

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Infinity Inc. #11 - non-attributed Don Newton art


Infinity Inc. v1 #11, 1984 - Stories that included lengthy flashback scenes were often an opportunity to use multiple artists, as is the case in this issue. George Tuska illustrates the bulk of the book while Don Newton does the introductory and closing pages (specifically pages 1,2,3,23 and 24). Newton's first effort on this Justice Society spin-off is mostly a forgettable one. His mediocre layouts and pencils are nearly completely overpowered by inker Tony DeZuniga. His opening splash seems especially uninspired with its scattered placement of super-heroes. Some comic book price guides neglected to attribute story art in this issue to Newton. This is number 1 of 3 Infinity Inc. issues with Newton art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Newton or Infinity Inc. issues. See also this blog's Don Newton checklist.
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"Aftermath and Prologue" Newton story pencils (Tony DeZuniga inks) 5 pages = *
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Newton issues, >more Infinity Inc. issues


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Haunted Love #4 - Steve Ditko art


Haunted Love v1 #4, 1973 - After making a pact with the devil, a homely young woman wins the heart of the most eligible bachelor in colonial Salem. The story opens with rather mundane, straightforward panels, making the remaining pages all the more surprising. Steve Ditko uses thin parallel lines for shading throughout, unexpectedly adding depth and interest to certain scenes and especially on character faces. Despite adhering to a strict six-panel grid, the artist's precise pacing and superb drawings are thankfully unhindered. Other artists in this issue include Joe Staton (art & cover). This is number 1 of 2 Haunted Love issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ditko or Haunted Love issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist.
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"Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" Ditko story pencils and inks 8 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Ditko issues>more Newton issues>more Haunted Love issues

Jonah Hex #9 - Bernie Wrightson cover

Jonah Hex v1 #9 dc western comic book cover art by Bernie Wrightson Jonah Hex v1 #9, 1978 - Bernie Wrightson tries his hand at the western genre with this early Jonah Hex cover. The bandit El Papagayo looks on while the hero suffers a slow death from hungry ants. Devoid of background details, the illustration emphasizes the various figures starting with the title character. Note how the artist places gunmen at various distances to increase the sense of depth. The scene is unusually bright and saturated for Wrightson, but works better than I expected. Other artists in this issue include Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. This is number 1 of 1 Jonah Hex issues with Wrightson art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Wrightson or Jonah Hex issues. See also this blog's Wrightson checklist or Top 10 Wrightson comics.
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Wrightson cover pencils and inks = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Wrightson issues>more Jonah Hex issues

X-Men and the New Teen Titans - comic series checklist






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X-Men and the New Teen Titans v1
Marvel
1982

1 - Walt Simonson art & cover

See also:
Teen Titans
X-men

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See today's posts, more series checklists or the master list of series. See also this blog's artist checkliststop 10 lists or readers polls.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Champions #15 - John Byrne art


The Champions v1 #15, 1977 - The team's deadly encounter with The Swarm concludes with this issue. John Byrne nears the end of his run. and pencils his last issue of the series. Despite some promising-looking pages by the artist, much of it falters due to the sloppy inks of Mike Esposito. A step down from his previous issue, many scenes lack definition and clarity. Many of the characters' faces seem completely redrawn. The panels with the Black Widow fare worse than others, especially the close-up on page 22, panel five. Other artists in this issue include Al Milgrom (cover). This is number 5 of 6 Champions issues with Byrne art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Byrne or Champions issues. See also this blog's Byrne checklist.
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"Death Drone" Byrne story pencils (Mike Esposito inks) 17 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Byrne issues, >more Champions issues

Jann of the Jungle #17 - Al Williamson art


Jann of the Jungle v1 #17, 1957 - Al Williamson partners with inker Ralph Mayo to produce three exceptionally drawn stories. Each respective opening page is excellent, but the large, dramatically imposing panel in "The Drum Beats at Midnight" is particularly good. My sources indicate this was Mayo's last comic before his death and may have contributed pencils as well. Regardless of credit, the end results are breathtaking. One story was later reprinted in Savage Tales #8. Other artists in this issue include Bill Everett (cover). This is number 3 of 3 Jann of the Jungle issues with Williamson art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Williamson or Jann of the Jungle issues. See also this blog's Williamson checklist.
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"Voodoo Vengeance" Williamson story pencils (Ralph Mayo inks) 5 pages = ***
"The Killers of the Swamps" Williamson story pencils (Ralph Mayo inks) 5 pages = ****
"The Drum Beats at Midnight"
Williamson story pencils (Ralph Mayo inks) 5 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Williamson issues>more Jann of the Jungle issues

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