Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wild Boy of the Congo #15 - Matt Baker cover

Wild Boy of the Congo v1 #15 - Matt Baker st john golden age comic book cover artWild Boy of the Congo v1 #15, 1955 - Jungle heroes often seemed to fight crocodiles, lions and tigers with regularity during the golden age, and this cover is no exception. Matt Baker does another simple but effective layout, his last on the series. The crocodile's mouth seems slightly distorted but not overly distracting. With the exception of the water's concentric circles, there is a feeling of sparseness around the masthead. Baker's drawing is enhanced by the contrasting color palette of reds and greens, making the cover that much more vivid. This is number 5 of 5 Wild Boy of the Congo issues with Baker art and/or covers. See today's posts, more Baker or Wild Boy of the Congo 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 Wild Boy of the Congo issues

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Justice Inc. #2 - Jack Kirby art & cover

Justice Inc. v1 #2 dc bronze age comic book cover art by Jack KirbyJustice Inc. v1 #2 dc bronze age comic book page art by Jack Kirby
Justice Inc. v1 #2, 1975 - Jack Kirby takes over the adventures of this 1930s pulp hero beginning with this issue. His expressionistic style appears incompatible at first, especially the straightforward simplistic cover. As the story progresses though, it's clear he's well suited for the perpetual action scenes that occur. Kirby's opening splash, inundated with text, is the most disappointing page of an otherwise capable effort. This is number 1 of 3 Justice Inc. issues with Kirby art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Kirby or Justice Inc. issues. See also this blog's Kirby checklist.
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Kirby cover pencils (Mike Royer inks) = **
"Justice Incorporated" Kirby story pencils (Mike Royer inks) 18 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Kirby issues, >more Kubert issues, >more Justice Inc issues

Red Circle Sorcery #7 - Bernie Wrightson, Jeff Jones art


Red Circle Sorcery v1 #7, 1974 - The publishers of Archie Comics try their hand at a mystery series under the imprint Red Circle Comics Group. Lasting only eleven issues, I was pleasantly surprised to see some terrific work by some established artists. Bruce Jones illustrates a story about two lifelong rivals, but his pencils are unfortunately sloppy and erratic. Bernie Wrightson and Jeff Jones lend a hand with the inks but are only partially successful in adding clarity. Division of responsibilities is not always clear, but Wrightson's hand is most evident on page three and the same with Jeff Jones on page four. Other artists in this issue include Vincente Alcazar, Carlos Pino and Gray Morrow (art and cover). This is number 1 of 1 Red Circle Sorcery issues with Wrightson art and/or covers and number 1 of 1 Red Circle Sorcery issues with Jeff Jones art and/or covers. See today's posts, more Wrightson, Jones or Red Circle Sorcery issues. See also this blog's Bernie Wrightson checklist, Top 10 Wrightson comics or Jeff Jones checklist.
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"The Rivals" Wrightson and Jones partial story inks (Bruce Jones pencils) 5 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Jones issues, >more Wrightson issues, >more Red Circle Sorcery issues

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Infinity Inc. #13 - Don Newton art


Infinity Inc. v1 #13, 1985 – The superhero team finds some rest and relaxation on a remote tropical island. There they encounter the Rose and the Thorn, a mysterious pair of sisters rarely seen since the bronze age. Don Newton’s art is terrific throughout, including the cheesecake pose of Lyta Hall on page four and the evening campfire scene on age nine. His pencils are augmented by Joe Rubenstein, one of this era's finest inkers and a frequent partner. This issue would be Newton’s last published work before his death, and a perfect example of his considerable talent. A fairly mediocre Todd McFarlane pin-up page appears toward the end. This is number 3 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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"A Thorn Grows in Paradise" Newton story pencils (Joe Rubinstein inks) 23 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Newton issues, >more Infinity Inc. issues

Marvel Team Up #65 - John Byrne art


Marvel Team-Up v1 #65, 1978 - Captain Britain, a Marvel character created for the UK market, makes his American debut in this issue. Meeting the Amazing Spider-man for the first time, the hero retells his origin, set in the ancient ruins of Stonehenge. This flashback also conveniently brings US audiences up to speed on this little-known character. John Byrne is tasked with drawing his first stateside adventure, a competent effort that just meets expectations. Dave Hunt continues his run as series inker, streamlining and softening the pencils with mixed results. Other artists in this issue include George Perez (cover). This is number 10 of 22 Marvel Team-Up issues with Byrne art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Byrne or Marvel Team-Up issues. See also this blog's Byrne checklist.
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"Introducing Captain Britain" Byrne story pencils (Dave Hunt inks) 17 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Byrne issues>more Marvel Team-Up issues

Monday, April 4, 2011

G.I. Joe v3 #81 - Marshall Rogers art & cover


G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero v3 #81, 1988 - Midway through his run on this series, Marshall Rogers' drawings show only marginal improvement. Layouts are more varied, especially in the second half of the book. His figures are still too stiff in far too many panels, resembling the action figures that this title supports. Rogers reinforces this further by the mechanically-posed figures on his flat, uninspired cover design. This is number 4 of 8 G.I. Joe issues with Rogers art and/or covers. 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) = *
"Plots and Tracts" 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

The Unexpected #189 - Steve Ditko art


The Unexpected v1 #189, 1979 - Steve Ditko illustrates a tale of murderous gangsters and a fortune teller in this late bronze age effort. The first page is mediocre at best, but the artwork improves from there. Ditko's unique linework meets expectations, culminating in the sharply rendered confrontation scene on page four. Where it doesn't work particularly well is the especially violent ending, where a man's acid-drenched face appears more confusing than horrific. Other artists in this issue include Fred Carrillo, E.R. Cruz, Vincente Alcazar, Jerry Grandenetti, Vic Catan, Cruz Panaligan, John Calnan, Bob Smith, Frank Redondo and Luis Domingez (cover). This is number 1 of 2 Unexpected issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ditko or Unexpected issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist.
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"Dead Man's Eyes" Ditko story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Ditko issues, >more Unexpected issues

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Six-Gun Western #2 - Al Williamson art


Six-Gun Western v1 #2, 1957 - A gang of thieves escapes a posse, leading them to a much-rumored ghost town. Al Williamson's drawing skills are impeccable, allowing just enough detail to enhance the storytelling. His depicting the thieves jumping over a chasm (page one, panel two) is small, yet maintains depth and clarity. Like other Williamson stories from the same era, a keen sense of realism pervades most of the artwork. Other artists in this issue include Joe Orlando, Mac Pakula, Christopher Rule, Syd Shores and Joe Maneely (cover). This is number 2 of 3 Six-Gun Western issues with Williamson art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Williamson or Six-Gun Western issues. See also this blog's Williamson checklist.
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"Ghost Town" Williamson story pencils and inks 4 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Williamson issues, >more Six-Gun Western issues

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Barnyard Comics #19 - Frank Frazetta art


Barnyard Comics #19, 1948 - Full of Frank Frazetta art, this issue showcases some of the artist's most under-appreciated golden age works. For cartoon stories, the foreshortening, depth, and character expressions are well advanced of most of his peers. While most of the pages are lushly illustrated, it's the opening Barney the Rooster tale that's replete with brilliant touches: the romanticized trees on page four panel one, the sunlight streaming in through a darkened hole on page six panel three, and the time-elapsed figures on page three panel five are just a few examples. Other artists in this issue include Don Arr, Harris Steinbrook, Jack Bradbury and others. See today's posts or more Frazetta or Barnyard Comics issues. See also this blog's Frazetta checklist or Top 10 Frazetta comics.
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"Barney Rooster" Frazetta story pencils and inks 7 pages = ****
"Hucky Duck" Frazetta story pencils and inks 2 pages = ****
"
The Cats with the Beautiful Tails" Frazetta text illo pencils and inks 1 page = ***
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The Cleverest One" Frazetta text illo pencils and inks 1 page = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Frazetta issues >more Barnyard Comics issues

Friday, April 1, 2011

Anthro #6 - Wally Wood art & cover

Anthro v1 #6 dc silver age 1960s comic book cover art by Wally WoodAnthro v1 #6 dc silver age 1960s comic book page art by Wally Wood
Anthro v1 #6, 1969 - Howie Post introduced this prehistoric teenager in Showcase #74, which subsequently led to this self-titled series. Writing and illustrating the five previous issues of his own, Post works in tandem with Wally Wood on this final effort. On their interior story, Wood's inks are labored over on many of the pages, adding marginal but satisfactory improvements to the pencils. Their collaborative cover, however, brings the "girl-fighting" theme to new artistic heights. Aside from the implicit sexuality and the obvious sexism, there is much to admire. The composition is superbly planned, from the framing of the women beneath the masthead to the perfect fit of Anthro's reclining figure inside their negative space. Wood lovingly details the female figures for maximum effect, emphasizing their facial expressions and enhancing their scantily-clad attire. The artists' respective styles work together seamlessly to produce an iconic (and admittedly campy) image of the 1960s. This is number 1 of 1 Anthro issues with Wood art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Wood or Anthro issues. See also this blog's Wood checklist.
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Wood cover inks (Howie Post pencils) = *****
"The Marriage of Anthro"
Wood story inks (Howie Post pencils) 24 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Wood issues, >more Anthro issues

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