Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Robin Hood Tales #1 - mis-attributed Matt Baker cover

Robin Hood Tales v1 #1, 1956 - Purportedly by Matt Baker, the cover is adequately and thoughtfully composed. The large tree on the right helps frame the picture, leading the eye from the masthead to the figures below. There's just enough space to accommodate a brief description on the left and an oncoming knight on the right. Chuck Cuidera is credited with the inks in certain comic guides. Unfortunately, the artwork is inconsistent with Baker's style in the 1950s, leading me to conclude this is a mis-attribution. Fortunately, the artist would contribute short stories in Robin Hood Tales #2-6. See today's posts or more Baker or Robin Hood Tales issues. See also this blog's Matt Baker checklist.
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Find on ebay: >more Baker issues, >more Robin Hood Tales issues

Super-Villain Team-Up #14 - John Byrne cover

Super-Villain Team-Up v1 #14, 1977 - The Champions and the Avengers bow in subservience to Dr. Doom on the cover of this super villain-themed series. The roughly symmetrical layout is populated by multiple figures, but well composed by artist John Byrne. He and inker Terry Austin would soon take over the artistic reins on the X-men. Though not mentioned in comic book price guides, new members Banshee, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Wolverine make an early appearance within a single panel flashback. Other artists in this issue include Bob Hall and Don Perlin. This is number 1 of 1 Super-Villain Team-Up issues with Byrne art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Byrne or Super-Villain Team Up issues. See also this blog's Byrne checklist.
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Byrne cover pencils (Terry Austin inks) = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Byrne issues>more Super-Villain Team-Up issues

Roy Rogers and Trigger - comic series checklist






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Roy Rogers and Trigger v1
Dell
1955-61

(continued from Roy Rogers Comics)
91-100
101-110
111 - Alex Toth art
112-118
119 - Alex Toth art
120 - Alex Toth art
121 - Alex Toth art
122 - Alex Toth art
123 - Alex Toth art
124 - Alex Toth art
125 - Alex Toth art
126-131
132 - Russ Manning art
133 - Russ Manning art
134 - Russ Manning art
135 - Russ Manning art
136 - Russ Manning art

(more to come)

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Roy Rogers and Trigger v2
Gold Key
1967

1 - Alex Toth reprints

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

Sabre - comic series checklist






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Sabre v1
Eclipse
1982-85

1
2-4
5-9
10 - Marshall Rogers cover
11-14

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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, September 6, 2011

Dynamo #1 - Wally Wood art & cover, Steve Ditko / Wood art

Dynamo v1 #1 tower 1960s silver age comic book cover art by Wally WoodDynamo v1 #1 tower 1960s silver age comic book page art by Wally Wood
Dynamo v1 #1, 1966 - One of the most popular members of T.h.u.n.d.e.r. Agents, the character had this short-lived series during the silver age. In addition to the compelling cover design, Wally Wood illustrates three interior stories. The first appears to be primarily Wood with the aid of assistants and the second is his inks over Reed Crandall's pencils. Both are adequate, with full page opening splashes to compensate for an abundance of panels on subsequent pages. The third, pencilled by Steve Ditko, is slightly better and certainly the most interesting. The opening scene feels more film noir than superhero fiction. This is number 1 of 4 Dynamo issues with Wood art and/or covers and number 1 of 2 Dynamo issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Wood, Ditko or Dynamo issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist or Wood checklist.
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Wood cover pencils and inks = ***
"Menace from the Moon" Wood story pencils and inks 14 pages = ***
"Back To The Stone Age" Wood story inks (Reed Crandall
pencils) 10 pages = ***
"Dynamo Meets the Amazing Andor" Ditko story pencils / Wood story inks 10 pages = ***

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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Ditko issues, >more Wood issues, >more Dynamo issues

Marvel Treasury Edition #6 / Doctor Strange - Frank Brunner art & cover, Frank Brunner / Neal Adams, Steve Ditko reprint



Marvel Treasury Edition v1 #6 / Doctor Strange, 1975 - Like most of the other treasury editions, this is essentially a compilation of previously published stories. In this case, the reprints come from Strange Tales #146, Strange Tales #148, Dr. Strange #170, Dr. Strange #177 and Marvel Premiere #10. Frank Brunner, Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Gene Colan, Marie Severin and Dan Adkins are some of the respective artists within this collection. Brunner was the most recent series artist at the time, and supplied this exceptional new cover. The hero emerges from a window-like portal while Clea floats mysteriously in the background. The ornate pattern not only reinforces the symmetry of the layout but adds sophistication as well. The artist contributes a new pin-up page and back cover (see inset above), both masterfully composed and rendered. With the exception of Howard the Duck, Dr. Strange would be Brunner's most memorable signature character. This is number 1 of 2 Marvel Treasury issues with Brunner art, reprints and/or covers. See today's posts or more Brunner, Adams, Ditko, Doctor Strange or Marvel Treasury issues. See also this blog's Adams checklistTop 10 Adams comicsBrunner checklistTop 10 Brunner comics or Ditko checklist.
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Brunner cover pencils and inks = *****
Brunner pin-up page pencils and inks = ****
Brunner back cover pencils and inks = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Brunner issues, >more Ditko issues, >more Adams issues, >more Doctor Strange issues, >more Marvel Treasury Edition issues

Secrets of Sinister House #8 - Alex Nino art


Secrets of Sinister House v1 #8, 1972 - Lunar-bound along with his crew mates, an astronaut fights his compulsion to turn into a werewolf. The sharp, angular drawings of Alex Nino lend a disturbing tone to the story. His inventive panel sequences are limited by the relatively short page count, but the thin verticals on page two (see interior page shown above) perfectly capture the liftoff with an efficiency of space. Other artists in this issue include Ruben Yandoc, Bill Draut and Nick Cardy (cover). This is number 1 of 4 Secrets of Sinister House issues with Nino art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Nino or Secrets of Sinister House issues. See also this blog's Alex Nino checklist.
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"Moonlight Bay!" Nino story pencils and inks 5 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Nino issues, >more Secrets of Sinister House issues

Monday, September 5, 2011

Darby O' Gill and the Little People / Four Color Comics v2 #1024 - Alex Toth art

Darby O' Gill and the Little People / Four Color Comics #1024 dell comic book page art by Alex Toth
Walt Disney's Darby O' Gill and the Little People / Four Color Comics v2 #1024, 1959 - This Walt Disney comic adaptation coincides with the film's release. Starring Sean Connery and Janet Munro, an old Irishman named encounters and befriends the King of the Leprechauns, but not without some dangerous risks. Drawn in his typically loose newspaper strip style, Alex Toth recreates the warmth and relative peacefulness of the Irish countryside (especially the opening scene). The artist makes little attempt to match the likenesses of the more famous actors. Still, Toth's storytelling skills are supreme, even within the limitations of Dell Publishing's grid format. In addition to the photo cover, there are movie stills in the inside front cover and a pin-up poster of Janet Munro on the back. This story was later reprinted in Darby O' Gill and the Little People #10251-001. This is number 1 of 1 Darby O' Gill issues with Toth art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Toth or Darby O' Gill and the Little People issues. See also this blog's Alex Toth checklist.
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"Darby O' Gill and the Little People" Toth story pencils and inks 30 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Toth issues
Find on amazon: >this movie

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cadet Gray of West Point #1 - Al Williamson art

Cadet Gray of West Point v1 #1 dell comic book page art by Al Williamson
Cadet Gray of West Point v1 #1 / Dell Giant, 1958 - This perfect-bound, one-shot issue chronicles the life of a young cadet. His experiences at the military academy are interspersed with tales of America's historic battles. A different artist contributes to each segment. Al Williamson's depiction of Captain John Paul Jones O' Brien at Buena Vista is the most noteworthy. Despite being less dynamic than his western and science fiction works, his art has the appropriate feel of a documentary. Other artists in this issue include John Buscema and Joe Sinnott. This is number 1 of 1 Cadet Gray of West Point issues with Williamson art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Williamson issues. See also this blog's Williamson checklist.
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Untitled segment Williamson story pencils and inks 10 pages (starting pg 24) = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Williamson issues

Atom and Hawkman #40 - Joe Kubert art & cover


Atom and Hawkman v1 #40, 1969 - Despite what's being portrayed on this colorful cover, the title characters appear independently in their own separate stories. Joe Kubert is tasked with the Hawkman tale, involving a man who uncontrollably teleports from danger. Kubert's well-honed layouts are largely intact, but his pencils lose some of their spontaneity due to the inks of Murphy Anderson. Their collaborations are rare, possibly due to their divergent styles. Other artists in this issue include Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. This is number 2 of 7 Atom and Hawkman issues with Kubert art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Kubert or Atom and Hawkman issues. See also this blog's Joe Kubert checklist.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
"The Man with the Inbuilt Panic Button"
Kubert story pencils (Murphy Anderson inks) 8 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Kubert issues, >more Atom and Hawkman issues

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lost Worlds #6 - Alex Toth art & cover

Lost Worlds v1 #6 standard 1950s science fiction comic book cover art by Alex Toth  Lost Worlds v1 #6 standard 1950s science fiction comic book page art by Alex Toth
Lost Worlds v1 #6, 1952 - Despite the gigantic, intelligible ants on this Alex Toth cover, no such story appears inside. Compared to other artists, Toth covers were few and far between during the golden age. This well composed example captures the shock and pandemonium of an alien invasion on Earth. Toth's inside story is less impressive, with its confining panels and sequences bordering on monotonous. The first few pages are especially staid in depicting an interstellar battle between spaceships.  Other artists in this issue include John Celardo, Ross Andru, Art Saaf and Rocco Mastroserio. This is number 2 of 2 Lost Worlds issues with Toth art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Toth or Lost Worlds issues. See also this blog's Toth checklist.
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Toth cover pencils (Mike Peppe inks) = ***
"Outlaws of Space" Toth story pencils (Al Rubano inks) 7 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Toth issues, >more Lost Worlds issues

Chamber of Chills v2 #2 - Frank Brunner art


Chamber of Chills v2 #2, 1973 - A burial mound from the time of the Conquistadors attracts the attention of a treasure-hunting cowboy. This Robert E. Howard adaptation is Frank Brunner's first effort on the series. His shadowy brushwork is constant throughout, one of the hallmarks of his style. It works particularly well for horror stories, especially this western vampire tale. Other artists in this issue include P. Craig Russell, Val Mayerick, Joe Sinnott, Tom Palmer and Gil Kane (cover). This is number 1 of 3 Chamber of Chills issues with Brunner art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Brunner or Chamber of Chills issues. See also this blog's Frank Brunner checklist or Top 10 Brunner comics.
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"The Monster in the Mound" Brunner story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Brunner issues, >more Chamber of Chills issues

Friday, September 2, 2011

Western Bandit Trails #2 - Matt Baker cover

Western Bandit Trails v1 #2, 1949 - Matt Baker captures a moment of confusion and disarray as two gunmen burst into a saloon. The scene's intensity and spontaneity leaves us unsure of the final outcome. Note how the woman's garishly feminine attire contrasts against the jagged broken bottle she wields. Is she fending off an attacker or aiding a partner? Despite the scene's ambiguity, Baker succeeds in drawing the readers' attention. This is number 2 of 3 Western Bandit Trails issues with Baker art and/or covers. See today's posts, more Baker or Western Bandit Trails 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 Western Bandit Trails issues

Teen Titans #22 - Neal Adams art

Teen Titans v1 #22 dc comic book cover art by Nick CardyTeen Titans v1 #22 dc comic book page art by Neal Adams
Teen Titans v1 #22, 1969 - The Titans continue their fight against inter-dimensional aliens, nicely conveyed by Nick Cardy's arresting cover. Unfortunately, his inks on the interior story fail to do justice to Neal Adams' pencils. Most panels seem incomplete and resemble rough layouts rather than finished pages. Adams' drawings are noticeably lacking in clarity, more so than his previous issues. On the bright side, "The Origin of Wonder Girl" unexpectedly appears as an eight-page addendum. She recalls her earliest childhood memories and subsequent adoption by the Amazons, leading up to her contemporary new look and costume. The artwork by Gil Kane/Nick Cardy is considerably more polished than the main feature. This is number 3 of 3 Teen Titans issues with Adams art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Adams or Teen Titans issues. See also this blog's Adams checklist or Top 10 Adams comics.
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"Halfway To Holocaust" Adams story pencils (Nick Cardy inks) 16 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Adams issues, >more Teen Titans issues

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hogan's Heroes #3 - Steve Ditko art

Hogan's Heroes v1 #3 - Steve Ditko dell tv 1960s silver age comic book page art
Hogan's Heroes v1 #3, 1966 - Unlike the television show, the comic book version of Hogan's Heroes is much more farcical, perhaps out of necessity. Steve Ditko's art is recognizable but continues to struggle with the genre's timing and humor. Inker Sal Trapani is noticeably less assertive than the previous issue. Certain pages and panels appear to have been finished by Ditko himself. Certainly better than his Get Smart issues for Dell, the art still falls below expectations. This is number 2 of 2 Hogan's Heroes issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ditko or Hogan's Heroes issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist.
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"Klink's Party" Ditko inside front cover pencils (Sal Trapani inks) black and white = **
“Operation Goat”, “Getting Klink's Goat” and “I've Goat A Secret” Ditko story
pencils (Sal Trapani inks) 31 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Ditko issues, >more Hogan's Heroes issues Find on amazon: >this tv show

Frankenstein v2 #1 - Mike Ploog art & cover

Frankenstein v2 #1 marvel comic book cover art by Mike Ploog
Frankenstein v2 #1 marvel comic book page art by Mike Ploog
(Monster of) Frankenstein v2 #1, 1973 - Over the past three decades, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein had been adapted for comics by various publishers, starting with Classics Illustrated. In the 1970s, Marvel took a turn and handed the artistic reins over to Mike Ploog. The artist had recently proven himself on Marvel Spotlight with similar characters like Werewolf by Night and the Ghost Rider. Ploog's visceral style matches the characters and settings and perfectly, from the monster's horrific birth on page 14 to the torrential rain pounding a sailing ship on page 28. These and other scenes combine to make this first issue among his best bronze age works. This story was later reprinted in Power Records #PR-14. This is number 1 of 6 Frankenstein issues with Ploog art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ploog or Frankenstein issues. See also this blog's Ploog checklist or Top 10 Ploog comics.
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Ploog cover pencils and inks = ****
"Frankenstein"
Ploog story pencils and inks 20 pages = *****
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Ploog issues, >more Frankenstein issues