Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Flash Gordon v4 #13 - Jeff Jones art

Flash Gordon v4 #13 1960s silver age science fiction comic book page art by Jeff Jones
Flash Gordon v4 #13, 1969 - One of Jeff Jones' earliest works, his artwork is unfortunately amateurish. His rendition of Flash Gordon is coarser and less defined than that of his artistic predecessors. He struggles with the figure drawing and composition. Most of the backgrounds are sparse, suggesting an unfinished effort. Still, there are glimpses of his potential here and there in certain panels. Over the next few years, his graphic approach would be refined and perfected. Other artists in this issue include Pat Boyette (art & cover). This is number 1 of 1 Flash Gordon issues with Jones art and/or covers. See today's posts, more Jones or Flash Gordon issues. See also this blog's Jones checklist.
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"Monster Men of Tropica" Jones story pencils and inks 15 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Jones issues>more Flash Gordon issues

Metal Men #50 - Walt Simonson cover

Metal Men v1 #50 dc 1970s bronze age comic book cover art by Walt SimonsonMetal Men v1 #50, 1977 - Resorting to an earlier Metal Men reprint, the story includes new framing pages before and after. The issue's sole highlight is the energetic Walt Simonson cover. The strongly diagonal placement of elements mostly accounts for this, contrasting against the focal point of Doc Magnus in the distance. Other artists in this issue include Ross Andru, Mike Esposito and Joe Staton. This is number 6 of 7 Metal Men issues with Simonson art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Simonson or Metal Men issues. See also this blog's Simonson checklist.
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Simonson cover pencils and inks = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Simonson issues, >more Metal Men issues

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Real McCoys / Four Color Comics v2 #1071 - Alex Toth art

Real McCoys / Four Color Comics #1071 dell comic book page art by Alex Toth
The Real McCoys / Four Color Comics v2 #1071, 1960 - Starring Walter Brennan, this television comedy ran for an impressive seven year run. Dell capitalizes on its popularity with this premiere issue. Unlike most of his works for this publisher, Alex Toth's artwork is largely disappointing. Layouts are uninspired and his drawings are rendered erratically throughout the book. The entire issue seems rushed with the minimum of effort. The second feature, "Gettin' Grandpa's Goat", is marginally better (see interior page above) but falters toward the end. This is number 1 of 2 Real McCoys issues with Toth art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Toth or Real McCoys issues. See also this blog's Toth checklist.
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"Wild Wheels" Toth story pencils and inks 19 pages = **
"Gettin' Grandpa's Goat"
Toth story pencils and inks 12 pages = **
"The Think Alikes"
Toth inside back cover pencils and inks = **
"Fair Measure"
Toth inside back cover pencils and inks (black and white) = **
"The Apology" Toth inside back cover pencils and inks = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Toth issues>more Real McCoys issues
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Tomb of Dracula (magazine) v2 #2 - Steve Ditko art


Tomb of Dracula magazine v2 #2, 1979 - This black and white magazine series accompanied the popular bronze age comic of the same name. Steve Ditko is tasked with drawing the feature story, one of his lengthiest during the bronze age. In the opening scene, Dracula surrounded by an unknown mystical force reminiscent of the artist's early Dr. Strange tales. Overall, it seems evident that his eclectic style is inappropriate for the character. Dracula appears often corny and cartoonish rather than fearsome. The pacing is also long and arduous, containing only a single splash. While the art disappoints, it's still interesting to see Ditko's interpretation of the character. Other artists in this issue include Gene Colan, Frank Robbins and John Tartaglione. This is number 1 of 1 Tomb of Dracula magazine issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ditko or Tomb of Dracula issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist.
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"The Dimensional Man" Ditko story pencils and inks 36 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Ditko issues,  >more Tomb of Dracula issues

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Sandman #3 - Jack Kirby cover

The Sandman v1 #3 dc bronze age comic book cover art by Jack KirbyThe Sandman v1 #3, 1975 - Is the title hero appearing within the woman's dream, emerging from it, or both? Jack Kirby's cover design could stand more clarity. The encroaching ape on the left also looks uncomfortably squeezed into the remaining negative space. Kirby's uniquely graphic drawing skills are evident though the cover just falls below expectations. Ernie Chua (Chan) draws the interior story in a disappointingly similar style. Kirby would thankfully resume the pencilling chores with the following issue. This is number 3 of 6 Sandman issues with Kirby art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Kirby or Sandman issues. See also this blog's Kirby checklist.
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Kirby cover pencils (Mike Royer inks) = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Kirby issues, >more Sandman v1 issues

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gunsmoke v2 #7 - mis-attributed Al Williamson art

Gunsmoke v2 #7, 1958 - No Al Williamson art in this issue, despite what some comic book price guides say. The artist's work does appear in 5 other issues of Gunsmoke. See today's posts or Williamson or Gunsmoke issues. See also this blog's Williamson checklist.
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Find on ebay: >more Williamson issues, >more Gunsmoke issues
Find on amazon:
>this tv show

Western Crime Busters #10 - Wally Wood art


Western Crime Busters v1 #10, 1952 - One of Wally Wood's early works, this Lariat Lucy tale suffers from oddly proportioned figures and badly composed scenes. Note that the female lead character has her clothes torn by a would-be rapist on page 5 (see scans below), yet when the scene resumes on the next page she's inexplicably re-clothed. There are semblances of Wood's unique style in a few panels, particularly where the inks are more prominent. While poorly executed, the story offers an early glimpse at a master of the medium. Other artists in this issue include H. C. Kiefer and others. This is number 4 of 4 Western Crime Busters issues with Wood art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Wood or Western Crime Busters issues. See also this blog's Wood checklist.
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"Flaming Justice" Wood story pencils and inks 8 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Wood issues, >more Western Crime Busters issues

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Journey into Mystery v2 #2 - Neal Adams art


Journey into Mystery v2 #2, 1973 - A modern day Jack the Ripper terrorizes the city and a lone cop has a very personal stake in finding him. This Robert Bloch short story is nicely adapted by Gil Kane, whose pencils are further enhanced by Ralph Reese. His precise inking adds a somber clarity to the pages, including the murdered woman in the opening scene. Interestingly, Neal Adams lends an uncredited hand inking the final four pages. Despite the mild break in consistency, their collective effort is frighteningly effective. Other artists in this issue include Billy Graham, Gil Kane (art & cover) and Mort Lawrence (reprint). This is number 1 of 1 Journey into Mystery issues with Adams art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Adams or Journey Into Mystery issues. See also this blog's Adams checklist or Top 10 Adams comics.
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"Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper" Adams partial story inks (Gil Kane pencils, Ralph Reese partial inks) 10 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Adams issues, >more Journey Into Mystery issues

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gyro Gearloose / Four Color Comics v2 #1047 - Carl Barks art & cover

Gyro Gearloose / Four Color Comics #1047 dell silver age 1960s comic book cover art by Carl BarksGyro Gearloose / Four Color Comics #1047 dell silver age 1960s comic book page art by Carl Barks
Walt Disney's Gyro Gearloose / Four Color Comics v2 #1047, 1960 - One of Carl Bark's many creations, Gyro Gearloose finally gets his own title beginning with this issue. All four short stories are well drawn in his appealing yet comforting style. "The Gab Muffer" is especially inventive in the way the artist depicts silence with empty word balloons. A rarity for Barks is the inside front cover splash (see interior page above), showing the various promotional signage around Gyro's workshop. This is number 1 of 5 Gyro Gearloose issues with Barks art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Barks, Gyro Gearloose or Four Color Comics issues. See also this blog's Carl Barks checklist.- - - - - - - - - -
Barks cover pencils and inks = ***
Barks inside front cover pencils and inks (black & white) = ****
"The Gab Muffer" Barks story pencils and inks 10 pages = ***"
The Stubborn Stork" Barks story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***
"Milktime Melodies"
Barks story pencils and inks 7 pages = ***
"The Lost Rabbit Foot"
Barks story pencils and inks 10 pages = ***
"The Bird Camera" Barks inside back cover pencils and inks (black & white) = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Barks issues>more Gyro Gearloose issues

Wonder Woman #298 - Frank Miller cover

Wonder Woman v1 #298 dc 1980s comic book cover art by Frank MillerWonder Woman v1 #298, 1982 - Frank Miller uses Wonder Woman's skeletal remains as the focus on this disturbing cover. It seems odd the tiara survives while the rest of the uniform disintegrated over time (the skeleton is clothed in the actual story). Perhaps not coincidentally, the tiara is the only object that identifies the body. A Huntress short story rounds out the rest of the book. Other artists in this issue include Gene Colan, Frank McLaughlin and Joe Staton. This is number 1 of 1 Wonder Woman issues with Miller art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Wonder Woman or Miller issues. See also this blog's Frank Miller checklist.
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Miller cover pencils (Dick Giordano inks) = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Miller issues>more Wonder Woman issues

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Roy Rogers and Trigger #134 - Russ Manning art


Roy Rogers and Trigger #134, 1958 - Dale Evans helps a ranch hand recover stolen payroll money, leading her to a thief known for his friendly demeanor. Russ Manning's linework is crisp and clean as usual. His drawing style is also coincidentally welcoming and approachable, especially compared to the two longer, rougher Roy Rogers stories that reside in the same book. Manning also includes one open panel per page, adding some variety to the layouts. This is number 5 of 15 Roy Rogers and Trigger issues with Manning art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Manning or Roy Rogers and Trigger issues. See also this blog's Russ Manning checklist.
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"The Friendly Cowpoke" Manning story pencils and inks 4 pages = ***
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>Find this issue on ebay
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>Find more Roy Rogers and Trigger issues on ebay

Micronauts annual #2 - Steve Ditko art & cover


Micronauts v1 annual #2, 1980 - While the majority of pages in this second annual are drawn by Steve Ditko, Rich Buckler lends a hand by pencilling the first seven pages. Interestingly, Ditko himself inks Buckler's pages, possibly in an attempt to maintain consistency. Although the layouts are more flexible than the previous annual, Ditko's drawings are generally unspectacular. The sole highlight of the issue is the revelation of a villain's identity on page 25, due to its large panels and splendid design. A series of Micronaut portraits rounds out the book, providing new readers with additional background info. This is number 2 of 2 Micronauts annual issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ditko or Micronauts issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist.
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Ditko cover pencils and inks = **
"The Terrible Toymaster" Ditko
story inks first 7 pages, pencils and inks 23 pages = **
Micronauts & friends portraits Ditko pencils
and inks 5 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Ditko issues>more Micronauts issues

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