Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What If (the Fantastic Four had not gained their super powers)? #36 - John Byrne art & cover


What If (the Fantastic Four had not gained their super powers)? v1 #36, 1981 - Coinciding with his second run on the Fantastic Four, John Byrne re-imagines a new origin where the quartet's rocket launch is delayed for safety concerns. The cover is a respectful homage to Jack Kirby, recreating the cover of Fantastic Four #1. Unfortunately, the image suffers from an oversized masthead and too many competing elements. The interior story is better, chronicling the heroes' first encounter with the Mole Man with beautifully rendered drawings. Byrne inks his own pencils, resulting in fluid linework and textural effects (see interior page above). The issue also contains a brief, yet uncredited Nova story. This is the number 1 of 1 What If issues with Byrne art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Byrne, Fantastic Four or What If? issues. See also this blog's Byrne checklist.
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Byrne cover pencils and inks = ***
"What If the Fantastic Four had not gained their powers" Byrne story pencils and inks 20 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Byrne issues, >more What If issues

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Comics #32 - Frank Frazetta art


Happy Comics v1 #32, 1949 - Bruno the Bear is tricked into watching over an invisible dog in a quaint Frank Frazetta tale. The artist drew many funny animal works during this period, most of which are under-appreciated. In addition to a feature story, Frazetta also contributed illustrations for two single page text stories. Of the two, the butterfly story (see interior page above) is an especially beautiful rendition. See today's posts or more Frazetta or Happy Comics issues. See also this blog's Frazetta checklist or Top 10 Frazetta comics.
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"The No-Hound" Frazetta story pencils and inks 7 pages = ***
"Miserable Mouse"
Frazetta text illo pencils and inks 1 page = ***
"Herbie"
Frazetta text illo pencils and inks 1 page = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue, more Frazetta issues, >more Happy Comics issues

Race for the Moon #3 - Jack Kirby / Al Williamson art, mis-attributed Kirby / Williamson cover


Race for the Moon v1 #3, 1958 - Like previous issue, the combination of Jack Kirby's pencils and Al Williamson's inks far exceed expectations. Some comic guides credit the cover to both artists, but it seems more likely inked by Joe Simon. Inside, four stores are magnificently rendered due to Kirby's kinetic style and Williamson's sensitive finishes. "Space Garbage", with its dramatic lighting and sublime textures, is a standout among them. This is number 3 of 3 Race for the Moon issues with Kirby art and/or covers and number 2 of 2 Race for the Moon issues with Williamson and/or covers . See today's posts or more Kirby, Williamson or Race for the Moon issues. See also this blog's Kirby checklist or Williamson checklist.
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Kirby cover pencils (Joe Simon? inks) = ***
I
ntro page Kirby story pencils/Williamson inks = ****
"Long, Long Years" story pencils and inks 5 pages =
****
"Saucer Men" story pencils and inks 5 pages = ****
"Space Garbage" Kirby story pencils/Williamson inks 5 pages = ****
"Garden of Eden" Kirby story pencils/Williamson inks 5 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue>more Kirby issues>more Williamson issues>more Race for the Moon issues

Thriller #11 - non-attributed Alex Nino art & cover


Thriller v1 #11, 1984 - A lone man sits atop a church in Alex Nino's intriguing opening splash. He reads the front page of the newspaper, enlarged and superimposed in a cyan background for the readers' sake. After two frenetic issues, Nino's art settles down to a quieter tone. Panels are smaller and more numerous, but no less interesting. Many of these are devoid of dialogue but still clearly communicate. The cover displays a busy network of wires, each thoughtfully placed within a cohesive design. This is number 3 of 4 Thriller issues with Nino art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Nino or Thriller issues. See also this blog's Alex Nino checklist.
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Nino cover pencils and inks = ***
"Resurrection"
Nino story pencils and inks 23 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Nino issues, >more Thriller issues

Monday, March 5, 2012

Marvel Classics Comics #1 / Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - Nestor Redondo art


Marvel Classics Comics v1 #1, 1976 - Marvel continues the tradition of Classics Illustrated with their own adaptations of novels. The first twelve issues or so are reprinted from Pendulum Classics, a small format paperback series with black and white interiors. Subsequently, the panels and text appear larger than usual, benefiting the artwork as a whole. This premiere issue by Nestor Redondo is one of the finest of the series. His excellent drawings span nearly fifty pages. Two exceptional splashes depict the transformation of man to monster (pages 1 and 27). Other artists in this issue include Gil Kane (cover). This is number 1 of 2 Marvel Classics Comics issues with Redondo art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Redondo or Marvel Classics Comics issues. See also this blog's Redondo checklist or Top 10 Redondo comics.
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"Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" Redondo story pencils and inks 48 pages (first time in color) = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Redondo issues, >more Marvel Classics Comics issues

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Romantic Marriage #23 - Matt Baker cover

Romantic Marriage v1 #23 st.john romance comic book cover art by Matt BakerRomantic Marriage v1 #23, 1954 - Upon entering her home, a young wife checks on her sleeping husband. Her overcoat suggests her recent arrival. The time of day is hard to distinguish, but her own thoughts reveal the lateness of the hour. Though simply composed, the scene is poignantly rendered by Matt Baker. This is number 1 of 2 Romantic Marriage issues with Baker art and/or covers. See today's posts, more Baker or Romantic Marriage 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 Romantic Marriage issues

Time Warp #2 - Steve Ditko, Don Newton art


Time Warp v1 #2, 1980 - In Steve Ditko's tale, a futuristic astronaut seeks to journey to the farthest reaches of space against the wishes of his wife. The artist's inventive shapes and textures nicely contribute to the plot's otherworldly feel. Don Newton draws a story of a woman with an incurable aging disease. Unfortunately, his pencils are largely diminished by the rigid inks of Dave Simons. The interior page shown above is by Ditko. Other artists in this issue include Gil Kane, Howard Chaykin, Romeo Tanghal, John Celardo, Tom Sutton, Jerry Grandenetti and Michael Kaluta (cover). This is number 2 of 4 Time Warp issues with Ditko art and/or covers and number 2 of 5 Time Warp issues with Newton art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Newton, Ditko or Time Warp issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist or Newton checklist.
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"The Last Journey" Ditko story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***
"Cultural Exchange" Newton story pencils (Dave Simons inks) 6 pages = **
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Ditko issues, >more Newton issues, >more Time Warp issues

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ghost Rider #2 - Frank Frazetta cover

Ghost Rider v1 #2 comic book cover art by Frank FrazettaGhost Rider v1 #2, 1951 - Obstructing the path of a demonic stagecoach, the Ghost Rider stands out in stark contrast to the background. Large fields of mostly primary colors flatten the picture plane, reducing the illusion of depth. Frank Frazetta integrates both the western and horror genres in his first of four covers. Despite the white horse's inaccurate stance, the artist's overall line work is impressive and distinctive. This is number 1 of 4 Ghost Rider issues with Frazetta art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ghost Rider or Frazetta issues. See also this blog's Frazetta checklist or Top 10 Frazetta comics.
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Frazetta cover pencils and inks = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Frazetta issues, more Ghost Rider issues

Green Lantern v2 #76 - Neal Adams art & cover (1st Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow)

Green Lantern Green Arrow #76 dc comic book cover art by Neal Adams
Neal Adams silver age 1970s dc comic book page art / Green Lantern Green Arrow #76
Green Lantern / Green Arrow v2 #76, 1970: In what seemed radical at the time, two established superheroes delve into the social issues of the era. Writer Denny O' Neill and artist Neal Adams begin their historic run, bringing social relevance to comics. The provocative cover employs a monochromatic color palette, uncommon for the time but nicely reinforces the lead characters. Inside, Adams' artwork is exquisite, particularly in his renditions of ordinary people. Green Lantern's encounter with an elderly African-American man (page 6) is especially poignant and masterfully drawn. Not surprisingly, this issue won a bevy of industry awards and accolades. This is number 2 of 15 Green Lantern issues with Adams art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Adams or Green Lantern issues. See also this blog's Adams checklist or Top 10 Adams comics.
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Adams cover pencils and inks = *****
"No Evil Shall Escape My Sight" Adams story pencils and inks 23 pages = *****

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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Adams issues, >more Green Lantern issues

Friday, March 2, 2012

Texas Rangers in Action #77 - Steve Ditko art & cover


Texas Rangers in Action v1 #77, 1970 - A ranger is ambushed from behind, leaving a small village at the mercy of Mexican bandits. Steve Ditko's bronze age linear style may not be the most suitable for the western genre, but it is entertaining nonetheless. His compositions for the opening splash and various panels remain graphically arresting. Note that this image was re-used and cropped for the cover. Other artists in this issue include Nicholas Alascia. This is number 2 of 2 Texas Rangers in Action issues with Ditko art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Ditko or Texas Rangers in Action issues. See also this blog's Ditko checklist.
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"Enemy Ground" Ditko story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***
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Find on ebay: >this issue, more Ditko issues, >more Texas Rangers in Action issues

Red Sonja v3 #3 - Nestor Redondo art



Red Sonja v3 #3, 1983 - As invaders lay siege on the walled city of Alwazar, Red Sonja allies herself with its defenders. For a second time, Nestor Redondo provide the inks for Mary Wilshire's pencils/layouts, with spectacular results. Most impressive is the two-page panoramic spread of the city (pages 2-3). Redondo's detailed landscape adds grandeur and scale, setting the story's tone from the beginning. Curiously, the artist only inks the first 19 of 38 total pages, relinquishing the rest to Rudy Nebres, Danny Bulanadi and Akin & Garvey. This is number 2 of 2 Red Sonja v3 issues with Redondo art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Redondo or Red Sonja issues. See also this blog's Redondo checklist or Top 10 Redondo comics.
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"Siege" Redondo partial story inks (Mary Wilshire pencils/layouts) 19 pages = ****
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Find on ebay: >this issue, >more Redondo issues, >more Red Sonja issues

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ghosts #45 - mis-attributed Nestor Redondo art

Ghosts v1 #45, 1976 - No Nestor Redondo art in this issue, despite what some comic book price guides say. The artist's work does appear in 2 other issues of Ghosts. Artists in this issue include Buddy Gernale, Tenny Henson, E.R. Cruz and Luis Dominguez (cover). See today's posts or more Ghosts or Redondo issues. See also this blog's Redondo checklist or Top 10 Redondo comics.
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Find on ebay: >more Redondo issues, >more Ghosts issues

Top 10 Jim Starlin comics

Top ten Jim Starlin comic books My own top ten list of best comics (art and/or covers) by the artist. I've chosen and ranked them relative to his body of comic book work to date. Feel free to share your own recommendations in the comments section.

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1.
Strange Tales #178
2.
Marvel Super-Heroes v2 #47
3.
Strange Tales #179
4.
Warlock #10
5.
Ghost Rider v3 #35
6.
Captain Marvel #33
7.
Captain Marvel #34
8.
Captain Marvel #31
9.
Warlock #9
10.
Warlock #14

















































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See today's posts, more top 10 lists or this blog's Jim Starlin checklist. See also more series checklists, artist checklists or readers polls.

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