Boots and her Buddies v1 #9, 1949 - Nestled within this issue are two single page stories featuring the Toppsy Twins. Cute yet rambunctious, these little boys manage to draw the ire of nearby adults. Frank Frazetta draws both pages with a playful spontaneity. His portraits on the opening panels show a wide-eyed innocence that belies their obnoxious nature. Despite being early in his career,  Frazetta displays a high level of draftsmanship. Other artists in this issue include Edgar Martin. This is number 1 of 1 Boots and her Buddies issues with Frazetta art and/or covers.
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"The Toppsy Twins" Frazetta story pencils and inks 2 pages = ***

Frank Frazetta
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>this issue >Frazetta >Boots and her Buddies

Sea Hunt v1 #11, 1961 - The lead story opens with an airplane's spacious view of the Grand Canyon, but the lack of detail reduces visual interest and depth. Russ Manning makes up for it on subsequent pages, drawing the main character's underwater explorations of the Colorado River (see interior page below). The second tale, about an embezzler and some missing ledgers, is equally well drawn. Manning renders the characters with uncommon crispness and clarity. This is number 7 of 8 Sea Hunt issues with Manning art and/or covers.
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"Canyon Danger" Manning story pencils and inks 14 pages = ***
"Davey Jones's Ledger" Manning story pencils and inks 13 pages = ***
 
"Legends of the Sea" Manning story pencils and inks 1 page = ***
"Deep in the Deep Sea" Manning inside back cover pencils and inks
(black and white) = ***

Russ Manning
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>this issue >Manning >Sea Hunt

Warfront v1 #36 featuring Dynamite Joe, 1965 - Not only do two GIs find out they're in enemy territory, but they're tasked with blowing up a grounded missile gone awry. Different sources have different attributions to this brief story. At the very least, Al Williamson  drew the layouts and perhaps some of the pencils. Regardless, the artwork is abysmal. The drawings are amateurish and the layouts are poorly constructed. Williamson's usually sophisticated style is near unrecognizable. Also included in this issue is a one-page Goodyear ad by Neal Adams, which appears in several Harvey comics of the era. Other artists in this issue include Jack Sparling and George Tuska. This is number 1 of 1 Warfront issues with Williamson art and/or covers.
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"Warhead" Williamson story pencils and inks 5 pages = *

Al Williamson
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>this issue >Williamson >Warfront
Joe Kubert
Ragman v1 #4, 1977 - Joe Kubert's near-symmetrical cover echoes a dramatic double-page spread inside. Four guns menacingly point toward the title character, converging on the woman's body. The Redondo Studio appears to be responsible for the bulk of the story art, but Kubert's exquisite back-up tale is the issue's high point. Told mostly without captions or dialogue, three gravediggers find more than they bargained for in a dark cemetery. Grittier, tougher, and more aggressive, Kubert's artwork makes the feature story pale by comparison. This is number 4 of 5 Ragman issues with Kubert art and/or covers. 
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
"Untitled"
Kubert story pencils and inks 5 pages = ****

Joe Kubert
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>this issue >Kubert >Ragman

Secret Hearts v1 #143, 1971 - Spending a week in a luxury resort, Lynn has to concoct lies to hide the fact that she's neither rich nor well-connected. The story's artwork is deceptively simple, letting the design and pacing come to the fore. Alex Toth's linework is bold and graphic, typical of his bronze age work. Most effective is his opening page, featuring a shadowed panel that suggests a character being "in the dark". Other artists in this issue include Vince Colletta and Dick Giordano. This is number 3 of 4 Secret Hearts issues with Toth art and/or covers.
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"Masquerade" Toth story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***

Alex Toth
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>this issue >Toth >Secret Hearts
The Sandman v1 #3 dc bronze age comic book cover art by Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby
The 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 penciling chores with the following issue. This is number 3 of 6 Sandman issues with Kirby art and/or covers.
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Kirby cover pencils (Mike Royer inks) = **

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>this issue >Kirby >Sandman
 
My Experience v1 #21, 1950 - In two separate stories, a superstitious girl fears a break-up of her third engagement and a young lady chooses between the welfare of her parents and her one true love. Wally Wood's inking is evident in both tales, apparently pencilled by two different artists (perhaps A.C. Hollingsworth in the second?). Unfortunately, they're equally amateurish in both their drawings and compositions. Wood's style is more forcefully applied in the first tale, adding deep shadows and lighting where needed (see interior page below). This is number 2 of 3 My Experience issues with Wood art and/or covers.
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"No Wedding Bells for Me" Wood story inks 9 pages = **
"I Wanted Love" Wood story inks 10 pages = *

Wally Wood
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>this issue >Wood >My Experience
Giant-size Man-Thing v1 annual #4 marvel 1970s bronze age comic book cover art by Frank Brunner
Frank Brunner

Giant-size Man-Thing v1 #4, 1975 - An unmoving hand smolders while the Man-Thing looks on, entranced by the rising flame. Despite the graphics and text, Frank Brunner delivers one of his potent bronze age covers. Accompanying the Man-Thing feature is Howard the Duck's first solo tale, continued from events in Fear #19. Brunner does the artwork as well, depicting a cartoon character in a realistic world. There are panels influenced by Carl Barks' Donald Duck, but presented in a fresh, contemporary way (this story was later reprinted in Marvel Treasury #12). Rounding out the book is a fine Steve Ditko reprint from Strange Tales #72. Other artists in this issue include Ron Wilson, Ed Hannigan and Frank Springer. This is number 1 of 2 Giant Size Man-Thing issues with Brunner art and/or covers.
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Brunner cover pencils and inks = *****
"Frog Death" Brunner story pencils and inks 9 pages = ****


Giant-size Man-Thing v1 annual #4 marvel 1970s bronze age comic book page art by Frank Brunner
Frank Brunner
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>this issue >Brunner >Ditko >Man-Thing
Matt Baker
Teen-age Temptations v1 #1, 1952 - Lured to a hotel room by a co-worker, a salesgirl barely escapes with her dignity intact. Matt Baker's cover is vaguely similar to his interior story, which seems much more suggestive of an attempted rape. Despite the severity of the theme, the artwork feels light and airy. An unidentified inker maintains Baker's pencils, which are loosely applied. Despite the lack of clarity, the artist's talent still emerges. Other artists in this issue include Ric Estrada. This is number 1 of 9 Teenage Temptations issues, all with Baker art and/or covers.
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Baker cover pencils and inks = ***
"Tourist Cabin Escapade" Baker story pencils 8 pages = ***

Matt Baker
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>this issue >Baker >Teen-age Temptations
Green Lantern Green Arrow #82 dc comic book cover art by Neal Adams
Neal Adams
Green Lantern / Green Arrow v2 #82, 1971 - Harpies, gorgons and other fantastical creatures populate this issue, which carries a strongly feminist theme. The artwork is outstanding, particularly the scenes with mythological characters. The confrontation between Black Canary and the amazons on page 10 (see interior page below) and the unveiling of Medusa's serpentine head (page 20) are just two of the issue's artistic high points. Although Dick Giordano inks most of the book, Bernie Wrightson is credited with inking a single page.  This story was later reprinted in Green Lantern Green Arrow #4. This is number 8 of 15 Green Lantern issues with Adams art and/or covers and number 1 of 2 Green Lantern issues with Wrightson art and/or covers.
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Adams cover pencils and inks = ***
"How Do You Fight A Nightmare?" Adams story pencils (
Dick Giordano inks) 22 pages, Wrightson inks 1 page = ****

Green Lantern Green Arrow #82 dc comic book page art by Neal Adams
Neal Adams
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>this issue >Wrightson >Adams >Green Lantern
(Walt Disney's) Uncle Scrooge v1 #103, 1973 - Featuring work by Carl Barks, this issue contains stories from earlier in the series. This material was first published in Uncle Scrooge #16. Other artists in this issue include Tony Strobl.

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>this issue >Barks >Uncle Scrooge
Flash Gordon v4 #1 1960s silver age science fiction comic book cover art by Al Williamson
Al Williamson
Flash Gordon v4 #1, 1966 - One of the great science fiction artists of the 1950s, Al Williamson was tapped to illustrate the fourth series of this iconic space hero. During this time period, the artist's style transitions from gestural to more precise. The cover demonstrates this through its sharpness and clarity. Williamson's inside stories are even better, showcasing dynamically drawn figures against imaginative backdrops. His special attention to lighting establishes mood and setting to great effect. This new, contemporary Flash Gordon is more active, adventurous and masculine. The inside front and back covers feature black and white pin-ups, possibly reprinted from earlier Alex Raymond newspaper strips(?). As an added bonus, a map of the planet Mongo appears on the back cover. Other artists in this issue include Don Heck (Mandrake the Magician story). This is number 1 of 4 Flash Gordon v4 issues with Williamson art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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Williamson cover pencils and inks = ***
"Flash Gordon"
Williamson story pencils and inks 15 pages = ****
"Flash Gordon and the Mole Machine" Williamson story pencils and inks 12 pages = ****


Flash Gordon v4 #1 1960s silver age science fiction comic book page art by Al Williamson
Al Williamson

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>this issue >Williamson >Flash Gordon
Jack Kirby
Strange Tales v1 #110, 1963 - Plagued by nightmares every night, a man seeks help from a well-known mystic named Doctor Strange. In the character's first appearance, the story reveals a few of his magical abilities and introduces his mentor Ancient One. Tasked with the artwork, Steve Ditko creates one of Marvel's more exotic heroes. The story is brief and the panels numerous, but the artist does a credible job given the limitations. Ditko would soon expand his graphic vocabulary, depicting strange new worlds, dimensions and characters. Less significant is Jack Kirby's rather mediocre Human Torch cover. Other artists in this issue include Matt Fox and Dick Ayers.
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Kirby cover pencils (Dick Ayers inks) = **
"Dr. Strange Master of Black Magic" Ditko story pencils and inks 5 pages = ***

Steve Ditko
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>this issue >Ditko >Kirby >Strange Tales

Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery v1 #5, 1963 - A group of typical suburban couples get together to dabble in black magic. As a ouija board spells out predictions, one of the wives begins behaving erratically. Interestingly, Alex Toth omits the typically thin lines that frame the panels, relying instead on thicker white borders separated by pale colors. The pages look a bit more varied without sacrificing clarity of sequence. Toth does a understated job overall, but the facial expressions of his characters (see interior page below) show a mastery of nuance and human emotions. This is number 1 of 1 Boris Karloff issues with Toth art and/or covers.
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"Possessed" Toth story pencils (Mike Peppe inks) 11 pages = ***

Alex Toth
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>this issue >Toth >Boris Karloff

Tarzan v1 #82, 1956 - Prince Notango makes his back to Zululand on his trusty mule, but not before a band of thieves try to steal his mount. Plenty of action  gives Russ Manning the chance to showcase his fine illustrations. His rendition of  horses and hyenas look especially good in this story. Other artists in this issue include Jessie Marsh. This is number 43 of 133 Tarzan issues with Manning art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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Untitled Brothers of the Spear story Manning pencils and inks 6 pages = ***

Russ Manning
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>this issue >Manning >Tarzan
Barry Windsor Smith / Frank Brunner
Marvel Premiere v1 #4 featuring Doctor Strange, 1972 - Barry Smith's second issue unfortunately lacks the verve and excitement of the first. Page layouts are cramped and sluggish, starting with the mediocre cover. Frank Brunner works with the character for the first time, providing the inks over Smith's pencils. The combined effort is muddy, as the two styles compete for attention. While less successful in this case, Brunner would eventually make Dr. Strange one of his signature characters. This is number 2 of 2 Marvel Premiere issues with Smith art and/or covers and number 1 of 8 Marvel Premiere issues with Brunner art and/or covers.
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Smith cover pencils (Tom Palmer inks) = *
"The Spawn of Sligguth" Smith story pencils 
/ Brunner inks 21 pages = **

Barry Windsor Smith / Frank Brunner
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>this issue >Smith >Brunner >Marvel Premiere
Jim Starlin
From the sobering Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel, this is just one of many fine pages by Jim Starlin.

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>Starlin original art

Rampaging Hulk v1 #1, 1977 - The green goliath's first black-and-white magazine makes its debut with this issue. Walt Simonson begins as series artist, illustrating some of the lengthiest Hulk stories to date. His opening splash is the page most representative of his style, but for the most part his pencils are buried under the heavy-handed inks of Alfredo Alcala. The effects are not unpleasant, but the look Simonson is known and revered for is largely absent from this book. Other artists in this issue include John Buscema, Rudy Nebres and Ken Barr (cover). This is number 1 of 3 Rampaging Hulk issues with Simonson art and/or covers.
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"The Krylorian Conspiracy" Simonson story pencils (Alfredo Alcala inks) 37 pages (black & white) = *

Walt Simonson
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>this issue >Simonson >Rampaging Hulk

1994 magazine v1 #23, 1982 - Alex Nino's painted cover looks as intricate as many of his story pages, but with an added richness to due to breadth of colors. This particular edition contains no new material by the artist, but instead features reprints from 1984 #7 (two stories), #8 and #9 (one each). This is number 13 of 17 1994 magazine issues with Nino art and/or covers.
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Nino cover painting = ***

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>this issue >Nino >1994

Detective Comics v1 #468 featuring Batman, 1977 - Marshall Rogers' first full length Batman tale concludes the Calculator storyline built up over previous issues. Hawkman, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Atom, and Elongated Man make a guest appearance, initially failing to capture the criminal. Marshall Rogers' precise drawings are matched only by his crisp page designs. The multi-paneled heroics at the top of page 9 are particularly good. This is the artist's first full length Batman feature. Cover by Jim Aparo. This is number 3 of 13 Detective Comics issues with Rogers art and/or covers.
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"Battle Of The Thinking Machines" Rogers story pencils (Terry Austin inks) 17 pages = ****

Detective Comics v1 #468 dc comic book page art by Marshall Rogers
Marshall Rogers
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>this issue >Rogers >Detective Comics
Al Williamson
Star Wars v1 #42, 1980 - Presenting the fourth installment of The Empire Strikes Back, this chapter was originally published in Marvel Super Special #16. Al Williamson not only delivers a brand new cover, but an additional splash as well (page 21). His cover rendition of the bounty hunters is adequate, but his full page splash of space debris is superb. This is number 3 of 7 Star Wars issues with Williamson art and/or covers.
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Williamson cover pencils (Carlos Garzon inks) = ***
"To Be a Jedi" Williamson story pencils (Carlos Garzon inks) 1 new page = *****

Al Williamson
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>this issue >Williamson >Star Wars