Jack Kirby
Avengers v1 #18, 1965 - Overtaken by the behemoth Commisar, a small peaceful country relies on the Avengers to restore their freedom. Jack Kirby's cover has far too many focal points, diminishing the overall impact. The crowded layout unfortunately only adds to the chaos. Other artists in this issue include Don Heck and Dick Ayers. This is number 18 of 38 Avengers issues with Kirby art and/or covers.
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Kirby cover pencils (Dick Ayers inks) = **

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(Walt Disney's) Uncle Scrooge v1 #150, 1978 - Featuring work by Carl Barks, this issue contains material from earlier in the series. Both "The Money Champ" and "The Firefly Tracker" were first published in Uncle Scrooge #27. The cover came from Uncle Scrooge #25. Other artists in this issue include Tony Strobl.

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Frank Frazetta
Epic Illustrated v1 #1, 1980 - Roman Centurions gather at a vantage point on Frank Frazetta's masculine cover art. While I would have preferred to see the entire painting, credit goes to the graphic designer who fit the Roman standard within the masthead. As Marvel attempts its first full color magazine, Jim Starlin begins his epic Metamorphosis Odyssesy. Three characters from different planets are introduced in three chapters. The artist's use of grayscale paintings gives the story an eerie quality. His modeling and also adds dimension and depth I haven't seen before in his work. Starlin breaks new ground artistically, especially the "Juliet" chapter. Other artists in this issue include John Buscema. This is number 1 of 1 Epic Illustrated issues with Frazetta art and/or covers and number 1 of 13 Epic Illustrated issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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Frazetta cover painting = ***
"Aknaton" Starlin story art 8 pages (black and white) = ****
"Za" Starlin story art 8 pages (black and white) = ****
"Juliet" Starlin story art 9 pages (black and white except last page) = ****

Jim Starlin
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House of Mystery v1 #212, 1973 - This tale of murder and aliens at a kid's summer camp is one of Alex Nino's oddest works. His drawings are highly stylized, distorted, bordering on cartoonish. Still, despite the disturbing faces and expressions, the artist maintains a high level of detail in the backgrounds (see interior page below). This story was later reprinted in Welcome Back to the House of Mystery #1. Other artists in this issue include Ruben Yandoc, Murphy Anderson and Mike Kaluta (cover). This is number 2 of 14 House of Mystery issues with Nino art and/or covers.
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"Oh Mom Oh Dad! You've Sent Me to Summer Camp and I'm So Sad" Nino story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***

Alex Nino
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Batman v1 #337, 1981 - Responding to his friend's letter, Dick Grayson checks out the circus where Boston Brand, (a.k.a. Deadman) used to perform. The story is drawn and laid out by Don Newton, with only adequate results. Where the artist outperforms is the opening page, where a shadowy Robin watches from above. His figure is commanding, accented by the dramatic lighting from the big top below. Other artists in this issue include Jose Garcia Lopez, Steve Mitchell and Jim Aparo. This is number 6 of 32 Batman issues with Newton art and/or covers.
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"Murder on the Midway" Newton story pencils (Larry Mahlstedt inks) 8 pages = ***

Don Newton
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Barry Windsor Smith
Fantastic Four v1 #296, 1985 - Contemplating his future, the Thing recollects how it all began and the events that created the Fantastic Four. This giant issue begins with Barry Windsor Smith's cover of the Thing in disguise, somewhat marred by the border celebrating Marvel's 25th anniversary. Inside, the artist draws only five full pages and two half pages, concentrating on a single character. Elegant and thoughtful, Smith's drawings have a beautiful aesthetic not easily matched. Other artists in this issue include John Buscema, Joe Sinnott, Jerry Ordway and others. This is number 1 of 1 Fantastic Four issues with Smith art and/or covers.
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Smith cover pencils and inks = ***
"Homecoming" Smith story pencils and inks 6 pages = ****

Barry Windsor Smith
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Frank Miller
Spider-woman v1 #32, 1980 - Werewolf by Night makes a guest appearance, not long after the cancellation of his own series. Frank Miller places the characters against a backdrop of famous movie monsters. Photos of Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney add interest to the background, but the werewolf figure tends to get lost. Despite a lot of visual elements, Miller does capture the viewer's eye. Other artists in this issue include Steve Leialoha and Jim Mooney. This is number 3 of 3 Spider-woman issues with Miller art and/or covers.
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Miller cover pencils (Klaus Janson inks) = ***


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Magnus Robot Fighter v1 #5 gold key comic book cover art by Russ Manning
Russ Manning
Magnus Robot Fighter v1 #5, 1964 - Magnus witnesses the return on an old foe, just as a self-replicating robot threatens the world's power supply. Russ Manning's smooth linework accentuates the battles between man andf machine. Especially jarring is page 26, where a colorless panel simulates the white-hot incendiary flash of a robot's destruction. The Aliens secondary feature meets expectations, but what makes this issue stand out is Manning's one and only cover for the series. Simply designed, it nonetheless provides a welcome break from the more typical painted covers. This is number 5 of 21 Magnus Robot Fighter issues with Manning art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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Manning cover pencils and inks = ***
"The Immortal One"
Manning story pencils and inks 27 pages = ****
"Forced Landing"
Manning story pencils and inks 4 pages = ***

Magnus Robot Fighter v1 #5 gold key silver age 1960s comic book page art by Russ Manning
Russ Manning
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Jack Kirby
Battle v1 #66, 1959 - Jack Kirby chronicles the history of the submarine, dating back to early ideas in the 17th century. Drawn simply and informatively, the story has a documentary feel. It's effectiveness partially compensates for the atypically weak cover. Kirby's layout seems hurried, filling in every available space. This issue also contains some notable artwork by Jack Davis. Other artists in this issue include Don Heck, John Severin and Joe Sinnott. This is number 3 of 7 Battle issues with Kirby art and/or covers.
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Kirby cover pencils (Dick Ayers inks) = **
"Submarine"
Kirby story pencils (Dick Ayers inks) 5 pages = ***

Jack Kirby
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Walt Simonson
X-Factor v1 #10, 1986 - Going literally underground, Cyclops and company search for a lost mutant that wanders into Morlock territory. Walt Simonson takes over the artistic chores on this title, beginning one of the longest runs of his career. His cover portrait of Cyclops is straightforward, but in fairness, all Marvel issues used the same design format for that month. Simonson's opening spread is somewhat chaotic, but most pages show off the artist's rapid, kinetic style. This is number 1 of 27 X-Factor issues with Simonson art and/or covers.
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Simonson cover pencils and inks = **
"Falling Angel" Simonson story pencils (Bob Wiacek inks) 24 pages = ***
Walt Simonson
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Mystery In Space v1 #1, 1951 - Small mysterious spores fall to Earth like snow, freezing everything in sight. Frank Frazetta begins this tale with a lackluster, almost minimal opening splash. The artwork improves marginally on subsequent pages, although some of the faces and figures seem hurried. Some panels show Frazetta's penchant for texture, mostly in his renditions of foliage and furry winter parkas (this story was later reprinted in Masterworks Series of Great Comic Book Artists #2 and the Mysteries In Space tpb). Alex Toth's story, about a scientist who discovers the secret to immortality, also disappoints. The layouts are compositionally dull and figure drawings seem out of proportion on most panels. Other artists in this issue include Carmine Infantino. This is number 1 of 1 Mystery in Space issues with Frazetta art and/or covers and number 1 of 2 Mystery in Space issues with Toth art and/or covers.
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"Spores from Space" Frazetta story pencils and inks 8 pages = **
"The Men Who Lived Forever" Toth
story pencils (Sy Barry inks) 10 pages = **

Alex Toth

Frank Frazetta
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Marshall Rogers
Silver Surfer v3 #7, 1988 - Several Kree soldiers arrive on Zenn-La, prompting a reaction from their protector, the Silver Surfer. Marshall Rogers' cover is more straightforward than skillful. Inside, his figure drawings and stances seem repetitive. Still, many of his layouts show a high level of effort and planning. Four splash pages make bold statements throughout the story. The Surfer's destruction of enemy armor on page 5 is particularly well designed. Kudos to inker Joe Rubenstein for maintaining the artwork's textural quality. This is number 7 of 13 Silver Surfer issues with Rogers art and/or covers.
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Rogers cover pencils (Joe Rubinstein inks) = **
"Triangle" Rogers story pencils (Joe Rubinstein inks) 22 pages = ***


Marshall Rogers
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Steve Ditko
Pacific Presents v1 #1, 1982 - Another of Steve Ditko's strange but likable creations, the Missing Man fights crime with his extended free-floating limbs. Although some pages are populated with small, crowded panels, the characters are oddly distinctive and lovingly drawn. Equally noteworthy is a Rocketeer installment by Dave Stevens (art & cover), paying homage to both artist Frank Frazetta and the notorious pin-up Betty Page. This is number 1 of 3 Pacific Presents issues with Ditko art and/or covers.
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Ditko partial cover pencils and inks = ***
"Missing Man Meets the Queen Bee" Ditko story pencils and inks 18 pages = ***

Pacific Presents v1 #1 - Steve Ditko art 1980s pacific comic book page
Steve Ditko
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http://pencilink.blogspot.com/2017/08/nestor-redondo-artwork-checklist.html

Nestor Redondo

An unpublished Nestor Redondo page from Patchwork Man #2, featuring a Frankenstein-esque character from Swamp Thing #2.


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http://pencilink.blogspot.com/2008/04/top-ten-10-mike-ploog-comics.html6.  Planet of the Apes v1 #6, 1975 - Picking up the storyline from issue four, Jason, Alex and the Lawgiver take refuge a river society of apes and humans. A brief recap of prior events helps new readers catch up (see interior page below). In a bold move, Mike Ploog illustrates the tale in pencil, most noticeably on page 3 and beyond. The resulting work is extraordinary, full of nuance and texture. Fine strokes and cross-hatching are more clearly seen, augmented by light background shading. Finished pencils often suffer a loss of detail in reproduction, but the negative effects seem minimal in this case. Ploog's drawings also benefit from added depth and dimension, making this one of his greatest works. Other artists in this issue include George Tuska, Mike Esposito and Bob Larkin (cover). This is number 5 of 10 Planet of the Apes issues with Ploog art and/or covers. This is also one of Ploog's Top 10 comics.
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"Malaguena Beyond a Zone Forbidden" Ploog story pencils and inks 20 pages (black and white) = *****

Planet of the Apes v1 #6 curtis magazine page art by Mike Ploog
Mike Ploog
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Deadman v1 #6, 1985 - Printed on Baxter paper, this series re-presents the first Deadman stories from the late 1960s. Almost all feature Neal Adams art, some of his earliest works for DC comics. Specifically, this edition reprints stories from Strange Adventures #214 and #215.

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Walt Disney's Mickey and Donald v1 #6, 1988 - Featuring Disney's most popular characters, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck appear in separate features. This issue contains a golden age Carl Barks tale from Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #69Other artists in this issue include Romano Scarpa. Cover by Russell Schroeder.

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Creepy v1 #94, 1978 - Set sometime in the future, a young boy goes on the ultimate fishing trip: a time travel expedition to the  dinosaur age. Alex Nino uses small panels against large backdrops to immerse readers into the story. His drawings are precisely rendered, but his panoramas of a prehistoric world are breathtaking (see interior page below). The added gray tones are especially effective in creating distance and atmosphere. This story was later reprinted in >Creepy #119. Other artists in this issue include Dick Giordano, Martin Salvador and Alfredo Alcala. This is number 3 of 14 Creepy issues with Nino art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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"Backwaters and Timing Circles" Nino story pencils and inks 9 pages (black and white) = *****

Alex Nino
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Marvel Premiere v1 #48 featuring Ant-Man, 1979 - Concluding the premiere of the new Ant Man, the hero faces off against a behemoth to save his daughter's life. Hank Pym, the original Ant Man, makes a cameo appearance toward the end, endorsing his successor. John Byrne's artwork is larger than life, playing up contrasts in size and scale of the characters (see interior page below). The opening splash and numerous large panels exceed the quality of his previous issue. As before, Bob Layton's inking is exceptional. Cover by Dave Cockrum and Bob McCleod. This is number 3 of 3 Marvel Premiere issues with Byrne art and/or covers.
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"The Price of a Heart" Byrne story pencils (Bob Layton inks) 18 pages = ****

John Byrne
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World's Finest Comics v1 #275, 1982 - Using a captured Billy Batson as bait, mobster Benny Portis demands to see Captain Marvel in the flesh to negotiate his prisoner's release. The dilemma, of course, is that Billy and the Big Red Cheese are the same. Opening with a splash of carefully placed multiple figures, Don Newton continues his run on the series with skillfulness and consistency. Dan Adkins, arguably his most compatible inker, returns to enhance each page and panel. Other artists in this issue include Trevor Von Eeden and Rich Buckler. This is number 22 of 28 World's Finest issues with Newton art and/or covers.
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"The Snatching of Billy Batson" Newton story pencils (Dan Adkins inks) 10 pages = ***
Don Newton
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Matt Baker


The Texan v1 #13, 1951 - Matt Baker's cover puts emphasis on the foreground indians, but makes scant room for the wagon train in the distance. Baker would also illustrate four interior stories. The best among them is "Abeline, City of Sin", starting with its superb opening splash. The frontier settings and ornately dressed citizens are typical of his fine draftsmanship. This is number 9 of 11 Texan issues with Baker art and/or covers.
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Baker cover pencils and inks = **
"Thunder Drowns the War Drums" Baker story pencils and inks 6 pages = **
"Curse of the Thunder God" Baker story pencils and inks 2 pages = **
"The Bar-O Outfit" Baker story pencils and inks 6 pages = ***
"Abeline, City of Sin" Baker story pencils and inks 8 pages = ***


Matt Baker
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