Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Amazing Alex Ross

Like a lot of comic book fans, I fell in love with Alex Ross' super realistic paintings when Marvels came out in 1994.  I'd never seen a style like that before and it fit in really well with the classic looks of the Golden and Silver Age Marvel heroes.  Since then I've liked just about everything he's produced, whether it's DC, Marvel, or other companies' heroes and villains.  I wish I had the money to get some of the really nice original paintings from different projects that have been up for sale through the years.  Here are some examples courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

For more examples of Ross' great work, check out his official website.

Friday, June 07, 2013

A Jazzy Cover Gallery

Like many teenagers who were heavily into Silver Age Marvel Comics, I was blown away by the wonderful John Romita Sr.  Of course, I was first exposed to his work through his amazing (pun intended) run on Amazing Spider-Man.  I think one of the reasons I was attracted to his art was its similarity to Curt Swan.  They both had clean and concise styles that served their features well.  You could tell Romita did a lot of work for DC in the 1950's since you can see a little of their house style in his work.  He mostly did romance work for DC and you could tell since he drew arguably the most beautiful women in comics.  I think that's the reason I had him draw Mary Jane Watson in my copy of TwoMorrows' John Romita And All That Jazz hardcover book.
Through the wonderful Grand Comics Database, I've selected several of what I consider his best work during his heyday on Spidey in the 60's.  Of course all of his covers were sensational but these three stood out to me.

Another strip I really liked him on was Captain America.  He didn't draw too many covers or interiors but the ones he did stood out as only a Romita cover can.
He also drew Cap for two different Mighty Marvel Calendars in the mid 1970's.  This gorgeous piece of Cap and The Falcon is from the 1975 calendar.
And this beauty is from the awesome 1976 Mighty Marvel Bicentennial Calendar.  It's probably my favorite image in the whole calendar.
If you've never experienced the fantastic storytelling and draftsmanship of this comic master, then I suggest picking up any of the myriad Spider-Man reprint collections showcasing his 1960's run.  You won't be disappointed.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dave Cockrum's Star Trek

I've always loved Dave Cockrum's art.  One of my first exposures to his work is when he drew Marvel's Star Trek comic in the early 80's after the first movie came out.  His style was perfect for Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew's adventures.  He drew these neat costume guides for the new style Starfleet uniforms, which were pretty much abandoned a couple of years later when Star Trek II came out.
It's a shame Dave's no longer with us.  I would have loved to have seen what he could have done with J.J. Abrams' version of the classic crew.  I bet it would have been great, just like these pieces were.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Coming Soon: Superman The Golden Age Omnibus Volume 1

I'm pretty pumped for June 11.  That's when DC Comics will release Volume 1 of Superman The Golden Age Omnibus.  It'll be 784 pages of Golden Age goodness, reprinting the very first adventures of the Man Of Steel from Action Comics #'s 1-31, New York World's Fair Comics #1, New York World's Fair Comics 1940, and Superman #'s 1-7.  I have all of these stories reprinted in the various Superman and Action Comics Archives but it'll be neat to see them reprinted in a bigger size and hopefully in good quality.  These various covers from this period should whet your appetite for this book.
Thanks again to the wonderful Grand Comics Database for the cover scans.  I think this book will definitely be money well spent.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Superman & Batman Dailies 1939-1945

I was digging through some books today and found these great reprints Kitchen Sink Press put out in 1994 of the Superman and Batman daily newspaper strips which ran in various newspapers from 1939-1945.  I really enjoyed reading these strips and the covers by artist Peter Poplaski perfectly captured that Golden Age feel which I love so much.
The Batman strip featured art by Jack Burnley, who drew many of the best covers of the Golden Age and is one of my all time favorite artists.  His work in these volumes is similar to Bob Kane's art but I can still see his own style coming through from time to time.
I highly recommed these volumes as they represent good adventure strips from the Golden Age of Comics.  Now if I can only find my Sunday Superman and Batman volumes.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Carmine Infantino R.I.P.

The comic book world lost a true icon last week when Carmine Infantino passed away.  He was one of the most innovative artists of the Silver Age and he helped lead DC Comics to what I feel was their best period in the 1970's.  I was fortunate enough to meet him twice and he was very nice to me both times, talking about designing the Silver Age Flash and drawing one of my favorite characters, Adam Strange.  He also signed the above book for me.  It's an exhaustive look at his career and is a must have for any Infantino fan.
While I really liked his interior work, his cover art was what really set him apart.  He was a master at cover design, as these examples from his seminal work on The Flash, Mystery In Space, and the "new look" Batman prove.  Covers courtesy of the Grand Comics Database.
Among my earliest exposures to Carmine's work was his run on Star Wars for Marvel in the late 70's.  As a kid who lived for anything taking place in a galaxy far, far away, at first I was really disappointed in the art.  It was way too stylized for my eight year old taste.  But as I got older, I started to really appreciate the unique approach he brought to my favorite movie's characters.
R.I.P. Carmine and thanks for all the wonderful comic art you produced through the years.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Long Live The Legion!

The above comic, All New Collectors' Edition No. C-55 from 1978, featuring Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes represented one of the turning points in my young comic collecting career.  It introduced me to the wonder of the Legion and I was hooked immediately.  I loved the variety of heroes and powers each member possessed and I liked science-fiction books so it was a no brainer that I'd like the Legion.  Mike Grell's art bowled me over and it was a thrill over 25 years later when I met him at a con and had him sign this replacement copy of one of my favorite comics (the original is coverless and missing pages from many hours of reading back then).
Of course, not soon afterward I got into the back issues of Adventure Comics that the wonderful Curt Swan drew back in the 60's.  I loved Swan's Superman and his Legion was just as good in my young (and old now) eyes.
After Swan many other notable artists tried their hand on the Legion, either through covers or interior work.  Guys like Neal Adams, Nick Cardy, and Joe Staton left their mark on the team with these beauties, among many other covers during this time.
My love of the Legion hasn't really dissipated through the years.  I still love poring through the Dave Cockrum and Mike Grell issues from the Bronze Age and I was really happy to see that DC Direct put out these great action figures of the original three members, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy.  They're like Curt Swan drawings come to life.
The above covers are courtesy of the always excellent Grand Comics Database.