Monday, May 29, 2006

Alex Toth R.I.P.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of veteran comic artist Alex Toth the other day. Toth was one of the most innovative artists to come through the comic field. I wasn't all that impressed with his work growing up but as I got older I started to see the genius of his work. His style was so simplistic yet dynamic at the same time. His war stories were especially impressive. I also enjoyed the few Black Canary stories he drew for DC in the early 70's. Of course as a cartoon lover, I was in awe of his character designs for shows such as Superfriends, Space Ghost, and Thundarr The Barbarian. He was also an avid follower of comic book history. I enjoyed his editorials in magazines like Comic Book Artist and Alter Ego. He was a true giant of the industry and will be greatly missed.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Favorite Comic Book Movies

With the upcoming release of X3, I've recently been thinking about my all time favorite comic book movies. Here they are with some comments.

1.) Superman The Movie: When I first saw this when I was eight years old, I was disappointed because it wasn't 100% faithful to the comics. Krypton didn't look right. Lois smoked. Luther had hair. The silly time travel ending. As I grew older though, I liked it more and more. It captures the magic of the character perfectly. The scenes in Smallville were incredible. Christopher Reeve was perfect as both Superman and Clark. John Williams' score is without equal. The beginning of the film gives me goose bumps to this day. If the new Superman movie is only half as good as this, I'll be very happy.

2.) The Rocketeer: It was a disappointment at the box office, but a comic book movie has never been as faithful to the source material as this one. Director Joe Johnston did a fantastic job capturing 1930's Hollywood. The special effects were great and the acting was superb. A great film.

3.) Spider-Man: Another movie that captures the comic almost perfectly. The filmmakers captured everything that was good about Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's creation. Tobey Maguire was a great Peter Parker. The only problem I had with it was the Green Goblin's costume. The sequel was very good also.

4.) X-Men: Like Spider-Man, X-Men did a very good job capturing the feel of the comics. The sequel was equally as impressive. I'm really looking forward to X3.

5.) Spy Smasher: This movie serial from the early 1940's is the quintessential serial. It has non-stop action, the costume is great, the plot moves along at a quick pace, and it's patriotic to boot. A really fun 12 chapters.

There are many more I like but these five top the list. Some others I've really liked are Batman (1966), Batman Begins, The Adventures Of Captain Marvel (Serial), Fantastic Four, and The Phantom.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Top Ten Artists

I'd like to share with everybody my all time favorite comic book artists.

1.) Jim Aparo: As I mentioned before, Aparo was one of the first artists I ever got into. I just loved his angular style that fit so well with Batman. I was also amazed at how well he drew other DC Universe characters. He drew practically everybody during his run on The Brave And The Bold. His Green Arrow and Aquaman were particularly great. He also was good on supernatural characters like The Spectre and The Phantom Stranger.

2.) Curt Swan: Swan was the definitive artist of my favorite character, Superman. His clean style and smooth lines really captured my attention growing up. He epitomized a whole era of comics for me.

3.) Russ Heath: I loved Heath's realistic style on the war books, especially that great run on Sgt. Rock in the early 70's. He is very versatile and can draw practically any genre. His Sea Devils were a thing of beauty.

4.) Joe Kubert: When you think of DC war comics, Kubert is the first name that comes to mind. A storyteller without compare, his unique style captured the grittiness of war perfectly. His Hawkman was awesome as well.

5.) John Buscema: My favorite Marvel artist. Buscema's strong, bold style was perfect for Conan The Barbarian. I also loved his work on Thor and The Avengers, although he hated drawing superheroes. A true giant of the Silver Age of Marvel.

6.) Dick Dillin: I really enjoyed his run on Justice League, which was one of my favorite comics growing up. He was a master at juggling all those characters every month. He also put in a long run on Blackhawk.

7.) Irv Novick: Another very versatile artist who had been around since the Golden Age. I discovered his work on The Flash in the late 70's. He was also a great war artist and his run on Batman in the early 70's was also exemplary.

8.) John Romita Sr.: Romita's run on Spider-Man in the 60's was the very best Marvel had to offer. His storytelling ability was outstanding. That and his clean, almost Swan-ish style helped make Spider-Man the best book Marvel was putting out at the time.

9.) Jack Burnley: My favortite Golden Age artist. His run on Starman was beautiful. He also drew the Superman newspaper strip and brought a new look to the character. He also drew my all time favorite cover, Superman #23.

10.) Jack Kirby: What can you say about the King of Comics? His dynamic storytelling and creative vision changed the world of comics for the better. His creative output will never be duplicated again.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Greetings!

Hello all you comic book lovers! This is (hopefully) going to be a blog with info and pictures of some of my comic and comic related material I've collected through the years. My main point of interest is 1970's DC but I like a lot of other companies and eras too. Hopefully my stuff will be of interest to whoever likes old comics.