Thursday, December 21, 2006
Perhaps Jack Burnley's best known comic feature in the early '40's was Starman, which he co-created with writer Gardner Fox. He did the cover and interior art for this strip, which had a nice sci-fi kind of flair to it. This book was by far the best drawn strip of the Golden Age. The realistic, yet dynamic, style was practically unheard of then. I highly highly recommend the Starman Archives. It reprints most of the run and is just beautiful. The stories and concept hold up really well after over 60 years. Starman was always one of my favorite members of the Justice Society and his solo adventures were great as well. This particular issue is from July, 1941 and also features a Sandman story by Creig Flessel, another outstanding artist who is still with us. The Sandman Archives is another must have. I think Adventure might have been my favorite book back then if I were a comic reading kid. It was a great anthology book.
Here's another iconic cover from the great Jack Burnley, from February-March, 1942. Burnley was great at composing covers, making sure that the action was dynamic enough to capture the reader's attention. He didn't do a whole lot of interior art in Batman or Superman, although he did draw the daily Superman newspaper strip for quite a while. He had a unique style that was much more developed than a lot of the artists of the time. That had to do with his prior newspaper experience. A lot of the artists doing comics at the time were kids just starting out. Burnley had several years under his belt and his art definitely had a more polished look to it. Alex Ross did a version of this cover as a painting a while back which was beautiful but nothing captures the feel of the times like the original. Burnley was truly one of a kind.
It's a sad day for fans of the Golden Age Of Comics. Jack Burnley, who drew many outstanding covers for several different titles for DC, has passed away at the age of 95. Burnley cut his teeth doing sports cartoons for his local newspaper before getting into the comics field in 1940. He was one of the first artists outside of their creators to draw Superman and Batman. In fact, he was the first one to draw them together, on the cover of New York World's Fair Comics in 1940. He's also responsible for my all time favorite comic book cover, the classic Superman #23, which I have posted elsewhere on this site. Here's another awesome Burnley cover, the immortal Superman #24, from September-October, 1943. It amazes me that two of the all time greatest covers were back to back in the fall of '43. He was a unique talent that will definitely be missed.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
In our last holiday cover from 1948 we find our heroes once again using their powers for the greater good by helping a sick Santa build toys for all those cool 40's kids. The art chores this time around were by Bob Oskner. I hope everybody out there in blogland has a great holiday season!!
From 1947, we see our heroes once again helping Santa deliver presents to all the good DC buying boys and girls of the world. E.E. Hibbard on the art chores once again. I really wish there would have been more holiday covers back then. I think they're really unique and capture the innocence of the times perfectly.
In this issue from Winter, 1945 there's actually a Christmas story featuring The Flash. The Story Of The First Santa Claus was definitely appropriate for this issue. I think this is my favorite of all the CC Christmas covers. I love the composition on it. E.E. Hibbard does the honors for the second year in a row. Great cover!
In the winter of 1944, our heroes have decided to spread their own Christmas cheer on this great E.E. Hibbard cover. I wonder what's in the boxes. Probably a big stack of Flash Comics, All-American Comics, and Sensation Comics. Whatever's in there, I bet little Timmy wakes up to a very merry Christmas!
Considering the season, I thought I'd post some Golden Age Christmas covers. Comic Cavalcade was a quarterly anthology book that featured The Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman. This cover, from the Winter, 1943 issue, sports our heroes telling jolly ol' Saint Nick what they want for Christmas. I'm sure it had something to do with beating those darn Nazis!