Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Frank Quitely is Not His Real Name

The actual name of Scottish artist Frank Quitely is Vincent Deighan. The gnetleman's excellent rendition of Superman is second only to Curt Swan's in my humble opinion.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Walt Simonson and His Originals

Up above is a drawing of Thor that Walter Simonson drew last week and which was auctioned off on ebay this week. (Do you notice how the gentleman's signature at the bottom edge resembles a dinosaur? Not an accident! I remember reading back in the 1970s he purposely signs with a dinosaur design.)

The high bidder paid $5877.77 (with free shipping). To me the big news about the transaction is not the amount but the fact that a pencil-and-ink Simonson original will soon be in hands other than Mr. Simonson's own. This happens rarely.

Back in 1980 I wrote a letter directly to the gentleman asking if I could purchase a page of his original artwork. He beautifully hand-printed a response to me saying politely that he holds onto all of his originals, and I showed you that work-of-art-in-its-own-right postcard back here.

Well it turns out that that was not the first time I corresponded with Mr. S. I wrote a letter to him in 1978 as well and, after 42 years, I am ready to share with the world his wonderful reply.

It's amazing to me that Walter Simonson, a supremely busy artist, took the time to type a full-page letter to a person he did not know listing the projects he was working on or had recently completed. I hope you will enjoy reading this artifact of comics history!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

How Rich is Lex Luthor?

For the first four decades that the character of Lex Luthor existed he was not rich at all but rather a mad-scientist type; in my mind I have an image of him wearing a white scientist's lab coat and pulling a lever from above but maybe it's a figment of my imagination. Throughout the 1960s Luthor was most often seen wearing gray work-clothes like on the above cover. In the 1970s there was a misguided thought to dress him up like a super-villain in a green and purple tin-can costume that still shows up from time to time (but you might notice I'm not showing it here).

In the 1980s it was writer Marv Wolfman who reinvented Luthor as a rich evil guy, and John Byrne built on that direction when he took over Superman in 1986. Forbes Magazine had a bit of fun a few years back rank-ordering fictional characters based on their level of wealth, and Lex Luthor made the list at #4. If you like you can read the full Forbes article, and down below is the Luthor entry.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Pokemon by Mike Mignola

Mike Mignola of course is best known for drawing superhero comics like Gotham by Gaslight and Cosmic Odyssey and his own character Hellboy.

But a charity auction ended this week and featured a drawing of Pikachu and Squirtle and Bulbasaur as depicted in full color by Mr. Mignola.

This was a charity auction and 100% of the $11,100 selling price will go to the World Central Kitchen. Bravo!

Monday, June 01, 2020

Len Wein Drew Comic Books

Of course Len Wein is mainly known for his decades of service as a writer of comic books. Oh, how I looked forward to each issue of his Swamp Thing back in the 1970s! The gentleman also put in a good amount of time as an editor of comics (maybe a little something called Watchmen might ring a bell?).

But how many of you knew that Mr. Wein also drew comic books? Just as I thought, very few hands went up. But it's true!

One of the just two comics stories that the gentleman drew was a 4-pager entitled "Walk the Plank" that appeared in Grimm's Ghost Stories #9 from Gold Key in 1973.  (The Grand Comics Database originally mis-credited Rich Buckler and Dan Green as the ones who drew the story!)

I like the artwork quite a bit and I hope you do also:

Saturday, May 23, 2020

What Are Comic Books?



Saturday, May 16, 2020

I Remember Tex Blaisdell

Full article coming later today!

Nonagenarians of Comics

Artist John Romita was born in 1930.

Artist Luis Dominguez was born in 1923.

Inker Joe Sinnott was born in 1926.

Artist Al Jaffee was born in 1921.

Colorist Tatjana Wood was born in 1926.

Artist Tom Scheuer was born in 1930.

The nonagenarians of comics! Have I missed anyone?

Brilliant Coloring Choice for The FF

Above is the Jack Kirby/Joe Sinnott original artwork to the cover of 1968's Fantastic Four #77. (No, I do not own the artwork but I wish I did.)

The page is quite a bit busier than a Kirby cover usually is. My first reaction when looking at the black-and-white art might be to feel a twinge of a headache. There is so much going on there!

Imagine that you are the colorist confronted with adding hues to this artwork. How would you approach the task?

Well, Stan Goldberg is the gentleman credited with coloring the cover. My ten-gallon hat is off to that gentleman because he tamed the wild bull, as you can see from the printed cover below. What an ingenious decision! Hooray for Stan Goldberg!