Thursday, July 02, 2015

Where is Simon & Kirby's Manhunter?

I just happened to be looking up 1942's Adventure Comics #78 on The Grand Comics Database. That issue featured not just one but TWO stories by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby!

The GCD entry indicates that the Sandman story entitled "The Miracle Maker" was reprinted in 2009's Sandman hardcover edition, and that the Manhunter story entitled "The Lady and the Tiger" was reprinted in 1972's The New Gods #9 (and I remember what a wonderful experience it was reading so many S & K stories for the first time as back-ups in the 52-page Fourth World comics!).

But wait just one pretty little minute. The above-mentioned Manhunter story hasn't been reprinted since 1972? (Now picture me slapping my forehead like the guy in the "I could've had a V-8" television commercials.) I proudly own all the Kirby reprint hardcovers and it never occurred to me before that there has not been a Manhunter volume! Why hasn't there been one?

Well, maybe it's because there were only eight of those S & K Manhunter stories, and that would make for a fairly thin book. (I know I would definitely purchase it, though.) DC reprinted seven of those eight stories in the 1970s and you can read the one that got away, the eighth and last in the series, right over here.

Maybe DC is planning to reprint the Manhunter stories in an as-yet-unnanounced Jack Kirby Omnibus Volume 3? Or (gulp) maybe DC has forgotten about these beautiful stories?

5 Minutes of What?

5-Minute Batman Stories and 5-Minute Marvel Stories are new hardcover books from HarperCollins that each feature twelve stories that each take about five minutes to read. But trying to find out more about these volumes is like pulling teeth!

At first I thought these hardcovers might be featuring reprints of stories that appeared originally in comic books but then I read in their descriptions that the books have full-page illustrations and spot illustrations throughout. This means that they're more like Big Little Books than comic books.

Still I'd like to know what writers and artists were involved, but that information is not offered. Anonymity is overrated and I know that if my writing or artwork were featured in a book I would not want it being kept a secret.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Jack Kirby's Orion Times Two

The inking credits of artist Gary Martin go all the way back to DC's great 'Mazing Man series in the mid-1980s and I thought everyone might like seeing two recent drawings by Mr. Martin of Jack Kirby's Orion of The New Gods. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Not Paul Levitz

Joseph Boardman, AMTRAK President and CEO

I thought it was great seeing Paul Levitz on c-span last week testifying before a congressional committee.

But then I read the bottom of the screen and found out it wasn't Paul Levitz at all, but rather Joseph Boardman.

Oh well.

Paul Levitz, comic book author

Saturday, June 06, 2015

CAKE 2015 in Chicago

This weekend brings The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) to my bailiwick. Special guests at this year's gathering include Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez. You can watch a recent interview from public television about the convention over here, and more details are available on the CAKE website.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Jack Kirby Pretzel

I have previous told you about a Jack Kirby statue and Jack Kirby beer. Of course the next step in that progression is for there to be a Jack Kirby pretzel. I'm not sure what took so long, but the pretzel has arrived.

And it looks delicious! I would eat one right now if I had it here with me. A cheesecake-flavored pretzel? Too much!

You can read a little more about Jack Kirby pretzels right over here. Hooray for Jack Kirby!

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Visit to the DC Comics Offices

I never went. I wanted to but it never happened. And now it never will.

When I was a kid the only place I ever dreamed of traveling to was New York City for the express purpose of visiting the editorial offices of DC Comics. Kids!

As an adult I've been to New York City a few times (as you know from reading this blog post about Jack Kirby original artwork that I viewed at The Jewish Museum back during the infancy of the hayfamzone) but never anywhere near the DC offices.

Now that DC is completing its long-planned move to Los Angeles, no longer does there even exist any DC offices to visit in New York! So I've moved on to other items on my list.

Please remember though that the world traveler named Jeanette did visit the NYC DC offices a while back and she shared her findings with us. Here is another look at the great photos that Jeanette snapped of  the way the floors were identified inside the building's elevator and of an assistant editor's office

And have you ever seen an image of the huge and fabulous wall mural they had? I hope they were able to take that with to Los Angeles!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Leroy Lettering and Ben Oda

Oil and water. Peanut butter and marbles. Ben Oda craftsmanship and Leroy lettering. A great many pairs of things seem unable to coexist within a close proximity. And yet...

In the above splash page from EC Comics' Weird Fantasy #21 from 1953, the title lettering is by the great Ben Oda but all the captions and word balloons are the stencil-type of lettering called Leroy lettering. All of the Al Feldstein-edited horror and fantasy ECs were lettered in this incongruous fashion (while the pages of the Harvey Kurtzman-edited war titles and Mad were impeccably lettered by Mr. Oda from top to bottom).

I've known the name of and appearance of Leroy lettering since the hills were young but I never took the time to research exactly what the process entailed. I appreciated this recent blog post of Ben Towle that explained those pyrotechnics (and my blog-chest swells like a proud papa on seeing that that article links to one of the many blog posts I have devoted to my favorite comics letterer of all time).

Also, this is a good time to clang the bell once again that you can download a free font based on the hand-lettering of Mr. Ben Oda right over here; I use the Odaballoon font all the time!