Friday, January 22, 2021

A Surprising Comics Code Seal


The Comics Code Authority seal began appearing on comic book covers in 1955. You can spot it in the upper right hand corner of Charlton's 1957 Fightin' Navy #78 up above. But there's something unusual about that particular comic. The Comics Code seal also appears on page 1!


Maybe this was a standard practice of Charlton Comics in all of their comics in or around 1957? I don't have any other 1957 Charltons within ready reach so I'm just going to mutter "Hmmm, that's interesting" and leave it at that.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Famous Comic Book Creators Cards


Famous Comic Book Creators! Eclipse Comics published this set of 110 numbered cards back in 1992 (109 creators plus one index card). I knew about the cards back then but took a pass; decades flowing under the bridge have raised my curiosity level regarding the cards so last week I purchased a set on ebay

Curt Swan, Wally Wood, Al Williamson, and 106 others.

It's a very nice set but I do wonder about the politics of it. I admire every creator who got included but I'm startled that forces of nature like Stan Lee and Joe Kubert are not in the deck. Maybe a second set of cards was planned to catch all the fish that got away from this set? Anyway, here is an eBay link in case you'd like to nab these Famous Creators for yourself.

Now who do you suppose they honored with the kingfish position of Card #100? Correct! None other than the King of Comics himself, Mr. Jack Kirby! This card I have to display just a bit larger than the others.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Jack Kirby's Fourth World in Colored Pencil



Craig Hamilton drew a four-issue miniseries starring Aquaman back in 1986. I just looked it up and see that it features an Aquaman costume I had forgotten ever existed as well as an Aquaman logo that had also escaped my memory; the costume was quite horrible but the logo was fairly nice.

Those four issues appear to be the mainstay of Mr. Hamilton's work in comics. Since then he has drawn single stories and pin-ups here and there, but no other sustained work on a comics series.

Well now I've come across a new drawing by Craig Hamilton that I knew I had to share. He has worked on a multi-character poster focusing on Jack Kirby's Fourth World characters. And, peculiarly, the piece is drawn entirely in colored pencil. I hope you like it!

Friday, January 01, 2021

Young Stan and Super-Stan


For many decades, Stan Lee was the face of Marvel Comics. I would go farther and propose that he was the face of all comic books seeing as how he was the least anonymous of all the comics creators. But in his later years his status was amplified even more. His wonderful cameo appearances in the many Marvel films uplifted him from trivia-game answer to well-known celebrity and national treasure. Here now are a couple of images of Stan that you may not have stumbled across before. 

Above is Young Stan. Such a happy kid! The photo is undated but it would be from the mid-1930s.

Down below is a drawing by Neal Adams of Super-Stan.  Mr. Adams was of course riffing on his own 1971 cover of Superman #233.

I first saw Stan Lee in person at the 1976 Chicago Comicon, and then dozens of times after that at other comic conventions. It was always a pleasure! 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

A Superboy Oddity

I looked at the covers of the first 145 issues of Superboy, spanning 1949 to 1968. You can do it for your self over here if you like. Nice artwork, bright colors, great lettering. But there is one non-sequitur. Let's focus in on the cover of Superboy #69 from 1958.

This artwork by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye is very nice and even the lettering is great. But wait! The lettering of this cover is exactly what I'm here to talk about today. I'll magnify that word balloon.

There's nothing at all bad about this lettering, but it is clearly not the handiwork of Ira Schnapp. Superboy #69 is the only one of the first 145 issues of Superboy to display lettering by anyone other than comics legend Ira Schnapp! Five covers in that long run featured no lettering at all other than the title logo, but this is the only one with non-Schnapp lettering. Why did Mr. Schnapp not letter this one cover in the middle of his 20-year run? I don't know. So, who did letter it? I'm not sure but the shape of each S suggests Gaspar Saladino to me . Please write in if you know these answers!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Big Barda by Eric Canete


You and I have now known Big Barda for 50 years! 

That's right, she first appeared in Mr. Miracle #1 all those years ago!


Recently I've come across some nice takes on Barda by Eric Canete and I thought I'd share them.

Nice, right?

Saturday, December 12, 2020

You Can Color The Brain

Do you know The Brain? No I don't mean the one from Pinky and the Brain, and I don't mean The Brain who was a member of The Brotherhood of Evil and fought The Doom Patrol. No, the Brain I speak of is Benjamin Bang, shown above.

The Brain was a seven issue series from Magazine Enterprises between 1956 and 1958. I have never owned an issue but it sure looks like fun!

In at least a couple of the issues there was a coloring contest where readers were encouraged to add hues to a black-and-white poster of The Brain printed in the issue and send their handiwork in to the publisher for recognition in a subsequent issue. I came across the below original artwork to one of those coloring pages and, as you can tell from the roster lettered at the bottom of the page, quite a few fans participated in the contest!