Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Kamandi and Mark Evanier

Drawn by Bruce Timm, colored by Jeremy Mace

DC Comics has announced that part of their celebration of the upcoming Jack Kirby Centennial will be their publication of a 12-issue Kamandi Challenge series with a different top creative team for each issue. What a great idea!

But as I read the news item announcing the series, a glaring omission from the list of creators shone so brightly as to nearly blind me. How could it be that the name Mark Evanier was not in that roster?

Mr. Evanier worked directly with Jack Kirby in the early 1970s including being involved during the preparation of 1972's Kamandi #1, and the gentleman went on to write the 1989-1991 incarnation of The New Gods as well as the first and last issues of the DC Challenge series of the 1980s. Surely these credentials qualify Mark to be invited to play in the Kamandi Challenge sandbox! If Mr. Evanier was asked to take part in this new Kamandi project, I wish he would have come along for the ride; if he was not asked to participate, the editors should be ashamed of their oversight.

Drawn by Jack Kirby

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Justice League Action at McDonald's

Justice League Action figures are currently the Happy Meal toy at McDonald's. If I didn't tell you, who would?

Superman! Batman! Green Arrow! Hawkman! Plastic Man! You get one of these free when you order a Happy Meal so that's a pretty good deal. You can get a closer view of the figures in this fan-generated video.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Dean Haspiel and Ben Oda

I was heartened to read recently that artist Dean Haspiel was inspired to become a comics creator by my all-time favorite letterer, Ben Oda! Dean tells the story in his own words:

...at age 15, I got a job at my local candy and cigar store that paid me two-dollars an hour so I could buy more comics. Old comics! I met my first real life cartoonist when a regular customer, a short, unassuming Japanese-American man came in with a portfolio and I asked him what was in it. He pulled out original art from Prince Valiant and Dondi that he was lettering. His name was Ben Oda.
Suddenly, comics became humanized and were much more than The Fantastic Four, Spider-man, Batman, and something called Star Wars before the movie came out. Real people made these things. I started to recognize names and follow my favorite creators. Later on, I discovered Chester Brown’s Yummy Fur and Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor and learned that comic books could be about anything. And, with that, I decided I was going to be a comic book creator, no matter what.
 (You can read the entirety of what the gentleman said over here.)

Hooray for Dean Haspiel and, as ever, hooray for Ben Oda!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Ron Lim's Name in Pig Latin

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jack Kirby 99

The great Jack Kirby was born 99 years ago today. How about that!

And wouldn't it be a fine birthday present for YOU if a book you ordered through the mail arrived with an unexpected Jack Kirby autograph in it? That's exactly what happened to the man whose hand is pictured in the photo above, and you can read his telling of his tale right over here.

You'll definitely want to read over here about how The King's granddaughter Jillian Kirby has been spearheading a campaign to raise funds for comic book creators in need.

Hooray for Jack Kirby!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Little-Known Steranko Artwork

Jim Steranko never drew a story for Not Brand Ecch or Mad, but what would it look like if he had? Probably just like these four pages!

This artwork has been around since the late 1960s but I had never seen it until recently and maybe it will be new to you also. The writing is by Phil Seuling and the pencilling/inking/lettering is by Jim Steranko. A quick annotation that the art is ©1968 by John Benson, and then I say Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Martin Naydel and The Terrific Whatzit

I always liked the super-clean drawing style of Martin Naydel. The gentleman began at DC Comics in 1943 by drawing McSnurtle the Turtle (which was probably written by the great Sheldon Mayer). I had always thought that McSnurtle's second identity of Flash knock-off The Terrific Whatzit occurred after the series had been established for a while, but no! Both of the characters pictured above started appearing in the very first issue of Funny Stuff in 1943.

Mr. Naydel crossed over into the full-fledged superhero genre and drew All-Flash comics and even the Justice Society of America in All-Star Comics, and he certainly drew a multitude of puzzle-type features that appeared in so many of the DC titles (while Mr. Henry Boltinoff drew the many gag strips that were published throughout the DC line). And I am amazed to learn today that Mr. Naydel was the creator of  the Jumble newspaper feature that I have tussled with every morning for many decades (although from its 1954 inception until 1960 it was named Scramble).

Hooray for Martin Naydel!