Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hayfamzone Conquers YouTube

Spring Vacation continues here in the nearly-deserted hayfamzone, but I'm still thinking of you! For a special 21-second treat, click here to see my infiltration of YouTube.

Hayfamzone: taking over the internet one website at a time!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kirby Color Collage

Well, we're on Spring Vacation over here in the hayfamzone, but we're still thinking about you! Click here to see a photo collage that Jack Kirby created in the early 1970s for his Spirit World magazine. This is your and my first chance to see this collage in color since it was printed in blue and white in Spirit World. John Morrow has posted this artwork for us to see in its original full-color glory before he reprints it in black and white in an upcoming issue of his Jack Kirby Collector magazine. Thank you, John!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Just Five Stories!

In the Grand Scheme of Comic Strip and Comic Book History, Frank Robbins will probably be most remembered for his own Johnny Hazard comic strip which he wrote and drew from (gulp!) 1944 to 1977. Click here to read some background information about Johnny Hazard.

My interests lean far more toward comic books than comic strips, however, and I remember the comic book work of Mr. Robbins very fondly. He was a writer, he was an artist, and he was a writer/artist. I liked his artwork the best when he inked it himself, which he did with all the boldness of the Grand Canyon.

Do you know that Frank Robbins created the character of Man-Bat? In fact he wrote a number of Batman stories in the late 1960s before writing and drawing a few. He also drew The Shadow after Michael Kaluta left. He then moved over from DC Comics to Marvel Comics and produced a greater body of work, including drawing Captain America and The Invaders. The former Hayfamzone Collection itself included one Morbius, The Living Vampire page drawn by Mr. Robbins.

Of all the work Mr. Robbins did in comics, my favorites are the Batman stories he drew. I was young when those comics came out, and I can't say that I liked them at the time! But they made an impression on me. The artwork was so unusual, so unlike any other Batman art, that I was drawn to it. The images of that bold brushwork on the Bat are embedded in my memory.

From time to time I search the internet to see if any pages of Robbins Batman art are for sale. I've never come across a single one yet. On ebay one of my Favorite Searches is for Robbins Batman in the Original Artwork category, and I keep waiting for that long-awaited email to arrive. Who owns that artwork anyway?

What prompted me to write today about Frank Robbins Batman art is an incredible tidbit of information I came across while surveying the internet last week. I found this website, which points out that Frank Robbins drew only five Batman stories. Only five stories! My faulty memory had duped me into thinking there were many more than that! The article goes on to point out that the Robbins style on Batman did not meet with universal approval, but that no less an icon than Neal Adams himself colored one of the five Robbins art jobs in a show of solidarity with and appreciation for the Robbins approach.

Click here to see scans of seven luscious pages of Batman by Robbins, as well as some of his Shadow and other DC work. And please notify me immediately if you ever learn of a page of Robbins Batman art becoming available!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Dubious Provenance

I wrote recently about how difficult it can be for buyers and owners of original comic book artwork to know whether a particular page of artwork was ever in its history unscrupulously acquired. It seems that even owners of original fine artwork are susceptible to the same uncertainty.

A stolen Norman Rockwell painting was found in the collection of Steven Spielberg recently. Click here for the full story and for a view of the painting, which is entitled "Russian Schoolroom." (You should note that one of the sidebar articles at that link points out that Spielberg may be allowed to retain ownership of the artwork since he bought it from a legitimate dealer.)

Rest assured, I can state with ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CONFIDENCE that there are not now and there never have been any stolen Rockwell originals in the Hayfamzone Collection!