Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ross? Steranko? Kaluta? The Shadow!

 The above Alex Ross painting on the first issue of the new Dynamite! Shadow series is so beautiful that I almost bought the comic for the cover artwork alone!

Back in the 1970s I did buy all the Shadow paperback novels came out because the Jim Steranko cover paintings (like the one above) were just that great. I still have those books around here someplace but I never did read them (yet). (I very much like Harlan's Ellison's indignant response of "Who would want to own a library in which they've read all the books?" when asked if he had read all of the one million books he owns.)

But the softest Shadow-spot in my heart is for the Denny O'Neil and Michael Kaluta DC series of the 1970s. That was my first exposure to The Shadow and the artwork is stunningly perfect for the character.

Five or eight years back there was to be a local staging of a script from The Shadow radio show, and I seriously considered auditioning for the lead role. At 6'6" I'm a bit too tall for the part, but I did practice and master the narrative introduction followed by maniacal laughter that would start off each radio play.

Here, listen to the first 29 seconds of this radio episode. I'm not kidding that I do it even better than that! If the opportunity ever arises again, I will audition. And I'll invite you to the opening.


At 4:40 AM, Blogger mdraine said...

I saw the original of that Steranko painting at a Boston convention in 1978. The painting was very large and the colors were extremely bright. Steranko brought along two or three other Shadow paintings, but they've faded from memory. Michael Kaluta, who was also a guest, brought a number of pages from The Shadow #3, inked by Bernie Wrightson. This was the first time I had seen original comic art with the artist walking me through it; it made quite an impression on my 15 year old self.


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