Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Queen Quiznos 92.5

Watching Arrow on television last week, it occurred to me that the Q logo for Queen Consolidated is very reminiscent of the Q logo for the Quiznos restaurant.

I was going to chastise the producers of Arrow for this similarity, but I changed my mind after doing a little research. I see now that there are not too many different things you can do with a Q.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Corroboration from Nick Caputo

Back here I told about an epiphany I had earlier this week about the cover of 1969's Superboy #154. As certain as I was about my assertion regarding artists Irv Novick and Neal Adams, still I felt it might be a good idea to write to comic art expert Nick Caputo to see what he thought. Here's what Nick wrote back:

Hi Brian,

I certainly see Adams in the Superboy figure. I'm not entirely certain about the face, which may be Novick, but clearly the pen line and inking on his body is that of Adams. I never noticed this before either. I'm impressed!

I will correct this on the GCD and credit you with the info.

Nick Caputo

It feels pretty good when an expert tells you you're correct!

Over the years I've submitted a handful of corrections to the Grand Comics Database but Nick has indexeded thousands of entries for that wonderful site. He and I both submitted a correction regarding the superb Mike Sekowsky Metal Men cover shown above (and you can read those corrections for yourself in the GCD Indexer's Notes over here).

Nick has written for The Jack Kirby Collector and Ditkomania, and I have been learning a great deal from his blog which you can study for yourself right over here.

And be sure to take a peek at the freshly updated Indexer's Notes on the GCD page for Superboy #154, over here.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Swamp Thing by John Ira Jennings

I like this new drawing of Swamp Thing by John Ira Jennings and I want everybody to see it. Mr. Jennings was one of the artists responsible for the Black Kirby art gallery exhibit I told you about back here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mystery Artist on Rip Kirby

The above artwork is being auctioned on ebay. The seller is unsure of the artist but has put forward Gray Morrow as his best guess. I feel the page is not by Gray Morrow but who could the artist be?

The stance and facial expression of the hat-wearing hoodlum suggest Dick Giordano, but nothing else on the page looks like Giordano. The hatched shading brings to mind the many Spanish and Filipino artists that were prevalent the comics industry in the 1970s, and the young lady in the foreground does look like it might have come from the hand of Tenny Henson. But maybe not.

Who drew this artwork?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Not a Good Thing

I spotted the above bust of Jack Kirby's Ben Grimm/Thing in the window of a Chicago shop on Milwaukee Avenue and I thought everybody might get a kick out of seeing it. Mr. Grimm is in a walk-in display window area and as I was taking the photo the owner was in that walk-in and saw me and put rabbit ears behind the statue with his fingers. Funny guy!

I'm a little conflicted as to whether I like the bust. The design is clear enough that the subject's identity is obvious, but the likeness is not as on-model as anyone might like. A more pronounced forehead of bricks would have helped. And what's with the teeth?

I did not buy the statue. I'll stick with Jack Kirby's version.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Irv Novick Inked by Neal Adams?

It is unmistakably clear to me that the Superboy figure in the above cover to 1967's Superboy #154 is the handiwork of Neal Adams. Has nobody noticed this before?

Of course Mr. Adams was responsible for inking a handful of covers by each of Jack Kirby and Curt Swan back in the Silver Age. Those collaborations were a bit jarring in their own ways but I've gotten used to them over the decades. My realization about the above cover, on the other hand, occurred just this week so it hasn't had a chance to sink in yet.

The Grand Comics Database incorrectly credits the penciling and inking of the cover entirely to Irv Novick. I agree that the other five figures on the page are indeed pencilled and inked by Mr. Novick, but not the Superboy figure. As to whether Adams inked Novick pencils on that character or whether Adams penciled and inked the character, I am unable to say with certainty. The red boots may be inked and/or penciled by Novick, but knees and above we have Adams. Take a look at Superboy's legs and the right arm and see if you can deny what I'm saying!

There was an instance of Mr. Adams redrawing a Novick Batman cover, but the Superboy cover above is an even more unique juxtaposition (or blending) of the two gentlemen's talents.

When I have a chance I will write a little note over to the Neal Adams Facebook page and see if any recollection can be mined.

UPDATE: You can find out over here if Nick Caputo agrees with me about this cover.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Howard Stern as Ant-Man?

I clock in at a height of 6 feet 6 inches, though I've never before had occasion to mention it here on The Hayfamzone Blog. My height is just perfect for me, though,  and I revel in it.

This morning on the radio, 6 foot 5 inch Howard Stern said that he many times when he was younger wished that he was not so tall. I found that interesting.

Also Howard said that he came close to playing Ant-Man on the big screen. This was a few years back and Howard had discussions with Stan Lee. Stan was going to write an original screenplay to serve as a vehicle for Howard, and they just needed to pinpoint what Marvel character would get the nod. Howard wanted to zero in on a relatively obscure hero that the public would have no expectations about, and he and Stan settled on Ant-Man. Howard was also drawn to Ant-Man because the shrinking powers would be a sort of wish fulfillment from his childhood. All well and good but Stan and Howard both got busy and nothing ever came of their brainstorm.

You can hear the audio of this portion of today's Stern Show over here. (Batman and Superman find their way into the discussion also, but please be aware that the audio is not G-rated.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Who Is Bat Horse?

When I saw the above photo on twitter this morning I was intrigued, but I remember no Bat Horse ever appearing in comics. Why in the world would a toy company design a toy of a nonexistent character?

A brief investigation disabused me of the notion that the photo was of a toy at all. In fact it is a statue!

It turns out that Rochester, New York had a public art project in which artists would paint/design full-size horse sculptures for display. You can read a little more over here.  Mystery solved!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Real Life Superheroes in Chicago

This article about Real Life Superheroes appeared on the front page of today's Chicago Tribune, and the online version includes a video (which I did not watch). Some of the Real Life Superheroes were featured at a C2E2 panel last year (a panel which I did not attend, but I did see the costumed do-gooders in the hallway after their panel concluded).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Tour of Jack Kirby's Long Island Home

Let's take a moment to recap.

The above photo that I've shown before displays a package sent in 1968 from Stan Lee to Jack Kirby at his Long Island home. Hayfamzone Blog reader Bob Buethe investigated and found an interesting tidbit that I related back here. Then I encouraged Bob to snap a photo of the East Williston homestead so that I and everyone who visits The Hayfamzone could get a look-see.

It turns out that Bob did way better than snap a photo. He found a real estate website that offers a photo tour of 367 Congress Avenue! Let's start off with the front yard:

And here are some interior shots:

And here are the back porch and the back yard:

The real estate website listing with even more detail is over here. Maybe you're as surprised as I am at how much information is available if you know where to look. As Bob wrote to me, "There's very little privacy anymore since the Internet. OMAC's 'world that's coming' is here." Indeed!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nemo at the Bowling Alley

Of course I've written before about my comics-related travails at the bowling alley, and wait until you hear what happened today.

I went to the counter to ask for a lane and I noticed that the young man helping me had a nameplate that said "Nemo." Of course I had to ask if his name was really Nemo. He said no, but that a number of guys on staff shared the name Matt and they all needed distinct identifications and his turned out to be Nemo.

When you hear "Nemo," do you (like me) immediately think of Winsor McKay's classic Little Nemo in Slumberland? Or do you think of the Disney/Pixar animated Nemo?

Or is your first thought of James Mason as Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?

Maybe you think of Captain Nemo as he appeared in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (comic book version or film version)? "Nemo" can bring to mind many different images to many different people but, are you ready for the kicker?

In Latin, "nemo" means "no one."

Mazzucchelli and Fradon in Fairy Tale Comics

I just received Fairy Tale Comics, a hardcover book published by First Second Comics (whose logo is :01, which I think is pretty clever). This beautiful book is wonderful. There are seventeen stories by different creators, and the impressive list includes Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez and Karl Kerschl and Craig Thompson. My two favorites in the book are the contributions by David Mazzucchelli:

and the one by octogenarian Ramona Fradon:

Beautiful, beautiful book.

Monday, January 13, 2014

An Unexpected Jack Kirby Connection

Bob Buethe was perusing our Jack Kirby on Long Island article from a few months back and, guess what? Bob says that his doctor's office is just five blocks away from Mr. Kirby's former New York home and that he will make a point of swinging past there in the future. I let Bob know that I would be delighted to publish a photo!

Then Bob rolled up his research sleeves and wrote in with the following:

Here's a bit of trivia I bet nobody noticed until now. Thanks to,, and Google, I just discovered that one of the current residents of that address is the older sister of an actor who had a small role in X-Men 2.

Nice investigating! Bob runs a blog of his own called Cartoonacy that you'll probably want to investigate for yourself.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Jack Kirby's Boy Commandos Model Sheets

Tom Morehouse is the proprietor of the kirbykrypt over on ebay and sometimes he offers some very unique items relating to Mr. Jack Kirby. For example, I believe I had never before seen these model sheets that were drawn by Mr. Kirby (and which were displayed at the Fumetto Art Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland in 2010). Tom explains the sheets as follows:
Knowing he was going off to fight, Kirby drew the 1943 sheet for the DC artists who would be filling in for he and Joe Simon as a facial reference of the characters. You may notice that the character ALFY (2nd line down) has had that name erased and replaced with TEX (who replaced Alfy in the post war line-up) indicating this sheet was still in use when Jack came back to the strip in 1946. That's when he drew the full figures reference sheet to assist the DC artists working on the feature which was by then appearing in three different titles (Boy Commandos, Detective Comics, World's Finest).
One of the main artists to draw the strip during Mr. Kirby's absence was Curt Swan, by the way. You can enter the kirbykrypt for yourself right over here.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

So Many Batman Symbols, ANNOTATED

Remember back here where I shared an image of more Batman symbols than anybody in the world could ever imagine existed?

The above image has fewer symbols but these are dated and described. If you find the captions difficult to read maybe you'll have better luck over here.

Monday, January 06, 2014

A Superman Yamaka

Mr. Gabrail's students gave him a Superman yamaka for Christmas!

Can YOU Name 50 Girl Superheroes?

The Husband challenged our 10yo to name 50 female superheroes. They're still going.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Jack Kirby's Forever People at the Bowers Museum


The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California featured a gallery exhibition in early 1976 that was called The Cartoon Show. Original artwork by Jack Kirby and Wally Wood and Chester Gould and 97 other American comic artists/cartoonists were displayed in the show, and the above Forever People poster served as the cover of the softcover book that commemorated the museum exhibition.

We all owe a thank you to oftimespast for auctioning this Bowers book on ebay so we could see and learn about this great Kirby page!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Alex Toth's Johnny Thunder

Here is a great page of Alex Toth artwork that I purchased back in 1975 and owned for over thirty years.

And here is how the artwork looks as printed in 1951's All American Western #121 from DC Comics.

Yes, I know I'm a little out of focus on the four-color page but you're seeing correctly if you notice that the jet-black India ink that Sy Barry applied to Mr. Toth's pencils did not print nearly as darkly as anyone might have hoped.

This Johnny Thunder tale even made it into the DC reprint volume entitled The Greatest 1950s Stories Ever Told. Anyway, I thought it might be fun to compare the before with the after.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Singleton Flash Logo

You can take a fun tour right over here of the various Flash Comics logos that have been employed by DC Comics since Flash Comics #1 hit the racks back in 1940. But one logo is missing from that display.

Up above you can see the cover of Flash #18 from 1988. The 1980s version of the Flash logo would have obscured too much of the gravestone statue that cover artist Andy Kubert had drawn, so editor Barbara Kesel made the right call and ordered up a one-use-only logo for The Flash. Sleek yet bold is how I might describe it.

I would not mind seeing that logo used again one day.