Friday, December 03, 2021

DC's Talking Gorilla with Eyepatch


No, NOT Monsieur Mallah! Mallah does not wear an eyepatch!

The gorilla being discussed today appears on the cover of Strange Adventures #186. The comic was published by DC in 1966. A minor controversy swirls around the identity of that cover's artist.

The Grand Comics Database entry for the comic specifies that the cover was inked and possibly also pencilled by Murphy Anderson. But that is not correct. Nothing about those inks is Anderson-like and, likewise, the pencils.

The GCD entry indicates that its cover artist credit was previously attributed to Bernard Baily. While true that Mr. Baily drew the "Gorilla Witch" interior story that the issue's cover is representing, the cover art style bears little if any resemblance to the work of Bernard Baily.

So what's the answer? Who really drew that Gorilla Witch cover?

That's a hard one but my best guess is Jack Sparling. Mr. Sparling drew the Strange Adventures covers for issues 185 and 187 and 188 and 189, so why not #186 also? Of course that is hardly ironclad irrefutable evidence, but the 186 cover does look more Sparling-like than Anderson-like or Baily-like. So that's what I'm going with.

Maybe you would like to weigh in with a different opinion! That sounds like a fun horserace! Please feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Comic Strip Artists Newreel

Harold Knerr drawing The Katzenjammer Kids!

Bud Fisher drawing Mutt and Jeff!

Fred Lasswell drawing Barney Google and Snuffy Smith!

Frank King drawing Gasoline Alley!

Chester Gould drawing Dick Tracy!

Dick Calkins drawing Buck Rogers!

Milton Caniff drawing Steve Canyon!

Chic Young drawing Blondie and Dagwood!

Raeburn Van Buren drawing Abbie and Slats!

Ham Fisher drawing Joe Palooka! 

Harold Gray drawing Little Orphan Annie!

Al Capp drawing Li'l Abner!

Hal Foster (but not drawing Prince Valiant)!

Whew, they sure squeezed quite a bit into the 11 minutes of this 1945 newsreel! The video was posted to youtube just last year and only about 3000 people have viewed it so far. Please do add 1 to that count by clicking above and watch history unfold before your eyes!

(Maybe you'll even have some time left over to click here and view the videos that have been posted to youtube by me!)

Friday, November 19, 2021

The World of Independent Comics


It's a fun challenge to see how many characters and creators you can name in this drawing!

But first, 

to make it a little fairer,

let's enlarge the drawing a bit!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Jack Kirby's Eternals Pop-Up



Open right now, but for just three more days!

The Jack Kirby Museum is sponsoring a Pop-Up Museum event focusing on The Eternals and The New Gods. The event is taking place at One Art Space located at 23 Warren Street in New York City.

Kirby, Eternally opened on 11/11/2021 and will remain open until 11/16/2021. More details are available at

Unfinished Swamp Thing by Bernie Wrightson


Oh, how I enjoyed those early issues of Swamp Thing by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson in 1972/1973! Fabulous!

Well, now the original and unfinished version of the splash page to the first issue has seen the light of day. A detail from it is above, while the published version of that page is shown below.

I have to say that I like the unpublished version even more than the printed version!

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Flash of Two Worlds Surprise


The cover to 1961's The Flash #123 by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson is an icon of the Silver Age of Comics. The design was even made into a cold-cast porcelain statue a couple of decades ago (and I've written before that it is my favorite of all the many comics-related statues that have been produced through the decades).

But just a couple of weeks ago I found out something I had never realized for all these years: The design of the cover was an homage to the 1959 Jerry Grandenetti cover to Our Fighting Forces #48! Here, see for yourself:

Craftint Paper is Poison!



I've written before about how much I enjoyed drawing on craftint paper (also known as duo-shade paper). The paper has a shading pattern printed on it in unreproducible blue which becomes visible when a developing chemical is brushed onto the paper. Here is another look at one of my 1980s drawings that was on craftint paper:

Up at the top and down below are two panels from a page from 1990's The Huntress #18 by Joe Staton and Bob Smith drawn on craftint paper. I knew that (unfortunately) craftint paper is no longer produced, but I had heard since about 2010 that the reason for its decline was that the same effects could be easily achieved using paint programs on computers.

But Marcus Wai (a commenter to the posting of the Huntress page) pointed out that the cancellation of craftint came before the computer capability and in fact was because touching the paper that had been treated with the developing chemical had the capability to make people sick. Here is the posting page if you'd like to see the full Huntress page and the comments for yourself.

Craftint paper is poison!


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Jack Kirby's Best Signature

 My favorite Jack Kirby signature is the one The King signed work with between the years of 1969 and 1973.

The new Mister Miracle series that is currently running honors Mr. Kirby by using a likeness of that best signature on the creator's byline.

Created by Jack Kirby!


Saturday, October 02, 2021

Murphy Anderson's Signature


The cover to 1964's Strange Adventures #161 was drawn by Murphy Anderson. The gentleman drew many covers for that title, but one thing about this cover is out of the ordinary. 

Murphy Anderson signed this cover. Such a rare occurrence! A script capital M side-by-side with a script capital A. It's a very nice design and it is so rare that this is the only place I remember seeing it!

Maybe you haven't spotted it yet? 

Look down by the man's brown pant leg. 


Maybe you'll see it more clearly on the original artwork. Please send me a message if  you know any other covers that Mr. Anderson signed in this way!