From the late Silver Age of comics comes this incredible cover art to SUB-MARINER #3 (below, left)! Another great one by John Buscema! But, lo, what's this?! It appears the cover was flopped and re-touched (below, center) before publication! Time to play detective again, gang! Did Stan Lee believe the flipped image would make a more powerful composition? Did the reversing make star Subby more prominent in the scene? And, why the revisions on the villains "face?" Mysteries we may never know the answers to, due to Stan's notoriously bad memory! I've even flopped the original art (below, right) for comparison! Click to enlarge!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Next to nefarious Neal Adams, nobody captured the "creature of the night" mood of the Batman in the 70s and 80s like his main inker (and great penciller on his own, too), Dick Giordano! Dick not only helped define the look of Batman, by regularly inking Neal's terrific pencils, but also made his personal mark on the character by handling total art chores on many Batman comics, special projects, merchandise, collectibles, and posters, similar to the image below! It's rare to see Dick's version of the entire "Batman family" in one dynamic image, but this is one time he really lets loose! Here, in this 2007 commission for a noted comics fan, Dick depicted the moody and dramatic feel of the Bat-cast, all the while infusing a sense of fun and adventure! Click to enlarge!
Monday, August 29, 2011
To celebrate Jack "King" Kirby's birthday, here is the cover to THE COMIC READER #100, from 1973! It was very rare then to see Jack's take on such DC favorites like Superman or Batman, let alone Captain Marvel! Jack even tossed in good ol' Captain America, just to remind us that he co-created the Marvel Comics universe, too! This fanzine (that usually sported non-color covers) was a long-running publication that kept fans informed and on the inside, years before the internet and blogs such as this one existed! Click to enlarge!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
He's just defeated the evil Dr. Octopus, and now he must face the new threat of the riled Rattler! Is Spidey to get no rest at all? Is he never to spend any time with the magnificent Mary Jane? Will Flash and Harry ever come back to Peter's apartment? Would you?! Click below to enlarge this fantabulous 1977 Stan Lee/John Romita Sr. Marvel masterwork, from their ground-breaking Spidey newspaper strip run!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
From the very memorable mid-70s era of CAPTAIN AMERICA, here is the captivatin' cover for CAP # 178! During this period (post-Watergate), a disillusioned Steve Rogers had forsaken his Cap identity, adopting the short-lived superhero guise of The Nomad! As only Marvel would dare, Steve stayed in his Nomad ID for almost a year, as other(less fortunate) souls tried and vied for the star-spangled starring role! This cover is another great one from John Romita, Sr.(with Ron Wilson and Frank Giacoia)! How could you not buy this issue, upon catching sight of that incredible cover scene? Then again, I somehow missed this ish originally, snagging it about 2 years later as a back issue! Click to enlarge!
Below: Nomad! The "other" secret identity of Captain America!
Friday, August 26, 2011
That's right! More fabulous and rare Monkees pics from the late 60s! On the set of their Emmy-winning TV show (with "Catwoman" Julie Newmar)! In concert in Japan in '68! Rare pics from 1969 (including their recording industry-only Christmas card)! Click each to enlarge and enjoy!
Below: A rare pic of the Monkees (minus Peter Tork) live in 1969!
BONUS! Click below to hear a super-rare 1994 "Monsanto Carpet" radio ad featuring the voices of Micky and Davy!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Incredible! Here is the original painted art, by Bob Larkin, for the cover to the 1979 SPIDER-MAN Fireside book! The book was part of a sensational series of hard-cover tomes, each collecting 4 or 5 major comics stories from Spidey, Hulk, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four! What made them especially memorable, tho, were the fabulously realistic painted art that fronted each volume! Bob had already painted a great deal of cover art for the Marvel Novel Series, Marvel magazine line, and the other similar comics collections from the Fireside folks, so fans were primed for more art from this master! Click to enlarge!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Yup! More great Neal Adams original comic art, this time from 1979's WORLD'S FINEST COMICS # 258, where Neal created the front of this fabulous wrap-around cover! After a three-year absence (to create commercial art), Neal made a brief return to drawing covers for DC in the late 70s, and this was quite an outing! Fans got the most bang for their buck, as Neal drew many "multiple-hero" covers during his return, so we got to see him depict not only Batman and Superman, but also the "Superman Family," Flash, Green Arrow, and many other DC stalwarts! He even contributed to some DC horror, sci-fi and oversized tabloid lines! Click image to enlarge!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
WHAT IF--? What a great series! Beginning in 1976, and spotlighting different classic origins and moments in Marvel Comics history, WI gave each well-known tale a wild new spin! Every issue took a pivotal event and turned it onto its ear, thus causing a chain-reaction series of events, not seen in the regular hero's series! Lots of fun, and some of the most memorable stories of all time! Click below to enlarge this ground-breaking cover to issue # 2, as drawn by the titanic team of Herb Trimpe and Joe Sinnott!
Monday, August 22, 2011
Another great original art sample from the long-running WORLD'S GREATEST SUPERHEROES comic strip! This super series ran from 1978 to 1985, and is highly sought-after by fans and collectors, due to its never having been reprinted in full! Long-time Marvel artist George Tuska came over to DC to draw the strip, and it was a real treat to see him depict such DC favorites as Superman, Batman, and the rest of the Justice League! Click to enlarge!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Super 70s Sunday SPIDER-MAN Strip! The Rattler Rattles Spidey's (and Mary Jane's) Cage! 1977 Marvel Madness!
In one of the best-remembered sequences from the 1977 debut year of the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Sunday newspaper comic strip, we see the then-new foe, the Rattler, dive deep into his devious and deadly plans! But, are Peter Parker (Spidey's own awesome alter-ego) and his favorite red-head, Mary Jane Watson, about to feel the baneful bite of this insidious villain? Tension and storytelling at its very best, by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita Sr.! Wanna read previous installments? Just search "newspaper strip," and prepare to be dazzled! Click to enlarge image below, Spidey-phile!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Wow! More oddities and wonderment from the heady halcyon days of the astonishing Aurora model kit folks! Aurora not only manufactured well-regarded model kits of tanks, cars, and nature subjects, but also movie monsters, and, of course, superheroes! Click below to enlarge some rare ads, pics, and items from the Silver Age of comics and models!
Below, left: Original 1966 magazine ad for the Batman and Superboy kits! Below, right: 1967 ad for the very rare WONDER WOMAN kit!
Below, left: 1965 Superman kit ad, as seen in many Warren "Monster mags!" Below, right: 1967 ad, for the new Bat-vehicle additions to the kit line, that ran in many DC comic books!
Below, left: Rare 1967 "Riddler" model kit prototype, never manufactured, due to the fading of the mid-60s "Batmania" craze! Below, right: Rare Batman kit painted prototype, with a shorter base! The heavy figure kit kept tipping over, forcing Aurora to lengthen the base in the final version!
Friday, August 19, 2011
So, ya thought you'd seen all of the late-60s Marvel art by UK up-and-comer Barry Smith? Wrong! Here is a very interesting Captain America pin-up by Barry (years before adding the pretentious "Windsor" smack-dab in the middle of his modest moniker), created for a UK-only Marvel publication! Fun to examine today, as very soon, Smith's art would take on a modeled and detailed veneer, forever leaving behind this big, action-oriented (and somewhat clunky) Jack Kirby-inspired feel! BS would soon be making waves in comics fandom, first working on a few issues of AVENGERS and DAREDEVIL, then making his bones on the CONAN color Marvel comic! There was no mistaking Barry's youthful enthusiasm in those years, tho! Click to enlarge!
BONUS! Below (left): A panicked pin-up of Daredevil by Barry, done around the same time as the above Cap image! Below (right): A pic of BS himself, from the early 70s!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
What?! More unseen cover rough designs by artist Gil Kane?! All true! Here is the incredible pencil sketch for his final cover rendering fronting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #145! Done during a period (1975) where all the classic Spidey villains (like the Scorpion, pictured here) were returning for riotous re-matches with the Web-spinner (altho new foes like the Grizzly, Tarantula, Mindworm, and Jackal were added to the mix), these covers promised the world (and Marvel delivered)! Dig the flawless action, anatomy, composition, and drama on this dynamic design! Click to enlarge, FOOMer!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
From an early 60s SUPERMAN ANNUAL, here is the fabulous "Superman Family" pin-up page, complete with character key! Feast your eyes on the ever-expanding (and ever-wacky) flock of foes and friends of the ol' Man of Steel! Supergirl, Bizarro, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, the Super Pets (even the Super-Monkey!), and many others from the Silver Age are pictured in this memorable image from Curt Swan! How many can you name? Click to enlarge!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
OK. The title is a bit misleading. This is the re-drawn art (by the late Dave Stevens) for the 90s Graphitti Shirts re-release of this classic 1966 Incredible Hulk sweatshirt! Originally drawn in the 60s by Jack "King" Kirby, and offered thru fan clubs like M.M.M.S. and Marvelmania, it was great to see the shirt made available again to feverish and rabid fans three decades later! BOTH shirts are now highly sought-after by readers and Hulk collectors! Why the re-draw? It's possible the original art was lost, or there was no decent source for a high-quality scan to work from...Click images to enlarge!
Below, left: Pics of the original 1966 sweatshirt, including the "cute" rear image! Below, right: Actual 1966 Marvel Comics ad (with no less than Doc Doom, natch) for the senses-shattering sweatshirt!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Another recent article from the ever-venerable STARLOG magazine! Hollywood maven Sam Strangis is interviewed about his days working on the 1966 BATMAN ABC-TV show! Read about Sam's reaction to the show and its oddball tone, its producer, Adam West ("Batman"), Burt Ward ("Robin"), and even the many super-foe guest-stars! Hear why Shelly Winters wasn't loved among the cast! How martial arts master Bruce Lee make Burt Ward sweat! Plus--what was Sam's connection to ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRL and THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN ("Never put a turtleneck on Lee Majors!") ?! Click to enlarge and find out, Bat-fan!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Spidey was really up against it, trying to put down the threat of Dr. Octopus, and, just when he thinks he can get a much-deserved breather, here comes a new and deadly foe, The Rattler! Who is this new foe (one who never appeared in the official SPIDER-MAN comic books, until many years later), and what is he after? How will this affect Spidey and his cast of crazy characters, including the beauteous Mary Jane? Stay tuned, as this is the only place you can glom these full-color 70s strips! Click to enlarge this 1977 Stan Lee and John Romita masterpiece!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Taken from a 1974 SUPERMAN FAMILY "Super Spectacular" edition (over sized "giant" comic books, with new material, reprints, letters pages, puzzles, and added attractions), here is a fun feature, "Superman Comedy Cover Capers!" The DC editors took a few past comic covers, added wacky new captions and ran them as a filler feature! Some inoffensive laughs at the expense of the Superman family of friends and foes, including eternal pain-in-the-trunks Jimmy Olsen, as well as long-suffering gal-pal, Lois Lane! Click to look, laugh, and learn!
BONUS! Here (below) are the original, unaltered covers! Great artwork by Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger! Click to enlarge!
Friday, August 12, 2011
What's this? From a 1966 issue of BRAVE AND THE BOLD, spotlighting the then-new superhero METAMORPHO, we see the creators of the strip tinkered with the idea of giving the horrifying hero an odd costume and mask! Was it thought that the ol' Element Man was too grotesque in his "normal" guise, wrinkled, mismatched flesh and all? Was it because there was a short period of time where rascally Rex Mason (Meta's real name) was bandied about as subject for a TV series?! We may never know, but luckily, the editors let Meta be himself (when he wasn't changing into the various elements as situations called for)! Great art by Ramona Fradon, tho, huh? Click to enlarge!
BONUS! Click below to enlarge this fabulous 1966 METAMORPHO subscription ad! What a deal!
BONUS BONUS! Click below to hear the swingin' METAMORPHO song, from the 1966 JUSTICE LEAGUE LP!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Here it is! This is a rare (took me years to find on eBay) 1978 issue of US MAGAZINE, spotlighting THE INCREDIBLE HULK TV series! This is one of the most thorough "behind-the-scenes" articles ever done on the series and its stars (Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno)! Done during the heady first season of the show, just when it was catching on with both comic fans and the general public, it's fun to hear Bixby talk enthusiastically about the series, it's themes, and it's future direction! Some great pics of on-set clowning, too! Lou himself said this issue (their best-selling) helped push the circulation of struggling US MAGAZINE thru the roof, to the point that it still exists today! My own Mom spotted this ish while shopping at a local A&P in Laurinburg, NC, and I was thrilled to have her bring it home..Only the Stan Lee clipping (link below) survived the years, but here is the whole HULK article at last! I was a regular reader of the HULK comic book then, and still easily recall the issue that the writer opens the article describing (tho I'm sure I did not get that Bi-Beast joke at the time)! Click all to enlarge!
BONUS! This same issue contained a great Stan Lee article! Click here to read!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
From a 1974 WORLD'S FINEST COMICS issue (# 228), here is a great double-page feature on the many instances of Superman and Batman (with a little help from Robin) trading places and doing double-duty! Done usually during the wacky Golden Age of comics, and usually to fool a snoopy gal-pal or a secret-identity-suspicious public, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne have stood in for each other more times than should have been feasible! Sure, it was silly fun, but it made for some very memorable comics, with some very wonderful artwork! Click to enlarge!