Altho sometimes dismissed as a "kiddie comic," the first few years of SPIDEY SUPER STORIES featured some of John Romita's best Spider-Man art! JRSR not only drew the front cover scenes for SSS, but also many back cover and poster images, for the mag that encouraged reading skill development among young readers (with the help from the PBS show, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY)! This image is from SSS #18, from 1976! Note the minor changes that were made from original art to published cover! The elimination of the background room interior now makes this sensational scene a symbolic one, with the Kingpin no longer cruelly crushing a mere model of the city, but a visual representation of the real thing! Are those the Twin Towers he's taking down?! Yikes! Click to enlarge!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Wow! It's a rare treat to see George Perez draw any Marvel Comics character, but here is a terrific 1982 illo by him, starring Daredevil! George began his career in the 70s at Marvel, drawing many books, including FANTASTIC FOUR and AVENGERS, but soon went to DC, where he applied his talents to great books like NEW TEEN TITANS (is it any wonder he soon got the tag of "team book artist?")! This art appeared in the little-seen DAREDEVIL CHRONICLES book from long-gone publisher FantaCo, published in the early 80s! The one-shot comic-sized b/w book was full of rare art, spot illustrations, and interviews with the DAREDEVIL writers and artists! Click to enlarge!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Here's a real treat for you! Some sensational SPIDER-MAN note paper, generously festooned with great images of the ol' wall-crawler, straight from the 60s! Just take in that gorgeous art by Steve Ditko and John Romita, Sr.! It's Spidey in awesome action against the sinister Sandman and the demonic Dr. Octopus! All you have to do is print the images out on paper of your choosing, write a note to a friend (or even an enemy, or to the I.R.S.) on the inner blank side, fold as noted (you'll need tape, not spit), and mail away! Let the world know that you're a swingin' Silver Age Spidey fan! Click each to enlarge!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
He's already got Spidey under his sizable thumb, and now the Kingpin has set his sinister sights on the entire New York populace, as he announces himself a candidate for the mayoralty! Can he be serious? Will New Yorkers actually vote in such a heinous villain? Hey, this is politics, right? More color strips from 1977, the inaugural year of this long-running adventure strip! Scripts by Stan Lee, with art by John Romita, Sr.! Click to enlarge!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Was there any comic cover that the gifted hand of Gil "Sugar Lips" Kane didn't touch in the 60s and 70s? Take a peek at this power-packed cover to DEFENDERS # 22, from 1975! Even two years before the Hulk takes over the TV tube, Gil draws him front and center, as lesser-known heroes, Dr. Strange and Nighthawk, flank the foes in the background! Drama! Movement! Power! All the hallmarks of a Kane cover masterpiece! And--uh--where exactly is the head of that one "Serpent" member who's holding the knife to the Hulk?! Click to enlarge!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
From the days of Marvel's own in-house promo mag, FOOM, here comes a terrific 1976 cover by all-time great, John Romita, Sr. (with inks by mighty Mike Esposito)! It's Captain America, and his WW2 fighting friend, Bucky, in blazing battle action against a gaggle of Nazi goose-steppers! FOOM was a magazine of news, unseen and early art and info, premiums, even including mirror-shattering pics of the actual Marvel creators (years before the internet, folks), and convention action! The mag was available by subscription (directly from Marvel) for about 5 years, and is still fondly recalled by fans today! Click to enlarge!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
From a recent issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, here is a fun chart comparing staff likes and dislikes concerning the many actors who have portrayed live-action Batmen! But--what's this?! The inexplicably popular and deadly-dull BATMAN BEGINS hedging above the higher-earning BATMAN (1989) film?! In front of the superior BATMAN FOREVER?! Ahead of our own beloved Adam West?! Say it just ain't so! Which are your faves? Click to enlarge!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Ah, here is that part-time photographer, problem-plagued Peter Parker, caught daydreaming about his other part-time job, in this 1978 masterwork, drawn by me, at age 13! I was trying to depict a rare quiet moment in the life of the always on-the-move web-slinger, and kinda sorta succeeded! Spidey (seen here tragically caught in my attempt at foreshortening) does look as if he could use some time with the Weight Watchers program, tho! And, hey, how about that detailed background scene, huh? Click to enlarge!
Monday, November 21, 2011
Most fans know that the Monkees dominated charts and hearts from 1966 to 1970, but didja know that diminutive Davy Jones and madcap Micky Dolenz teamed with main Monkees (and many other groups) songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart in 1976? The new band, called Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart (sometimes even referred to, blasphemously, as "the New Monkees") toured fairs, clubs, amusement parks, and other venues, riding high due to the MONKEES shows being re-run then as afternoon syndicated TV fare! An all-new LP resulted, even a live performance album being released in Japan! A forward-thinking new syndicated TV special was even produced, seen in many US markets! Alas, all this wasn't enough to keep the nostalgia-fueled fire burning, and the group disbanded, leaving only Micky and Davy to soldier on till about 1978 as a touring duo. Flash-forward 8 years, and the guys were back, along with Peter Tork, as MTV's 1986 Monkees revival touched off another bout of rampant Monkeemania! Click images to enlarge!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
The noose tightens as Spidey finds himself cornered by the Kingpin! Can he break free of the mammoth mobster's Machiavellian plans? Will the wall-crawler succumb to the voluminous villain's sinful sway, and join him in crime, once and for all? Another 1977 newspaper strip blockbuster installment by Stan Lee and John Romita, sr.! Click to enlarge!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Many comics fans tend to forget that, during the 60s and 70s, Marvel and DC prospered and profited not only from the publishing of the ever-burgeoning superhero lines, but also from romance, humor, and war comics! SGT. FURY (with and without his "Howling Commandoes" troop) was a longtime Marvel staple, beginning in the early 60s when Stan Lee created Nick Fury to helm his own book, in World War Two-era tales! Stan's brilliant move came in also featuring Fury in modern 60s tales, explaining that the now eye-patch wearing macho man survived WW2, and now headed the super-secret spy joint, SHIELD! Nick's popularity was such that, even in 1972 (when this cover appeared), he could still headline his own book, even a reprint comic like this! Click to enlarge that terrific John Romita/Mike Esposito artwork!
BONUS! Click below to see the "Howling Commandoes," as they appeared in the 2011 film, CAPTAIN AMERICA-THE FIRST AVENGER!
Friday, November 18, 2011
I must admit that I have no idea what this was done for, or where it ended up being used, but here is a fantastic SUPERMAN illustration by his ling-time artist, Curt Swan! Curt was known for his ability to depict the Man of Steel's power and presence, but also his humanity and grace! Curt drew many Superman, WORLD'S FINEST, and ACTION comics (as well as mucho art used on posters, toys, and special projects), in a career that stretched from the 1950s to the 80s! Click to enlarge!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Here is a beautiful cover for a 1971 issue of the long-running Batman team-up book, BRAVE AND THE BOLD, drawn by that comic art master, Neal Adams! Neal was doing a great deal of work for DC, mostly on a newly-revitalized "creature of the night" Batman, and this scene is very emblematic of the dramatic new look he brought to the character! Neal also imbued in Batman a sense of athleticism, grace and an always ready-to-spring feeling of movement! Note the loss of a few text elements from the now-40 year old (gasp) cover art! Do you recall who the mystery co-star was for this ish? Click to enlarge!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Another superb Nick Cardy-drawn cover, from the early 70s! Nick was creating tons of eye-catching and exciting cover scenes for DC at this time, and here is his awe-inspiring take on good ol' Superman and his pesky pal, Jimmy Olsen! This was an odd period for the OLSEN book, coming right after Jack Kirby's famous (but relatively short) run on the comic, making it a hub for his many off-shoot books, such as FOREVER PEOPLE, NEW GODS, and others! Soon after this issue was published, JO (and the long-running LOIS LANE comic) would be cancelled, to be included in the SUPERMAN FAMILY anthology comic book! Dig the note to DC colorist and production maven Jack Adler (cousin to radio personality Howard Stern)! Click image to enlarge!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Here is a terrific USA WEEKEND article on 2011's biggest films, THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA! Some revealing info is spilled by Chris Evans ("Cap") and Chris Hemsworth ("Thor"), as they discuss the films (including the upcoming mash-up movie, THE AVENGERS), their punishing fitness regimen, the huge movie budgets, and comic book immortality! Thanks to super-fan Terry Collins for sending this fun piece! Click to enlarge!
Monday, November 14, 2011
Most comics fans know artist George Tuska from his long stint at Marvel Comics, most notably as penciller during a lengthy run (almost 10 years) on IRON MAN! But, here is a fantastic look at Tuska rendering a swingin' Spider-man, and his long-time fiendish foe, the Green Goblin! Done for a fan (possibly a convention sketch), you can clearly see George's strengths in figure work, dramatic staging, and movement! George also got to draw many of competitor DC Comics' characters, for the WORLD'S GREATEST SUPERHEROES newspaper strip the the 70s and 80s! Click image to enlarge!
Below: The artist himself, in a 70s pic!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
What made the Marvel Comics writing of Stan Lee so memorable was his little "slice-of-life" scenarios, such as we see in this '77 SPIDEY strip installment! The wondrous wall-crawler has to frantically fish for change (no pockets in that outfit, right?) in order to make a frenzied phone call to dear old Aunt May! Is the hero heralded and applauded for his many years of life-and-limb saving antics? Nope! Jaded crowds shun and shirk his oddball behavior, as they skulk away from the misunderstood superhero, who, thanks to their indifference, may even be contemplating joining his long-time foe! This kind of scene was never depicted finer that here, with art by the incredible John Romita Sr.! Click to enlarge, web-slingers!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Remember pogs? Me neither. But, for a brief and greedy period in the mid-90s (was there any other kind in the collectible world, then?) these small, round, milk-cap related little buggers were the hottest thing. At least the manufacturers told us so! Some good things came from the brief pog craze tho, as evidenced below! These are some swell Silver-Age inspired drawings by MADMAN creator Mike Allred, for a bunch of never-produced Marvel pogs! Mike channeled a direct 60s vibe for these fabulous illos of the Fantastic Four and their main malevolent mook, Dr. Doom! Mike, of course, went on to drawn tons of great books and projects, including a similar Silver-Age savvy run on Marvel's own oddball book, X-STATIX, the only time I ever bought that title! Click image below to enlarge!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Ugh. Dig my 1976 drawing of the fabulous custom "muscle car," The Monkeemobile! I was inspired by the then-recent re-issue of the model kit (inexplicably re-purposed as "Fonzie's Dream Rod"--See pic below!) of the famous modified 1966 GTO, but my art skills had a long way to go yet! I tried to capture the sleek curves, the wild exposed engine and blower, and the elongated front and rear fins, but the car ended up looking more like an oddly smashed station wagon! NOT something the Monkees would be seen riding in! Click to enlarge!
Below: The odd re-casting of the Monkeembile kit in 1976, into "the Fonz Dream Rod!? FUN FACT: The Monkees' own Micky Dolenz auditioned for the role of "Fonzie" when HAPPY DAYS was first being cast!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
That's right! more fabulous pics, clips, and awe-inspiring articles focusing on the BATMAN 1966-68 ABC-TV series! First up (below): A NEW piece on Julie Newmar ("Catwoman") and her brand-new book!
Below, left and right: Adam West rests between takes on (and off) the set of BATMAN! Check out that complex BatCave set!
Below, left: Adam West and Burt Ward ("Robin") rehearse and go over "blocking" for an upcoming scene to be filmed! The Penguin has forgotten his umbrellas, and Adam has done the same with his utility belt! Below, right: the original TV GUIDE "close-up" for the debut episode of BATMAN, from January 1966!
Below, left: A super-rare fanzine review of the BATMAN series, complete with remarks from the riotous Riddler, Frank Gorshin! Read about how Frank came up with his memorable motivations, inner workings, and the lunatic laugh for the Prince of Puzzlers! Below, right: A 1970s personal appearance pic of a lucky fan and Burt Ward, in his Robin outfit! Click each image to enlarge!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Here is a terrific 2003 TV GUIDE article on the "once and always Superman," Chris Reeve! Actor Reeve (seen, of course, in 4 popular SUPERMAN movies in the 70s and 80s) was about to make the first of his well-received cameo appearances on the popular WB show, SMALLVILLE (spotlighting the life of a young and still-learning Clark kent), and you can tell he was quite excited about it! Sadly, both Chris' life, and the series, have come to an end, but the memories (not only of Chris' acting work, but his crusade for better spinal health and research) go on! Click to enlarge!
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Here is a recent and riotous CAPTAIN AMERICA movie goof from the talented idjits at MAD magazine! Painted by the wonderful artist Hermann Mejia, this spoofy feature pits our own beloved Cap against other "Caps" of pop culture! How does the "First Avenger" stack up when matched against Alan Alda, Cap'N Crunch, and James T. Kirk? Click to enlarge and laff!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Simmer down, BIG GLEE! fans! No scantily-dressed young girls in this MAXIM piece, just a fabulous Stan Lee article, interview, and pics! Stan is never less than outspoken when yakkin' about Mighty Marvel Comics, recent Marvel movies, such as IRON MAN and HULK (and his chaotic cameos in said films), and his awesome artistic collaborators, and this recent interview is no exception! Click to enlarge!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
What's this? Spidey giving in to the sway of the Kingpin?! Are the words of the gargantuan gangster causing cash-strapped Spidey to wonder about which side he should be on? Will the wiry wall-crawler really join his long-time flabby foe? And, who the heck is Kingpin's camera-man, anyway? And how much is he paid? More 1977 Marvel magnificence from the best comic age of all! Click to enlarge!
Friday, November 4, 2011
Just when you thought there were no more reasons to go on living, here comes the cover art to THOR # 197! Put away that rope, and look at that impeccable composition, the imbued drama, the sterling ink-lines, and the plain excitement of this remarkable cover image from the Bronze Age of MarvelMania! Created by (who else?) John Romita Sr., this image had to have grabbed any potential reader or passers-by back in the day! Note also the lack of then-ubiquitous text or word balloons! This sensational scene simply didn't need any extra adornment! Click to enlarge!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Why don't I just re-name this blog the HULK blog?! Here's another fabby article on the late-70s INCREDIBLE HULK TV series, culled from a recent issue of STARLOG magazine! Producer Ken Johnson recalls the days of working with HULK creator Stan Lee, original TV-Hulk Richard Kiel (James Bond's evil foe, "Jaws!"), stongman Lou Ferrigno, Bill Bixby, and the rest of the cast of this fondly-remembered show! He also fills us in on how he radically changed the concept, in making the leap from comics to screen, and why! Click to enlarge!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Yikes! This time we dig deep to bring you this 1980 oil painting of ol' Jade Jaws himself, the Incredible Hulk! I was 15, in 9th grade then, and having already "conquered" tempera and acrylic paint mediums, was ready to tackle the ever-fickle world of oils! How'd I do? Heh. I recall working on this beauty every day after school for a couple of weeks, fussing and changing this and that. Well, Bob Larkin I wasn't, but at least I tried! Click to enlarge!