Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sensational SPIDER-MAN Sunday 70s Strip! Marvel Comics Mayhem!

Can Spidey ever hope to defeat the dangerous Dr. Octopus? In this 1977 SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip installment, he's still on the ropes in his mile-a-minute gamble against the not-so-good doctor! Sure, Doc's the Web-Slinger's most dangerous foe (how many other super-villains can toss a Volkswagon, for heaven's sake?), but Spidey's no slouch, either! Take special note of the stellar art! Great figure work, pacing, action, and backgrounds! Another rare look (only here!) at the full-color strips by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click to enlarge!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

FOOMin' in the UK?! 1975 Marvel Fan Club Ad! Iron Man! Stan Lee!

Dig this nice-lookin' 1975 ad for the famous Marvel fan club outfit, FOOM (Friends Of Ol' Marvel)! Fans saw tons of FOOM ads in the mid-70s in Marvel mags aplenty! The difference? This ad appeared in the UK Marvel comic books in the land of Big Ben and tea and crumpets! The designer still managed to use "Jaunty" Jim Steranko's superhero graphics (from the 1973 FOOM give-away poster), as well as a swell image of IRON MAN, making this look much like its US counterpart ads! Looks like you got the same "goodies" in your subscription kit, also! Somehow, the Marvel magic as peddled by Stan Lee and the bashful Bullpen just didn't translate the same across the pond, but the 70s did see a plethora of Marvel titles published there for a good period, from reprints to new material! Click to enlarge!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Aurora Oddities! Superman! Batman! Hulk! Model Kit Madness! Marvel Comics!

Get a load of these oddball images and oddities from the days of Aurora figure model kits!  First up is a rare and wonderful comic book and magazine ad for the 1964 SUPERMAN kit (then 98 cents)! With art by Supe's long-time artist Curt Swan himself! Next we see the ultra-rare 1967 Penguin kit, expertly assembled by a fan! This kit was never reproduced in later re-issue waves, possibly due to the likeness rights of Burgess Meredith, the TV Pengy from the 1966 BATMAN TV show! After that, we glom a 1975 catalog ad for the re-issued "Comic Scenes" kits of Supes, Batman, Spidey, and Hulk, at now-low prices! Even built, these kits command a hefty price today! Click each to enlarge!

BONUS! Look below to see the planned (and hyped) glow-in-the-dark Superman Luminator kit! Planned for a early-90s release, this kit never made it to market, but did see the light of day in this ad flyer and prototype kit!

Thanks to George E. Warner for the above scan!

Thanks to Frank Bonilla for the above scan!

BONUS BONUS! Below is the original comic art (by the great Gil Kane) for Aurora's "Comic Scenes" re-issue of the Tonto kit, from the mid-70s! Wow!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Recalling the 1979 CBS-TV CAPTAIN AMERICA! Reb Brown! Marvel Comics!

Sure, last week was officially "Captain America" week here at the blog, but with ol' Cap tearing things up at the box office, and the recent cable re-running of the 1979 CAP TV films, let's take a moment to recall those very same much-anticipated (in my house, at least) CBS 70s tele-films! Sure, TV writers then took a boatload of liberties (get it?) with the comics properties then, but ya gotta admit, actor Reb Brown did a great job personifying the good Captain! Reb portrayed a more mellow and easy-going, post-Watergate 70s-kinda Cap, complete with TV-added Evel Knievel trappings, to boot! They even came very close to a spot-on rendition of the famous costume (at least by the 2nd installment)! Click to enlarge these rare images from the two 1979 CAPTAIN AMERICA TV movies, and keep 'em flyin'!

BONUS! Below are two French CAP posters, produced to hype the film in those overseas markets!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wow! Gray Morrow Color BATMAN Custom Art! DC Comics!

Another fabulous fan commission from famed artist Gray Morrow?! True! Click below to enlarge this incredible color image of Batman, as he appeared during the 1940s "Golden Age" of comics! The late Morrow was a master of depicting moody figures, and this 1980s color piece really shows off those rare skills! Dig that great personalized inscription, also! Click here to see even more of this under-valued illustrator's sensational artwork!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Bifurcated Behemoth Know as--the Bi-Beast?! 1979 Full-Color HULK Artwork by Albert Bigley?! Marvel Comics?!

You read right. The Incredible Hulk once fought an oversized foe who was tagged with the unfortunate title, "Bi-Beast." The idea was that this poor soul sported two heads, and ones that were always at odds, to boot. But, the big bi-headed brute made for some interesting visuals, so here is my own fabulous rendering of the behemoth grabbing his mismatched opponent! I used colored pencils to add a variety of haunting hues to this mini-masterpiece (drawn by me at age 14, in 1979), and had just discovered using straight-edged drawing tools to make nice and smooth lines, so...Yeah. Click to enlarge!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Live-Action WONDER WOMAN You Never Saw! DC Comics!

Direct from a recent issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, here is a good eyeful of the now-never-to-be new TV WONDER WOMAN! Sure, bits and pieces of pics and video are all over the internet, and the show will probably be picked up someplace, but, for now, this is our best look at WW (as embodied by Adrianne Palicki) and her controversial costume! Hardcore fans hated the "bike pants" look, and modifications were soon made, but dig the fairly traditional take on this long-time comics character! But, could she have made anyone forget the previous TV WW, Lynda Carter?! Click to enlarge!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spectacular SPIDER-MAN Sunday 70s Strip! Spidey Saves the Day! Or Does He?! Marvel Comics!

Looks like demonic Dr. Octopus has the jump on ol' Spidey, in this fantastic 1977 installment of the long-running SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip! Oh, how low can Doc Ock go? Jeopardizing an innocent couple to distract the Web-Head, all to perpetrate his hasty retreat?! And, is Spidey's strength enough to save the seemingly doomed by-standing couple? Another full-color look at the famous Marvel magic from Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.! Click to enlarge!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mike Zeck CAPTAIN AMERICA Original Comic Art! Fan Sketch! Marvel Comics!

What long-time comics fan doesn't recall Mike Zeck's marvelous run on CAPTAIN AMERICA (roughly from issues 258-289)? Some of the best CAP tales of all time appeared during this early-80s period, with scripts by J.M.DeMatteis, and featuring a long list of colorful super-villains! Below is a fan commission of the ol' shield-slinger himself, by mighty Mike! Zeck was able to imbue a real feeling of weight, power, duty, and grace in Cap, and this sketch (for Cap collector Ben Herman) is a perfect example! Click to enlarge!

Friday, July 22, 2011

CAPTAIN AMERICA'S BICENTENNIAL BATTLES! Original 1976 Cover Art! Jack Kirby! Marvel!

One of the strangest projects to emerge from Jack Kirby's mid-70s return to Marvel was the oversized tabloid comic, CAPTAIN AMERICA'S BICENTENNIAL BATLES! In this odd tale, Cap ricochets around the past, meeting historical figures from every significant era of American history! What made it most notable, tho, was that Jack pencilled this huge extravaganza, but inks were provided by a host of comicdom's finest, like John Romita Sr, Barry Smith, Herb Trimpe, and others! This made for a truly one-of-a-kind look at Jack's work as interpreted by other artists, since Jack had a very small stable of inkers he used exclusively then! A real oddball treat! Below is the original art for the memorable cover of this fun and light piece of Marvel madness! Click to enlarge!

BONUS! Look below for a re-colored version of this cover, used to front a recent re-printing of this colossal comic!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gene Colan Draws CAPTAIN AMERICA! With Bugs Bunny?! Pluto?! Marvel Comics!

Take a glance at this fabulous and funny Gene Colan pencil drawing! Done as a commissioned piece for a frantic fan, we get to see Gene's matchless mastery of shading, lighting, and--humor? Sure, he's drawn the swingin' superheroes many times, but when was the last time you saw Gene "the Dean" depict such Disney darlings like Pluto? Bugs Bunny from the Warner Brothers stable, home of Cap's Daring Competition?! Then, Gene throws good ol' Howard the Duck in for good measure! Gene did have a long stint on both the HOWARD comic, and the ill-fated HTD newspaper comic-strip! Click to enlarge!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Turn on With the 1966 CAPTAIN AMERICA Iron-On! Jack Kirby! Marvel Comics!

Wonderful! This is the actual iron-on transfer sheet for the colorful 1966 CAPTAIN AMERICA design! This piece of vintage Marvelmania is based on Jack "King" Kirby's original Cap artwork (see below, right), and isn't quite as perfect as Jack's powerful rendering, but it's darned close! Iron-ready images of Spidey and the rampaging Hulk were also made available around this time! From an era where little Marvel merchandise was available, this musta been a real treat to own and proudly wear, as you boldly faced front! Click to enlarge!

BONUS: Click below to see me sporting a vintage variation of the
above incredible iron-on image!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CAPTAIN AMERICA # 141! Original 1971 John Romita Sr. Orginal Comic Art! Marvel!

More CAPTAIN AMERICA original art! Here is the masterfully-rendered cover art for the 1971 issue, CAP #141, by the ever-great John Romita, Sr.! Cap is in trouble dealing with the gregarious Grey Gargoyle, but with Nick Fury, Sharon Carter, and The Falcon lending a hand, how bad can it be?! This issue came in the middle of a fantastic flurry of gorgeous Romita interior art, right before the famous Steve Englehart/Sal Buscema era began for the title!  Click to enlarge!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rare Jack Kirby CAPTAIN AMERICA Pencil Art! Al Bigley Color Art! Marvel Comics!

Help kick off CAPTAIN AMERICA week with this fantastic 80s Jack Kirby sketch of Cap himself! Jack was the co-creator of the good Captain back in the 40s, of course, and had helped revive him in the sensational 60s and (for a short return run) in the 70s, also! To many fans, Kirby's version of Cap is the only version of Cap! BONUS! Take a look to the right, and see my own painted image, based on Kirby's sketch! I used watercolors, inks, and some slight PhotoShop manipulation to make Jack's Cap come alive! Click to enlarge!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Super Sunday 70s SPIDER-MAN Strip! Doc Ock Defeats Spidey?! 1977 Marvel Comics!

In this installment from the 1977 SPIDER-MAN Sunday syndicated strip, the terrible tension mounts sky-high as Spidey moves into blazing action against the devious Dr.Octopus! But, has the wall-crawler met his final defeat? Is Aunt May to remain forever in the dark, regarding her pugnacious paramour, the evil Octavius? Superhero soap-opera as only Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. can bring it! Click to enlarge!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More Monkees Madness! Rare Pics! From 1967 to 2011! Davy Jones! Mike Nesmith!

Back again with MORE rare and little-seen Monkees pics! Click each to enlarge!

Below: The Monkees on set in 1966!

Below: The Monkees live in 1968, during their "Far East tour!"

Below: Monkees in Paris, filming on location for the episode, "Monkees in Paris," of course!

Below: 1972 Davy Jones artist and animator model sheet for his appearance on THE NEW SCOOBY DOO MOVIES!

Below: Monkees live in May, 1968, filming the "Circle Sky" concert segment for their movie, HEAD!

Below: 1969 trade ad for the single "Teardrop City!"

Below: The Monkees (pictured: Davy and Peter) in concert in 2011!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nick Hammond as Spider-Man 1978! New STARLOG Article and Update! Marvel Comics!

Another great interview and article spotlighting actor Nick Hammond, and his late-70s star turn in CBS-TV's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN series, as well as his time served in the beloved musical, SOUND OF MUSIC! Long before recent Spider-movies and re-boots, Nick was the live-action version of Spidey for a generation of fans, and it's great to know he still has nothing but great things to say about the character, his co-stars, stunt-man, and the famed show itself! This recent article even includes many rarely-seen pics and photos, so click to enlarge and keep your webs untangled, true believer!

BONUS! Want to hear Nick talk about his days as the wall-crawler? Just click here!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ACTION COMICS #440! Great 1974 Nick Cardy Cover Art! Superman! DC Comics!

More great Nick Cardy Bronze Age original comic art! This is the stirring cover scene to ACTION COMICS # 440, from 1974! Nick was (and is) a true master when it comes to mood, lighting, and drama in his work, and this cover is the very epitome of his masterful skills! The 70s were an extremely fun time for Superman and his line of comics, as much new blood entered the scene, thru new writers such as Cary Bates and Elliot Maggin! Click to enlarge!

BONUS! Below is an exciting interior page from this powerful issue, by Mike Grell, featuring GREEN ARROW, the then-running back-up feature in ACTION!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

THE DEFENDERS #12! 1974 John Romita Original Comic Art! Hulk! Dr. Strange! Marvel!

Here's yet another incredibly great piece of original cover art, from the "Marvel-Phase Two" years! This 1974 gem comes from the magic pen of John Romita Sr., and features the then-new Defenders being menaced by oddball foe, Xemnu, the Titan! Great to see Spidey's main artist ply his considerable talents to the likes of The Hulk, Valkyrie, and Dr. Strange! Simply great! Click to enlarge!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Loving Portrait of Mr. Jim Wilson and--THE HULK?! 1978 Albert Bigley Art?! Marvel Comics!?

Ahh, what's better than a break from the usual mile-high mayhem here on this site, than a nice, quiet, and simple portrait of a young man and his dear friend? Here is a staid and sober pencil drawing done by me, at age 13 (1978), of the ever-Incredible Hulk, in a tender clinch with long-time pal, Jim Wilson. Feel the serious and tranquil vibes emanating from this peaceful, but heavy, scene of brotherhood and sincerity. Jim was then a major supporting player in the HULK comic, one of the few African-American characters, and would later even be revealed to be a relative of Sam Wilson (The Falcon)! One of the few folks Hulk could call his friend in those turbulent days! Click to enlarge and relax!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Claws of THE CAT! Rare 1972 Wally Wood Character Art! 1972 Marvel Comics!

Wow! Here is artist Wally Wood's character design sketch for the then-new and groundbreaking super-heroine, THE CAT! Wally drew this around 1972, for the debut issue of Marvel's female feline fury, and reportedly even drew her nude (hence the carefully-placed white-out and touch-ups on the art)! Notice that Wood came up with a new design that didn't lean too much on previous cat-characters such as Catwoman, or various jungle queens! The Cat was one of many attempts by Marvel to bring forth a captivating she-hero such as later attempts like Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, and others! Altho the Cat didn't fare well, she was to hang around the sidelines, in typical Marvel fashion, later to return as the tiger-striped Tigra, the were-woman! Marvel never wasted an interesting character then!  FUN FACT: This series had tons of girl power behind it, with Linda Fite providing the script, and Marie Severin on interior art duties! Click to enlarge!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sensational Super Sunday 70s SPIDER-MAN Strip! Dr. Octopus Is Up! Aunt May Is Down!

Back again! Another sterling sample of the super '77 SPIDER-MAN strip! We finally get to see exactly what the evil Dr. Octopus has been planning, as he actually uses poor old octogenarian Aunt May as an unsuspecting pawn in his blatant robberies! Can Spidey expose Ock's real intentions to an ungrateful police and public? Bonus: Mary Jane does her thing! More Stan Lee/John Romita Sr. greatness! Click to enlarge!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

AVENGERS # 41! John Buscema Original Comic Art! Marvel Comics!

Terrific! That's the only word to describe this fantastic cover art to 1967's AVENGERS # 41! Talk about a crowded cover scene! But, only "Big" John Buscema could make such a potentially confusing situation fun, readable, and enticing! Drawn during one of the first (of many) big shake-ups in the Avengers line-up, and featuring the usual cast of a thousand extras and supporting players, this era is best remembered for the odd line of attacking super-foes, the trials and tribulations of Giant-Man, and the introduction of Hercules (from the THOR comic) to the already overtaxed and oversized group! Click to enlarge, Marvel fan!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Batman! In the Burbs?! 1977 Albert Bigley Art?! DC Comics?!

Hoo boy. Using a technique I had only tried twice, here is the Dark Knight himself, the Batman, standing triumphantly among the crime-ridden dark streets of the--suburbs of North Carolina?! Yep, I wanted to meld my drawings with some actual photos, such as I had seen on a few comic covers then, using some "real" backgrounds, but in 1977, before the internet and such, all I had were a few issues of WOMAN'S DAY magazine (thanks, Mom!) and the local NC newspaper. So, my Neal Adams-inspired Caped Crusader gets to pose in front of some random houses that were up for sale then. Perhaps I shoulda used SOUTHERN LIVING magazine, instead? Sigh. Click to enlarge.