Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jolly Jade Giant July! 1979 HULK Calendar Returns! Ron Wilson Art!

Last month, I showed you how the immortal 1979 Marvel Comics HULK calendar lined up perfectly for the dates of 2012 (the Mayans may have foretold this, too), so get set for the joltin' July edition! What more could any fan ask for? Start with a terrific Hulk vs Thing illo by Ron Wilson and Pablo Marcos (Marcos would ink my pencil work years later for DC's THE FLY comic), then glom great and witty daily entries, featuring birthdays for such stalwarts as John Byrne, Tom Palmer, as well as late and lamented luminaries like Ernie Chan and Mike Esposito! I always loved how the calendars were meant for older, hard-core fans, with tidbits and info from the "inside," as well as facts from long-past (and maybe unobtainable) back issues! Click to enlarge, print, post, and re-live '79 all over again!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Luke Cage! POWER MAN! Original 1975 Comic Art! Black Goliath!

"Gregarious" Gil Kane is a regular favorite here on the blog, and this terrific 1975 cover shows why! From the great LUKE CAGE, POWER MAN series, here is ol' Luke in energetic action against another swinging' 70s super-dude, Black Goliath! Marvel was built on the "hero vs hero" theme then, with such story-lines made possible due to misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and snap judgements (sounds like the basis for most fiction--and sit-coms), which was really a way to get the various characters to match up and simply decide who was most powerful! Artist Kane once again displays his ability to slam home another power-packed winner, with the trademark action, dynamic anatomy, movement, and drama that he brought to anything he drew! Thanks to the fabulous MARVEL AGE OF COMICS blog for this one! Click to enlarge!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Off-Model Madness! The Incredible Hulk?! Shrek? Kermit? Marvel Comics?!

I saw this colorful patch at a recent comics show, and had to snag a pic! Its' based, of course, on the cacophonous cover art (by Jack "King" Kirby) from 1964's TALES TO ASTONISH #60, but hasn't embroidery technology improved in the last decades to a point where Hulk doesn't have to look so darned goofy?! Sure, patches from the past suffered from having to be rendered in the most simplistic way, using large chunks of color, and strong poses with minimal detailing, but...WOW! Ol' Jade Jaws looks like a Muppet version of Shrek here! Click to enlarge!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Superlative 70s SPIDER-MAN Strip! More Daily Adventures from 1978! Marvel Comics!

In our last nerve-racking installment, our hurried hero makes haste to stop a bomb in downtown Manhattan! Who could be the terrifying terrorist who plants such a bomb? Why, none other than the father of Spidey's new girlfriend! That good ol' Peter Parker luck continues! Can Spidey reach the deadly device in time? Looks like someone must pay the price for the demented dad's violent actions, but who will it be?! Can Spider-Man go on? Will put-upon Peter Parker ever find happiness, free from endless shock and tragedy? And, who's gonna pay for that busted door in that 2nd strip? More vexing questions, but some terrific comics from the famed 1978 daily SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip run, from Marvel maestros Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click here for the next incredible full-color segment! Click below to enlarge image!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

MORE Fabulous and Freaky Foreign Marvel Comics Covers! Captain America Lives!

Back again with another brain-blasting batch of overseas 70s Marvel Comics cover art! See all-new takes on famous and familiar USA covers, but with tantalizing new twists! Notice the more artsy and painterly approach to these characters and themes on these Spanish books, as opposed to our American line-oriented look here! Take note also on how these covers spotlight single poses over action scenarios, the route US cover artists usually took during that period! Click here to see other awesome overseas editions! Click each to enlarge!

Friday, June 22, 2012

DAREDEVIL! 1973 Original Don Heck Comic Art! Black Widow Strikes Again!

Another block-bustin' blast from the bombastic Bronze Age past! Here is the unforgettable cover to DAREDEVIL #103, from 1973! Pencilled by "dashing'" Don Heck, who once again demonstrates his skills with anatomy and superhero action, as the buxom Black Widow makes the scene to help a down and dogged DD! And, let's not overlook the slick and powerful inks by "jazzy" John Romita, Sr., who only rarely inked his or other's work at Marvel! Sure, the super-foe Ramrod never went on to fame and celebrity as a top-ranked villain, but you want everything?! Click here to see another use of that famous image of Black Widow! Click image bellow to enlarge!

Note the John Romita, Sr. signature on that original art! What a treat for the lucky owner!

Below: An actual pic of Don Heck himself, circa 1968!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Great, Goofy, Golden Age of WONDER WOMAN! All the Inside Info! DC Comics!

Dig this info sheet on that gorgeous amazing amazon herself, Wonder Woman! Gleaned from a 1974 issue of the ever-delightful DYNAMITE magazine, we get to see a bit of WW's strange early comics, complete with female domination, bondage, and oddball competitions! The super-heroine's creator, William Moulton Marston (who also created an early form of the lie detector device, or polygraph), had some interesting thoughts about females in service during wartime (WONDER WOMAN debuted in 1941), and those ideas included themes of slavery, freedom, and self-determination, all combining for one oddball comic from the Golden Age! Click below to enlarge!

The NEW ORIGINAL WONDER WOMAN TV movie, made about the time this magazine feature appeared, used the above Golden Age origin of Wonder Woman for its' basis, and stayed very faithful to it! The telepic starred, of course, the beautiful and talented Lynda Carter (below)!

BONUS! Look below for a pic of WONDER WOMAN creator William Marston, pictured with his lie detector device!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sky-High 70s SPIDER-MAN Daily Strips! The Truth Revealed at Last! 1978 Marvel Mayhem!

Last time, we saw Spidey zoom in on a sinister secret, one that his new girlfriend kept carefully hidden away! Now, a panicked Peter Parker confronts his gorgeous gal-pal to get the truth, direct from her own lips! But, will Spider-Man be able to curtail the terrible terrorist, and stop the mid-city bomb from exploding in mere minutes? What will this mean to his new romantic relationship? And, why did someone other than the great John Romita, Sr. draw that last strip seen below? More mind-bending questions served up from Stan Lee (writer) and John Romita, Sr. (artist), in these little-seen strips from 1978! Click here for the next electrifying installment! Click below to enlarge!

One of the reasons for the success of the SPIDER-MAN strip was its then-new melding of high-flying
super-heroics and melodramatic soap-opera elements, as seen above!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

SUPERMAN-THE MOVIE! 1979 NEWSWEEK Article and Rare Pics! Lois Lane!

Wow! Here is a terrific and comprehensive article on the 1978 blockbuster we all love, SUPERMAN-THE MOVIE! Talk about a complete run-through! This piece covers not only the making of this superhero cinematic success, but also then-new actor Chris Reeve (who, of course, portrayed "Clark Kent/Superman"), the amazing state-of-the-art (for the time) eye-popping special effects, and even the decades-spanning history of the Man of Steel, including his famed 1950s TV series! More you could ask for? Click to enlarge!

Wouldn't you love to see Mario Puzo's first, "very heavy" script for the film? A great deal of credit much go to director Richard Donner for not making the film a camp spectacle, in those days of any superhero live-action production being influenced by the long shadow of the 1966 BATMAN TV show!

Think the Siegel and Shuster dilemma was something only related to the SUPERMAN films and that era? Wrong. The heirs of prolific comic artist Jack Kirby have (rightly) demanded credit and compensation for most of the recent Marvel movies. Kirby had a hand in co-creating almost every character now appearing in those money-making Marvel movies!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Enter The MARVEL UNIVERSE in 1978! Hulk! Captain America! Spidey!

I've always loved this terrific 1978 ad. It ran in the first color issue of THE HULK! magazine, an exciting affair in itself, as the slick-paper mag was packed to the rafters with not only a great comics tale, but pin-ups, articles, and even a prose story! But, this ad also points up all the things that made Marvel great at that time (which, not coincidentally, was, and is, my favorite period of comics, with me being 13 years old that year). Great art and stories. The characters experiencing more popularity than ever (due largely to the HULK and SPIDER-MAN live-action CBS TV shows), and easy-to-find (and afford) issues that any fan (of any age) could easily collect and enjoy. No stunts. No future value speculation. No desperate "jumping on points." Just darned great and memorable books, highlighted in a well-designed (and very mature) ad that screamed to the world what we hardcore fans already knew! Click to enlarge!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Big Boffo BATMAN Blast! 1966 TV Show! Adam West! Burt Ward! Yvonne Craig!

Hot on the heels of the Earth-trembling news that the Bat-block has been brutally busted, and new merchandise featuring the famed 1966 BATMAN TV show is forthcoming at last (can an official DVD set be far behind?), here are more brain-blistering behind-the-scenes Bat-images, from the ABC cathode-ray juggernaut! The gang's all here! Click to enlarge!

Adam West ("Batman") and Burt Ward ("Robin") hit
their marks as they run through a
scene on the BatCave set!

On location while filming the
pilot episode!

With Yvonne Craig ("Batgirl")!

BONUS! An actual 1966 BATMAN article, detailing Bat-bachelor Adam West's swingin' life as a mid-60s super-star!

BONUS BONUS! Lest you think Bat-mania is something restricted only to the past, dig this recent pic from Adam West's 2012 "Walk of Fame" Star ceremony! George Barris, the designer of the TV Batmobile, was there!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The DYNAMITE Facts on Spider-Man! 1974 Marvel Wall-Crawling Wonderment!

Again with the inside superhero scoops from those darlings at DYNAMITE magazine! This early 1974 issue throws a scintillating spotlight on the spectacular Spider-Man! Learn about his awe-inspiring origin, his colorful costume, his deadly and freakish foes, and more! Get an eyeful of his nicely re-colored 1962 origin tale (by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, natch), direct from his very first comic book appearance, as you gaze upon how it all began for Spidey! Dig that original black-and-red (what does a spider have to do with blue?) costume color scheme! Click to enlarge, and keep thy webs untangled!

"Steel Head?" "Greenskins?" Well, the put-upon editors at DYNAMITE got most things 
right in this article, encapsulating the entire (then) 12 years of Spider-Man history!

Below: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, creators of Spider-Man, and the above strip excerpt!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Batman! Lord of the Rings? 1976 Albert Bigley Art! Joker! Two-Face! DC Comics?!

Yet another big one from my artistic past! Enamored with a then-novel multi-part story in the BRAVE AND THE BOLD team-up title in mid-1976, I just had to reproduce one of the stellar Jim Aparo-drawn covers from that riotous run! But, an 11-year old me just didn't have the skills of a seasoned industry vet like Aparo then, so this is what ya got! Batman rides a decidedly 2-D paper horse! Green Arrow is threatened by a mere knife on a pole (since I didn't leave room for his would-be executioner)!  And, I tipped the "gimmick" of the story by showing that it was the tiny titan himself, the Atom, who was secretly maneuvering the ring (hung from a limb held by Two-Face?!) so as to allow the Caped Crusader a clear shot at wining GA's freedom! Urk! See more of my captivating classic cover re-creations here! Click image below to enlarge!

Dontcha just love how the Atom has his minuscule feet hooked 
under the inner part of the ring? Such realism!

Monday, June 11, 2012

All The Way With BOB & RAY! 1976 "Rorshack" Spoof! Who Needs Kojak?

Ah, the 70s. One colorful issue of the young person-oriented BANANAS (school book-club-ordered) magazine yielded articles and pics on THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, Burt Reynolds (complete with giant color fold-out poster), recycling, the 1950s SUPERMAN TV show, and--Bob & Ray?! Yep! In those days of varied subject reading material, these mags were a real collection of humor, comics, pop culture, crafts, and just plain fun! And what could be more fun than reading a wonderful transcript of Bob & Ray's own KOJAK cop show take-off, RORSHACK? Well, hearing that gut-busting spoof would be preferable, but just imagine the dry, nasally voices of B&R as you read this, and away you go! Click to enlarge, look, laugh, and love, and remember to hang by your thumbs!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stupendous 70s Sunday SPIDER-MAN Strip! Peter Parker Proposes?! 1978 Marvel Perfection!

In our last nail-biting installment, we saw that put-upon Peter Parker is beginning to suspect that all is not well with his new gal-pal! Now, as Peter actually thinks of proposing marriage to the terrific Tana, he knows he'll have to leap into blazing action soon! Is tragedy in the wings for the now-happy hero? Is that cuddly co-ed, whom I assumed was Liz Allan, really "Carole?" And, how many folks in real life actually pass out autographed pics of themselves to prospective new girlfriends? More 1978 SPIDER-MAN daily strip greatness, from writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr.! Click here for the next exciting (and full color) episode! Click to enlarge!

Once again, writer Stan Lee adds a great realistic touch, letting 
us know that even Spider-Man can be bitten by the love bug (along 
with radioactive spiders), and thus be prone to all the happiness, and 
possible disappointment, that such a bite entails!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lois Lane and THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN! Noel Neill Speaks! DC Comics!

From the panic-packed pages of a 1976 BANANAS magazine, here is the inside scoop on the filming of the 1950s TV classic, THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN! Actress Noel Neill ("Lois Lane" on the show, natch) spills the beans on this still-fondly recalled series, detailing how the many episodes were filmed (including special effects and the times they went haywire), what kinda guy George Reeves ("Superman" himself) really was, and her then-current activities! Click below to enlarge this great article, which includes some terrific shots from the filming of the famed syndicated sensation!

It's great to know that both Noel Neill and Jack Larson ("Jimmy Olsen") are still alive and well today, and are happy to relate tales from their SUPERMAN days!

BONUS! Look below for an other shot of Superman giving that sweet little gal a lift, from the beloved season two episode, "Around the World with Superman!" It's been reported by actress Judy Nugent (the tyke in Superman's arms), that, after hours of filming, a tiring George Reeves would have to yell out for a crew member to take the not-so-light child from his arms, in order to give the Man of Steel a little rest between scenes!

BONUS BONUS! Below is a very rare autographed pic once owned by an extremely lucky fan! George Reeves signed very few pics of himself as Superman during his short life...