Friday, November 30, 2012

The Many BATMAN Paintings of--Bob Kane?! See and Hear! Robin! Joker! DC Comics!

It's a well-known fact that artist Bob Kane, the co-creator (along with writer Bill Finger) of Batman, actually contributed little to the strip's origins and artwork. Bob did, however, make sure to ride the many peaks and valleys of "Batmania" over the decades, especially during it's sky-high crest in 1966, due to the uber-popular live-action ABC-TV series! Bob was quick to get in on the attention-grabbing pop-art action, taking to his oils and easels to create Batman-inspired paintings left and right! Or did he? Even his involvement in the creation of those paintings is in doubt among fans! Bob didn't let that stop him, tho! Once a new batch of Bat-hysteria hit in 1989, due to the Michael Keaton-helmed film, Bob and his Bat-art were back! Click below to see a short piece from 1989, as Bob tries to sell BATMAN director Tim Burton a few Bat-canvases!

BONUS! Click below to see Bob Kane and his many 1966 Batman paintings! Did he or didn't he?

BONUS BONUS! Click below to see actual excerpts from a 1947 "autobiography" about how Kane single-handedly created Batman and his environs! This originally appeared in REAL FACT COMICS # 5! Hoo!

Below: An example of Kane signing his name to every Bat-thing! Here is a 1967 sample of the BATMAN newspaper comic strip, obviously drawn (anonymously) by Shelly Moldoff and Joe Giella!

Kane had an iron-clad contract, rare for the time, naming him creator of Batman on all Bat-things! 
Once the contract expired, around 1968, other creators did begin to receive 
credit on the books and strips they labored away on!

Below: On the set of the 1992 BATMAN RETURNS movie, Kane takes the opportunity to pose with Bat-actor, Michael Keaton!

Below: What's this? Bob Kane involving his artwork in a worthy charity drive?!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Many Faces Has The Hulk! 1973 FOOM Poster! Kirby! Steranko! Ditko!

Another fabulous find! Cast your moist orbs below to glom this rare 1973 FOOM poster, spotlighting the many awe-inspiring artists who have graced the pulpy pages of the HULK comic over the years! Even by 1973 (the date of this poster's pandemonium-packed publication), with the Hulk having only been around for eleven years, a horde of hapless artists had already drawn the jolly Jade Giant! How many do you recall? Kirby! Steranko! Ayers! Ditko! Can you name where each panel appeared? Click below to enlarge and remember, faithful ones!

This poster from FOOM (Marvel's in-house fan mag) comes from the short early 
period of the magazine when Jim Steranko helmed production, adding an 
exciting artistic touch to the layout and features throughout!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ZOWIE! It's Burt Ward as TV's Robin! Fan-Made Model Kit! 1966 BATMAN TV Show! DC Comics!

ZAP! Here's Burt Ward, caught portraying "Robin," as he did on ABC's BATMAN, in 1966-68! This is a fabulous fan-made hard resin kit of the Boy Wonder, assembled from seven parts, and my hat (mask?) is off to the sculptor, as the likeness is terrific! I assembled, then used acrylic paints and some markers and inking pens to complete! Click each image to enlarge!

The figure had a slightly under-sized head, so I added some Super-Sculpey
to create extra hair, filling out the overall head size.

The unassembled kit came in seven pieces: head, gloves, boots, and
the lower cape, along with the torso.

I added some gloss clear overcoats to the hair, eyes, lips, metallic belt parts,
and gloves, to create a glossy effect with those areas!

Above: The unpainted and unassembled kit!

BONUS! Want to see the companion "Adam West Batman" fan-made kit? Just click here!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Monkees! Mike Succeeds! Peter Tork Leaves! Micky's Pet Peeves!

Let's look in at more rare and little-seen clippings and pics of the Monkees! FIrst up: a terrific 1966 PARADE Sunday magazine spoltlight on the then-new band and their influence! See the guys in the studio, recording the vocal tracks for MORE OF THE MONKEES! Then, take a look at a bearded Peter Tork, as he leaves the Monkees to work with his new band, Release! Not a lot came from this venture, but it's still an interesting period of Monkees lore to examine! Next, read about Michael's early-70s successes as a solo artist! I even snuck in a few clippings from the 90s! Finally, gaze at that last item for a truly rare treat from 1967! Click each to enlarge!

Note how the (somewhat) condescending adult writer of the above
piece spends a great deal of time discussing the Monkees' individual military
service (or lack thereof)! Think about how little that attitude is now seen
in today's youth-centered pop culture!

BONUS! Click below to enlarge these historic hand-written notes, from a young gal who records her frantic feelings, right after seeing the Monkees live in 1967!

I have no idea how I snagged this little gem! I think it may have been
included in an eBay auction for some other Monkees goods! Are you the writer?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sensational SPIDER-MAN Sunday 70s Strips! Peter Parker Kills--Spidey?! Marvel Comics!

Last time, we looked on with glazed orbs as Spidey began to truly doubt his own fragile sanity, all due to Doc Doom's merciless machinations! Now, ol' Peter Parker is so desperate, he's willing to give up his Spider-Man identity forever!  But--is a newly refreshed Spidey about to walk right into a deadly trap? Yet another amazing blast of 1978 daily SPIDER-MAN newspaper strips, from Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, then web-whip over here for the next full-color exciting episode!

I always loved Stan's added little touches, such as Peter having to remove his
hard-soled shoes in order to do his wall-crawling schtick! 

BONUS! Click below to glare at rare pics of Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr., both from the pulsatin' pages of FOOM, the 70s Marvel fanzine!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hide Your Math Book--With Spidey! 1975 SMASH Magazine Hi-Jinks!

In 1975, at age 10, I was earbone-deep into my interest in comics, whether they be from DC or Marvel! It seemed comic-mania was everywhere then! You could not only buy some of the greatest superhero comics ever published for pocket change at the time, but you could collect the cache of colorful cut-ups on Slurpee cups, as action figures, on t-shirts, stamps, and a million other pieces of high-flying, panic-inducing paraphernalia! Even the kid's mags of the day ran comics-related material, since tons of children, in addition to teen and adults, read comics then, of course!  Look below to see a terrific school book cover, one that was included in a '75 issue of the sensational SMASH magazine! It uses the real cover of the then-new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #137 (with gorgeous art by Gil Kane), to help kids fool terrified teachers (tho now it's hard to believe teachers ever had problems with any reading material, considering how it boosted most of us comics fans into life-long, advanced readers)! You also got a hilarious parody on the back cover, poking fun at the then-ubiqutious seed sale ads that appealed to cash-strapped kids everywhere! HHmm...I wonder if this thing would fit over a laptop computer...! Click to enlarge!

This SPIDER-MAN issue came along during the era of the "second Green Goblin" storyline, in which
the son of the original Goblin tries to fill Dad's bad-guy boots! The much-later SPIDER-MAN 

movies (starring Tobey Maguire, born the year this book cover debuted) would mine the same 
story-lines! And, yes, as a 5th grader in New Jersey, my own math book 
rocked this cool counterfeit comics cover!

BONUS! Click below to enlarge one of the actual back cover "America Seeds" ads, so boldly parodied in the image above!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hey Kids! Summer Fun? Get a Gun! 1959 DC Comics Ad! NRA Approved!

Wow. Take in this amazing ad from the back of a 1959 LOIS LANE DC comic book! It sets forth the idea that a guilty Dad should get a school-free son an air rifle to take up his summer leisure time! And why not? Nothing wrong with learning target skills, gun safety, and responsibility, right? But, do ya really want to be shooting a BB gun indoors? Notice how this is to be junior's "first gun," too! And the NRA will award you medals for "shooting your gun at home?!" While he's at it, Dad also buys his own pistol for "fun and target practice!" BB gun ads (mostly from Daisy) ran in comics until the early 80s, when this kinda hobby began to be frowned upon (not just due to over-concerned parents, but because of a general backlash against guns and violence in those post-Vietnam days), so we're not looking at an activity from that far back in pop culture...Did you have a Daisy as a kid? Click to enlarge!

Also odd to think that, even then, with TV a new invention among suburbia, parents
were worried about too much TV time for the kids! Only a tiny handful of channels, then, too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spider-Man vs. The Sandman! Huge 1976 Albert Bigley Comic Art! Marvel Comics?!

Dig this huge (11 by 17 inches!) pencil drawing I did at age 11, in 1976! Here we have a harried Spidey facing off against the sinister Sandman! Looks familiar, does it? That's right, I lifted it unashamedly from the cover of the then-spanking-new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #154! I simply wanted a large poster of this cover, another stellar example of the art of the incredible John Romita, Sr., and it was up to me to make that poster a reality! This gem even has tape on it, from when I had displayed it! Click to enlarge!

You can tell I really struggled with the heads and faces, wanting to capture
Romita's perfect renditions fully!  He's still the Spider-Man artist to me!

BONUS! Look below to see the actual 1976 cover that inspired my own incredible (?) re-creation!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Neal Adams! Rare 70s Comic Art Gems! Batman! Deadman!

We've all enjoyed the work of Neal Adams in comics, both as a captivating cover artist and interior storyteller, but take a long and lingering gander at these rare pieces of comic art from the 70s, all by Neal!  Some represent highly-valued fan sketches, some were created for toy packaging, products, and style guides, and others were used on a wide variety of merchandise and promotional items! Click each to enlarge!

Above: Neal's pencil rough (and finished version) for the 1974 Mego Batcycle toy box!
The cycle accessory was to be used with the popular line of 8-inch action figures! 

Above: Neal's illo of a flying Superman, used mostly in conjunction with Corgi toy cars and playsets!

Above: This famous pose of Superman, drawn by Neal, appeared on coloring books, 
beach towels, pajamas, Mego products, switch-plates, and (what seemed like) a million other products!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Spectacular 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strips! "Losing Your Mind is No Picnic!" Marvel!

Last time, we looked on in feverish fear as Spidey fell from the highest height, sure to become a red-and-blue speck on the NYC streets! But, even as he saves himself, he's certainly not out of the woods yet! Is the wise-cracking Web-Spinner truly losing his mind? Has ol' Doc Doom exploited the one Achilles' heel no other foe has attacked--Spidey's own fragile sanity? And--even if Spidey catches on to the sinister scheme, what action can he take to confront Doom, safely ensconced in his far-away kingdom? More rare 1978 daily strips from those Marvel madcaps--Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, then whip over here for the next full-color installment of this terrific tale!

Friday, November 16, 2012

WONDER WOMAN! An Unpublished 1968 Cover! Irv Novick! DC Comics!

Direct from the sensational Silver Age, here is a real comic art curiosity! Here's what would have been the incredible cover art to WONDER WOMAN #176 (below, left)! Drawn in 1968 by the illustrious Irv Novick (who'd later go on to drawn the various BATMAN books for most of the stunning 70s), both covers depict the Amazing Amazon at the mercy of three newcomers called the "Wonder Men!" Was the original version rejected due to all three villains not being featured? Was WW's odd angle deemed too unfeminine? Was the published second cover (below, right) just plain seen as more exciting and drama-filled? Any way ya look at it, us fans win! Click below to enlarge!

That published version (above, right) was also drawn by Novick, and had impeccable composition,
and all three of the "Triple Stars" pictured! I prefer the published cover!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lou Ferrigno in PEOPLE! 1978 INCREDIBLE HULK TV Show! "I'm Green All The Way to the Bank!"

Who doesn't love muscleman Lou Ferrigno and the late-70s TV sensation he helmed, THE INCREDIBLE HULK? Presented now is a pleasing 1978 PEOPLE magazine piece all about the power-man with the prodigious pectorals! New Yorker Lou once again talks about his approach to the TV Hulk character (including his grueling make-up sessions), as well as his childhood struggles and aims in life! But--can you imagine any TV viewers wanting to pick a fight with the sweet-natured Lou?! Click below to enlarge!

Lou divorced Susan within a year, later marrying Carla Green (!), who is still by his side today!

BONUS! Look below for a terrific behind-the-scenes on-set pic of Bill Bixby ("Dr. Banner") directing Lou as the "Hulk!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Marvel's DAREDEVIL! The Unseen 60s Covers! Gene Colan! Captain America!

More unearthed gems from mighty Marvel's mirth-fueled past! Here we see two daring DAREDEVIL covers, both from the late 60s, and their unused and little-seen original cover designs! Click each below to enlarge!

Below: Here is the original cover pencil art for DAREDEVIL #43, an incredible 1968 issue involving DD and ol' Captain America embroiled in a very public slugfest! Sure, Gene Colan's pencil art (left) is fine and dandy, but who could ever beat the sheer power and raw energy seen on Jack Kirby's final published version (right)?

Regarding the unused art, it was assumed that the figure of the guest-starring Cap was too 
obscured by DD's body, hence the new illo that featured the star-spangled Avenger front and center!

Below: The unused captivating cover sketch to 1969's DAREDEVIL #54 (left), and its final, published version (right), as delineated by Gene Colan!

I have no idea who the artist is on that original cover sketch! Marie Severin? Alan Weiss? Any ideas?