Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Tattoo Art of--Curt Swan?!? 1960s DC Comics Madness! Superman!

Here are some very oddball items from DC Comics' past! Glom these images culled especially for inclusion in two 60s sets of temporary tattoos! These mini-masterpieces came with a block of gum, and were the kind of tats that required generous amounts of saliva to apply to the skin (germaphobes beware)! Here are some illos from the sets, as drawn by Curt Swan, including some of his original art for the series! Click below to enlarge!

Since the above art was created as part of a 1962 set, some very dated and 
sexist themes are seen, such as Supergirl engaging in some strenuous clothes 
shopping! The illustrations are drawn in reverse, of course, since the 
applied tattoos will be "flipped...."

Above and below: Unused tattoo sheets from the 1962 set!

BONUS! Look below for examples of tats offered in the 1967 set, where many images from earlier series were recycled...

Above: Swan Wonder Woman artwork for the 1967 tattoo set! As you 
can tell, these images had to be drawn (and colored) in a very simple 
manner, so as to "translate" into a powerful and tiny tattoo image...
Thanks to Ray Cuthbert for the above image!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

NOVA! The Evolution of an Unused 1976 Cover! Jack Kirby! Dave Cockrum! Marvel!

Even tho dandy Dave Cockrum created a ton of colossal cover designs, fantastic finished covers, and incredible interior art, not all of his images thrilled editors and powers-that-were at Marvel! Look below to check out this 1976 NOVA cover Dave drew, which was soon deemed to be "unexciting!" Editor Marv Wolfman swiftly steered the cover assignment to Jack "King" Kirby, and the rest is history! Click below to peek behind the scenes and see the step-by-step course this memorable image took, from inception to production!

Above: Dave Cockrum's illustration for the cover of NOVA #7! Take a look at Marv Wolfman's
scribbled notes about the various details of the cover he found lacking...

Above: A frantically-doodled sketch (by Wolfman?) detailing what is needed is sent
to artist Jack Kirby, who had just recently returned to Marvel after a stint at rival DC!
Note is from John Verpoorten, Marvel's production maven at the time!

Above: Jack KIrby's original pencil art for the cover!

Above, left: Inks (by Joe Sinnott) are applied over Kirby's pencils,
creating a terrific and attention-grabbing final cover (right)! Thanks

AND RESEARCH CENTER for above images!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WONDER WOMAN! HULK! SPIDER-MAN! The 1979 TV Superhero Scene! DC vs. Marvel!

Another rare artifact unearthed! Dig this 1979 FANTASTIC FILMS article on the Marvel and DC Comics superhero small-screen invasion! Written by Mike Gold (assumed to be the later DC editor), this is a not-so-favorable piece detailing how these less-than-stellar shows shied away from such super staples as sub-plots, super-foes, special effects, and the general feel of the books that we comic fans have always enjoyed! Who else recalls being disappointed with the somewhat underwhelming efforts from the CAPTAIN AMERICA and SPIDER-MAN CBS series? At least the INCREDIBLE HULK and DR. STRANGE live-action outings were a tad more exciting! Click below to enlarge, and see if you agree!

BONUS! Click below to read another 1979 sci-fi magazine piece on the WONDER WOMAN TV series!

BONUS BONUS! Click below to take in this photo-feature on the 1977 SPIDER-MAN CBS pilot film!

The '77 SPIDER-MAN TV movie was released in other countries as a successful big-screen
feature, as was the HULK pilot, and a few other episodes from that series..

BONUS BONUS BONUS! Click below again to digest this pic-loaded piece from a captivating kung-fu mag, spotlighting stunning stunt-work for one sensational SPIDER-MAN CBS outing!

Wanna read more about the filming of this exciting action sequence? Click here!

BIG BONUS! Click below to see my own 1979 artwork, created by a 15-year-old me, using ink and colored pencils! Why run it here? It was based on my quick glimpsing (standing in Mann's drug store in Laurinburg, North Carolina) of that lead magazine article artwork above! I wanted to create my own action-art of Marvel's "Big Three" fighting a nameless legion of bad guys!

Yup! I only got a fleeting look at the FANTASTIC FILMS mag piece, never
buying the issue, so had to remember the art as best I could, once back
home creating the above "masterpiece!"

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sensational SPIDER-MAN 70s Sunday Strips! Time for Cocoa! 1979 Marvel Madness!

Last time, we sat in disbelief, watching a desperate Peter Parker try to figure out how he could be committing horrific crimes (like robbing restaurant patrons dining at the World Trade Center) in his Wall-Crawling identity! Now, we see that it's the creepy Kingpin who's pulling the web-lines behind the entire scheme! But, will Spider-Man tumble to those facts in time? Will he be able to clear his good name? And--why does the Kingpin's prison playmate look like actor Gene Hackman (then wowing fans in SUPERMAN-THE MOVIE)? More rare 1979 daily strips, from writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr.! Click below to enlarge, then web-sling over to here for the next (full color) installment!

Above: Note how, in that second tier of strips, that Stan and Johnny
visualize the risk of an out-of-control Spidey, with Peter demonstrating
his powers. It woulda been enough to have him simply vocalize his fears,
but to also show (and remind) readers was another masterful Marvel touch...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

AVENGERS! 1970 John Buscema Original Cover Art! Captain America! Marvel!

Straight-ahead superhero-oriented comic art by big John Buscema (best known for his CONAN and THOR work) is hard to find now, but dig this 1970 cover art by John! This impeccable image comes from a remarkable period in the AVENGERS book, with the series chock-fulla roster shake-ups, character changes, crossovers, and more drama than you could shake a Jarvis at! Buscema once again shows his skill here, with great depth, action, drama, and movement woven into the cover scene! He's aided on inks by Tom Palmer, too! Click to enlarge!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Plastic Man! The 1967 Prime-Time TV Series?! Silver Age DC Comics!

Dig this letters column from a 1967 DC Comics issue of PLASTIC MAN! The editors talk about a new, soon-to-premiere Plas TV show, one that never appeared! It's well known that the stretchable sleuth was considered for the Filmation superhero cartoon line-up (along with fellow pliable pal, Metamorpho), but was this TV outing to be a live-action feature, or animated? Hal Seeger (not Seegar as spelled below, and known for the BATFINK and MILTON THE MONSTER animated shows) was involved, so...Click below to enlarge!

Arnold Drake was not only the writer for the unseen TV feature, but
was also the regular PLASTIC MAN comics scribe, too! Drake also
co-created the DEADMAN and DOOM PATROL concepts for DC!

BONUS! The second letter above notes that a DC competitor illegally ran their own PLASTIC MAN series (cover seen below), concurrent to the DC Plas revival! ! Click here to learn more about the how and why!

BONUS BONUS! Or, was the above reader responding to the appearance of PM in this issue of CAPTAIN MARVEL (tho not the "Captain Marvel" better known as the DC "Shazam!" character...See a trend here?) from M.F. Enterprises?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nick Fury! Custom SHIELD Mego Action Figure! Marvel Comics!

Yet another one of my custom Mego figures, this one made sometime around 2005, as a gift for a Fury-loving pal! Here's the famed SHIELD ramrod, Nick Fury himself! I tried to approximate how the Mego mavens woulda produced a Fury figure, with one eye (heh) toward the Jim Steranko art of the late-60s SHIELD comic, complete with hints of tech hardware and such, but keeping the actual detailing very simple! Click below to enlarge pics, and enjoy!

Starting with a custom sculpted head (complete with soggy stogie), I added a
blue "zip suit," with my own Mego-like printed detailing! A few added found
accessories, like belts, holsters and hose, and Nick seems to have festooned
himself with tons of hardware!

Above: I also created this psychedelic custom card, featuring
actual Jim Steranko artwork, and Mego graphic icons!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Green Arrow Strikes! 1974 ACTION COMICS Original Comic Art! Dick Dillin!

Once again dipping into my own original art archives, here is an incredible interior page from ACTION COMICS #426, from 1973! Direct from the back-up tale in that Superman-helmed issue, this powerful page portrays Green Arrow in swingin' action, as drawn by Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano! All the elements that represent the character (to me, at least) are here! His Neal Adams-designed "urban Robin Hood" outfit, his street-wise patter, and his bare-bones mode of transportation! A sensational slab of Bronze Age bounty! Click below to enlarge!

Above, left: The original art page from ACTION COMICS #426, and, right, the printed page!
I had the art signed by Dick Giordano, at a comics convention a few years back!

BONUS! Click below to view the cover that housed the above colossal contents!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Swingin' 70s SPIDER-MAN Sunday Strips! Here Comes--Spider-Nino?! 1979 Marvel Magic!

Last time, we sat in stunned stupor, as we witnessed poor Peter Parker suddenly suspecting the stability of his own shaky sanity! Was he truly turning evil? Could he be covertly committing heinous acts in his Spidey identity? Now, it's made clear what we (but not Peter) have know--it's the nimble Nino who has been pulling all these criminal jobs, with the cranky Kingpin pulling his strings! Click below to enlarge these installments of this tense 1979 newspaper strip adventure, as brought to us by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.!  Click here for the next (full color) intense installment, True Believers!

Wanna read about the "Mysterio" adventure that
Peter mentions above? Just click here!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The "Lone Rager" Rides Again! "Blaammm!" 1975 Albert Bigley Art!

That's right! Here's yet another blast from my past! For about 13 minutes, I sorta dug the Lone Ranger character, due to his similarities to superheroes (he wore a mask, right?), and his mini-comeback during the mid-70s (heralded with a line of toys, models, and action figures). Below is my 1975 attempt at an action-packed pencil drawing of the masked lawman, complete with sound effects, logo ('the Lone RAGER?!") and "detailed" background! Hey! I was ten years old, OK? Click to enlarge, and keep your silver bullets untarnished!

Can ya tell I had a hard time getting his hat just right? I also apparently spent
 a ton of time struggling with his nose, hands, and, uhm, crotch.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Look at Lou Ferrigno--The Actor! INCREDIBLE HULK TV Mania! Marvel!

Many fans and critics have nothing but deserved praise for the late-70s INCREDIBLE HULK TV series, much of it due to the direction and writing of Ken Johnson, and the top-notch acting by Bill Bixby! But one of the factors for the show's tremendous success often gets overlooked! Sure, he was largely (heh) hired for his impressive physique, but if Lou Ferrigno couldn't act (an especially difficult task, with the unspeaking Hulk character unable to rely on dialog), then the entire HULK TV enterprise woulda been doomed! Click below to enlarge this riotous recent article, torn savagely from the pulpy pages of SHADOWLAND magazine, to read of one fan's eternal appreciation for Ferrigno's performances on this well-recalled show!

BONUS! Click below to glom this 1978 pic of Lou posing with the famed Hulk Mego action figure!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spider-Man vs. Kraven! The Aurora Model Kit Re-Issue! Marvel Comics!

Here is my built-up version of the 2003 Spider-Man model kit re-issue, from the Polar Lights firm! This famed model kit, of course, was first introduced in 1966 by the awesome Aurora folks, and it was also later re-produced (as part of the "Comic Scenes" line) in 1974! This is the latest version, re-scaled to a much larger size (to better fit the DC Comics superhero kits)! Click each image below to enlarge, Web-Heads!

I used the usual model paints, leaving the kit's red
plastic unpainted, for portions of Spidey's costume...

I used a sliver metallic paint for the eye-pieces of Spidey's mask, and
used a small, fine-lined inking pen to delineate the web-lines on his costume,
as well as details of Kraven's outfit..

I applied some dry-brushed acrylic paint over the "mane"
on Kraven's costume, as well as the floor area...

The clear web background is backed with a gradated color
sheet (made in Photoshop), creating a great look!

Spidey's web-line was made from a lacy fabric, creating a much
more "realistic" look than the "cartoony" webbing provided with the kit!

Also added a thick threaded design to create the
extra webbed costume detail around the arms...

I also paid close attention to gloss and matte areas,
adding a gloss coat to Kraven's hair, the tin can, pistol...

I even added some dark splatter effects (and dry brushing) to create the
aged floor, and even detailed the rug that Kraven rests upon!

BONUS! Click below to see the 2003 ad that hypes the re-release of this (and the HULK) classic kit!

Monday, November 11, 2013

SPIDER-MAN! Recalling the 2002 Movie! Tobey Maguire! Marvel!

Altho it seems as if the 2002 Sam Raimi-directed SPIDER-MAN movie was just in theaters, it's now actually an 11-year old motion picture, part of a film franchise that's already been "re-booted" in a Hollywood eager to keep the shekel-securing superhero active onscreen! But, dig these articles below, each spotlighting the original film, the characters, and its stars! Love 'em or hate 'em, the SPIDER-MAN trilogy of films primed the pump for the current onslaught of superhero films at the movie houses! Click each to enlarge!

Above and below: A 2002 TV GUIDE article on the film!

BONUS! Click to enlarge this article (below) from VIDEO WATCHDOG magazine! 

Hey! I liked the 1977 Nick Hammond-helmed SPIDER-MAN CBS-TV show!