Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Adventures of Deadman in the National Lampoon!

Ever since I read reprints of the Adams Deadman series I’ve been a passionate fan of all things Deadman. So one day while searching for Deadman related comics I found a crazy fun comic on E-Bay. It was a magazine size comic with the title “The Adventures of Deadman”. Well the character on the cover had a cape like Deadman but no mask. I didn’t know what it was but I knew had to have it!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dash Shaw’s Amazing Spider-Man!

Strange Tales is one of the most exciting comics I’ve read in a long time. It presents so many different and truly original takes on traditional Marvel characters that it’s just breathtaking and truly inspiring! 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hey! It's A Four Color Alan Moore! (Moore's appearances in his own comics)

It’s always fun to find little unexpected Easter Eggs in your comics. It’s extra fun when it’s one of your favorite comic writers the way Alan Moore is mine.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deadman's Adventure Comics!

About the time of the big DC Implosion of 1978, DC and Paul Levitz turned one of their oldest titles, Adventure Comics, into an anthology comic. It would feature some of DC’s more popular heroes like Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern and some fan favorites like the New Gods, The Justice Society of America and Deadman.

Adventure Comics #459, Oct 1978

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Hellboy himself, Mike Mignola; A retrospective part 1

I think Mike Mignola is one of the most exciting creators in modern comics.  

First, because his work is so powerful and unique and second, for carving out an equally unique and successful niche for himself in the modern cut-throat world of comics. Not only has he drawn and written countless graphic novels in the last 20 years, he’s also had several successful Hellboy spinoffs series like BPRD,  Abe Sapien and Lobster Johnson, plus 2 Hellboy feature films and 2 animation films! When you talk about modern comic geniuses Mike has to be up there with the best of them. So it's strange and interesting to think that this comic luminary started out as a lowly inker for Marvel comics in the early 80's!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Liberatore's Sax Blues!

"She started sulking. Women always fall for sax players, don't ask me why."

Gaetano Liberatore is a great Italian artist most famous for his android creation that appeared in Heavy Metal Magazine, Ranxerox. In the January, 1985 issue of Heavy Metal he did a stunning little 8 page piece called “Sax Blues”. It’s one of the few non-Ranx things he did in America.

I included the cover of October 1985 Heavy Metal Magazine (rather than the one it appeared in) because the girl on the cover looks like the girl in the story.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Billie Holiday! A graphic novel by Sampayo & Munoz

I'm really excited. I just got the graphic novel "Billie Holiday" by Argentinian writer Carlos Sampayo and artist Jose Munoz in the mail.
I haven't heard anything about them in recent years but in the 80’s these guys were pretty big.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Alan Moore's Time Twisters!!

Early in Alan Moore's writing career he penned a number of short stories for 2000 AD where he developed his ability to spin fun stories from cool concepts.
Two of my favorites featured a funny little character that Moore and Watchmen collaborator, Dave Gibbons created, called Doctor. Dibworthy.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alan Moore, a very brief retrospective

Alan Moore is my favorite comic writer.

Alan Moore by Frank Quietly. For a treat click on the picture and look closely into the beard.
No one writer has written as dramatic or profound stuff as he has IMHO. Moore can do it all. He writes plots like no other, his dialog is usually spotless, and he loves to get all dramatic and dirty (He along with Miller were credited with bringing "gritty" to comics.) but I think the thing I like best about his work is his mind. It seems so fertile and agile. He seems to be able to absorb whatever he is writing about and come up with fresh lively perspectives on it. He takes old stuff and makes it feel new.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Avenger's The Earth's Mightiest Comic title!

There is so much goodness packed into The Avengers over the years with so many amazing creators that each one deserves a essay of their own, but for lack of space and time I'll give you the abridged highlights of the title.

The Avengers issue #177 is one of the first comics I ever owned and made me a life long Avengers fan.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Four color comics for just a dime!

With the success of Superman in Action comics #1 new publishers where popping up hoping to catch some of the magic that Superman was. The comics were produced quickly and cheaply so that they could get out there before the craze died down and so that the publishers profit margins could be larger.
One of the very early publishers of comics was Quality Comics. Their first comic was Smash Comics (Aug. 1939) featuring master spy Espionage, the exotic Abdul the Arab, humorous Archie O'Toole, adventurous Wings Wendall, and super robot, Bozo the Robo the iron man and his human friend Hugh Hazzard.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Eisner creating Spirit's four color world!

In the late 30's Superman hit the scene in Action Comics #1 and comic books became a huge business. To fulfill the need for new material, sweatshops like the Eisner/Igor studio popped up and created new comic pages in an assembly line process.

They were made cheaply using a pulpy newsprint paper and an efficient method of reproducing color called the four color process which used 64 colors mixed from four inks; yellow, cyan (blue), magenta (red) and black.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Planetary's Doc Brass and other supermen in comics.

One of my favorite things in Warren Ellis and John Cassaday's Planetary is Doc Brass and his league of pulp heroes.
Doc Brass and his crew are all take-offs of famous heroes of the pulp era.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Art Spiegelman's "Two-Fisted Painters"

Art Spiegelman is not only the creator of the  Pulitzer Prize winning graphic Novel Maus, he, along with his partner Françoise Mouly, were the creators of Raw Magazine where Maus first appeared. I was a huge fan of Raw Magazine back in the 80's. Reading it had a way of altering your view of what comics were. I would read something like Art Spiegelman's Two-Fisted Painters and I would start to see color breakdowns in all comics that I read afterward. I remember studying all the nuances of the book. I would look at the color break-downs and compare them to the finished pages, and study the pages with the 'wrong' color separation on them.

click on the pictures to get larger versions -

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jack Kirby's use of 4 panel grid

I find comics fascinating, not only in their content but also in the way that content is communicated. With this and subsequent posts I'd like to look at some of the more popular forms of panel arrangements in comics.
Besides the splash page (which is technically not a comic page in the true definition of comics being a medium of sequential panels) the most basic of the common page divisions is the 4 panel grid.
When I think of the 4 panel grid I think of Kirby's Silver and Copper age work on titles like the Fantastic Four and the New Gods, in fact I have a hard time thinking of any other artist that does use this form of page layout.
The 4 panel grid can be good when you have a very wordy page. The sameness of the panels creates a rhythm that is easier to follow. A 9 panel grid might work as well or better depending on the page.