Sunday, February 27, 2011

Extra!: Art by Reed Crandall

Extra! was one of EC's short-lived New Direction titles. Published in 1955, Extra! featured tales of reporter's adventures as they pursued their stories. While this comic is not at the top of everyone's mind when they think of EC comics, or even the New Direction titles, they all contain some wonderful artwork. A great example is this episode of "Geri Hamilton" with art by Reed Crandall.

Scans are from the 2000 Gemstone comic reprint. Cover of original comic by Johnny Craig at the bottom of this post.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Frights!

Richard Corben, cover art for Horror in the Dark #2, 1991.

Bernie Wrightson, The Premature Burial. From the Edgar Allan Poe Portfolio, 1976.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pinups by Al Buell

Al Buell (1910-1996) was born in Hiawatha, Kansas. He attended classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. Buell had his own studio by 1940 and produced pinups for the calendar companies Gerlach-Barklow and Brown & Bigelow. After World War II, he contributed pinups to Esquire magazine's "Gallery of Glamour." Here's a small sample of his artwork.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Bell Witch: Believe It or Not!

I've written here before about how Ripley's Believe It or Not! True Demons and Monsters comics freaked me out when I was a little kid. Issue #25 (April 1971) was a particularly scary one and I was happy to get a copy at the Heroes Con last summer in Charlotte NC. "The Black Demon of Devon" and "The Horror Called Spring-Heel Jack" were enough to keep me awake (I was eight when this thing came out), but it was"John Bell's Devil Witch" that really pushed me over the edge and terrified me.

There is no credit given to the artist of the story (any Gold Key comic fans out there that can tell me?) but he or she showed a certain twisted genius in their depiction of the witch. She is some kind of a hybrid bat lizard-beaked harpy abomination. For some reason the panel of her coming through the window on page five is a particularly vivid memory for me. The witch's appearance it what really terrified me as a little kid, plus the fact she kills the protagonist at the end of the story. Also, I believed everything I read in these comics. It says they are true right there on the cover.

Here's the six page story "John Bell's Devil Witch" from the April 1971 issue of Ripley's Believe It or Not! True Demons and Monsters. Artist and writer unknown.

The story of The Bell Witch is well represented online. Pat Fitzhugh seems to be doing some real research in old records and trying to ascertain whatever facts he can glean from the old records.

This page offers up the full text of An Authenticated History of the Famous Bell Witch. This 1894 book by Martin Van Buren Ingram, also known as "The Red Book," is the earliest account of the legend.

Here's the official site of the Bell home site and the Bell Witch Cave. There's even a historical marker.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tommy Toilet

A public service announcement by Robert Crumb, back cover to Your Hytone Comix, 1971. Don't Forget to Wipe Your Ass Folks!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Star Wars Art

A small selection of Star Wars artwork by some of the best.

Star Wars #55, January 1982. Cover art by Walt Simonson.

Imperial Storm Trooper by Al Williamson.

Art by Bill Stout for the book Star Wars Visions, 2010.

Star Wars
#38, August 1980. Cover art by Michael Golden.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh, what the heck...'s some pictures of Heather Locklear.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentiine's Day!

Super DC Giant
#17, October 1970. Cover by Nick Cardy.

War Time Romances #1, 1951.

Superman Valentine's Card, 1940.

Romance illustration, Arthur Sarnoff, n.d.

St.Valentine's Day Massacre, Edmund F. Ward, n.d.

Famous Funnies
#163, February 1948.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Currently Greatest Comic Book Cover Ever

Many DC artists used this gray tone process to produce some very artistic covers, most notably Jack Adler and Bob Brown.

But never was the technique employed to the effect achieved in Adler's Brown's masterpiece for the cover of Challengers of the Unknown #11. Most artists would be content to have a bizarre alien blasting the Challengers, and to make it really weird, maybe have the laser blasts coming out of the alien's eyes! The artist has ably delivered on the strange alien part and could have washed off his brushes and gone home with the satisfaction of another fine, but workmanlike, job completed.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Adler Brown took this one to the next level by perching the alien on a flying Triceratops. Okay, that's really about all I can handle. But no, the artist is not content until he pushes aside my boundaries of how cool I think something can be and establish an entire new paradigm in comic book art by giving the flying dinosaur horse legs.

Correction: Thanks to Mr. Door Tree, and quoted from his comment: "Adler only did the post production work on it...Bob Brown did the ink wash artwork for this cover! Brown created three other ink wash covers at DC...House of Mystery #92, Tales of the Unexpected #43 and Tomahawk #65."

Thank you for educating me along with my two other readers.

Challengers of the Unknown
#11, January 1960.

Wrightson's Marvel Superheroes

Here's a few of Bernie Wrightson's earlier renditions of Marvel superheroes. He would go on the produce the Spiderman graphic novel Hooky in 1986 and the Hulk/Thing graphic novel The Big Change in 1987.

The Incredible Hulk #197, March 1976. Cover by Bernie Wrightson.

Captain Marvel #43, March 1976. Wrightson inks on Al Milgrom pencils.

Astonishing Tales #31, August 1975. Wrightson inks on Ed Hannigan pencils.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Land O' Linkin'

I'm feeling kind of random today:

Here's a review of a recent gallery show in Scranton, PA of art by Al Williamson.

I ran across this kind of odd page about 3-D EC Comics which really doesn't have much on it, but it did lead me to the Golden Age Comic Book Stories post of art from the unpublished issue #3.

One Drawing for Every Page of Moby Dick. Does exactly what is says on the label.

And, a couple pictures of Gene Tierney...

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Back Covers

Here's some ads from the backs of comic books, 1938 - 1942.

A typewriter plus a beautiful desk! Only 10 cents a day. You have to write them for the total price. 1941.

The classic Daisy BB Gun. Don't put your eye out! 1942.

Great prizes for selling vegetable and flower seeds. 1942.

The perennial Johnson-Smith Company advertisement. This 1938 ad doesn't look much different from the 1970's ones I remember. Selling the same crap for almost the same price forty years later!

Fireworks! Fun for everyone. Explode them in your friend's face just like in the picture. 1939.