Thursday, September 24, 2020

Coloring the Bernie Wrightson Coloring Book

 This guy is coloring Bernie Wrightson's Color the Creature coloring and doing a hell of a job. Here's a link to his web site and some more examples.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Swamp Thing Covers by Bernie Wrightson

House of Secrets #92, July 1971.

Swamp Thing #1, November 1972.

Swamp Thing #2, January 1973.

Swamp Thing #3, March 1973.

Swamp Thing #4, May 1973.

Swamp Thing #5, August 1973.

Swamp Thing #6, October 1973.

Swamp Thing #7, December 1973.

Swamp Thing #8, February 1974.

Swamp Thing #9, April 1974.

Swamp Thing #10, June 1974.

DC Special Series Vol. 1, #2., September 1977.

DC Special Series Vol. 2, #14. Summer 1978.

Roots of the the Swamp Thing #1, July 1986.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Bob Wiacek Fundraiser

Bob Wiacek, a comic book inker who was very active in the 1980's, is suffering from glaucoma. If anyone knows anything about the comic book industry, there's no such thing as pensions or health insurance for freelancers no matter what your contribution to the company's bottom line.

Wiacek, who was born in 1953, provided inks for DC and any Marvel title of note during the 1980's. His credits include inking Dave Cockrum on his classic run of X-Men, Carmine Infantino on the Star Wars comic book, and he inked some of Paul Smith's work on X-Men.

He has started a Go Fund Me page to raise money for his medical treatment and taxes that are due. Not to mention his loss if income due to the glaucoma. I got so much enjoyment from his work in the early days of my serious comic book collecting, I was happy to contribute a little something.

Here's a link to the fundraiser page. 

Below is a scan of his inks over Frank Miller on the cover for The Spectacular Spider-Man #56, July 1981.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Monday, August 31, 2020

Four Dead in Ohio

 John Derf Backderf, the award winning author and artist of Trashed and My Friend Dahmer has a new graphic novel coming out September 4. It's called Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio and will be available in all the usual places. Signed copies are available (as of this writing) for cover price from the independent bookstore Mac's Backs.

The 280 page graphic novel has been in the works for four years. It tells the story of that fateful May 4th in Ohio, but puts in the events in context with what was happening locally and nationally at the time. It also largely tells the story through the point of view of the four students killed that day. Backderf did extensive research for this in primary sources and also interviewed participants and survivors. I've been knocked out by the depth, weight, and artistry of his previous graphic novels and I am really looking foward to this one.

Here's an interview with Backderf published by The Comics Journal. He talks about Kent State a lot, but it also covers his whole career up to this point.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Petty Girls!

George Petty (1894 - 1975) was a popular pinup artist from the 1930's through the 1950's. His "Patty Girl" centerfolds graced the pages of Esquire magazine. They also appeared on calendars from Esquire and the Rigid Tool Company. Here's a selection of Petty Girls from 1939 to 1956.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Reed Crandall ERB Illustrations

Gods of Mars, 1964.

Dejah Thoris, 1964

Tarzan and the Madmen, 1964.

A Fighting Man of Mars, 1967

John Carter of Mars, 1968

A Fighting Man of Mars, 1967

Friday, August 21, 2020

Michael Kaluta Covers

Original art for an unused Shadow cover and a couple of Doorway to Nightmare covers. All by Michael W. Kaluta.

Unused Shadow cover.

Doorway to Nightmare #1, Jan - Feb 1978.

Doorway to Nightmare #4, Jul - Aug 1978

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Coming Soon...

Flesk Publications has a new Kickstarter campaign with three books and four prints from Mark Schultz and Al Williamson. There's Carbon 4 in the series of sketchbooks by Mark Schultz. Many of these are fully finished drawings done as commissions and also sketches for different projects. If you're a fan of Schultz, this book will really be a must have.

They are also offering a new collected edition of Mark's Xenozoic Tales work. This one is in a smaller format, making it more portable. It would be terrible to get stuck in a lift or waiting for a bus without some Mark Schultz handy.

As much as I love Mark Schultz's artwork, the third book is the one I'm really looking forward to: Strange World Adventures showcasing the art of Al Williamson. This one is a career overview and promises unpublished and published art shot directly from the original art. If sales on this warrant it, there may be more volumes focusing on specific parts of Williamson's career. 

Flesk is also offering three S&N Schultz prints and one numbered Williamson print. They've already announced at least one cool stretch goal. Flesk always produces high quality books at a very reasonable price, and they've always come through with their Kickstarter projects. Visit the project website and reserve your copy(s) today! The books are slated for release early next year.


If you're a fan of Mark Schultz and Al Williamson, you're more than likely a fan of E.C. Comics. Taschen just released a massive volume The History of E.C. ComicsIf you know anything about the publisher Taschen, this book is big, it is expensive, but it will be worth it.

The author, Grant Geissman, has authored numerous books about the legendary E.C. line of comic books. With this book, the Gaines family opened their archives to him and it promises to have a lot of never before seen art and photos. Of course this book will cover the classic E.C. New Trend comics like Tales From the Crypt and Weird Science but will also cover Max Gaines' role in the founding of the modern American comic book and the Pre-Trend comics of the 1940's and early 1950's.

Like I said, it's expensive ($180 to $200) but it's massive, 592 pages and over 13 pounds. It will have a gallery of every E.C. comic cover, and lots of new information too.

Amazon says it is not coming out until October, but people who ordered it directly from Taschen are reporting it as being already shipped. You can order it here from the publisher. I ordered mine from Bud Plant since I trust their packing and that the book will arrive safely but they appear to have it on back order now. Amazon has it, but do you really want to trust a $200 book to their packaging?

Monday, August 17, 2020

Frank Frazetta Movie Posters

The Night They Raided Minsky's 1969.

Mad Monster Party 1968.

Hotel Paradiso 1966.

Mrs. Pollifax - Spy 1971.

The Secret of My Success 1965.

Yours, Mine and Ours 1968.


Friday, August 14, 2020

New Edition of Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein

If there's one thing that will get to start this blog again, it's a new edition of Bernie Wrightson's classic Frankenstein. This edition was just published by Gallery 13, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Even though the image is cropped, doesn't that cover look nice?

Unfortunately, what's nice about this ends there. Let's open the book up, shall we?

Oh look! No endpapers! Don't worry. They're randomly inserted elsewhere in the book. But how about the illustrations?

Many of them are printed much too dark, losing much of Wrightson's stunning linework and negating the main reason to buy this book.

Did I mention the size? The book is only 6 1/4" x 9 1/4". Smaller than a bronze age comic book. That's the real crime here. I don't understand why anyone would bother releasing this book in such a small format. This review could really just say "Smaller than a comic book" and that would tell you all you would need to know.

Part of me is glad this book is in print in any format, and I certainly hope his estate gets some money from it but I feel like this is a lost opportunity. All the older editions of this book are expensive on the secondary market. This book is legendary, and likely a lot of new or younger Wrightson fans don't have it. I could some of them so happy to finally get this book and being like "This is it?" 

I think the best edition of this book is the 2008 Dark Horse edition. Some people say the reproduction is better in the earlier Marvel / Dodd-Mead edition but I think you need a magnifying class to tell the difference. The Dark Horse one is larger, printed on higher quality paper and much better designed. If you can save your money and pick up one of those editions that's currently the best way to see this masterpiece. I guess if you can't afford one of those and have to have something, get this Gallery 13 edition. Or, if you're a nut like me and buy this book in languages you can't even read, then you probably already have it.

Some of you may have heard IDW is planning an Artist Edition of this book, with the art reproduced full size and photographed in color to pick up every bit of underlying pencil and nuance in the inking. That was supposed to be out in October 2019. At a panel from the online San Diego Con in August 2020 the editor said it will be out early next year. Let's keep our finger's crossed.